Fall 2017: Kings Canyon National Park

Preliminary.Short

Kings Canyon National Park lies to the south of its more famous cousin, Yosemite National Park.  I had assumed it to be part of the Sierras, but that is apparently true only of the eastern portion of the park.  The west seems to be decidedly different, with darker rock and more vegetation.  But the two share similar features, including tall mountains, steep valleys and rushing rivers.

The east side of the park is home to a portion of the amazing John Muir Trail.  I hiked 39 miles of it.  That portion of the trip is described separately.  Be sure to check it out.

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Smoke is evident above the valley duing the 5000 foot climb that begins my trip into Kings Canyon. Fortunately, it was a non-issue here and nonexistent for 99% of this trip.
They call this Upper Paradise Valley.  OK, but I think they exaggerate.
They call this Upper Paradise Valley. OK, but I think they exaggerate.
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Finally, I’m above 10,000 ft. This would be a typical elevation for the trip. Pretty lake below. I’m leaving the smoke behind me.
Pretty mountain stream.  But what do those clouds say?
Pretty mountain stream. But what do those clouds say?
Rock mountains look down on the Woods Creek Trail
Rock mountains look down on the Woods Creek Trail
A pleasant stretch of the South Fork Kings River
A pleasant stretch of the South Fork Kings River
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Waterfalls like this are an occasional treat along rivers like the Middle Fork Kings River.
The valleys are deep, and the walls are steep in the park.
The valleys are deep, and the walls are steep in the park.
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The weather is very uncertain here. This was actually shot from the inside of a cave. I considered stopping here, which is apparently a bad place to be during a thunderstorm.
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This looks like a nice evening view of a mountain river. But tjhe weather behind me told a different story. It actually looked ugly. I was rushing to find a place to set up camp. Oh, how I wish I had been here during a favorable time.
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This was my bear sighting. That black lump in the middle is a 1-2 year old black bear. It was off the trail and moving farther away. But where is mama? I assume she was ahead of the cub, but I never saw her.

The above images show only the beginning and ending of my trip to Kings Canyon.  Be sure to see the amazing middle on the JMT page.