Sequoia National Park was one of those places that just exceeded my expectations in every way. We planned on camping there, but had to change our minds after reading too many things on the Internet about bears in the park. Now, I know that a black bear won’t hurt me, but I don’t want it breaking into my car for a gum wrapper. Apparently this happens often in Sequoia and Kings Canyon due to the lack of attention paid to regulations by other park goers. You can read alllll about the bear issue here or here. I totally freaked myself out. I can also contribute this unreasonable fear of bears to the summer of 2001 when I read Mark of the Grizzly while visiting Yellowstone. I’ll never get over that book!
We entered the park on a winding road after passing through countless citrus orchards along the way. As the road crisscrossed the mountainsides, the landscape started to change from dry valleys to shrubby riverbanks, and finally into a dense forest.
You wonder along the way where the big trees are and then suddenly one pops up and overwhelms you. Imagine the biggest tree you’ve ever seen and then make it even bigger. Clint and I couldn’t hold in our gasps of excitement as we continued deeper into the Giant Forest. It honestly felt like we were tiny people in some kind of magic woods. Think Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, maybe?!
The feeling of smallness as you realize that these trees stood in this exact spot when Cleopatra ruled over Egypt, Jesus walked the earth, and John Muir explored these same forests is unbelievable. They will stand there still when my great great grandchildren live and die.
On the way out of the park, we were lucky enough to spot a bear ambling along in the woods! I’ll be honest, he looked kind of cute and not at all like he would rip my tent apart.
We loved our experience in Sequoia- in fact, it’s tied with Arches for our favorite so far! Next up, Yosemite!