Grand Views and a Mysterious Cave at Sequoia National Park

Marmots, creepy campfire stories, eating banana boats under a glittering nightsky, and a group of Shoestring Warriors getting their adventure fill during Labor Day weekend– an amazing adventure to remember with awesome women at Sequoia National Park. We had three days to explore the home of where the largest tree exists.

Day 1

After we had set up our tents and ate our lunch, we hiked towards Tokopah Falls, its popular trailhead near our campsite. The trail is along the north bank of the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. We passed by deer munching on their afternoon snack. We crossed bridges and scrambled rocks to where the falls would be. Since it’s been a more dry year in California, we saw only a bit of water trickling from the rocks. We also saw a stunning view of Tokopah Valley.

 

After relaxing, we headed back and prepared dinner together. Under the starry nightsky, we sat around the campfire and roasted marshmallows for our smores!

Day 2

Heather and I woke up early to get a head start on preparing breakfast: blueberry pancakes with optional peanut butter. After getting our coffee fill, we set out for our first exploration of the day. We carpooled into two cars and were the first people that morning to hike up Little Baldy Trail. We passed by a variety of wild plants.

Then we reached the summit! On our way back, we were greeted by a marmot on the trail.

Photographed by a fellow hiker
Photographed by Cyndee Ewing

Afterwards we drove to the other side of the park through a winding road for our Crystal Cave tour. We got there early and had time to eat our packed sandwiches and chat a bit. Before hiking down to this marble cavern, we stepped onto a mat to decontaminate the soles of our hiking shoes to help prevent white-noise syndrome, a fungal disease killing bats in North America.

When we returned to our campsite, each of us relaxed at a nearby stream, tried fly fishing, spent some time reading or took a quick nap. As the sun went down, we started preparing for dinner, using one table as the main slice-and-dice station to create veggie foil packets. We gathered around the campfire to roast chicken sausages. Then later, banana boats!

Before heading into our sleeping bags, we shared a couple of scary stories and finished the night off with a game of 10 Fingers/Never Have I Ever. A couple of us spotted shooting stars too.

Day 3

On the last day, the group had savory omelettes and hashbrowns for breakfast. We were ahead of our schedule so some of us packed up our camp equipment then walked over to the shuttle, which we were so proud to make it–until we missed the next shuttle to get to Moro Rock.

We climbed the stairs of Moro Rock, stopping in between to gaze at the view. The day was just as beautiful as the rest of the weekend. Afterwards, we took a shuttle to see the largest tree in the world, General Sherman. It stands 275 feet tall, and is over 36 feet in diameter at the base.

With a good balance of adventure, relaxation, exploration, and deliciousness, this trip was so incredible! Hope to experience more like it soon!



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