100 Days of National Parks: Day 62 – On Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park

On Moro Rock

Sitting on top of Moro Rock, in Sequoia National Park, it’s impossible not to let your mind drift as you enjoy one of the best views in the park, and one of the best overlooks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that I’ve ever come across. Unimpeded by trees or ground cover, the view from Moro Rock offers an expansive clear view of the peaks of the High Sierra to the east, crowned by Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental U.S., all the way to to the rolling foothills and expansive farmlands of the central valley. It’s rare that you can find such a pristine overlook, such a clear view of some of the most amazing landscapes the country has to offer. It’s even rarer to have the experience to yourself.

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On Moro Rock

On Moro Rock
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Sitting on top of Moro Rock, in Sequoia National Park, it’s impossible not to let your mind drift as you enjoy one of the best views in the park, and one of the best overlooks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that I’ve ever come across.  Unimpeded by trees or ground cover, the view from Moro Rock offers an expansive clear view of the peaks of the High Sierra to the east, crowned by Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental U.S., all the way to to the rolling foothills and expansive farmlands of the central valley.  It’s rare that you can find such a pristine overlook, such a clear view of some of the most amazing landscapes the country has to offer.  It’s even rarer to have the experience to yourself.

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100 Days of National Parks: Day 58 – Deer Beneath Lembert Dome, Yosemite National Park

Deer Beneath Lembert Dome

Sometimes it’s as much the places you stop that are as important as the places you go. When traveling, I cherish finding those campgrounds that reward you for staying there, where the beauty that greets you in the morning as you crawl out of your tent sets the stage for the explorations to come. There are a few that are consistent g0-to places for me whenever I travel, the Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef, South Campground in Zion, and the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia, for example, each of which offer amazing access to the best their parks have to offer combined with awesome natural beauty in camp itself. However, in all my travels, I’ve never found a campground that offers a better morning wakeup than the Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite National Park.

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Deer Beneath Lembert Dome

Deer Beneath Lembert Dome
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Sometimes it’s as much the places you stop that are as important as the places you go.  When traveling, I cherish finding those campgrounds that reward you for staying there, where the beauty that greets you in the morning as you crawl out of your tent sets the stage for the explorations to come.  There are a few that are consistent g0-to places for me whenever I travel, the Fruita Campground in Capitol Reef, South Campground in Zion, and the Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia, for example, each of which offer amazing access to the best their parks have to offer combined with awesome natural beauty in camp itself.  However, in all my travels, I’ve never found a campground that offers a better morning wakeup than the Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite National Park.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 58 – Deer Beneath Lembert Dome, Yosemite National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 49 – Sequoia Foothills, Sequoia National Park

Sequioa Foothills

Put simply, I love the southern approach to Sequoia National Park. The road through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada follows the Kaweah River up from Lake Kaweah through golden hills dotted with oak and chaparral, winding along ever upward toward the jutting dome of Moro Rock, the landscape changing with each mile. For miles prior to reaching the Foothills Visitor center, you transition from the rich farmlands of the central valley into rock-strewn hills and eventually turn the corner to the most amazing vistas along the Kaweah valley.

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Sequoia Foothills

 

Sequioa Foothills
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Put simply, I love the southern approach to Sequoia National Park.  The road through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada follows the Kaweah River up from Lake Kaweah through golden hills dotted with oak and chaparral, winding along ever upward toward the jutting dome of Moro Rock, the landscape changing with each mile.  For miles prior to reaching the Foothills Visitor center, you transition from the rich farmlands of the central valley into rock-strewn hills and eventually turn the corner to the most amazing vistas along the Kaweah valley.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 49 – Sequoia Foothills, Sequoia National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 36 – Mist Falls, King’s Canyon National Park

My first taste of hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains came in August of 2012, when I took a three day weekend and traveled up to King’s Canyon National Park in California, not knowing what to expect. It was my first solo camping trip in ages, and I’d just heard the Park existed. I knew about Sequoia, naturally, which extends to the south of King’s Canyon and forms one massive National Park area covering the majority of the southern end of the High Sierras, but King’s Canyon was a mystery.

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Mist Falls

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My first taste of hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains came in August of 2012, when I took a three day weekend and traveled up to King’s Canyon National Park in California, not knowing what to expect.  It was my first solo camping trip in ages, and I’d just heard the Park existed.  I knew about Sequoia, naturally, which extends to the south of King’s Canyon and forms one massive National Park area covering the majority of the southern end of the High Sierras, but King’s Canyon was a mystery.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 36 – Mist Falls, King’s Canyon National Park”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 32 – Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park

Glacier Point

There are few sights more emblematic of the National Parks and the American wilderness in general than the view from the Glacier Point Overlook in Yosemite National Park. From the edge of the cliff, you can see almost 180 degrees of the Yosemite Valley, from Yosemite Falls to the west, over to Half Dome and Nevada Falls to the East, the expanse of the upper end of the Main Valley stretches out in front of you, and it’s hard not to be in awe of the view.

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Glacier Point

Glacier Point
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There are few sights more emblematic of the National Parks and the American wilderness in general than the view from the Glacier Point Overlook in Yosemite National Park.  From the edge of the cliff, you can see almost 180 degrees of the Yosemite Valley, from Yosemite Falls to the west, over to Half Dome and Nevada Falls to the East, the expanse of the upper end of the Main Valley stretches out in front of you, and it’s hard not to be in awe of the view.

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100 Days of National Parks: Day 27 – El Capitan, Yosemite

El Capitan

There’s something about the granite walls of the Yosemite Valley that make it ideally suited to black and white photography. Perhaps its the association with the works of Ansel Adams, my first introduction to the park, or the way the cracks and crevices in the rough-hewn rock accentuate even the smallest shadow. Whatever it is, I find myself fighting the urge to shoot everything in black and white when I’m in Yosemite, and it’s a matter of willpower to find elements of color in many cases to force myself to highlight them.

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El Capitan

El Capitan
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There’s something about the granite walls of the Yosemite Valley that make it ideally suited to black and white photography.  Perhaps its the association with the works of Ansel Adams, my first introduction to the park, or the way the cracks and crevices in the rough-hewn rock accentuate even the smallest shadow.  Whatever it is, I find myself fighting the urge to shoot everything in black and white when I’m in Yosemite, and it’s a matter of willpower to find elements of color in many cases to force myself to highlight them.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 27 – El Capitan, Yosemite”

100 Days of National Parks: Day 20 – Mirror in the Merced, Yosemite

Mirror in the Merced

There is something profoundly peaceful about sitting on the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite Valley listening to the slow rush of water and staring out at the towering granite cliffs and domes that rise out of the valley floor. It’s impossible not to be captivated by the scenery, transfixed by your surroundings.

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Mirror in the Merced

Mirror in the Merced
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There is something profoundly peaceful about sitting on the banks of the Merced River in Yosemite Valley listening to the slow rush of water and staring out at the towering granite cliffs and domes that rise out of the valley floor.  It’s impossible not to be captivated by the scenery, transfixed by your surroundings.

Continue reading “100 Days of National Parks: Day 20 – Mirror in the Merced, Yosemite”