Weekend Hiking Trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks - Travel Squad Podcast

Weekend Hiking Trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

We went on our first weekend road trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks over Easter weekend. We drove 5 hours from San Diego and did one park on each day of this April weekend. We share the best things to see in Sequoia National Parks, and adjacent Kings Canyon National Parks. 

There are some great easily accessible attractions in both of these parks and plenty of gigantic trees to hug. We went in spring when there was still snow on the ground which made for the best time to visit Sequoia National Park.

We tell you the best hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon and how to avoid accidentally hiking 14 miles after getting lost on the snow covered trail with no food.

A Weekend in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks- Episode Transcript

3 (55s):
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Travel Squad podcast. Today. We’re giving you all the details for a weekend or in Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks. We’ve talked about these parks countless times. We’ve had a whole episode on this. And so today we’re relaunching this episode to inspire you to take this trip,

1 (1m 13s):
Sequoia and Kings Canyon, National Parks are home to the largest trees in the entire world. We took this trip in April, 2017 and it’s of course, April now. So it’s a really good time to start planning this trip and maybe even do it within the next few months. What I liked most about these national parks during April is that it is off season. So there’s little to no crowds, especially on the trails. And there’s still a beautiful layer of snow adding to the ambiance of the parks.

3 (1m 41s):
This park was so beautiful in April, the red tree trunks and the beautiful green forest with the white covered snow and everything just poking out super gorgeous.

4 (1m 50s):
Even though we took this trip as a squad in April, Brittany and I went together a second time without the squad, we did miss you ladies. I just want to say it wasn’t the same without you, but nonetheless, we had fun. And even though spring is a great time to go. Any time of year is the perfect time to really visit these majestic national parks. I tell Brittany and the squad all the time that we need to go back because these parks never get old.

2 (2m 15s):
You guys, this is one of my favorite episodes. For two reasons. One, we introduced the word girth into this episode.

4 (2m 22s):
We know everyone in the squad loves

2 (2m 24s):
Growth, and now we overuse that word, maybe even, but anyways, this is the episode that it came to life. And this is the episode where they gave me a lot of shit because I brought a stale bagel and a rotten banana that everyone ended up chomping on after we finished our 16 mile hike. So it wasn’t even four 20, like it was today. And we chomped the shit out of that. So you’ll catch that reference once you get into this episode.

3 (2m 48s):
So with that, let’s get right into it.

1 (2m 54s):
Hello, fellow travelers. Welcome to episode five of the Travel Squad Podcast. Today, we are exploring Sequoia and Kings Canyon, National Parks.

4 (3m 4s):
We heard stories about these giant Sequoia trees and because they’re only several hours away from us here in San Diego, we figured what the heck let’s make a road trip and go see them.

2 (3m 15s):
We stayed in Visalia, which is about a 45 minute drive from the park. That way, if you know us, we love cheap accommodation and it was going to save us money.

3 (3m 24s):
And from start to finish, this whole trip was only 54 hours and it was over an Easter weekend. We just made a little getaway out of it. And we’re talking about Sequoia and Kings Canyon because they’re right next to each other. So you can hit both of them at the same time. You know, we love efficiency, so let’s get started.

1 (3m 43s):
So Mr. Historian, can you tell us about Sequoia and Kings Canyon? National Parks?

4 (3m 48s):
Yeah, so actually both of these national parks are two separate national parks, but they touch each other. Now the parks are famous because they house the giant Sequoia trees. These are the largest trees on earth and not necessarily the highest granted, they are tall. They grow over 200 feet, but largest by volume because the trees are so wide. I mean, they’re just incredible when you actually go ahead and see them. Sequoia was the first national park in that area. Protecting the trees. Kings Canyon was actually called general Sherman national park, but in the 1940s, they renamed it Kings Canyon, national park and added more wildlife area to it and encompassing more of the valley of the trees and Kings Canyon definitely gets its name because of the canyon that was carved out by an ancient glacier.

4 (4m 43s):
So that’s where the name comes

3 (4m 44s):
From.

4 (4m 45s):
Yeah.

1 (4m 46s):
I do know that in Sequoyah and Kings Canyon, National Parks, there is Mount Whitney and it is one of the hikes. They do want to take you guys on some time. We’d have to invest in a backpacking trip cause it takes like two or three days.

3 (4m 60s):
We’re not going on that backpacking trip until we go to have a super high falls. My demand

1 (5m 6s):
Not Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States and it’s located within Sequoia national park. So, you know, me, I love a good

3 (5m 15s):
Hike. It sounds really cool.

2 (5m 16s):
I know, right? That’s some high altitude there

4 (5m 19s):
Permits to hike that. Or can you hike that

1 (5m 22s):
You can actually have? I have a old coworker that did hike it.

4 (5m 26s):
One thing I find just injured. Well, one of these days we need to definitely go ahead and do that. But one thing I find interesting. So like Brittany said, this is the highest point in the contiguous United States. So, you know, the touching 48, I think the other tallest is mountain Denali and Alaska. But anyway, it Mount Whitney is at like 14,505 feet, but it’s less than a hundred miles away from the lowest point in north America, which is in death valley national park. And I think that’s just like crazy of like just the natural beauty and topography of California, like less than a hundred miles away. You have the highest point like in north America, minus Denali and Alaska.

4 (6m 6s):
And then you have the lowest point.

1 (6m 8s):
Let’s see, we’re going to have to go to Mount Whitney because we have been to Badwater basin on our death valley

3 (6m 14s):
Trip for comparison. How does it compare to rainbow mountain in terms of height?

4 (6m 19s):
Rainbow Mount I think was at 14,000 feet.

