2019 Rambler Hikes Page 3

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Rambler Hike 2017          Rambler Hikes 2018         2019 Part 1          2019 Part 2

      

Panoramic Trail & Grant Grove          Nelder Grove          Hume Lake

     

Panoramic Trail & Grant Grove

On September 9 a small group of Ramblers returned once again to Kings Canyon National Park, this time for a couple of easy hikes. Our first destination was the Panoramic Point Trail, about two miles up a narrow, steep road above Grant Grove Village. A quarter-mile paved trail leads to a dramatic vista of the park's back country, a seemingly endless panorama of domes, sharp granite peaks, and wilderness, set off by a view of Hume Lake a short distance below.

      
Hume Lake, the deep gorge of Kings Canyon, and high Sierra peaks Mt. Goddard, 13,500 feet above sea level
      

Most visitors return to the parking lot after enjoying the view, but a well-maintained dirt route, known as the Park Ridge Trail, leads to the south two miles to a fire lookout. Since our goal was to have an easy hike this time, we did not plan to go all the way, but as far as we went we were rewarded with views of the high Sierra peaks through openings in the trees, with the smog of the San Joaquin valley rendering our view to the west very hazy.

    
Buck Rock left foreground, and Sequoia Park back country The Ramblers: Dick, Allen, Ardyss, and Wes
     

Except for a log that had fallen across the trail at a sharp angle, offering no good bypass route, and requiring some contortions to get over, the trail was indeed easy, with gentle ups and downs as it followed the ridge. The environment along the trail offered constant enjoyment, with some dramatic rock formations, huge fir and pine trees, and plenty of manzanita, chaparral and chinquapin bushes.

When we returned to the car we drove down to Grant Grove Village where we enjoyed a great lunch at the restaurant.

We had planned to make this a two-part hike, so after lunch we drove the short distance to the Grant Grove parking lot, and walked a short loop trail through the huge sequoias. The General Grant Tree is the star of the show, the second largest in the the Kings Canyon-Sequoia Park complex, and well deserving if its designation as the Nation's Christmas Tree.

        
A huge fractured boulder Wes, Ardyss and Allen stroll among the sequoias
   
The General Grant Tree Four big sequoias by the Grant Grove parking lot
      

Wes summarized the outing as follows:

Today four Ramblers had a great time hiking in Kings Canyon National Park. We wanted it all: easy hikes with lots of beauty. And we got it! We started with a two mile round trip hike along the Panorama Trail above Grant Grove Village. We had vistas in both directions: East into Kings Canyon and west to the valley floor. The problem of viewing the valley starts with an S and ends with a G. You got it - smog. The blackened sky above Fresno was not inviting to either the eye or the camera lens. In contrast, the eastern sky was clear with interesting views of Hume Lake and beyond.

After finishing this first hike, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant in Grant Grove Village. I won't tell you what we ate lest you jump in your car and drive to Kings Canyon tonight. Let's just say it was good and satisfying. Afterwards, we drove the short distance to the Grant Grove trail to view some of the largest sequoias in the park. For those of you have have been there, you know it's a temple of beauty. One wants to tip-toe along this trail making as little noise as possible. We left these mountains fully satisfied, knowing we will be back again, again.

--Wes and Dick, September 2019

More Photos

     
Nelder Grove
by Dick & Wes

Wes: It was time, the season was right and we were ready for the fall colors. On October 23, six of us drove to Nelder Grove above Oakhurst to hike both the Bull Buck and Chimney Tree Trails. I kept saying, "it's like walking Christmas Tree Lane, seeing the multi-colored leaves through the light of the sun." 

   
Dogwood Tree Lane Dogwood leaves and fir trees
        

Dick: Our group of six included Wes, Dick, Ardyss, Allen, Pati, and Gloria. We took the longer trail from the campground to the Bull Buck, enjoying fall color on the black oaks and shrubs. Although I took the obligatory photo of the Bull Buck, I have had better results in the past. On the Chimney Tree Trail we enjoyed the few large sequoias, including the Old Forester, a tall, stately specimen, the California Tree, and the Chimney Tree. You can walk through the burned out base, gaze up at the blue sky, and also observe that the tree is still living despite the hardships it has faced.

   
The Old Forester Dick at the Chimney Tree
    

Wes: We wanted to stay in the forest so we picked up sandwiches in Oakhurst and enjoyed a picnic by the waters of California Creek. And when we finished our lunch, we still hadn't got our fill of the forest. So we followed the creek down stream to enjoy two magnificent waterfalls.

Dick: The best waterfall drops down twenty feet of cascades to the main road, about a mile from the campground. After our walk along the creek from the campground, we drove down there for a look. None of the other Ramblers had ever been to that spot. In addition to the falls, I pointed out a decaying pile of sawdust from the sawmill that operated in that area in the late 1800s.

    

Wes climbed down into the creek canyon to get this shot

Gloria on a slightly wobbly log bridge over a small creek on the trail

     

Wes: We eventually had to turn toward home and topped our day with homemade ice cream at Reimer's in Oakhurst.  We all took way too many pictures and a few of them appear below.

Dick: I have to get in the last word, so I want to thank Wes for providing such excellent photos over the years, and all of the Ramblers for following me down some trails that would give pause to less adventurous folks.

--October 2019

    
Hume Lake

The "original" Ramblers (Wes, Julie, Carolyn and Dick) hiked at Hume Lake in September of 2016, Now that a bunch of new folks have joined us, it was time to go back to this beautiful lake, set in the evergreen forest of the Giant Sequoia National Monument at the 4,000 foot elevation.

