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 43 miles of it. That portion of the trip is described
separately. Be sure to check it out.
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.
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?
Rock mountains look down on the Woods Creek Trail
A pleasant stretch of the South Fork Kings River
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 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.
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.
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, and that left me a little uneasy.
The climb to Kearsage Pass was pretty routine. Of course, it was pretty barren here around 11,000 ft.
An alpine lake hides below a mountain peak
Atop Kearsage Pass
Below Kearsage Pass lie the Kearsage Lakes, of course.
What color is The Painted Lady? If you’re careful and look for subtle distinctions, there’s white, various grays, tan, green and perhaps blue. Perhaps even more that I can’t detect.
Bullfrog Lake is much more interesting from this lower vantage point than it was at Kearsage Pass (IMHO)
I have never seen ice crystals like this. Individual strands were about an inch long. And I only saw them here. What do the scientists say?
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The above images show only the beginning and ending of my trip to Kings Canyon. Be sure to see the amazing middle on the
Totals for Kings Canyon: 6 days, 99 miles
Sequoia National Park