3 (6m 22s):
God, I do not want to hike,

9 (6m 27s):
But yeah. Are there horses involved?

4 (6m 30s):
It just so for, so for some of our listeners, rainbow mountain was a hike that we actually did when we were in Cusco, Peru in the Andi mountains. And the elevation was like 13, 14,000 feet. And just because of the altitude was definitely tough to breeze. So that’s, what’s, Kim’s talking about, but we do have a future episode coming up that we will be talking about that. So definitely stay tuned.

2 (6m 53s):
I have a coworker who hiked Mount Whitney and she was fine, but her boyfriend was puking at the top. He couldn’t not, he couldn’t handle it. He, he completed it, but it it’s high

1 (7m 2s):
Because of the altitude because

2 (7m 3s):
Of the altitude. Yeah. You have

1 (7m 5s):
To prepare in advance if you’re going to hike it. One other thing about this park is that there’s limited cell reception. So you guys know that I’m the planner of the group, I’m the doer. So I made sure to download an area of the park before we went into Google maps to use the offline maps. And that way I had accessibility to the trail heads directions between the two parks. If you’re looking for a particular visitor center, you can put that in your offline maps and it’ll tell you how to get there. Additionally, when I go on a hike, I usually take pictures of what the trail head’s going to look like or what the trail itself is going to look like because Zena, she is our app tracker for a route on Runkeeper.

1 (7m 49s):
And so I always take a picture of what the trail looks like so that we can kind of make sure we’re following the same pattern.

2 (7m 56s):
Yeah. And this isn’t an ad at all for Runkeeper, but it’s an amazing app. And it will tell you your mileage, how long it takes you for each mile, your average, and then it also tracks your footing. So we have been lost in the past and Brittany is excellent small laughs because he knows exactly what I’m talking about. And I pulled out the app, Brittany was able to look at our footprints and she was able to get us back onto the route. So it’s a really good app to have. And I always that’s my contribution. Every time we take a hike is I track it

3 (8m 30s):
And you can have the drill Sergeant voice motivating you along.

2 (8m 33s):
Exactly. Yeah. I have it every 10 minutes letting us know how far or how not far

4 (8m 38s):
You are averaging half a mile, every 15 minutes. One thing I just want to touch on too, before we kind of get off the subject of, you know, about the parks, 84% of Sequoia and Kings Canyon is designated wilderness. So only 16% of the park is accessible kind of by like road or trail. The rest of it’s designated wilderness for animal life. And if you want to go ahead and hike that there are un-designated trails, but a lot, like we said, Mount Whitney is they’re definitely high altitude peaks. And so a lot of Kings Canyon is above the tree line, which is actually a designated line where trees can’t grow because of the altitude anymore.

4 (9m 25s):
And so a lot of it’s just kind of like open vast space, just as well beyond the giant trees.

1 (9m 30s):
And we went on this trip, we actually went during Easter weekend and the year that we went, it was in April and there was still a lot of snow in the canyons. And so

3 (9m 43s):
Sure was

4 (9m 44s):
Hindered one of our hikes,

1 (9m 46s):
Both of our hikes.

2 (9m 47s):
Actually,

3 (9m 49s):
We just love to go on trips when the weather wants to throw a little wrench in there, you

2 (9m 55s):
Know why? So we can have the trails all to ourselves.

3 (9m 58s):
And that’s actually a good point is when the weather is less than temperate, you can expect to have more of the trail to yourself, which is really nice to be in the middle of the beautiful forest, snow covered grounds with just you and the people you came with.

1 (10m 14s):
And I would actually prefer to be cold on a hike than hot because you can always wear layers. You can always take layers off if you warm up. But when it’s hot, it’s just miserable.

4 (10m 25s):
I just want to say, I think that’s really a Testament to our Travel Squad. We just do stuff anyway. Like, I mean, even if there’s like snow covering the trail, like we just go out and do it. And a lot of people would let something like that, hinder their trip or say like, oh no, there’s snow on the trail. I don’t want to do it. But sometimes that makes it a lot more fun.

2 (10m 45s):
And the best part about being in a group is even if I say, I don’t want to do it,

4 (10m 50s):
It’s going to force you to do. I really don’t

2 (10m 51s):
Have a choice guys. I’m going to have to do it. Cause there’s three other people who are doing it. And we’re not saying go out in a snow storm or anything like that. Obviously be safe, have caution, but you know, if there’s snow on the ground, don’t let that deter you.

3 (11m 4s):
There’s certainly been points where each one of us has thought like, I really don’t want to do this, but then the group think takes over and we all end up going anyway. So that’s, you know, we motivate each other along. You

1 (11m 19s):
Do.

4 (11m 20s):
I’m just laughing. Cause I’m thinking about the fallen Goliath or that we’re going to talk about later and how that circles back around. You can put your,

1 (11m 29s):
So we have a few tips for snow hiking and my biggest tip would be to wear wool socks because your feet are likely going to get wet and the wool socks, wick moisture away from your feet, keeping them nice and dry.

3 (11m 43s):
Also wear hiking shoes that are waterproof

1 (11m 46s):
Pro-tip

4 (11m 46s):
Clutch. Yeah, because on this one, I mean our feet were just, we were falling into the snow. Like I think that that’s at one point like, and we’ll talk about this a little bit more later where we had to eventually turn back is because we kept sinking into it too much. But definitely when there’s a lot of snow, you do want to wear crampons, which are like the spikes that you able to add to the bottom of your shoes. They definitely help give you traction, which is great. But if the snow’s really soft and you start sinking in, I mean, that’s not going to do too much for you at that point.

2 (12m 18s):
Yeah. It’s like, if you drive through snow, you put chains on your tires. If you walk through snow, you put crampons on your shoes.

4 (12m 25s):
I’ve never thought of it that way. That’s actually kind of clever.

1 (12m 30s):
When you go on these hikes, it’s good to bring a change of clothes, keeping the car. Cause you’re going to be wet. You’re going to be muddy and you’re going to want to change so that you can get nice and dry. Also, one other thing, I did not bring my hiking poles on this trip, but I do have hiking poles that are made to have attachments on the bottom that are good for snow tracking. So if you have hiking poles, you might want to look to see if you can change out your bottoms, bring them along because it’s very helpful, especially when you’re tracking through snowy

2 (12m 59s):
And another shout out to making sure that you do have an app because if the trail is covered with snow and it starts to snow later on, you’re going to be a Sol finding your way back.

4 (13m 8s):
One last thing too. I mean, Britney mentioned having a dressing in layers, but definitely don’t underestimate, you know, having gloves, having a beanie and a jacket. And I think Zayna can attest to this because I love her, but my God, you’re the worst preparer for any trip ever. I felt

3 (13m 28s):
Well, she

4 (13m 28s):
Comes with the sharp beanie, but I can’t tell you how many times we’ve gone on stuff. And like she doesn’t have her gloves. And she does like Peru,

2 (13m 38s):
When we hiked rainbow mountain, it was the coldest that we’ve probably ever been like, it was ridiculously cold. And I was like just dying of the cold and Jamal looks at me and it’s kind of like one of those dumb and dumber moments where he didn’t bring gloves to the Rockies. Well, I didn’t bring gloves to the Andes. And Jamal was so mad at me and he takes his gloves off and he gives them to me because he doesn’t want me to be cold. And

1 (14m 2s):
He’s a

2 (14m 2s):
Brain. Yeah, he is. So bring your gloves. So no other guy in your group has to give it up for you.

4 (14m 8s):
So the first day we actually went to Sequoia national park and there were three things that were on the list that we needed to do. One of them was seeing general Sherman, which is the largest tree, which we’ll talk a lot about a little bit more later, we wanted to do moral rock. But the first hike that we did that day was the Copa falls trail

1 (14m 33s):
Lengthwise. It wasn’t very long. It was only 3.4 miles round trip, but we never made it to the actual falls.

2 (14m 42s):
We heard it

4 (14m 43s):
Waterfall at the end, we didn’t see that

3 (14m 45s):
We

1 (14m 45s):
Did not

3 (14m 46s):
You’re to the left and it was to the right. And we turned back because it got so snowy and thick that that’s where we kept sinking in

4 (14m 55s):
That. And I don’t think we, we kind of lost the trail too because there was so much, I mean it was in a valley and we could’ve probably just continued straight and found our way back. But we had several other things we wanted to do that day and we didn’t really want to risk it. And so we had a nice hike in the snow, but we didn’t make it to the falls, unfortunately. So if you go during springtime, you may be able to see it yourselves guys and let us know how it was. Okay.

2 (15m 18s):
The danger ninja in me was terrified of bears being on the trail. Guys.

4 (15m 23s):
There’s tons of bears in that area.

3 (15m 25s):
I know they were hibernating.

4 (15m 27s):
No, it’s April it’s started spring. They should be out and about what the cubbies that’s when they’re most violent and I’m going to protect my babies.

3 (15m 34s):
I actually, the only time I have seen a bear was in Yosemite and it was April.

4 (15m 39s):
Yeah. That’s around the time that they come out of,

1 (15m 42s):
You know, in hindsight, we should have really just followed the river because the river would’ve gotten us to the waterfall.

3 (15m 48s):
Well, we did, we did see like a river Creek. We were following the sound, but it was the wrong way. It was a different side of it.

1 (15m 55s):
There was two different creeks. Yeah. We were falling the wrong Creek.

3 (15m 58s):
Yeah. See our natural intuition. Isn’t as sharp as it used to be back in the day Without,

4 (16m 7s):
But nonetheless, even though we didn’t make it to the falls, we definitely had a good time. And even though those aren’t some of the largest of trees kind of on that trail, I mean, it was just still beautiful to do some snow hiking. Eventually at one point, even though there was snow on the ground at warmed up, we found that Creek with the log that wa or the fallen tree that was kind of over the Creek. Do you remember? We all scooted over to it and took photos like hanging over the Creek and stuff like that. That was a really fun one.

2 (16m 33s):
I think there was also a hill on that hike, not even a hill, but we had to go down like a little bit of a hill. And so we slid down it and then we took pictures of us sliding on our butts down that hill. I remember

4 (16m 43s):
That. I do. Yeah, I do. Yeah.

3 (16m 45s):
Just having fun out there.

1 (16m 47s):
Yeah. It was just beautiful and desolate. There was not many people on the trail. So we had the w which is nice. We love having trails to ourselves. It was worth going, but I wish we had seen the false

2 (16m 57s):
Yeah,

4 (16m 58s):
Next time.

2 (16m 60s):
Great attitude.

1 (17m 1s):
So after the falls, we headed over to general Sherman tree, which as we mentioned earlier, it has the largest living tree in the world.

4 (17m 10s):
I mean, it’s huge. I mean, when you see it, it’s crazy. So when we say largest, I don’t want our listeners to think necessarily the tallest because it’s not so general Sherman stands at about 275 feet tall. As a matter of fact, it has a diameter of about 36 feet. So I mean, just imagine a tree trunk base, that’s 36 feet across. It’s huge.

