Kings Canyon National Park, California

Kings Canyon National Park is located near Fresno, California. It was established as a National Park in 1940 on March 4th in part do to the fact that Harold Ickes, who was Secretary of the Interior at the time, hired photographer Ansel Adams to photograph the park. There are a couple section of the park. One section is the biggest natural collection of giant sequoias on the planet. This section is only about 10 of the area of the entire park. The other section of the park is made up of glacial canyons and forks of the Kings River and San Joaquin River. Camping and hiking are popular activities for vistors. The campgrounds in the park vary in elevation from around 2,000 feet to around 7,500 feet. The park is opened year round but July and August are the most popular times to visit and experience high volumes of people.

Kings Canyon National Park Info


Kings Canyon National Park

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News

Two Fires Grow in Remote Area of Sequoia National Park

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. November 21, 2018 – Started by lightning on October 4th and burning in the John Krebs Wilderness, the Eden Fire area is now 1,430 acres with 5% containment. An infrared flight took place Tuesday night and allowed more accurate mapping as the area was shrouded in smoke the past few days. Due to its location, there are currently no threats to life, property, or other assets.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Announce Request of Proposals for Land Exchanges in Wilsonia Historic District

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. November 15, 2018 – The National Park Service (NPS) at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is seeking Requests for Expression of Interest (RFEI) in the exchange of federally owned, improved residential properties in Wilsonia Historic District within Kings Canyon National Park, for privately owned, unimproved properties within the boundaries of the Parks.

Update on Eden Fire in Sequoia National Park

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, Calif. November 14, 2018 – The Eden Fire continues to grow and is now 343 acres as mapped via the parks’ helicopter. Fire has slowed its progress in the Eden Creek drainage on the western edge of the fire. Fire however has established itself on the east side of the eastern branch of Eden Creek drainage. One spot fire was observed on the east flank approximately 200 feet off the main fire and burning actively. Fire does not appear to be moving up-slope (south) towards Homers Nose.

Kings Canyon National Park Photos

Glittered and shimmered in sun

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Glittered and shimmered in sun

JMT DAY 20 - PALISADE LAKES IN MORNING

Palisade Lakes in morning

After the not-so-successful attempt at capturing the sunrise at the lake (the sunrise glow was barely seen from where we were), I had breakfast and broke camp.

As we started our walk, this view reminded me yet again of how beautiful the night was. The sky was filled with the stars while the moonlit peaks towered over the calm lake. Now, the water glittered and shimmered in the sun as it was stirred in gentle ripples.

Our plan for the day consisted of climbing Mather Pass, which was expected to be quite strenuous with the weight (about just under 70 lb at that time) that I was carrying, hiking through Upper Basin to reach Bench Lake and camping there.

It turned out that we left Palisade Lakes too late (because of me and my morning photography ritual). It caused delays throughout the day, and we found that climbing about 500 feet to reach Bench Lake toward the end of the day seemed quite daunting after ascending 2,500 ft and losing 900 ft.

Completely depleted, we settled in at the campground near South Fork Kings River for the night.

Part of me

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Part of me

JMT DAY 19 - STAR TRAILS AT PALISADE LAKES

Star trails at Palisade Lakes

Once I got my shots by the lake, I returned to my tent to call it a night. Then, I spotted Polaris above the crest between Norman Clyde Peak (13,920 ft) and Middle Palisade (14,012 ft) Ugh… Part of me really wanted to go to bed. It was windy. Cold. And it was getting late...

But the other part of me whispered... The sky was clear. The moon had risen quite high that everything was clearly lit. Perfect for star trails...

Can you guess which part of me won?

I planted the tripod near the outlet. The idea of composing a shot of both the outlet flowing in the foreground and the stars circling around the North Star above the crest looked great.

But, it turned out that it wasn’t that simple. The crest was way high in comparison to the outlet, and Polaris was even higher. I lowered my camera, really close to the water, hoping that I could compose it all together. Nope. It didn’t work. I didn’t see much of the water flowing.

