Thursday, August 28, 2008

Backpacking: Sequoia National Park - Twin Lakes

I mentioned that we went backpacking in Sequoia a few weeks ago. I was really happy with our trip and I am going to stick utilizing a base camp for future trips. Basically, we started from the Lodgepole Ranger Station (you need to buy a wilderness permit during station hours 7am-4p) and hiked 7 miles out to Twin Lakes where we set up base camp.

The Twin Lakes area has a designated camping area, bear boxes, and a pit toilet. This sounds like it might be a little developed but rest assured that the campsites are secluded from each other, the pit toilet is open-air and the bear boxes just mean that you can lighten your load by leaving your bear canister in your car.

We hiked out on Friday and did a day hike up to Mnt. Sillman on Saturday. Sunday morning we packed up camp, hiked out, and were back at the car by 11 am. We made a quick stop to see General Sherman, the largest (volume) sequoia tree in the world. The back to highway 198 twists and turns so it takes about 2 hours to get from Lodgepole to the main visitors center at the park enterance.

While the trip was fantastic, the 7 hour drive from San Diego to Lodgepole makes it difficult to do over a weekend. We left San Diego at 7:45 am on Thursday night and did not arrive at Lodgepole until 3 am. Then we took a 2.5 hour nap so that we could be at the ranger station for the 7 am opening. In retrospect, we should have left San Diego by 6 pm and sleep in a bit longer in the morning.

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