Blogs from Sierra National Forest, California, United States, North America


After waking at first light freezing cold we got up to a frosty morning and watched the sunrise over the mountains. Buffet breakfast not so good as supper but we did get given free packed lunches for the day. On the way out of the lodge we saw a coyote! First stop was Grant Grove to get some petrol, only to find out the only open petrol station in the park was at Hume Lake so we detoured there, very pretty drive down a side canyon. We were then delayed on route 180 by a lane closure as they cleared a fallen tree off the road.The road had only opened for the summer the day before though so this wasn't too bad going! These delays meant it was nearing 11am by the time we got most ... read more
Black bear
The trail...

Friday morning Chavaunne had to pop back into the lab at UCLA to finish up some work whilst I had a lazy morning getting up slowly then taking a stroll around the university's botanical gardens & failing to get a photo of a pretty hummingbird! I also saw several butterflies, a bees nest in a tree & several ant trails. After checking out of the hotel at midday & Chavaunne picking up the last of her research we headed to pick up our hire car, we got there slightly late but no matter as the didn't have our car anyway! After an hours wait a suitable car turned up (delay was due to traffic from the airport where our car was coming from) & we headed out of LA. Slowly. Very slowly. LA traffic is a ... read more
Rustic Mountain View Cabins
Hills by LA

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park This is a forest of giants, big old giants! The General Sherman Tree is the world’s largest tree, about 2700 years old, its largest branch is about 2.15m in diameter, thicker than most other tree’s trunks!. These sequoia trees have a special type of bark that seems to be resilient to fungi, insects and also fire resistant. The wood is so impenetrable or unable to decay that piles of sawdust can still be found in Grant Grove’s Big Stump Basin where sequoias were cut for lumber over 100 years ago – this ability helps them to survive for centuries. Most of them die because they topple over as they don’t have deep penetrating roots… poor big guys! The general Grant tree is the world’s third-largest tree and has the greatest ... read more
Spot the Cowboy
Again-spot the tiny specks of people
Giant trees

Day 2 of our trip and we are finally going to hike. We were supposed to be camping by the Cottonwood Creek but now are just there. Justin left the party before us with his boys and met Elias and Charlotte at a designated stream crossing. Last to leave were Dale and I; we’d stayed behind to clean up camp and pack up all of the things Justin couldn’t get into his pack. As we were packing up several “Search and Rescue” vehicles came into the area, one parking area became a command post with a trailer filled with heavy duty radios. We asked one sheriff about who was missing and he told us a man who’d tried to scale Mt. Langley. As Justin is hoping to bag this Mt. on Saturday I’m a little worried. ... read more
Elias & Charlotte Leaving
Our Fearless Leader
Last But Not Least

Day 4! To tie the bow on last night, we made a fire right when we got back. Forecast called for higher winds and cooler temperatures than the previous night, so Sid graciously purchased a mobile home where almost everyone would sleep. I decided to diverge from the masses and sleep in the van. It was warm and comfortable, and an overall great choice! The wood is so incredibly dry out here, we were able to start a fire without a match both last night and again this morning. The plan was to cook over the open flame. Sid and the TA’s purchased a bunch of meat (steaks, chicken, sausage) and veggies to just grill up and chow. It turned out the house had a huge propane grill, so with the exception of the chicken, potatoes ... read more
Day 4
Day 4
Day 4

Sorry for the delay, I have been a bit tired/busy since our return from our weekend adventure. Hopefully, I can still remember all of the amazingness. Here it goes... Friday we booked it out of work as soon as we could. Most of us had started work at 5am so we thought we would be done early with plenty of time to pack the car and still get out early afternoon. This was furthered when we were all back at the office by 11am. However, we then learned our boss (one of them anyway) expected us to work a full 8hours, so we couldn't leave til 1. The minute it become 1pm we high-tailed it out of the office, showered, ate, packed the car, and managed to leave by 2:30. It was an interesting road trip, ... read more
General Grant's Tree
Viola Falls
Picnic on Sequoia

August 20, 2009 (Melisse here…) HOME We packed up and left HOME, St. Louis, MO., a place that means so much to us, our family, friends and neighbors, our house and it’s gardens, our easy-access town. And yet, after driving cross-country (stopping first in Pocatello and Jackson where my brother, John, generously as always, laid out the red carpet for us) we crossed into California where the winding, tree- lined mountain roads filled our hearts and minds with the same word for different reasons: HOME. After nine years away, the sights and smells, the anticipation of reuniting with old friends, let us know that we were HOME here, as well. We brainstormed on the word and its concept: There’s no place like home. Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. ... read more
hittin' the highway
me and my bro
Quito sleepin'

San Joaquin Valley, Huron, 30-10-2002. I'm in Friant, a small city close to Millerton Lake, waiting for my breakfast in Jerry's Diner, studying the map of the San Joaquin Valley which I'll have to cross on my way to the coast, I can feel my mind slipping back to last night when I entered the forested area around Millerton Lake looking for a camping place and cycled into this weirdo. Busy with his camara, casually dressed and with an enormous moustache hiding his upper lip, he told me he was a park guard and demanded an entrance fee of twelve dollar. His second story was even better "I'm a private detective involved in a very serious case". In the end he admited having been caught in his car by real park guards while making out on ... read more

We just got back from 5 days of free camping at the Buttermilks (just outside of Bishop, in the Sierras of California). April 14 through April 19, 2008. Who: AB, DJC, Sidd, and Maya. Camp sites are first come, first serve - we arrive on Monday and the place was packed. Acitivities: Snowshowing to snowboard-able slopes around the Buttermilks. Tons of ardous hikes abound leading to amazing runs...this is not for the weary. Will be much better in JANUARY! Will return w/ snowmobiles for sure. Mountain Biking - we brought the bikes, but we lag too much and only managed to move them from the bike rack to the bushes. Resort Snowboarding - Mammoth mountain resort is about an an hour long drive from where we camped. One lovely day at Mammoth to end a great ... read more
Sidd n Maya
View of Camp Finder
View From Camp

This was an overnight, solo trip to 8000 feet deep into the heart of the Sierra Nevadas. I tried to invite people, but nobody wanted to come! I knew it was going to be a long weekend with lots of driving and hiking. But I also knew I would get to spend a day and night in the wilderness enjoying the biggest meteor shower of the year. I brought food I didn't have to cook. I brought only a sleeping bag and mat. I only said a few words in 24 hours to the 3 passing hikers I saw on trail. Backpacking solo is relaxing and centering, it gives you the peace of mind to notice every little thing around you. Its silent and serene! The Perseids Meteor Shower was incredible, I saw over 60 in ... read more
My camp
Contorted Log
Lilly Pad Pond

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