So, I backed away from the outlet and recomposed the shot. It kind of worked. Then, part of me started drifting away and wondered what the 360 degree view from the top of Palisade Crest.

Only my knee deep

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Only my knee deep

JMT DAY 19 - PALISADE LAKES IN MOONLIGHT

Palisade Lakes in moonlight

Because we arrived at Palisade Lakes quite late, pitching our tents was late. And then, gathering huge logs and stones and building a wall around my tent to block the wind took longer. Because my camp was made late, I didn’t have time to have dinner before sunset.

So, when I was done capturing the sunset, my dinner was late. By the time when I headed back out to the lake to capture the night sky, it looked like someone turned on the light switch in the dark room.

The moon that rose high up in the sky shed its wonderful, almost deceivingly daylight like, moonlight on anything under the heavenly body. Middle Palisade (14,012 ft) brooded like a champ while the lake reflected the cool peak in the water. Mt. Bolton Brown (13,538 ft) and its ridge line created a beautiful silhouette.

It was windy and yet the water near me wasn’t disturbed. In fact, it was so calm and clear that the bottom of the lake looked like only my knee deep.

Ranger Rick

John Peltier posted a photo:

Ranger Rick

Hiker Rick with Ranger Rick and Charlotte. Ranger Rick hikes in to the Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness with both his gear and his daughter on his back.

JMT Rest Break

John Peltier posted a photo:

JMT Rest Break

Tammy, Mary, Margie, and Patti taking a break after Mather Pass. Mile 152.

Le Conte Canyon

John Peltier posted a photo:

Le Conte Canyon

Evening looking towards Le Conte Canyon from above Starr Camp. Mile 132.

John Muir Trail Mather Pass

John Peltier posted a photo:

John Muir Trail Mather Pass

One of the many switchbacks climbing up to 12,100' Mather Pass. Mile 150.

Time to embrace darkness

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Time to embrace darkness

JMT DAY 19 - TWILIGHT AT PALISADE LAKES

Twilight at Palisade Lakes

Once the sun was set behind Mt. Shakspere (12,174 ft), the whole world slowly started sinking into oblivion. Although a few bright smudges of clouds lingered right above the peak, it soon faded as quickly as it radiated. Just like that.

A bit of blue hour light still lingering, what came next was stillness that I wasn’t anticipating. Everything seemed frozen. As if the world stopped turning. As if time just stood still. As if the whole mountain range stopped sprawling.

Twilight was lurking. And nothing else was disturbing the sound of wind.

And just like that, the feeling of tiredness and anxiety subsided. As if nothing mattered from this point on. And it was time to embrace darkness all around me.

Rae Lakes Morning Mood

speedcenter2001 posted a photo:

Rae Lakes Morning Mood

Fin Dome still in the shade of the Sierra Crest as my day begins early for a two pass day, starting with Glen Pass in the morning, and then Forester in the afternoon.

This was the view from my tent door. Worth every step to get there.

Forester Pass

speedcenter2001 posted a photo:

Forester Pass

Panorama from above Forester Pass, looking east. To the left is Kings Canyon National Park, to the right is Sequoia National Park.

Forester is the highest pass on the Muir Trail, as Trail Crest and the descent from Mount Whitney isn't part of the Muir Trail.

Beyond what I was anticipating

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Beyond what I was anticipating

JMT DAY 19 - PALISADE LAKES

Palisade Lakes

With about 9-10 lb of resupply that I picked up from Bishop Pass the day before, going down the steep switchbacks of 700 plus feet in elevation to Le Conte Ranger Station junction wasn’t fun for my knees. From there we lost another 600 plus feet in elevation till we turned east and started going up Palisade Creek to Palisade Lakes.

2,500 feet and 6 miles. That’s the elevation we gained and the distance we covered. Under a beating sun, it certainly felt like forever. The notorious Golden Stairs, about which I had had no prior knowledge till the night before when Henry and I went over the next day’s mileage, really kicked my butt.

