Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring Sequoias & Kings Canyon National Parks, Single-Hotel Stay in Sequoia National Park, Local Guide
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
Welcome aboard this unique, four-day journey to discover two majestic national parks within California’s scenic Sierra Nevada. Imagine a place where even the earliest creations of Mother Nature have been perfectly preserved...where the scenery can only be described as larger than life...in a setting so peaceful, everyday worries become virtually extinct. While all of America’s national parks are scenic wonders, in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, the panoramas go widescreen! Giant, cinnamon-hued trees soaring skyward, granite domes and jagged peaks on every horizon, roaring rivers and alpine meadows unfurling before your feet, and a canyon like no other! We’ll explore these two parks in depth while enjoying rustic elegance during a three-night stay at the premier lodge within Sequoia National Park.
From our departure points this morning we’ll travel aboard a deluxe motorcoach into California’s fertile Central Valley. Following a morning rest stop and a stop for lunch on your own, we’ll continue into the scenic Sierra Nevada. In the late afternoon we’ll enter Sequoia National Park and continue to the mountain retreat we’ll call home for the next three nights, Wuksachi Lodge. Sequoia’s signature hotel, this striking stone-and-cedar lodge is located at 7,200 feet in elevation and is surrounded by a giant sequoia forest and soaring Sierra peaks in the heart of Sequoia National Park. Your deluxe lodge room features natural décor highlighting native granite rock, oak, cedar and hickory woods. Enjoy dinner at leisure at the lodge. Note the lodge rooms are located in separate buildings 100-200 yards from the main lodge building/restaurant.
Following an included breakfast at the lodge, we’ll board the motorcoach for a full-day touring Kings Canyon National Park with a local guide. The landscape here testifies to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity – huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, and the world’s largest trees! There will be multiple opportunities to disembark, explore, and capture the day. We’ll begin with a stop at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center which provides the perfect introduction to the Park with its informative displays about the trinity of treasures you’ll experience throughout the day: the giant sequoias, the canyonlands, and the breathtaking mountain views of the High Sierra. We’ll travel along Kings Canyon Scenic Byway which is carved into granite and winds down into Kings Canyon, with the walls closing in at some junctions and bends – in a good way! Kings Canyon Scenic Byway traverses an extraordinary cross section of geographical terrain and provides progressively more stunning views of Kings Canyon. As we make our way to the glaciated canyon floor, you’ll find yourself suddenly feeling quite small and you’ll see why John Muir once called it “a rival to Yosemite.” One of the deepest canyons in North America, Kings Canyon offers a massive panorama of scenery that is above and beyond. We’ll take a leisurely stroll through the General Grant Grove along the paved General Grant Tree Trail. Protected by the federal government as part of General Grant National Park in 1890 – one of our nation’s first national parks – this grove later became part of Kings Canyon National Park. We’ll stand in awe as we walk amongst this mixed conifer and sequoia forest with giant sequoia trees that are 3,000 years old with trunks weighing 1,400 tons! The grove’s most famous and largest tree is The General Grant Tree. The third largest tree in the world at nearly 50,000 cubic feet, this goliath measures 107 feet in circumference – that’s the same width as three lanes of traffic! The tree is almost 300 feet tall and has the largest base diameter of any tree in the world at more than 40 feet! Named in 1867 for General and President Ulysses S. Grant, The General Grant Tree was proclaimed “the Nation’s Christmas Tree” in 1926 by President Calvin Coolidge, and it was honored as a living national shrine to Americans lost during wars by President Dwight D. Eisenhower – The General Grant Tree is one celebrated sequoia! Also, along the General Grant Tree Trail is the historic Gamlin Cabin and the Fallen Monarch, a hollow, downed sequoia. Because of its immense girth, it was once used as a stable for the U.S. Calvary’s horses! We return to the Wuksachi Lodge with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast at the lodge we’ll join our local guide and begin our exploration of Sequoia National Park. We’ll travel along the spectacular Generals Highway while our guide shares stories that will help you make connections you might not have otherwise made, and notice things you might otherwise have missed. John Muir said of Sequoia, “When I entered this sublime wilderness the day was nearly done, the trees with rosy, glowing countenances seemed to be hushed and thoughtful…and one naturally walked softly and awestricken among them.” Our nation’s second-oldest national park and the oldest in California, Sequoia was originally established in the 1890s to protect the grove of majestic sequoia trees – the world’s largest living things. We’ll make our way to the aptly-named Giant Forest Grove. At the heart of the park, in the shade of towering sequoias and redwood groves, the Giant Forest is home to half of the Earth’s largest and longest-living trees. Named in 1875 by John Muir, the forest is a stand of more than 8,000 colossal sequoia trees – many standing just as Muir found them. Thanks to his eco-heroic conservation efforts, we have the opportunity to stand before majestic, 3,000-year-old giant sequoias that measure 250 feet in height and 35 feet in diameter! A leisurely walk along the paved General Sherman Tree Trail will enable us to get up close and personal with these ancient, towering sequoias. Here we’ll meet the Park’s most famous resident – the General Sherman Tree – the largest tree on the planet! Looking upwards, its staggering height (375 feet) will take your breath away. The undisputed “King” of the Giant Forest, the General Sherman Tree is not only the largest living tree in the world, but the largest living organism, by volume, on the planet! We’ll enjoy an included picnic lunch during our exploration today. This evening we return to the Wuksachi Lodge to enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After an included breakfast at the lodge, we’ll begin our journey home, making a stop for lunch on your own as well as several rest stops along the way. We’ll return to our drop-off points this evening with many fond memories of our time in the Sierra Nevada amongst great granite cliffs, peaceful meadows and giant trees! (Breakfast)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your understanding, flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. While these have always been necessary traits for travelers, they are needed now more than ever! Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary. Now more than ever, our 30 years of knowledge and tour planning experience helps us navigate a unique travel environment on your behalf. You can put your trust in us knowing we are experts in travel planning and will do everything possible to provide wonderful new experiences and create amazing new memories for our guests while on the road with us.
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