We had been looking forward to visiting Sequoia National Park for quite a while so we were happy to wake up at our lovely campsite in Potwisha Campground inside the park. We were even happier when we caught sight of the deer casually hanging out in the campsite across from us. We love any opportunity to see wildlife up close.
As excited as we were to check out the park, Francis had some work to do so headed to nearby Three Rivers to find a coffee shop. We were happy to find Antoinette’s Coffee & Goodies. There was plenty of room for us to work and the coffee was very good. Although we did not eat, there were lots of items on the breakfast menu that looked tempting. The owner of the shop, Antoinette, stopped by our table to check on us and we really enjoyed chatting with her about a variety of subjects. The shop closed at 1 o’clock so that gave us plenty of time to finish what we needed to do and still have time to visit the park.
As with any of our national park visits, we can’t see everything so we had to pick a few must-see sights and hikes. Our first stop at Sequoia was the huge fallen sequoia known as “Auto Log.” The tree is so large that it has been photographed with many vehicles driving on it. Due to dry rot, it is no longer safe to drive on it, but you can still walk on it. It was amazing to climb up and walk along a tree that size. Our next stop was at Moro Rock Trail. The trail is only a half mile road trip but is composed of 350 steps so it is short but steep. The incredible views of the surrounding mountain peaks make it well worth the climb. The view encompasses much of the park, including the Great Western Divide. After our descent from Moro Rock, we got some great photos of the Jeep driving through the iconic Tunnel Log. Next, we hiked the Crescent Meadow- Tharp’s Log Trail which features a fallen tree so large it was used as a home by an early pioneer by the name of Hale Tharp. It is amazing to hike through a forest made up of such huge trees. Our last hike of the day was the half-mile General Sherman Tree which is the largest living tree in the world. The trail takes you through the Giant Forest sequoia grove and has lots of informational signage along the way. It is hard to describe the sheer size of a tree as large as the General Sherman Tree and pictures can’t do it justice. It is definitely one of those things you have to see in person.
By the time we made the uphill hike back to the General Sherman Trail parking lot, it was getting chilly and pretty late in the day. After consulting our national parks guidebook, we decided to try Lodgepole Campground which was fairly close by and according to our book was still open. A number of the other campgrounds had already closed for the season. When we arrived, we found out that only one of the three loops of the campground was open and it was completely filled. We noticed that a lot of other campers were parking overnight in the large parking lot so we decided to do the same. The view was very pretty and there were restrooms available so it worked out just fine.