2 (17m 35s):
It’s got girth,

4 (17m 36s):
It’s got garage. So when we say so when we say it’s the largest tree we’re talking in terms of volume, not necessarily height. So it’s just so wide and tall, but the tallest tree is in the redwoods national park in California, just as well. But nonetheless, I mean, you see it and I mean, it’s just amazing. So there’s a specific trail. You got to hike kind of down to it, but this is the Park’s most popular attraction, obviously. So it is so crowded when you go down.

3 (18m 8s):
Yeah. That’s the one thing I didn’t really like about it. You have to sit there and wait for your turn to take a picture with it and just behind them and all around general Sherman, there’s a million other trees that are

1 (18m 18s):
Almost just as

3 (18m 19s):
Bad, pretty much just as big that don’t have anyone buy them. You can take all the pictures you want with them, get up there and really hug them, get a grasp and spend some quality tree time with them.

2 (18m 30s):
Feel it skirt.

4 (18m 33s):
You know, it’s funny when you say that story of so many other big trees around that. No, one’s paying attention to just side tangent, sorry guys. But it reminds me of when we were at the loop and everyone’s looking at the Mona Lisa, and then you have 10 million, DaVinci is all around that. No one’s paying attention to and you just get to enjoy it kind of to yourself. So, I mean, it’s worth, definitely seen for sure. I mean, you don’t want to go to the park and not see general Sherman, but there’s so many other like just cool trees around. I mean, you could stand directly in front of these and I mean, spread out your arms and you’re going to look like a tiny little ant compared to that thing. It’s ridiculous.

1 (19m 9s):
And pro tip, if you want the best shot, you should put your phone in panel mode and shoot it up vertically. So you can get the base and the height of the tree while you’re in it.

2 (19m 21s):
And there’s going to be a lot of people there wanting to get their picture. Don’t be afraid to push your way to the front. And we’re not talking like literally pushing people or being aggressive, but you know, people are standing around. Everyone’s kind of looking at one another like, oh, are you going, am I going? So don’t be afraid to have the confidence and balls to just go for it, get your picture.

4 (19m 41s):
Even if you’re standing in line and having the etiquette of it, someone, I mean, we saw a couple of people kind of like cut to the front. So I don’t want to say be that rude person, but to Dana’s point just be aggressive. I mean, if you’re in line and kind of, there’s a pause from the next person or from the last person that actually has taken a photo, just step up and go. Because eventually if you don’t do that, somebody else is going to step in, in front of you.

2 (20m 4s):
I have your camera ready. So when you do make that jump in, someone can take that picture for you.

3 (20m 9s):
Yeah. You can always make a deal with someone and say, I’ll take yours. If you take mine. And then that way you’re kind of guaranteed that next spot up after you take someone’s picture, kind of, you know, pass it forward.

1 (20m 20s):
That’s a great tip.

2 (20m 20s):
And now you just got to have good picture karma though. You know, I hate when you take such a good picture for someone else and then you make that deal and then they take that terrible picture

3 (20m 31s):
Right now. I don’t know what it is. Sorry, Jamal, but something about the way guys take pictures. First of all, they always cut your feet off. And I like a head to toe photo personally. It really captures the shape of my body. A lot better. Second thing, guys, love to take pictures where above your head, it’s just blank space. Nothing. Your feet are cut off and blank space above your head. Every single guy. So pro tip, Ask a female and a young female, not an old lady to take your picture because you’re going to get a better shot. I’ve tried it. It’s tried and true.

4 (21m 7s):
I just want to say one thing who takes most of the photos of our group

3 (21m 11s):
With,

4 (21m 14s):
With some, but how many times have I actually taken them? And then sometimes you were like, Ooh, I don’t want my feet or Ooh, get a little bit higher. So pros and cons, but nonetheless to Kim’s point, I definitely do agree, but I’ve definitely had some women take the photos that I’m just like, man, I took you a solid, like, why are you trying to do me dirty? Like, yeah,

3 (21m 35s):
I can take like more than one. Those people that take one photo. Yeah. What’s wrong with the fuck out of here.

1 (21m 44s):
It’s like three or five to choose from,

3 (21m 47s):
But also don’t be that person that’s like above, below, down to the side now whole hand smile. It’s like, okay, you know, three is good.

4 (21m 55s):
Three is a solid, but yeah, the trail actually down to general Sherman, I mean, you kind of where you park at the trail head. Cause there is a parking lot. There it is kind of a hike down. So once you get to the tree, it’s a hike up out, but it’s not too bad. I would say, what was it like about half a mile? Yeah.

1 (22m 13s):
I probably around a mile round trip and it’s a paved trail.

4 (22m 16s):
Yeah. It’s a paved trail because it is so popular. It’s not like, you know, you’re doing extreme hiking, so it’s definitely easy trail. But one of the other things that we wanted to do when we were at Sequoia was Morro rock. Now Morro rock is actually like a granite protrusion that pops out from laughing. It’s a granite protrusion reminds me of my geology and geography days back in college. I loved those subjects. But anyway, nonetheless, it is a giant rock that pops out of the mountain and it actually stands at an elevation of roughly like 6,700 feet.

4 (22m 59s):
But don’t worry. You don’t have to hike that high. The actual hike is actually only like 300 feet of like carved out stairs from the rock, but it gives you a really, really awesome view of the valley below the trees. And it’s at the edge of the giant forest, which actually has five of the 10, most massive and largest trees on earth. So it gives you just like a really good overlook Panorama of the park and the trees below.

3 (23m 27s):
Yeah, it’s a bummer. We couldn’t do that.

4 (23m 28s):
Well, why weren’t we able to do it ladies?

