On the first full day at Sequoia National Park (August 27), we decided to go up a less travelled road and do some hiking in the Mineral King area of the park.
It was worth the drive, but what a drive it was - skinny, twisty road, with deathly dropoffs, and the occasional SUV speeding too fast towards us around a corner. We survived, and it was spectacular up there.
This is a meadow at the top of the trail (photos seem to be in reverse order, that's OK as it was an in-and-back hike along the same trail, we'll just do it backwards...)
Ed took this amazing photo of a deer running towards us. Lotsa deer up there! They were everywhere. We'd point them out to other hikers and they'd roll their eyes ... fine, we're city hicks, we get it.
The meadow had some twisted old fallen trees scattered over it:
The trail followed a valley, and looking across to the other side you could see this waterfall. This is with a zoom lens:
We also did a shorter hike to look at a little waterfall at the site of an old mine:
This is me at the mine entrance. I forget already what mineral they were after here:
Looking into the mine:
While we were there, a bird of prey (I think one of Ed's friends said it was a red-tailed hawk?) came and landed at my guidebook, which I had put on a rock while I walked the last few feet to look at the mine entrance:
He was kind of intimidating! I wasn't sure if he'd attack me if I went after the guidebook, and he didn't seem in a hurry to move. In the end Ed reached over and got it, he has the longer arms.
A couple more mountain photos- it is so beautiful up there:
We crossed this bridge there and back on the drive - I'm standing on it towards the left:
A little waterfall along the side of the road on the way there:
We saw our first giant Sequoia tree along this road:
And that was it for Mineral King! Next stop, heading up into the main part of the park to see the big trees....