Early November is usually too late for this area, mainly because the road rises up over 6,000 feet before dropping down to the lake. However, it's been unseasonably warm this fall, with no snow or rain in sight. On November 4 we drove up in two cars, passing through the Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park and back out to this old log pond, which now hosts a Christian camp, rental cabins, and a 3.25 mile hiking trail that goes all around the lake.

   
Hume Lake, with Middle Fork of the Kings River in the background Rock formations above the Middle Fork canyon
     

The earlier report gives plenty of information about the location, history and general layout of the area, so I won't repeat that. Instead, I'll just offer some of the views that Pati, Wes and I captured, and finish up with Wes's usual post-hike comment.

    

A lone fisherman enjoys the quiet of autumn Willows provide color along the lake
   
Sandy Cove, where Ten Mile Creek runs into the lake An artistic vista by Wes
     
Ramblers near the beginning of the trail - Wes, Ardyss, Allen, Pati and Dick Ramblers at lunch in the Grant Grove restaurant
        
   

Wes: Although winter is fast approaching, we decided to hike Hume Lake before the snow falls. We brought extra clothes but the temperature was moderate. We had a relaxing day as we circumnavigated the lake. Water is being released at the dam to make room for winter runoff, resulting in a lower lake level. Every season has its beauty and we saw the color of that beauty today. Every step of that three plus miles was beautiful!. Most of the camping sites are closed for the winter, along with the facilities at the Christian Camp. So we drove back to Grant Grove for a late lunch at the Lodge. We topped off with Halloween candy from the Thiessens 

More Photos

   
 

 

 

 

 

    
Photos (Click to enlarge; pictures open in new window) 

Photos by Wes Thiessen, Ardyss Webster, Pati Soto, and Dick Estel

     
Panorama Trail & Gant Grove          Nelder Grove          Hume Lake
     
Panorama Trail & Grant Grove
      
The junction of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River, and the mountains above Ripe gooseberries Another kind of berry
    
Sequoias and manzanita A magnificent sequoia specimen Top of the General Grant Tree
  
Nelder Grove
    
More color on Dogwood Tree Lane The obligatory Bull Buck photo  Wes demonstrates the size of the Bull Buck
   
Pati in the Chimney Tree The dead top of the California Tree Dogwood backlit by the sun
     
Gloria in the Chimney Tree Looking up a big sequoia Burnt snag and black oaks
   
Wes on the bridge Lunch at the campground Gloria and Pati at California Creek falls 
   
   
  The Bull Buck and dogwood  
  
Hume Lake
   
Blazing black oak The bridge over Ten Mile Creek Roots of a very determined manzanita
  
Ardyss and a weathered boulder View near the east end of the lake Willow getting ready for winter
 
Related Links
Kings Canyon National Park Panoramic Point Park Ridge Trail
Grant Grove General Grant Tree Wes Climbs the Boulder
Friends of Nelder Grove Nelder Grove Interpretive Area Dick's Nelder Grove Page
Big Ed Trail USFS Nelder Site Hume Lake
Hume Lake Trail Giant Sequoia National Monument Hume Lake Dam
    
 
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2003
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2005
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2008
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2009
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2011
Roundup 2011
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2012 
Parkfield Bluegrass 2012 Four Squaw Leap Hikes
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A 3-Event Weekend
Farmer's Market, Kings River Bluegrass, Antique Fair
2012 Las Vegas CAN AM Hockey Challenge
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Finegold Trail; Bower Cave
Into Los Gatos Canyon
  
2013
Silver Stick Tournament - Canada Sierra Foothills - Winter 2013
Finegold Trailhead, Hensley Lake, San Joaquin Gorge
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2014
2014 Winter Hikes
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Colorado Springs Hockey Tournament Lake Havasu Bluegrass
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Snow Day with the  Upshaw's   
 
2015
Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2015 Part 2
Adventures of 2015 - February to May
(Goofy Smith Flat, Coast Redwoods & Big Sur, Pine Flat, Finegold Trail, Edison Point Trail, Nelder Grove)
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(Lewis Creek Trail, Kaiser Pass, Kaiser Pass Again, Taft Point, Kings River Bluegrass, Shaver Logging Road, San Joaquin River Trail, Lewis S Eaton Trail, San Joaquin River Gorge, Thanksgiving at the Gorge)
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2016
Adventures of 2016 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2016 Page 1
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Adventures of 2016 Part 4 A Pennsylvania Adventure
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2017
Adventures of 2017 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 1
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Adventures of 2017 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2017 Page 3
Adventures of 2017 Part 4 Hiking and Hockey
Adventures of 2017 Part 5 Lake Almanor
Adventures of 2017 Part 6 Northern California Redwood Hike
Parkfield Bluegrass 2017 Stargazer Rock Camp 2017
Travel Blog 2017 (an experiment) Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks
  
2018
Adventures of 2018 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2018 Page 1
Adventures of 2018 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2018 Page 2
Adventures of 2018 Part 3 Rambler Hikes 2018 Page 3
Adventures of 2018 Part 4 Parkfield Bluegrass 2018
Adventures of 2018 Part 5 Northern California Journey 2018
Adventures of 2018 Part 6
  
2019
Adventures of 2019 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2019 Page 1
Adventures of 2019 Part 2 Rambler Hikes 2019 Page 2
Utah National Parks Rambler Hikes 2019 Page 3
Adventures of 2019 Part 3 Parkfield Bluegrass 2019
Adventures of 2019 Part 4 Adventures of 2019 Part 5
   
2020
Adventures of 2020 Part 1 Adventures of 2020 Part 5
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Adventures of 2020 Part 3 Adventures of 2020 Part 7
Adventures of 2020 Part 4 Rambler Hikes 2020 Page 1
  
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Adventures of 2021 Part 1 Rambler Hikes 2021 Page 1
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Adventures of 2021 Part 3
  
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Updated December 15, 2019