3 (23m 31s):
The weather,

1 (23m 32s):
It was icy. The steps weren’t safe to climb up. So it wasn’t recommended. I thought it was

3 (23m 37s):
Closed

4 (23m 38s):
Zana. Didn’t encourage us to be a danger ninja that day and go out there and do it. Now.

3 (23m 43s):
I probably would have did it if it was open available, I think the road even to get to it was

4 (23m 47s):
Closed. I thought it was

2 (23m 49s):
That’s okay. We’ll go back to Sequoia. We’ll do this one and we’ll do the, to Copa

4 (23m 54s):
Copa

2 (23m 54s):
Falls. I

1 (23m 55s):
Can’t redeem ourselves.

3 (23m 57s):
We also have to find out if fall in Goliath is real.

4 (24m 0s):
Oh, that’s in a different park. We get every jumping ahead right now.

1 (24m 7s):
So that really sums up our day one in Sequoia national park and our day two was focused on Kings Canyon National part. So we wanted to start the day seeing the second largest tree. And that was general grant tree. So we went to the general grant loop trail and fun fact general grant is actually celebrated each year as the nation’s Christmas tree. Did anyone know that decorate it? I don’t think so.

4 (24m 32s):
I’ve seen photos where park Rangers have like a wreath and they’re posing in front of it, you know, with it, like if you Google it online. But I think it was president Calvin Coolidge that designated it as it. So it’s just kind of like a national tradition where they say general grant, because I think at the time they thought that one was the largest. Now obviously there’s been larger trees that have existed in Kings Canyon Sequoia that got cut down to the logging day. So this is what’s left. So I mean, in terms of like massive trees, like these are still large, but there were bigger ones back in the day there, but national Christmas tree, nonetheless,

1 (25m 7s):
We went there first thing in the morning and there was absolutely no crowds and it was really nice to walk on the paths amongst all of these large trees and get the photos that we wanted because there was no one else on the trail.

4 (25m 20s):
Well, this morning was Easter. Was it not?

1 (25m 22s):
It was Easter morning.

4 (25m 23s):
It was Easter morning.

3 (25m 24s):
We started our morning with a healthy breakfast, not at a buffet.

1 (25m 30s):
Where was her breakfast?

3 (25m 31s):
Well, you guys had breakfast at McDonald’s. So we don’t, we’re not really big, fast food people, but for some reason, whenever we take trips, especially road trips, we always end up at a McDonald’s

2 (25m 44s):
It’s because they have the hashbrowns and his

3 (25m 46s):
Friends are bomb Because it’s fast, quick, easy, always open and always around. So we just end up there. And this is where we ended up that morning.

1 (25m 59s):
And did you eat breakfast that morning? Kim?

3 (26m 1s):
I did not eat breakfast and my reason was yesterday’s hike. It was a little bit less strenuous than I wanted it or that we were planning for. And I didn’t want to waste calories on another unhealthy breakfast and not get my hike in. So there was a risk that the snow was going to prevent us from doing this hike. I

4 (26m 20s):
Don’t think that happened.

2 (26m 21s):
And also just to give you a little bit of information that we’re going to throw back out at you at the end of the, this hike is I brought a bagel with me and throughout the trip I was asking, Hey guys, anyone want the bagel? Anyone want the bagel? No one wanted the bagel. So

11 (26m 39s):
They gonna stop offering up.

4 (26m 44s):
What was it? It was like in your backpack also had a banana in there. So like you open the bag with the bagel and it kind of smelled like a banana and Zeno’s just like in a piece. And I was like, no, what’s a fucking piece. Your bagels say no, but like, keep that in mind for like, when we kind of finished the story here and come back around to it, cause it kind of comes to a climax

2 (27m 4s):
And that’d be a five-star breakfast.

1 (27m 7s):
So, you know, we plan these trips or I plan these trips with the intent in mind that we need to do certain things. And one of the hikes that we wanted to do was called heart tree, fallen, Goliath, Redwood Creek trail. And we went in April and there was snow. So we knew that there was a chance that a hike or several hikes would possibly be closed. So we drive to the park, we get to the ranger station. We’re about to be let in to the park. And we asked the ranger, Hey, do you know if this trail is open or not? Can we still hike it? And he actually says to us, well, the trail is open. You can go on the hike. But the two mile road down to the trail head and parking lot is closed.

1 (27m 49s):
So if you’d like to do the hike, you can walk down the extra two miles. So adding on four miles, more round trip, making our seven mile hike and 11 mile hike,

3 (28m 3s):
No big deal.

4 (28m 5s):
We

3 (28m 5s):
Do 11 mile hikes all the time.

4 (28m 8s):
And I said,

3 (28m 9s):
And I came on this trip to hike. We’re doing that hike. What’s another four miles. And I said, we’re doing it.

1 (28m 16s):
Yeah. So Kim pretty much had a freak out in the back seat. She was like, I need to get my workout in. We’re going to do this.

4 (28m 23s):
We barely hiked yesterday. We got to do a good hike today.

1 (28m 27s):
So she’s mad and she’s forcing us into this.

3 (28m 30s):
This is one of those things where we were saying earlier that sometimes one person doesn’t really want to do it. But then the rest of the group convinced them some too. Well, a little bit opposite. The rest of the group didn’t want to one person convinced them to

4 (28m 44s):
Throw a shit fit. Like let’s do it.

2 (28m 47s):
I don’t know if you were really convinced. I think we just kind of went on,

4 (28m 50s):
Well, I think that, and we just like, okay, what else were we going to hike that day? And Kings Canyon. Cause the other trails too in different locations really weren’t accessible because of the snow. So it was kind of just like, all right, so we’re going to do it

3 (29m 4s):
Like a major strenuous hike either. It was, I think it was a moderate ish.

