We went on an adventure to Sequoia National Park, and leading up to our trip, we have been going over how to read maps in our homeschool lessons. Thus, True and Brave were (sort of) in charge of the drive. They each took charge of different parts of our adventure, and took turns highlighting the route we were following. The kids had binoculars, field notebooks, highlighters, maps, and I even handed each of the oldest three their own camera. The result is about 4,000 worth of images and a whole weekend full of fun. True and Brave are here to share their adventures and explorations with you. Here’s True’s account:
Hello again! It’s True and I get to share all about our adventures in Sequoia National Park. When we entered the park, we saw lots of trees and plants. Just like my sister, Brave, I had a field notebook, pen, map of Sequoia, highlighter, and binoculars, so that we would be ready for lots of exploring. My mommy even gave me her big camera to take pictures with!
At the entrance, I got my “Kid in a Park” pass that is for every fourth grader. That means I can take my family to any national park or waters for free! We were driving up the mountain, and our first stop was at Tunnel Rock. While there, I used my binoculars to see Kaweah River. We also saw some people standing up on top of Tunnel Rock. We didn’t go to the top, but we got to explore inside the tunnel a little bit.
Then, we got back in the car and headed up towards Hospital Rock. I saw some Native American pictographs on the big rock. We went up on the rock stairs to get a closer look at the drawings. After, we went down to read about the area. It was talking about the holes on the ground and how they used to be the kitchen for the Native Americans. When we started to leave, I saw a taller rock with a hole. It looked like another cooking place! Soul was pretending to cook there.
We continued up the mountain toward Amphitheater Point. The area looked like a theater! From there, we could see Moro Rock. We used our binoculars to look all around us and get an even closer view of Moro Rock. We saw a pretty butterfly on the ground, then we got back in the Explorer and ate some cheese puffs. Explorer detectives get pretty hungry on an adventure.
I was following the map as we drove higher and higher into the Mid-Sierra Zone. That is where the Sequoia trees are! It started to get colder and colder because we were getting higher in elevation. We drove through Deer Ridge all the way to the Giant Forest. We loved looking out the window to see all the giant trees!
The Explorer was good for exploring because it had a lot of space for our stuff and it had cool, big spaces on the side and in the back! It even has an opening above to see all the tall trees towering over us. We could really see how tall the trees are!
We parked, went by the museum, then walked the Giant Forest Trail. We saw plenty of giant Sequoia trees, and a lot of them had fire scars. Then, we saw a fallen Sequoia tree with its roots sticking out. I went inside it even though it looked scary, then I sat down in it, and ended up thinking it was fun!
On the trail, there was a big rock with a medium-size rock on top of it and it looked like a snowman. We walked over some cool bridges and my sisters were collecting stuff to take pictures of. We couldn’t take it with us, so we wanted to take pictures of the stuff to remember it. As we walked, I kept asking mommy, “Is this the biggest tree in the world?” She kept saying, “We aren’t there yet.”
After the Giant Trees Trail, we ended up back where we started and headed off to the Alta Loma Trail to see General Sherman. On that trail, we were using our binoculars to spot birds (we saw a Blue Jay and Woodpecker) and we made a lot of stops to check out sticks and rocks. I walked ahead of everyone and made some arrows out of sticks to point the rest of the family in the right direction. Brave and Glow didn’t know I was the one who made the arrows until later. We walked, and walked, and walked.
FINALLY, we got to General Sherman. It was a really, really big tree!!! I was amazed!!! After that, we eventually made our way back to our Explorer and headed off to Wuksachi Lodge to check in and eat dinner. We were all so tired from a full day of adventure!
The next day, we ate breakfast, finished filling out our Junior Ranger packets so we could become Junior Rangers, then headed off to Lodgepole to meet with a ranger. She swore us in as Junior Rangers and we got cool badges!
After Lodgepole, we drove on Generals Highway to Giant Forest through Marble Fork Canyon. There were lots more pretty views we could see around us. We made some stops along the side to use our binoculars and take pictures. I love looking out and seeing how big everything is!
We wanted to keep exploring so we drove down to the Giant Forest Museum to hike to Beetle Rock. Beetle Rock is this giant rock that looks like a beetle. It’s kind of scary because it sort of looks like a cliff. As we were standing near the edge, I used my binoculars to look out and I thought I saw a lake!
After Beetle Rock, I found a little gold rock and it was beautiful. We walked back to the Explorer and headed back down the mountain to adventure through Mineral King (read about my sister’s report on that adventure here). It is so much fun to explore new places!
Sequoia Scenic Drive and Adventure: Generals Highway to Lodgepole (Allow a full day for drive time and hiking trails) 1. Park Entrance to Tunnel Rock – A quick stop to check out the river below and get some shots with Tunnel Rock. 2. Hospital Rock – A short drive further up, then park to see the Native American pictographs and kitchen. 3. Amphitheater Point – A gorgeous view of the mountains and Moro Rock. 4. Deer Ridge – A beautiful drive and you can see wide vistas. 5. Giant Forest Museum and trails – Stop to see the Sentinel tree, then hike the Giant Forest trail (about 1.5 miles). We continued from here onto the Alta Loma Trail, which was a 2.5 mile hike to get to General Sherman. You could also do the Beetle Rock hike from the Giant Forest Museum because it is a short distance from the parking lot. 6. Marble Fork Canyon – A short drive from Giant Forest Museum to Lodgepole. More amazing views of the mountains and trees.
This content was created in partnership with Ford to help make creativity a part of every drive. I hope you enjoyed Brave and True’s reports on our adventure! They were quite excited to share it on the blog.