Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
We had an amazing week up in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in July. We camped at Lodgepole and had a sweet spot right on a river bank (next to a nice family from Palm Springs.) On our first night, we saw mother and cub rooting around in the river bed below us.
We saw more bears the following day as we did the Giant Forest loop. If you ever do this loop, be sure to use the shuttle because there is barely any parking at Mora Rock which is a must-see. Anyway... we kept hearing about more bears in the main meadow at Giant Forest but didn't see those. We did see some controlled burning which was kind of a shock. Later, on the far end of Crescent Meadow, we saw another mother and cub resting between 2 trees.
I know it looks like we are close -- but not that close. 25-30 yards maybe? We took a good look and some pics but moved on quickly. We are reminded that it's a good idea to have a trail talker like Henry around because, as long as there are no surprises, I think the bears and people get along just fine.
A huge highlight was a cave adventure tour for kids that only happens once per week in the summer. We learned about it at a ranger presentation on our first night. So at Crystal Caves, Simon and Henry got to go spelunking for 2 1/2 hours and see all kinds of cool stuff while Kari and I were stuck on the pedestrian cave tour. Which was pretty cool too (our guide Miles was great) but we were clearly missing out. Especially when we heard about their adventure down to The Well.
Eventually we traveled north to check out Kings Canyon for the day. Very beautiful and reminds of Yosemite, but without the charm and the hordes of tourists. Speaking of tourists though... we saw some being very stupid trying to swim under this waterfall. The water is VERY wild in Kings Canyon but you can't stop stupid.