This September, Jackie, David and I set out for a couple of weeks visiting California again. The main hike this time was a trip up Mount Langley, which is in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas, very close to Mt. Whitney. We decided to bookend that hike with a visit to Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, and followup afterward with a couple of days in Yosemite. It worked out pretty well, and the weather held when it needed to.
With three of us travelling with the usual duffel bags of stuff (especially me...winch strap,tire pump, shovel, tools, satellite phone, cameras etc), it was time for a bigger vehicle and so we got a Chevy Suburban. It's hard to get much bigger than that. We all agree that it worked great for the trip, with enough room but not too much, and actually handled very well compared to some other beasts rented on past trips. National rent a car was a joy to use, with no standing in the lineup, personal service, and even a full windshield washer tank. This has never happened before.
Landing in San Francisco at SFO, we stayed at the usual Motel 6 (#4770) in Fremont South because it's in a nice area, with close access to I-880, I-680, good shops and restaurants, and REI (mountain hiking supplies). The goal for the next day, after getting supplies, was Kings Canyon/Sequoia and we got there in mid-afternoon, with lots of time to set up at Stony Creek Campground. That evening we visited Moro Rock and watched the sunset.
The next morning after packing, we drove into the Giant Forest, and had a nice walk through the groves. It's impossible to do the trees justice with photographs, especially as the sun beams through.
Then it was off onto the highways, down around the southern edge of the Sierras, and up Hwy 395 so we could get to Whitney Portal campground before it got too late. By sleeping there at 8,000 feet, it would be a good first step to acclimating to altitude.
The next morning after coming back down the switchbacks of Whitney Portal Road, we had breakfast in Lone Pine and visited the Ranger Station to pick up our Sequoia wilderness hiking permit. Then it was up to Horseshoe Meadow which has its own switchback roads out of Lone Pine again. This would let us spent a night at 10,000 feet before starting our climb the next day, ultimately reaching 14,000 feet at the summit.
Sequoia - Mt.Langley - Yosemite Round Trip
We'll see this bike again on the open road.
When the pitch comes out of the pole, you know there's a whole lot of summer bakin' going on.