4 (29m 8s):
No, it wasn’t because the, we, we had to hike two miles down the unpaved road. That’s supposedly supposed to leave to the parking lot, but because of the weather that was closed, but from the original trail head of where it’s only supposed to be out about seven miles, you’re kind of like in a canyon. So there’s not really a lot of like elevation gain you’re in the forest itself. So that hike wasn’t, you know, really supposed to be strenuous at all. But we obviously had to park on the outside of that little two mile road, we hiked down, we got to the trail head and then we started

1 (29m 46s):
Getting down with an adventure itself. It was like super icy and snowy. So we were slipping. We were sliding. We were just trying to like

3 (29m 54s):
Having a good time, get

1 (29m 56s):
Down to the hill trail held itself.

2 (29m 58s):
And the best part is, is we’re going down two miles, which means that the end of the seven miles or at this 0.9, when we’re going to be tired and done with the hike, we’ve got two more to go.

3 (30m 8s):
No

4 (30m 8s):
Big deal is pretty steep. Yeah,

2 (30m 10s):
No worries. I started my Runkeeper app and we did the, we, we went down those two miles.

3 (30m 15s):
Wasn’t it not a beautiful hike though. All the beautiful trees we took so many pictures, there were waterfalls,

1 (30m 22s):
There was a Creek that we had a crossover and we immediately got our feet wet. Do you remember that?

3 (30m 26s):
Yep. That was part of the fun.

2 (30m 28s):
But eventually we had to, to balance and cross over a log because it was a river that we couldn’t cross remember that

4 (30m 36s):
I do. But originally before we spoke to the park ranger and realized we had to hike the extra four miles round trip of the road, down to the trail, we were thinking, okay, seven miles. And yes, that’s a lot. But in all honesty, compared to other hikes that we’ve done, it’s not very big. So we didn’t come like super prepared in terms of like snacks or food. We had obviously our hiking backpacks, which had our water, but we just had what, like two bananas. What one was for me, one was for Brittany. I don’t think Kim or Zayna brought anything.

2 (31m 8s):
I had a bagel

4 (31m 9s):
In the car. And then I think Brittany and I just had like barely a handful of nuts. But nonetheless, we started the hike.

3 (31m 18s):
It snowy there’s snow on the trail,

4 (31m 20s):
Not the whole trip, but a lot of the trail had it. But needless to say, we got lost.

2 (31m 26s):
So Kim at seven miles in, what did you say?

3 (31m 29s):
Look at that beautiful tree

4 (31m 31s):
Bullshit.

3 (31m 34s):
After about seven miles, I was like, fuck this height. What the fuck are we doing out here?

4 (31m 39s):
I was so fucking pissed when he said that like, honestly, like, you know, you are the one who I don’t want to say threw a fit. Even though I did say you threw the shit fit earlier. Like we gotta do the hype, but you’re like, let’s do the hike. What’s four more miles added on. We got to get a good one. And then obviously at that point, like when you said that we knew we were lost, like even though we took a photo of what trail route looked like, and we were tracing it to the Runkeeper to see if we’re on point. I don’t know if the national park service posted the wrong mileage or what, but clearly something was off because we were hiking more miles according to the Runkeeper app. And then you said that, and I was, I, I held my component or no, I held my composure about, I almost lost my shit because you were the one who wanted to do it.

4 (32m 27s):
And then you said, no, I don’t want to do any more like a

3 (32m 30s):
Loss. We kept trying to check the map and get back on track. And we were just like, where are we? There was two things we were supposed to see the heart tree. Right.

4 (32m 39s):
We can

3 (32m 40s):
Did finally we did. But then fall in Goliath was another one. We were supposed to see that

4 (32m 45s):
What is fallen Goliath who

3 (32m 46s):
Knows?

4 (32m 48s):
I mean, it’s a fall big tree though, right? I mean, that’s what it is, but we didn’t come across it on the trail. But I know when Kim said, fuck this I’m over the hike. I mean, I just got really defeated because she wanted to do the hike at that point. But we were all so exhausted. I think that’s when we kind of just took the break to recomposed ourselves and Brittany, I shared a banana

2 (33m 10s):
11 miles.

4 (33m 13s):
I thought it was at that point.

2 (33m 15s):
By the way, though, when Kim did say I’m over this hike at seven miles, her and Brittany were a little bit, they, they walked ahead of Jamal and I, and so I

3 (33m 25s):
Find the

2 (33m 25s):
Way, right, exactly. So Jamal actually did to, he w he composed himself. He was a gentleman, but he looked at me and he’s like, I just can’t believe can, this was her DHEA. And now she doesn’t even want to do this hike. And I remember laughing so hard at Jamal

1 (33m 43s):
Seven miles. We were actually about to cross over the river and we made a little station where we sat down and had a few snacks bef before we crossed over the river. Do you remember that?

2 (33m 57s):
I do. I do. This is I think just the little food that we had for snacks. We had that. But the thing about the Runkeeper app is like, you know, cause again, it does track your footsteps. So it is showing us going in a circle that we haven’t completed. But I think like it’s more of like, why aren’t we looping to make the circle? Why do we just keep going and going and going, do you remember at what point we were supposed to see fallen Goliath,

1 (34m 23s):
It was towards the end. It was supposed to be towards the end of

4 (34m 26s):
See, but we were so lost and had extra mileage. We were expecting to come across it at like any time, because normally that was like a seven mile hike and it turned into a 16 mile hike. Well, so seven turned into 11 with the two miles extra, like roundtrip for the trail, but then it turned into 16 miles. So somehow we added an extra five miles. So I don’t know at what point we thought we were going to come across it, but technically it should have been at the end of the trail

3 (34m 56s):
At around 11 miles, we all got to, we started feeling a little scared. We were like, all right, it’s we have no food. We’re out in the wilderness. We have no cell phone service. We don’t know where we are or how to get back to the Trailhead. There’s no people around. We were like, oh my God,

2 (35m 14s):
At one point, like, cause I do remember that’s when we were at the 11 miles, but I also remember like all of us looking at each other and laughing. Cause yes, we were scared, but laughing because we’re like, you guys, we don’t even know where we’re at. We don’t even know how many more miles we haven’t go to even like reach the, the Trailhead.

