*words and photography by Tom Loach
Feeling the need to escape the intensity of LA, some Aussie friends and I hit the road in need of some peace and quiet. Our destination of choice? Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, in the southern Sierra Nevada, home to soaring mountain peaks, prehistoric foothills, and the largest trees in the world.
The first thing on our agenda within Sequoia National Park was the big fella, General Sherman: the biggest tree in the world. Standing at the bottom of this behemoth, I couldn’t help but think, “Fuck, that’s a big tree.”
A wonderful surprise awaited us while exploring further into the Park. Tearing away at a giant sequoia was a mama bear and two young cubs. How lucky were we to witness such a beautiful moment, at safe distance of course. To finish our day, we hiked the granite steps to the top of Moro Rock where we witnessed a sunset to remember.
I couldn’t help but think, “Fuck, that’s a big tree.”
Day two saw us venture out to Sequoia's sister park, Kings Canyon National Park. After a lengthy drive, we reached the Visitor Centre where we sought some guidance on what to see and do during our visit. We were informed by a wise old man behind the desk that a trip to Kings Canyon had to include seeing the Canyon! Following his sage advice, we began the winding drive into one of the United States' deepest canyons at 8,200 feet.
The canyon became more impressive the further down we went, with walls full of vibrant colors from the spring bloom. As we reached the flats of the canyon we were gifted by the sight of granite domes, expansive meadows, and powerful waterfalls.
Though brief, the weekend getaway surpassed all expectations. As we returned home, stoked about the experience, the only remaining desire was to explore more.