My three Instagram Worthy Locations in Sequoia National Park!
Happy Earth Week Wonderers! Mother Earth has always given us the greatest gifts to live a beautiful life so it’s of utmost importance that we maintain her natural beauty and protect her for years to come. This week highlights one of my favorite days of the year, Earth Day. We all know that Earth Day should be celebrated every day but often times we forget how precious the world is and all of its resources. We, as humans, consume and are a bit selfish when it comes to the environment. I’m not a tree hugger but I do believe in the care and preservation of our wonderful planet. As a reminder to myself just how amazing this world is, I adventured into Sequoia National Park and got up close and personal with the great outdoors, particularly trees so large, they dwarf even the largest of animals. It was breathtaking to say the least. I went on a hike, skipped stones in the river, and fell in love all over again with my wild side. I have always loved nature and the mountains but coming close to these friendly giants took me to a whole other level. As a blogger, I am always on the hunt for the prettiest locations to shoot at. Sequoia National Park has been on my Wonder List forever and what a perfect way to celebrate this amazing holiday than to spend time wrapped in the arms of the forest. If you’re looking for a reason to get in touch with your wild side, read ahead…I have listed some gorgeous locations you don’t wanna miss out on!
This amazing hike is known to be one of the most scenic trails in the entire park. It is about half a mile long and moderately trafficked out. Along the trail, you will run into the famous “Auto Log Tree”. This enormous tree fell in 1917 (it’s so old!) and you used to be able to drive on it. Nowadays, you can still walk on it as I do so gracefully pictured below. The bottom of it reminded me of the Iron Throne, for all you Game of Thrones fans out there. This is one of my favorite shoot locations of all time. Not only was the tree extraordinary to see firsthand, but on that day the mist blew in and served as an amazing backdrop among the trees. The weather here is pretty unpredictable but it certainly made our experience magical. If you continue down the trail, you will come to Moro Rock which is the large dome rock viewed at every angle in the park. If you climb up the stairs to the top of it, you can see the entire park and all it’s grandeur. (We were unlucky that day because the snow was still falling and it can get pretty slippery). If you are planning to visit Sequoia, definitely make the Moro Rock Trail a must do for photos! The tree is only about halfway in and its the perfect location for photos. And who knows, the mist could make an appearance in your photo as well.
When you think of Sequoia National Park, you immediately think of The General Sherman Tree. While that may be the most popular and most photographed tree in the park, there are plenty of others that stand tall and beautiful and deserve to be recognized. Case and point, The Colonel Young Tree, which sits near The Moro Rock Trail. Colonel Young was the first African American superintendent of a national park. Born during the Civil war, he was intelligent beyond his years and quite the brave soul. His military career began as a West Point graduate and progressed in the cavalry. In 1903, he was serving as a Captain in the Cavalry commanding a segregated black company, known as Buffalo Soldiers, at the Presidio of San Francisco when he received orders to take his troops to Sequoia National Park for the summer. They worked tirelessly on projects in the park including building and paving roads, an incredible feat when you consider the near hour long drive up a windy road to get to the Moro trail. The energy and dignity he brought to his national park assignment left a strong imprint. His roads, much improved in later times, are still in use today, having served millions of park visitors for more than eighty years. And the example he set - a determined black man overcoming the prejudices of society - remains an inspiration to anyone who faces life's challenges head-on. Check this tree out before leaving the park and don’t forget to snap a photo!
There are numerous waterfalls throughout Sequoia National Park including The Topokah Falls, Grizzly Falls, and The South Creek Falls. These are all some of the larger and well known waterfalls spread out across the park. Unfortunately, the larger the waterfalls, the larger the crowds and I am one to travel to locations that are unpopular and off the beaten path. This waterfall, for example, I found off the road near the General Sherman Tree. It is right off The Generals Highway, which is the main highway in the park, on your right hand side, as you go up the mountain, right before the tree; you can't miss it! I had to stop over and dip my feet into the cold water and it was so refreshing. I could sit and admire this waterfall for hours and there are plenty of spots to take photos in front of it without getting soaked! Check it out below :)
Birds Eye View
When you drive General’s Highway up the mountain, you start to see views that will take your breath away. They have turn offs and view points on the sides of the road where you can watch the sunset over the glorious mountains. We were lucky enough to witness the perfect sunset followed by a purple colored sky. It was the perfect ending to our surreal day spent in the park. If you can manage to stay at the park, be sure to find a viewing area high up on the mountain so you can see what heaven looks like on a clear night. Here was my heavenly view below…
Becoming a Member
It has been on my mind to become a member of the Sequoia National Park for a while and aside from the amazing benefits they offer, the money you donate goes towards protecting the park and all of it’s beauty. How cool is this backpack? You can get one of these when you join! It’s super beneficial and easy to do!
*WonderFact: The daily fee to enter the park is $35 unless you’re a member. Some days are free depending on the week. You can find all the information HERE.