1 (35m 31s):
The funny part was is we were making a loop that looked like the trail picture. So it looked like we were maintaining that shape. We just didn’t feel like we’re getting anywhere while going there.

4 (35m 43s):
Yeah. It held that shape, like tried and true.

12 (35m 45s):
I just don’t know how we added the extra mileage

4 (35m 48s):
Onto it.

2 (35m 51s):
Yeah. So as we sat there at 11 miles, that’s where we had the law. We barely had any food. And so the only thing that we have left are two bananas and there’s four of us. So we split the two bananas amongst us for,

4 (36m 3s):
I just want to say one banana was supposed to be for me and one for Brittany and you guys came ill-prepared no,

2 (36m 8s):
I had a banana. I split it with Kim and it was a really mushy banana.

4 (36m 11s):
I thought it was our baby. The

1 (36m 12s):
Banana that was stinking up her bagel bag

4 (36m 17s):
That’s right. I, for whatever reason, I was remembering bringing a banana for me and Brittany, and then we gave you one of ours.

12 (36m 23s):
Okay.

2 (36m 24s):
I accept your

4 (36m 24s):
Probably. Yeah. I

2 (36m 25s):
Brought that up.

4 (36m 26s):
I apologize. That’s right. It makes sense now.

1 (36m 30s):
So we finally make it back to the trail head and we are so, so, so happy to make it there,

2 (36m 37s):
But not before Jamal nearly tore down a tree, you want to tell us about

4 (36m 42s):
Yeah. So I mean, at one point in the hike, I ended up finding like a good actual stick that I was just like, all right, man, this is going to make a good hiking stick. I need it. Like my God, I don’t know how much longer we’re going to be on this. And you know, I’ve, I’ve said before in previous podcasts, the girls like to come up with a bet before we go on trips, I’m like, when I’m going to have the free cow or if I’m going to have one or not. And so I don’t know when it was discussed, if I was, or wasn’t going to have it on that trip, I’ll never know. But anyway, I had my walking stick and I mean, we had to have been on mile 12 or 13 at this point because it came to be 16. So 14 was that the point of like hike up and I was just getting over it.

4 (37m 27s):
And at one point we had to hike through some tree brush bushes, and I had my stick that I was using for the hiking. And I finally, like, I just was so over having to climb through bushes because I don’t even think we were even on the trail anymore that I just like took

12 (37m 46s):
My stick. Like

4 (37m 47s):
I beat it up against the Bush and then everyone’s looking around like, oh my gosh, like, Jamal, are you okay? I’m like, oh yeah, like, I’m fine. Like I’m just using my sticks. So move aside the bushes, you know, just to make my way through so I don’t have to crawl and have it scratched me. And I only revealed to them like a year later after this trip that I was actually genuinely pissed.

12 (38m 10s):
I know,

4 (38m 11s):
But I well sure. But I lied. And I was saying like, oh no, like it just broke as I was trying to push my way through. But like, I was just so pissed. I was like, fuck this. And I just threw my stick and it just shattered all through the bushes and whatnot. So I had my freak out on that one.

2 (38m 27s):
How excited were you guys? When we finally saw the Trailhead? Oh

1 (38m 31s):
My God. The

3 (38m 31s):
Fall to the ground and start crying

4 (38m 34s):
Mile

1 (38m 34s):
Four. We

12 (38m 35s):
Still have two fucking miles up like all straight up hill and snow. So it was exciting and breathtaking, but

4 (38m 43s):
It’s just like, fuck, I got a two mile straight hike up.

2 (38m 46s):
Right, right. At the end when we were like finally getting to the end, end of those two miles up. I remember when I saw cars starting to go by because we

4 (38m 55s):
Heard them. We heard them

2 (38m 56s):
Well in any case, like as soon as I knew that we were close to civilization, I started to cry. It was so exciting.

12 (39m 5s):
Turning to 16 files. My God, 16 miles. That’s

4 (39m 10s):
A big hike.

2 (39m 11s):
Kim

3 (39m 12s):
Prepping us for when we do the one in Yosemite, half dome.

2 (39m 16s):
Did you feel Kim that you were able to get a good hike in on this trip then? You

3 (39m 20s):
Know, I could have used a couple more miles.

1 (39m 24s):
You bet.

12 (39m 26s):
I’m not even going to respond to them

4 (39m 29s):
Because at mile seven you threw a shit fit.

2 (39m 33s):
So there we are. We finally finished the hike. We’re so grateful to finish it.

4 (39m 37s):
Garvin Marvin.

2 (39m 38s):
Yes. Yes. We just hiked 16 miles guys. So you know what? I reminded everyone. I’ve got a bagel.

4 (39m 47s):
Yeah. So before we usually leave the parks, I mean, we always, obviously like to start hiking early in the morning, but we’re like, all right, we’re going to go to the visitor center. Cause we always liked Brittany and I at least like to buy like an ornament. So when you were going to go there, but we were like, oh man, we can’t even like wait to eat until we get to the cafeteria and buy food. Susanna’s like, do you want that bagel? And we split that bagel into quarters. So we each had a quarter of a bagel

2 (40m 13s):
Chomping at the bit.