But it wasn’t just the large amount of elevation gain that exhausted me. We rushed because we were worried that we would reach the lakes quite late. And yet it took us 5 hours.

It was extremely windy when we arrived at the lakes. With my memory of spending the coldest night at Helen Lake still fresh, I spent about 20 minutes looking for and lugging logs and large stones to my campsite and built a wind block.

Then, there was the sunset glow cast on Middle Palisade (14,012 ft) and Mt. Bolton Brown (13,538 ft). The intensity was beyond what I was anticipating. It was worth every step that I put forward to climb the bitchy route up the cliff while huffing and puffing like crazy for hours.

North Palisade awaits

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

North Palisade awaits

JMT DAY 19 - DUSY BASIN

Dusy Basin

As we were getting close to Bishop Pass (11,972 ft), Mt. Agassiz (13,898 ft), Mt. Winchell (13,768 ft), Thunderbolt Peak (14,003 ft) and the gloriously prominent North Palisade (14,248 ft) rose like an impenetrable wall in front of us. Mt. Sill (14,159 ft) was completely out of sight, hiding behind North Palisade from where I stood though.

With the reflection of these mountains in the water, the view simply wouldn’t let me leave. I had to wait for a few moments till it all sunk in. Clear of snow, the jagged peaks surely looked intimidating and even menacing. I bet climbing any of these would be treacherous and not an easy feat as some routes are Class 4 or 5.

As we gained enough elevation, beneath Thunderbolt Peak, Thunderbolt Pass was came into view, which is one of the ways to enter Palisade Basin. The other pass would be Knapsack Pass, which would be my choice if I were to come up directly from the lower part of Dusy Basin.

Now that I know more about the area, I am definitely planning to enter Palisade Basin to take landscapes. I can’t imagine achieving this without challenging myself physically and mentally. And I will probably ask myself why I am doing it while lugging so much gear.

But I know that North Palisade awaits with a spectacular sunset glow cast on itself. “The power of imagination makes us infinite” by John Muir comes to mind.

Bishop Pass Trail - LeConte Canyon - Sierra

Bruce Lemons posted a photo:

Bishop Pass Trail - LeConte Canyon - Sierra

Looking NNW from the Bishop Pass Trail approximately a mile from the JMT with Le Conte Canyon and Langille Peak in the background. California, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Kings Canyon National Park, LeConte Canyon. Off the John Muir Trail near Mile 137.

(All images copyrighted. Copying or otherwise using my photos in any way is not OK w/out my explicitly granted permission. See my Profile for queries regarding any other usage.)

Couldn’t help daydreaming

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Couldn’t help daydreaming

JMT DAY 19 - DUSY BASIN

Dusy Basin

I wished that I had spent more time at every stop I made in Dusy Basin than just taking a few snaps. But we didn’t think that we had a whole lot of time. Although it was a day hike without so much weight to carry (till the resupplies were picked up), the elevation gain to Bishop Pass (11,972 ft) was expected over 2,500 feet. Besides, we didn’t want to be late to meet our friends.

It turned out that we ended up waiting for about an hour and a half. Of course, it allowed me to do timelapse while waiting. Regrettably though, not a single cloud lingered in the blue sky, which meant no action to capture for timelapse.

The presence of the long wall of peaks and ridges that separated Dusy Basin from Palisade Basin in the south was felt at every turn. Led by the prominent Columbine Peak (12,652 ft), the wall was reflected on every water surface on which I laid my eyes.

If so little backpackers were met in this basin, I wondered how little actually go into Palisade Basin. With the view of North Palisade (14,248 ft), 4th highest in California, and Mt. Sill (14,159 ft), 6th highest, which towered over the basin in the east, I couldn’t help daydreaming about venturning into Palisade Basin and capturing the sunset glow cast on them.

Perpetually still

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Perpetually still

JMT DAY 19 - DUSY BASIN

Dusy Basin

I’ve decided to create a small Dusy Basin series within this JMT series because I realized how much I love the basin, of which I simply want to share more. Hope you enjoy what this particular part of the Eastern Sierra offers as much as I did.

