We planned to stay a couple nights in King’s Canyon with one day of hiking, so after making coffee and breakfast we went to register the site and hit up the visitor center and figure out what trails to hike. Our first hike was to be a quick loop of Big Stump Trail. We did the loop, and found some stumps, but we never found the one that looked like the pictures or that was labeled big stump (the pictures showed a staircase up it, so it should have been obvious).
Second stop was back near camp and the village – the General Grant Tree loop (it’s maybe a mile loop from the parking lot, and I think fully paved). This is King’s Canyon’s competition to the General Sherman Tree and is second largest in volume, but largest by diameter if I recall. There’s also a fallen tree around that’s hollowed out as a tunnel and makes up a portion of the path.
Third was driving down into Kings Canyon via the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. We were intending to do a hike at the end (some loop of the Copper Creek Trail) but it started lightly raining less than ¼ mile into the hike and we turned back. It continued to rain for much of the afternoon, so not being on a 6 mile hike was probably good. We drove back up the byway poking out at a few viewpoints. There’s a good number of trails and hike-in campgrounds at the end of the drive, so it could definitely be an interesting one to revisit in the future with a bit more planning for overnights.
Having missed our midday hike, we drove up to Panoramic Point. It was also recommended for Sunset, which didn’t exactly happen courtesy of the cloud cover. From there we attempted to hike out to the fire tower, but it was getting late and it seemed that we were not seeing what the trail description said we should so we turned back. Probably a good thing because the rain started again and it was pretty soggy for the second half or more of the return hike.
When we got back to the campground, the rain had subsided. We made dinner (in the neighboring campsite, for reasons I cannot recall) before swinging back up to the Visitor Center to get a couple beers and a bundle of fire wood. I have some general dislike of purchasing firewood, but a like of having a campfire sit by whist drinking beers. The ability to dry a few things out by the fire was a nice benefit too.
The last excitement of the day was getting ready for bed and realizing that I had left the door unzipped, allowing bugs, specifically spiders, in. There was also a moderate sized, dead spider that I must have sat on that kind of confirmed the problem. Janet has a pretty strong aversion to spiders, so there was a flurry of excitement and a declaration of intent to sleep in the car followed by a thorough shaking out and careful inspection of every item in the tent before tent was eventually deemed fit for sleeping.