Giant Forest

Eagle View

It has been almost two years since my son was born. All the problems following that wonderful event has kept my wife, Diana, away from the mountains. We used to go on hikes together often as well as plan overnight backpacking trips. For Mother’s Day this year I wanted to bring her back to the forest again. Our son would be watched by my mom the whole day while we would go on a few hikes.

It was the Friday following Mother’s Day. Jaden was dropped off at the grandparents around 830 AM. We left our house around 10 AM and drove up into the Sequoia National Park. Our goal was to do several small and simple hikes for the day. Giant Forest ended up being a perfect spot. We did stop in Three Rivers at the Sierra Subs and Deli store. Awesome food and we enjoyed our meals on the road. We ate them while waiting our turn to go through the construction on the highway. We arrived at the Crescent Meadow parking area around 1 PM.

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Our cameras were out and our daypacks were ready to go. Our first hike was up to Eagle View. Here you can get a great view of the Kaweah River, the peaks surrounding Mineral King, and sometimes eagles. The trail is paved just for a bit, but like all trails in the Park that we have been on the trail is in great condition, signed, and easy to navigate.

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Eagle View is on the High Sierra Trail and you don’t need a permit as long as it isn’t an overnight hike. As we walked we couldn’t hear anything except the noise from our boots hitting the trail. The clouds created a nice sound dampening effect and made for some pretty snap shots along the way. The only bummer part, which I had a feeling would happen, was the scenery at Eagle View wouldn’t be there.

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Around the 0.7 mile mark you transition from a dirt trail to rock. The trail goes through a lot of rock outcrops. Some of flowers grow in between the cracks too. The trail is slightly steeper, but that wasn’t a problem. We trekked on the last quarter mile to Eagle View. As we suspected, the views were not there but that just means we will have to come back. We grabbed a photo of us and decided to head back down to the trail junction (around 0.6 miles from start) and head to Tharp’s Log.

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Once at the trail junction, we continued straight ahead towards Tharps Log. The trail, which isn’t used as much as the other trail leading to Tharps Log, took us on the eastern side of Log Meadow. We didn’t see anyone else on the trail, which was nice. Again the clouds blowing through created a fog and dampened the sound. We felt like we were the only ones out there and that was a real treat.

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As we proceeded down the trail, we spotted a fallen sequoia near the trail. We decided to stop and take some photos of us by the fallen giant. Our Monkeyman Jackets really stood out against the natural colors of the forest. To show some of our friends who may have never one of these giant trees, we also took photos of us at the exposed roots.

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Once passed the fallen sequoia, the trail stays near the meadows edge. We chatted the whole way and enjoyed our time together on the trail. It felt just like “old times” before Jaden was born. We talked about how one day we would be hiking and eventually backpacking with our son. The trail eventually veers away from the meadow for a time, crossing over small creeks and bringing us over to the west side of Log Meadow.

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Shortly after the trail arrives along the western side of Log Meadow, Tharps Log is in view. Apparently in the mid 1800’s a gentlemen, Hale Tharp, was lead by the Yokuts to this meadow. He built his home inside sequoia and would visit it every year following for the entire summer. He was creative and resourceful. We read the sign, checked out the inside of the log, and continued down a now paved trail back towards Crescent Meadow.

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A paved trail is a nice surprise and likely made for Accessibility purposes, which is awesome. Nice to see that in a National Park. Anyway, we made our way back around Log Meadow towards Crescent Meadow. We stopped to get a photo by the Crescent Meadow sign and then headed back to the car. It was time to do one more hike before going home.

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Our final hike was a last minute decision. The clouds were clearing out to the west, so we decided to hike up Moro Rock. If you haven’t been on this hike before, it is a steep uphill climb on a large rock outcrop. It is a very popular hike with a narrow trail at times. You will get some amazing views in every direction on a clear day.

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Once at the top, we took our photos, looked out into the valley, and then headed back down the car. We enjoyed our day together and it was nice to be outdoors again. Diana said she had a wonderful time and missed being on the trail, so it was a great Mother’s Day gift for her.

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