Confusing as it sounds, at least to me, just south of Sequoia National Park lies Giant Sequoia National Monument (southern unit.) In our effort to see everything, we decided to check it out on our way to the more famous Sequoia NP.
We stayed at a Corps of Engineers campground at Lake Success. It's a pretty lake surrounded by rolling golden hills with views of snow-capped mountains to the east when conditions are good. At less than 700 feet in elevation, I was afraid it was going to be hot, but it was perfect.
We really like the COE campgrounds. They are usually clean, well designed, and inexpensive. This one was lovely with huge sites, but was rather more expensive than most we have visited - $30 with electric, $20 without. Luckily Ron's Golden Age pass cut that in half and with solar panels we don't need electric. And realistically, doesn't everything cost more in California?
Because we were there before the holiday weekend, it was also almost empty.
Off we went to explore the aforementioned National Monument. On our way up to 7000 feet, we passed through the clouds. Oooo, spooky.
But soon we came out of the fog/clouds to a beautiful sunny day.
Well, this sounds interesting.
You know, you just can't get good help anymore. A nice man volunteered to take our picture in front of this lovely giant sequoia and he took it while Ron was telling me to take off my hood. Oh well, at least it shows how cold it was.
Isn't it a magnificent tree? Giant Sequoias, although not the tallest tree in the world (that would be their relative the Coastal Redwood,) can grow to 300 feet and live for 3000 years! That's hard to imagine.
I don't have the stats on this particular tree, but it was a beauty!
On our way back downhill, we were treated to more stunning views.
And you know I can't resist a pretty flower. This was actually a bush, unnamed, at least by me.
Next up, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the story of the disappearing campground.