May 26 – June 10, 2015.
After Las Vegas, our next destination was Death Valley National Park famous for being the hottest place on Earth. On July 10, 1913 a reading of 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56 Celsius) was recorded. We made it to the small town of Beatty, NV located a few miles from the park’s entrance. We stayed there a couple of days to regroup, do some laundry, update our blog and get some supplies for camping. We had a fun dinner in an old style saloon (Sourdough Saloon).
Death Valley National Park
On May 26, 2015 we entered California and Death Valley National Park, we were taken back by its scenery, a land of extremes located below sea level and with a yearly average rainfall less than 2 inches. Despite its morbid name, we saw beautiful sand dunes, rugged canyons and snow caped mountains. We had planed on camping there a couple of nights but when the mercury reached 99 degrees and there was no shade around the camp sites, we just continued on.
We traveled North on Route 395 and stopped for the night in Mammoth Lakes, a beautiful resort town in the mountains, well known for its skiing and other outdoor activities. The next morning we drove to Yosemite National Park. From the moment we crossed the gate, we were mesmerized by the scenery. We were lucky to find a campground in the park so we stayed for 5 nights. During the day we hiked beautiful trails and visited the sites, at night we hung out, cooked great dinners and made camp fire at our campground (Crane Flat) where we paid only $13 per day (50% off with the NPS Senior Pass).
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is visited by over 4 million people each year and covers an area of 747,956 acres. This year will mark its 125 year anniversary as a protected park. Iconic landmarks such as the Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Cathedral Range are known throughout the world. We took some amazing photos but the beauty of such a large scale landscape is hard to capture. Seing and exploring Yosemite in person is an unforgettable experience.
From Yosemite, we overnighted in Fresno, CA to restock before heading to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, The Land of Giants in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Sequoia National Park
Sequoia covers an area of 202,430 acres and is adjacent to Kings Canyon so most people visit both parks while in the area. Sequoia is famous for its giant Sequoia trees and you can find 7 campgrounds and a lodge.
Kings Canyon National Park
After 5 nights in Sequoia we headed for Kings Canyon where we spent another 2 nights of camping. Kings Canyon covers an area of 461,901 acres. The drive down the deep valley was spectacular, so many photo opportunities, we were stopping at every turn. Like all National Parks the Rangers of Kings Canyon offer different programs like Create Art in the Parks and the Junior Ranger Program for kids.