july 6 (Friday) - 8 (Sunday)
Kings Canyon National Park
Join us for a beginner's photography workshop and camping adventure in Kings Canyon National Park! Kings Canyon is a land of towering giants in the southern Sierra Nevadas of
Join us for a beginner’s photography workshop and camping adventure in Kings Canyon National Park!
Kings Canyon is a land of towering giants in the southern Sierra Nevadas of California. Between the granite walls and the deep canyons grow the largest trees in the world! John Muir called Kings Canyon “a rival to Yosemite.” The views are just as breathtaking, but without the modern day crowds.
On our two night adventure, we’ll explore the cascading waterfalls, tranquil meadows, sequoia groves and breathtaking views that make up the majestic beauty of Kings Canyon. Our weekend wouldn’t be complete with a salute to General Grant, the world’s third-largest living organism.
Triptographer Mike Struna will lead our TAKE ONLY MEMORIES photo workshop, which is designed to teach students how to become skilled observers & stewards of the natural world. Learn the basics of photography, including exposure, ISO, aperture and shutter speed, and leave with tools, tips and tricks to preserve the natural world one photo at a time.
Come spend the weekend with us, connect with like-minded people and take back your weekend!
About the Course
This course is for beginners looking to learn the fundamentals of photography. While no experience is required, students must bring a camera with manual settings. If you don’t own one yet, check out Borrow Lenses or KitSplit for convenient rentals. Please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance!
Highlights For This Adventure
- Salute General Grant, the world’s third-largest living organism
- Get a taste of everything Kings Canyon has to offer, including cascading waterfalls, tranquil meadows, sequoia groves and breathtaking views
- Learn fundamentals of photography in a supportive, judgement-free environment
- Test the latest camera straps and clips from our friends at Peak Design in the field!
Included With Every Shoestring Adventure
- Learn from our Wilderness First Responder/CPR certified trip leaders, no matter your level of experience
- Connect with our community of like-minded people through Meetups and happy hours
- Join our free Ambassador-led group hikes to train for your adventure
- Borrow gear at no cost if you don’t have your own
- Enjoy gourmet camp meals—everything tastes better outdoors
- In addition to your own, get professional photos to remember your adventure from our Triptographers
- Get your Shoestring Warrior Adventure Kit with curated souvenirs
- Leave the planning to us—permits and campground reservations included
Shoestring Adventures operates with special use permits. A portion of your ticket goes toward protecting and preserving these parks for future generations.
- Day 1: Meet at our campsite at 2pm for orientation and set-up. First, we’ll break down the basic of photography, including ISO, aperture and shutter speed, then we’ll head into the field to practice our skills during an easy 2-mi hike on the Big Stump Trail, an area that was heavily logged in the 1880’s and now serves as an important reminder to protect our environment. Climb a set of stairs to stand atop the Mark Twain Stump, a sequoia that was felled in 1891 so that the American Museum of Natural History in New York could have a slice to exhibit. Return to camp for a delicious dinner, followed by s’mores and an introduction to night photography around the campfire.
- Day 2: Today, we’ll explore the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon, including Roaring River Falls, Zumwalt Meadow, Sheep Creek Cascade, Canyon View Overlook and Road’s End, followed by a revitalizing dip in the snowmelt Kings River. At each destination, we will present a photo challenge for you to practice and sharpen your skills. After dinner, join us for a 0.5-mi hike to Panoramic Point for the most breathtaking view of the night sky we’ve seen to date. We’ll practice capturing the night sky with our cameras.
- Day 3: Following breakfast and camp breakdown, we’ll explore the Grant’s Grove area of Kings Canyon with a moderate 5-mile hike on the Sunset Trail, passing secluded Ella Falls and winding through one of the park’s most beautiful sequoia groves. Before leaving the park, we’ll salute General Grant, the world’s third-largest living organism, which has a greater base diameter than any other sequoia. Optional: Meet for lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Los Angeles.
