Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Sequoia / Kings Canyon Car Camping, California
July 20-28, 2019
clipbord   Trip Report : July 20-28, 2019
Sequoia & King Canyon - The Largest tree on earth (by volume), the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. One of the deepest canyons in North America. Some of the most remote wilderness in the lower 48. It is all about grand scale: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park. It is 1,300 square miles in size, there are more 826 miles hiking trails, Mount Whitney, at 14,494 feet is the highest peak in the United States outside of Alaska, and is a beloved destination.
Sequoia National Park.
This car-camping trip description is certainly not final, and may be subject to minor changes and adjustments as get closer to July, or even during the trip itself, depending on the weather or how things go. But for now here is a brief summary:
Hikes and Schedules
Saturday, July 20:  From Phoenix to Lodgepole Campground is about 623 miles and 11 hours of driving. For anyone who wants to caravan to the Sequoia together, plan on meeting at Costco Warehouse at 99th Ave and McDowell at 8:00 AM and leave at 8:15am. It’s long drive to the hotel in Barstow, CA, approximate 400 miles and 8 hours’ drive. For hotel information please read Hotel/Lodge Accommodations.
Sunday, July 21:  After a quick breakfast, check out hotel and drive to Lodgepole Campground. It is about 247 miles and the driving time is 5 hours. Yes, FIVE hours. From Ash Mountain entrance (South of Sequoia NP) to Lodgepole campground, the General highway is a winding, sometimes steep-graded road. It is a superbly scenic and beautiful drive with many stunning views. There are overlook points to stop and see. So allow plenty of time for the drive. After arrive at Lodgepole Campground, we will set up our tents and visit Lodgepole Visitor Center, watch a short video and get some park information. At 4 PM, if you are not too tired, we will meet and take the free park shuttle (Green Routh 1) from Lodgepole Campground to Giant Forest Museum, then take free park shuttle (Gray Route 2) to Moro Rock (0.6 miles) do our very first hike. The trailhead is nine miles from our campground, during the summer, the road is closed to private vehicles on weekends and holidays from morning through late afternoon. Here is link to read.
Monday, July 22:  There are two option today:
1.  If the temperature is cool enough, we will be hike two trails at the Foothills area (Low Elevation area of Sequoia NP): Marble Fall Trail (6.8 miles) and Paradise Creek Trail (4.8 miles). You can hike both trails for total of 12+ miles or just one of those trails. We will hike the Marble Fall Trail first. Here are the links to read more about the trails.
Marble Falls Trail   Paradise Creek Trail
2. If the July summer heat is too much for the low elevation foothills, we will be hike Eagle Lake Trail (6.5 miles) and Cold Spring Trail (1.2 miles) at Mineral King Area. Form our Campground to Mineral King Range Station is about 47 miles, but it will take 2 ½ - 3 hours. The only road into Mineral King is steep, narrow, and twisty, with blind curves that demand patient driving. This is the reason it takes over an hour to go twenty some miles from Ash Entrance to Mineral King Ranger Station, and why most people skip the trip. The reward is fewer crowds and great views. Here is the link to read more about the trail.
Tuesday, July 23:  Hike on one of the most popular trails in Sequoia National Park - Lakes trail (Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear Lakes). It is 11.5 miles for all four lakes, or 9.4 miles to Aster and Emerald Lakes, or 7.6 miles to Heather Lake. Here is a link to read more about the trail.
Wednesday, July 24:  We will be hike the most rewarding Giant Forest Loop Trail (combine the following trails: General Sherman Tree, Congress trail, trail of Sequoias, Crescent Meadow & Log Meadow (8 miles). Free activity in the late afternoon - Visit Giant Forest Museum, Beetle Rock Education Center, shower, shopping. Here are the links to read more about the trails.
Giant Forest Loop Trail   Crescent and Log Meadows Trail   Congress Trail
Thursday, July 25:  Explore Grant Grove and Kings Canyon Area - General Grant Grove (Tree), drive to Panoramic Point, enjoy the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and do a short hike of Zumwalt Meadow (4.0 miles) or longer hike of Redwood Canyon Loop (7.1 mile, starts from redwood, ending at Hart tree). Here are the links to read more about the trails.
Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls   Hart Tree Loop Trail
Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.
tree   trees
Friday, July 26:  There are two option today:
1.  Hike the Little Baldy trail (3.5 miles), Muir Grove Trail (3.7 miles), do Discovery Crystal Cave Tour in the afternoon (1 ½ hours at 4:30 pm) or Family Tour (50 minutes at every half hour). Discovery Tour is limit to 18 participants, cost is $18 per person. Family tour is limit to 50 people, cost is $16 per person. If we have more than 21 participants interested the Discovery tour, we could get Group reservations. Here are the links to read more about the trails and Crystal tour.     Crystalc Cave   Big Baldy   Muir Grove Trail
2. Hike the Alta Peak trail, one of the most difficult trails for this trip. Distance: 13.8 miles round trip; Elevation: 7,280-ft-11,204-ft; Elevation gain: 3,924-ft; Difficulty: strenuous-difficulty. Here are the links to read more about the trails.     Alta Peak Trail   Detail
Saturday, July 27:  Today is our last day at park. We will do a short trail from our campground, Tokopah Trail (4.1 miles). After the hike, we will take down our tents and pack our stuff and be ready to leave around 1 PM. Plan to arrive to the hotel before 6 PM. Here is the link to read more about the trail.
Sunday, July 28:  Drive back to Phoenix.
Our 9 days, 8 nights of car camping trip starts on July 20 and ends on July 28. We stay at a hotel for two nights (July 20 and July 27). We will stay at Lodgepole Campground for 6 nights of July 21 through July 26. We currently planning to reserve 10 campsites at Lodgepole Campground. We limited two tents per site or one tent and one RV per site. Normal Camping fees is $22 per site, per night. However, if we have enough of Senior Pass or National Park Pass, the camping fees will reduce to $11 per site and per night. Here are more information regarding the Lodgepole Campground.

Lodgepole Campground is located in the breathtaking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in central California’s rugged Sierra Nevada range. Lodgepole is perched on the banks of the scenic and lengthy Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, at an elevation of 6,700 ft. The inspiring Giant Forest Grove and the mighty General Sherman Tree - the world’s largest tree in volume - are just two miles from the campground.

Lodgepole Campground is very popular with tent and RV campers alike. It has paved roads, flush toilets, and drinking water. Picnic tables, fire rings, and bear food storage boxes are provided at each site. Lodgepole Village is a quick, 1/4-mile away, offering a visitor center, nightly Interpretive Ranger programs, a market, deli, snack bar, gift shop, post office, coin-operated showers and laundry facilities.
$38 per camping fee: Assume two tent per site, one person per tent. $11 per site per night, plus $10 process fee ($11 x 6 + $10 = $76). Lin expects $38 per person camping fee.
$18 per person for those who will take the Crystal Cave Tour. Lin expects $18 per person for the tour.
The Campground and Tour both need to be booked 6 months prior to our trip, therefore to secure your spot, Lin expects a check of $38 or $56 before  January 15, 2019. If Lin has not received a check before Jan 15, Lin will release your spot to who is on the waiting list.
Pre-Payment of Camping Trip Fees (club policy):
Pre-Payment of Camping Trip Fees:
When campground fees or other fees are required on a camping trip, each participant must pay them to the leader at the time of signing up. The leader then makes the required payment to the campground owner (typically, the National Park Service). A person who cancels or doesn’t show up will be given a refund only if replaced by a new participant from the waiting list.
The hotel (Best Western) cost is about $81+tax per night of two nights. Lin will collect the Hotel money in February, 2019, after we know more who wants to share rooms. You are welcome to book your own hotel and pay your own stay. Just make sure your group will carpool together.
Hotel/Lodge Accommodations
The hotel is near our campground. Currently Deirdre booked a room at Wuksachi Lodge. If you are interested in sharing a room with Deirdre, please let me or Deirdre know.
Hotels for July 20 and July 27 at Barstow.
Weather Conditions: Sequoia National Park
A road construction project between the Sequoia park entrance and the Giant Forest is underway. There are delays and vehicle length limits. If your vehicle (vehicle-trailer combination) is longer than 22 feet, it is prohibited on the Generals Highway between Hospital Rock Picnic Area and Giant Forest Museum. Consider using the northern entrance to Kings Canyon National Park on Highway 180 instead of the southern entrance to Sequoia National Park on Highway 198. For the latest road updates call (559) 565-3341.
Lin Chao.  Limit of 25 people or two tent per site. You must email Lin by 5:00 PM on January 15, 2019, to confirm. Please consider joining us for awesome Car-Camping in Sequoia/ Kings Canyon National Parks, CA. As we get closer to the trip date, Lin will be sending out more detailed information to all trip participants. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact
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updated August 28, 2019 © Copyright 2019, Arizona Trailblazers.  All rights reserved.