Giant Sequoia National Monument

Memorial Day Weekend 2010

In September 2009, I started an online photo project to document the Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

For six months, I had my calendar marked to go the camping the last weekend of April – opening of trout season in the Sierras.  We had a wet winter and there would be water in the streams this year, but bad weather, work and other obligations prevented me from going back to the mountains.

I had not planned to go Memorial Day weekends because of the crowds (even in the back country) but the call of the mountains was to strong.  I did leave Thursday to be in front of the crowds.

 It was a relaxed drive and arrived at my favorite campsite in the late afternoon.  There is still snow on the high peaks and there was more water in Peppermint Creek than I had ever seen before.  It is too difficult to safely pull over on a narrow forest road to take photographs. 

Friday, I had planned to do some exploring and photography.  

I was able to photograph the snow on the peaks from Lloyd Meadow Road.  There had been a storm Thursday night and the clouds had not cleared along Western Divide Highway.  An hour later, I was on Western Divide Highway – in the clouds and the snow.

I got some wonderful photographs, including some with freshly fallen snow, and wonderful light filtering through the clouds.

The drive up and down the Tule River gorge was challenging.  It is very twisty and climbs for 1000 feet in Springville to 7200 feet at Ponderosa.   The vistas were spectacular. 

On Saturday, I hiked and photographed along Peppermint Creek above the falls.

Sunday, I hiked to the bottom of the falls.  The hike to the bottom of the falls was difficult.  The hike back was even worst.  I don’t remember it being that difficult a climb when I was 25.  The photographs were worth the effort. 


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