King's Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park
Also on the Grant Grove Trail is the Fallen Monarch Tree which was used by early homesteaders, the Gamlin Brothers as they built their real cabin. Later, it was utilized as a hotel and saloon. The reason the tree can survive despite having been felled some 100 years ago is its thick bark which at up to 3 feet and full of tannins which protects if from fire, disease, and insects.
Though the Grant Grove Trail is located in King's Canyon National Park, it fits more into the mold of walks in Sequoia National Park. This half mile loop is wheel chair accessible and brings visitors into close contact with a host of giants including the massive General Grant, the third largest tree in the world by volume. Not only is the tree big but it's pretty famous too, having been designated “The Nation's Christmas Tree” in 1926 by President Calvin Coolidge. Each year a special ceremony is held so don't worry, there's no cutting down of this Christmas tree!
We did this beautiful walk early on 4th of July morning on our way to San Francisco and it was the more serene time we enjoyed in the park.
Kings Canyon National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, south of Yosemite and directly north of and adjoining Sequoia National Park. The park features a number of scenic wonders, including some of the largest trees in the world, one of the deepest canyons in the U.S., and some of the highest mountain peaks in the contiguous 48 states.
Kings Canyon National Park currently consists of two distinct portions. The larger area to the east encompasses the vast majority of the land in the park, including the Kings River and canyon and the High Sierra including several mountains in excess of 14,000 feet. There is a small western portion of the park in the Redwood Canyon/Grant Grove area which contains the original park's land all of the parks giant sequoia trees. Most of the land within the park is wilderness and accessible only by trail.
This alpine meadow is equal to Tuolomne Meadows in its scenic beauty. And it's a lot less crowded. Hiking the short trail around the meadow affords some excellent views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations. The interplay of light and shadow varies at different times of the day, so it never gets old.
Hike the trail to this beautiful waterfall, and you'll be well rewarded. Not only by the waterfall itself, but also the gorgeous, unspoiled river scenery along the way.