The water was so calm and clear that I just wished that I could drop everything and spend the entire day just sitting by the lakes. Schools of trouts swimming harmoniously in and out of the crevices of the rocks underwater while the glistening surface in the morning sun seemed perpetually still.

Contrary to how beautiful this place was, we hardly saw backpackers. We came across only one camper who was breaking camp, besides the two friendly section-hikers whom we had came across and acquainted at the Le Conte Ranger Station junction the day before. One of them shared his great experience in fly fishing, which convinced me to definitely look into it.

Not a single cloud lingering, the warmth of the morning sun persisted, and we were enjoying this day hike without our heavy backpacks on. It was certainly a welcome change of pace, and my mind seemed to continuously wander off throughout this tranquil part of the world.

Mesmerizing reflections

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

Mesmerizing reflections

JMT DAY 19 - DUSY BASIN

Dusy Basin

On our way to and from Bishop Pass, we hiked through one of the most beautiful areas off the John Muir Trail, and that was Dusy Basin. I had heard about its beauty prior to being on the JMT before, but it was just breathtaking. Simply I couldn’t believe my eyes.

The basin, which was dotted with several small and large unnamed lakes and was enclosed by the long wall of 12,000 plus feet tall peaks and ridges, which separated the basin from Palisade Basin in the southeast. Among them, Columbine Peak (12,652 ft) stood tall as if it were the focal point.

While Dusy Ranch was snaking through it, the tranquil lakes filled with trouts were glistening in the early morning sun. The mesmerizing reflections of the peaks and ridges in the calm water brought me a memory of a family of four whom I had run into at Bishop Pass a month prior to doing the JMT. I was told that the couple with a girl and a boy, looking barely 4 and 5, spent two nights in the basin. The little girl was carrying her own backpack! What a trooper!

I can’t wait to go back and enjoy the nights under the thousands of stars!

With its mesmerizing beauty

ScorpioOnSUP posted a photo:

With its mesmerizing beauty

JMT DAY 19 - BISHOP PASS

Bishop Pass

While spending another night at the same campsites in Le Conte Canyon, our plan for the day was to climb up to Bishop Pass and meet up my friends who would bring us our resupplies.

While going up, we hiked through Dusy Basin, and it completely surprised me with its mesmerizing beauty. The little lakes spread across the basin were just so pretty that I kept telling myself that I would come back here as soon as I had a chance.

My friends Maddie, with whom I did the High Sierra Trail together, and Cat, another hiking friend, supposedly came in the day before via South Lake and camped at Long Lake. It was their plan to explore the Inyo National Forest side of the Pass and spend another day down there.

I was up here earlier back in July to do a dry run for my friends since neither of us had never been there before. I had a great time and, of course, I turned that opportunity into a photography trip.

By the way, there was cell phone signal for Verizon at the pass, so my buddy Henry got on the phone and spoke with his family. No such luck with AT&T.

Frog Pond South of Muir Pass - Sierra

Bruce Lemons posted a photo:

Frog Pond South of Muir Pass - Sierra

Looking W across a pond full of Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs S of Muir Pass. California, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Kings Canyon National Park, Muir Pass. John Muir Trail Mile 132.

(All images copyrighted. Copying or otherwise using my photos in any way is not OK w/out my explicitly granted permission. See my Profile for queries regarding any other usage.)

Dragon Lake Sunset - Sierra

Bruce Lemons posted a photo:

Dragon Lake Sunset - Sierra

Looking SE across Dragon Lake to Dragon Peak at sunset. California, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Kings Canyon National Park, Dragon Lake.Off the John Muir Trail near Mile 176.

(All images copyrighted. Copying or otherwise using my photos in any way is not OK w/out my explicitly granted permission. See my Profile for queries regarding any other usage.)

Bullfrog Lake

Slackie501 posted a photo:

Bullfrog Lake