Today was probably the most disappointing day of the entire trip. I can’t say it was a bad day, just not what we planned.
We woke up in Bakersfield, CA and headed to Sequoia National Forest. We wanted to start in the Sequoia National Forest BEFORE going to Sequoia National Park because you can hike with dogs in the Forest, but not the Park.
The drive on Highway 178 and 155 from Bakersfield into the Forest was crazy! It had the sharpest curves and steepest cliffs I have ever seen on a drive.
This did not go over well with me. I get motion sickness and curving mountain roads are the worst! It felt like we were on this road forever!
Once we actually got into Sequoia National Forest, we drove for forever. We started making our way to a trail we wanted to hike called “The Trail of 100 Giants” but after driving for over an hour, the road to get to the trail was closed! We were so disappointed! Apparently they close some of the roads in the winter and they don’t open until April.
(on a side note…if you go to any of the National Parks or Forests out West in the winter, check for road closures first!)
So, instead we took a short hike down to the Kern River.
I did my #pushupandplank challenge on the Kern River!
The worst part about that road being closed was that it was also the connecting road from Sequoia National Forest to Sequoia National Park. So, we had to drive allllll the way back down out of the Forest the way we came. 🙁
Once out of the Forest, we cut over onto Highway 155 instead of going all the way back to 178. This road was even crazier! I don’t have a better way to explain it! It was beautiful and annoying at the same time. It curved back and forth for what seemed like 100 miles. There were miles and miles of never-ending green rolling hills. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. Imagine a Jack and The Bean Stalk landscape with bright green rolling hills, huge boulders, and yellow wild flowers.
Once we finally got off the never-ending road, we headed North to Three Rivers, CA where we found a last-minute hotel. We originally planned on seeing the Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia National Park, and start driving towards Yosemite in one day, but the road closures and long winding roads got us off schedule in the Forest. We made it to Three Rivers (about 5 miles outside Sequoia National Park), dropped off the dogs in the hotel room and headed into Sequoia National Park.
We were cutting it close to sunset so we drove straight to Big Trees Trail and took the 1.25 mile hike to see the giant Sequoia Trees. They were pretty impressive.
I got another plank picture today too!
Before leaving the park, we headed to another trail called Sunset Rock. We figured it would probably be a good view of the sunset. We were cutting it really close to sunset at this point so we literally ran the trail to catch it.
Once we watched the sunset, we realized that we were going to have to hike back on the trail IN THE DARK! So, instead of waiting until the trail was black, we ran all the way back to the car. Definitely got some good exercise today!
I’m pretty sure I spotted a coyote on the way back, but I wasn’t stopping. I have always wanted to see a bear, but at this point we were praying we WOULDN’T see a bear in the middle of the woods…by ourselves…close to dark.
We made it back to the car safe and sound and won’t do that again! Lesson learned!
We headed back down another long winding road in Sequoia National Park to the hotel and called it a night.
I have to say that I was a little disappointed with the Sequoia National Park. I know we only saw a small portion of it, but the fact that you have to drive for an hour up the steep and curving winding roads, just to actually get to any of the good trails, made for a very time-consuming stop. You definitely need a whole day or two or three to make the most of this stop.
This morning we left our hotel in Three Rivers, CA and headed North to Yosemite National Park.
More winding roads later, we arrived in the park. We first made a stop at the Mariposa Grove, but since we had just been to Sequoia National Park the day before, these sequoias weren’t impressive.
The views in Yosemite were incredible!
We were a little limited in the trails we could actually hike because the dogs were only allowed on a few trails. But, one really good one was at Bridalveil Falls.
We continued to drive around the park and the views just kept getting better. We loved the falls and the view of Half Dome.
Yosemite was definitely worth the visit. We could have stayed here for days!
Once we left Yosemite in the late afternoon, we drove West to San Francisco. We will be staying here for a few nights!
You can catch up on the other Roadtrip Series here: