Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out of town for a few days and visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Given this trip was plan B for our summer vacation, it turned out really great!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon sit south of Yosemite National Park in California in the southern Sierra Nevadas. Sequoia is America’s second national park created in 1890.

In Sequoia National Park, the kids opted to check out General Sherman as our first adventure in the park. General Sherman stands as the earth’s largest tree in volume of total wood. It is 275 feet tall with a circumference of 103 feet. Its trunk weighs an estimated 1,385 tons! It’s also estimated to be 2,200 years old! Every year, General Sherman grows enough new wood to produce a 60 foot tall tree of usual size.

Over in Kings Canyon National Park, we checked out General Grant.

While these parks have the amazing giant trees, these two parks also showcase other diverse parts of nature. Enjoy a few photos of other parts of these parks:

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We really enjoyed our time here! We did miss going to the visitor centers and listening to ranger talks, but the kids still learned new things and completed their junior ranger books that we printed out at home before our trip. 

While most people drive on through these two parks in one day, you can easily spend multiple days here and enjoy the variety of landscapes and trails here. I’d highly recommend checking out these two parks if you’re in the area!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir

Happy 109th to Devils Postpile!

Happy 109th anniversary to Devils Postpile National Monument established back 1911! This national monument is located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California and cover about 800 acres.

The Postpile serves as the main attraction here and is pretty cool to see in person! Current studies suggest that the Postpile was formed less than 100,000 years ago when a cooling lava flow cracked into multi-sided columns. This formation is a rare sight and towers about 60 feet high!

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You can also check the 101 foot high Rainbow Falls here along with many mountain trails.

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While it’s lesser known than the nearby Yosemite National Park, this national monument is definitely worth a visit!

Make sure to check for information online about it before visiting due to the current pandemic.

Happy anniversary to Devils Postpile National Monument!

Muir Woods

Happy 112th anniversary to Muir Woods National Monument!

On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt created the Muir Woods National Monument named after conservationist John Muir. Muir Woods became the 7th National Monument and was the first one created from land donated by a private individual.

Muir Woods lies in the middle of the redwood’s latitudinal range that spans from the California/Oregon border to Big Sur, just south of Monterey. And it is quite easy to get to from San Francisco!

Muir Woods is a great place to see some amazing redwood trees, check out the history here, and take in a few hikes! If you’re in the Bay Area, I highly recommend that you check out Muir Woods National Monument!

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Devils Postpile National Monument

A couple of weekends ago, we headed away for the weekend to Mammoth Lakes in California.

Fall in the mountains just rocks! I love the cool, mountain, fresh air and cold temperatures once the sun goes down.

While there, we originally talked about doing a day in Yosemite. But, we decided to check out Devils Postpile National Monument instead and could not be more happy with our decision!

We started our day there enjoying a hike to Rainbow Falls. Gotta love a 101 foot high waterfall and one that reflects rainbows! 🌈

The trail intersects with the PCT and JMT which is pretty cool to see a tiny bit of those two iconic trails.

After the hike, we took a bus over to the Devils Postpile ranger station. Our kids got their junior ranger books there.

We hiked to see the Devils Postpile. Pretty cool to see the lava formations in the mountain and know how many years ago it all happened. It reminds you of the magnitude of earth and time here compared to us little humans.

Established as a national monument in 1911, this is really cool to see in person!

Our daughter’s little stuffed friend joined us in the national monument as well!

While lesser known than the nearby Yosemite National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument is definitely worth a visit!

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Happy 113th anniversary to Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Located about 130 miles north of Sacramento, this national park has over 100,00 acres. Congress established this national park back in 1916 making it one of the oldest in our country.

Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors the cool experiences of seeing clear mountain lakes, meadows filled with wildflowers, and a number of volcanoes! In fact, Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world.

We took the two kids there a few years ago and will never forget the “stinky” section of the park. Both kids holding their noses and wondering what that smell was! It definitely entertained mom and dad! 😉 The kids enjoyed seeing the boiling mudpots and steaming vents with that yummy sulfur smell!

If you’re in the Northern California area, check out this unique national park and experience a volcano! Happy anniversary, Lassen!

Enjoy some photos from our time there!