Total: Approx. 15 miles
Schedule subject to change due to weather, camper ability/injury, natural events or park restrictions. Shoestring Warriors should be in good physical shape, but we will hike at an easy pace and take breaks as needed.
Trip leader Canyon Grove graduated from San Diego State University with an degree in Recreation Tourism Management. With over half a decade spent as a head coach for high school lacrosse, he has a strong belief in teamwork when it comes to groups in the outdoors. He loves leading for Shoestring, not only for the personal opportunities to travel, but the opportunity to foster a welcoming community, enjoy delicious food, and make new friends in the great outdoors! He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and avid outdoor adventurer. He lives in Ocean Beach, San Diego. If he isn’t surfing, climbing, or backpacking, he’s working as a cellar person at a micro brewery and a guide for beer tours
Growing up in a family of artists on the east coast, Triptographer Mike Struna was always taught to appreciate the beauty around him. After moving out to Los Angeles, the mini adventures grew to include the many natural wonders in and around California. His desire to capture moments in nature led to photographing desert landscapes at night. Using long exposure photography, Mike captures surreal night time landscapes lit by natural and artificial light sources. LEARN MORE
While previous camping and photography experience are not required, Shoestring Warriors must be physically fit and prepared to hike up to 8-miles. Check out our upcoming schedule of community hikes to train with us!
First Time Shoestring Warrior?
Before your adventure, you will receive a Welcome Kit with a customized package list, introductions to your fellow campers, weather forecast and everything else you need to know to prepare for our trip.
Provided by Shoestring Adventures
- group first aid kit
- group cooking gear
- stoves and fuel
Required Gear (provided at no additional cost if you don’t have your own)
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- headlamp and spare batteries
- tents (2 and 3-person tents will be shared with 1-2 other campers of the same gender)
- trekking poles (highly recommended for balance and to help reduce strain on knees)
- camp shoes
- insulating layer
- rain shell
- hiking pants or shorts
- hiking shirt
- hiking boots or shoes (broken in)
- hiking socks
- long underwear/pajamas
- bathing suit
Required Personal Items
- ID & health insurance card
- water bladder or bottles with minimum 3L capacity
- SPF chapstick and sunblock
- unscented baby wipes
- small towel
- comb/hair band
- bug repellant
- hand sanitizer
- prescription medications
- personal bathroom kit: toilet paper, ziplock bags, personal wipes, hand sanitizer
Photography Workshop Items
- camera with manual settings
- your camera manual
- fully-charged battery
- memory card
- small pillow
- small multi-tool
- camp chair
Transportation is not included. While you are responsible for getting to and from Shoestring Adventures locations, we will help coordinate carpools for Shoestring Warriors leaving from Los Angeles. Passengers are expected to contribute to their driver for gas and wear & tear.
Traveling from out of town? The closest airport is Fresno Yosemite International Airport—1.25 hours from the Kings Canyon park entrance. From the airport, you can rent a car to reach the park.
We will meet at 2pm on Friday. We will leave Kings Canyon around noon on Sunday, so you can plan your flight accordingly.
In summer, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks weather in the middle elevations (4,000 to 7,000 feet) is characterized by warm days and cool evenings, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms.
Health & Safety
Supporting the health and safety of participants is among our top priorities. All Shoestring Adventures trip leaders hold Wilderness First Responder/CPR, Leave No Trace and Food Handling certifications. In remote destinations, we carry a DeLorme inReach Explorer Satellite Messenger to contact authorities in case of emergency.
On the trail, we encourage campers to stay together, wear sun protection and stay hydrated. We minimize risk by keeping groups together while hiking, encouraging everyone to drink water and apply sunscreen, and making sure we’re prepared with gear appropriate to weather and our activities.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tips for trip leader and photographer
- Meal at local restaurant
- Park entrance fee $35 per person
Registration and Payment
We don’t want finances to be a barrier to the outdoors. To request a custom payment plan, email email@example.com.
- Member Pre-sale: $345
- Early Bird: $385 (Begins April 13)
- Regular: $420 (Begins June 8)