4 (40m 16s):
It

1 (40m 16s):
Was stale and it’s

4 (40m 20s):
Like banana, but let me tell you something. And that moment it was like one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life. The

3 (40m 27s):
Only carbs I had had all day,

4 (40m 29s):
It was satisfying

12 (40m 30s):
Because of how hungry we were.

4 (40m 32s):
Yeah.

2 (40m 33s):
Five star bagel. And then let’s see. So I’m checking my notes on the hike. It took us six hours, 15 minutes, 20 seconds, 24 minutes per mile. And we burned 2000, 244 calories on that. Let alone a thousand under a pound 3,500.

4 (40m 50s):
I thought a pound was 2,535. Thank you for correcting.

1 (40m 54s):
So we finally get to the car and then we go to the general store and some national parks and their general stores will actually sell food. So we decide we can’t wait any longer because

2 (41m 7s):
Didn’t, we have to drive to get there, to begin with. Yeah.

1 (41m 10s):
It was like 45 minute drive from Visalia into the park. And there’s not really much along the way. There’s not really many restaurants to stop in. There’s not a lot of places to eat. And we were like, we can’t wait 45 minute.

4 (41m 22s):
And at 45 minutes to an hour to get out of the park, it was not happening.

1 (41m 26s):
So we decide to buy a pizza from the general store and

3 (41m 32s):
It’s all right, what could go wrong?

4 (41m 35s):
Think it was delicious.

1 (41m 38s):
And it was probably the best pizza we’ve ever had.

2 (41m 41s):
Oh yeah.

3 (41m 43s):
That pizza was, it still haunts me

2 (41m 49s):
Like

1 (41m 50s):
Half

3 (41m 50s):
Cooked. It’s

1 (41m 51s):
Still called in the center,

3 (41m 53s):
Tasted rotten.

4 (41m 54s):
And I just want to put into perspective like how bad this was. We devoured and thought like a stale banana flavored bagel was the shit. And then we get there and we’re just like, man, we’re fucking hungry. Like I can’t wait to eat this pizza. We’re all going to split it from the general store. And all of us took the first bite and looked at each other like, man, this shit fucking sucks. I’m like, oh

3 (42m 20s):
No, we’re all starving today. Nope.

4 (42m 23s):
It was just enough to satisfy us until we got out of the park. And I think we did end up getting fast food or something of some sorts because it was just like, man, that pizza was just like terrible.

1 (42m 32s):
I think you guys actually even made the comment that you had better pizza in Cuba.

2 (42m 37s):
Cuba.

3 (42m 37s):
Yeah. And you know, we’re going to do a Cuba episode pretty soon, but the pizza in Cuba was nothing to write home about. That’s an understatement,

2 (42m 48s):
But oh man, this pizza and this national park

3 (42m 53s):
Put it to shame.

4 (42m 54s):
Yeah. She didn’t like your Easter dinner that night.

2 (42m 57s):
I didn’t. So tip. If you go to the, the, the food cafeteria in the national park, skip the pizza

3 (43m 5s):
Or hopefully they’ve stepped up their game since.

1 (43m 8s):
And when you guys go on a hiking trip, make sure you pack adequate water, make sure you pack snacks that you plan to eat. Maybe a few extra snacks hide in your bag, just in case something happens and you get lost, just be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

4 (43m 24s):
Any final thoughts ladies on Kings Canyon or Sequoia?

2 (43m 28s):
One thing that I think about a lot is whether or not fallen Goliath truly exists

4 (43m 34s):
Or not

3 (43m 35s):
Pictures, we did not see it in person.

2 (43m 38s):
So if you see it and you do this hike send us pictures, let us know.

4 (43m 42s):
So didn’t one of you ladies, since I’m always the driver start like Googling and found something on some sort of hiking website that basically said you were supposed to veer off at this point to a certain spot and we were supposed to find it. Does anyone remember that? Yeah,

3 (43m 56s):
I remember that. That’s what they always say. That’s

4 (43m 58s):
What they always say. We never, never found it. No, but one thing that I do want to say that I don’t think we touched on a bit was so when we went to Kings Canyon that day, it does have general grant, which is the second largest tree on earth. Now we got there early that day, simply because we knew we were going to be doing a larger hike. We didn’t know how large it was going to be at that point, but we knew it was going to be like a seven mile hike. And that was going to be our day driving home to get back for work on Monday. But as we said with general Sherman, I mean, it’s really crowded general. Grant’s going to be the same, but we were there so early in the morning that we were the only ones at the tree.

4 (44m 42s):
And by the only ones, I mean, we were able to sit there and look at it and take our time taking photos. So honestly, if you do go invest the time to wake up early and literally enjoy this beautiful tree or those beautiful trees all to yourself, like there is no better feeling than knowing like, man, this is the largest living thing on earth. That’s exciting to me, you know?

3 (45m 6s):
All right, ladies and gents, thank you so much for tuning in this week. We hope you liked learning about Sequoia and Kings Canyon, National Parks. And I hope this inspires you to take the trip for yourself

4 (45m 16s):
As always guys, please subscribe to our podcast, leave a review, tell us what you’d like and what you’d like to hear and tune in every travel Tuesday for new episodes.

2 (45m 26s):
And if you aren’t already be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter at Travel Squad Podcast

1 (45m 32s):
Next week, unpack your bags and relax because we are telling you all about cruise life.

3 (45m 37s):
Cruise who can’t wait,

2 (45m 39s):
Get ready for some cruise in.

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