For any of the following Favorite photos, click on the image to bring up the full resolution version. Day by day photos and narrative follow these.
Lost Lake (note "crack" in upper right corner - we hiked up to there and got in the crack)
Big Fish Lake above Lost Lake
On ridge above Ranger Lake
California Jay, who spent a lot of time with us
Perhaps because someone (OK, Bob) kept throwing peanuts
Got a pretty early start, 8:35 AM, and drove from home in Santa Rosa, California, to Grant Grove Village by way of Fresno and Hwy 180. On the way, stopped at pretty rest stop on Hwy 99 for picnic lunch. Then stopped for gas (and Subway sandwiches for dinner later) just before Fresno.
Hwy 180 is scenic with views of Sierra Nevada ahead of us.
At Grant Grove Village we checked into our tent cabin and stopped at Visitor Center to pick up Wilderness Permit. Then we drove up the Panoramic Road to look out over East Kings Canyon and hiked along very beautiful ridge to see western view, including valleys we had come from. Lots of wildflowers.
Drove back to Grants Grove and had short hike to see the General Grant Tree (1,700 years old, one of the largest trees in the world) and a grove of such trees.
We returned to tent cabin, ate Subways, packed backpacks (cutting back our food to save weight), decided to add visit at end to camp at Sheeps Creek campground an extra day and day hike along Bubbs Creek (so we would return from backpacking a day early).
Had tasty breakfast at Grant Grove restaurant, eating outside (Bob - fruit bowl; Reenie yoghurt bowl & freetrade coffee). Bob went to Visitor Center & bought this diary.
Had wonderful showers, then moved all belongings to car and headed for Rowell Meadow Trailhead.
There was a very funky car at parking lot. After hiking a bit we came to Rowell Meadows and along the way we saw many snow flowers.
We backpacked 6.9 miles to Seville Lake. Backpack was difficult. One part of first four mile was very steep, no switchbacks, lots of fallen trees blocking trail. Met ranger who warned us of mosquitos to come, then required us to show our permit. She was the owner of the funky car.
Mosquitos got so bad we stopped about 2 miles in to put on face coverings and repellant. At 5:30 PM got to junction to Seville Lake (we had started at 11:45 AM). Then Reenie leading did final mile up to Seville Lake in 37 minutes, again with fallen trees. Going over one Reenie cut her leg.
No one but us at Seville Lake - so many mosquitos. Set up tents and ate snacks inside our tents because mosquitos were so bad. Bob's tent had zipper problem - so used duct tape to keep closed.
We day hiked from Seville Lake to junction to Comanche Meadow Trail, tried to follow that trail for about a mile in spite of there being such a massive number of mosquitoes - were we in the Mosquito Capital of Kings Canyon - then quit because of fallen trees blocking trail (see videos above).
We returned to junction and headed to Lost Lake. Went up about a mile, found nice picnic spot (shade, breeze, no mosquitos), saw about 20 Scout backpackers heading along our return path, but they didn't go to Seville Lake. We returned to Seville Lake, we still had it to ourselves. We napped, then Reenie prepared dinner she had created and dehydrated at home.
We both also enjoyed eating the dried mangos that our good friend Adele had provided us.
Reenie was still recovering from flu/respiratory virus she caught a couple of weeks ago, so she was coughing up phlegm - once into her mosquito net.
Packed up our camp and began backpacking at 10:00 AM. Hiked 1 mile down to junction, then crossed creek, then trail went uphill. At one point trail really headed down and we could see trail leveling out for a while. Ate snack. Reenie still suffering from flu, congestion and altitude sickness. Bob also being affected by altitude (dizziness when bending over and standing back up). Few mosquitos as we hiked up away from creek. Passed over a very small creek, got water, then reached Lost Lake trail junction. A half mile uphill to lake. Near end Reenie hit hard with symptoms, including nausea, so Bob carried her pack on last little bit to lake.
Lake is beautiful, with very strong wind, no mosquitos, maybe some smoke in air (a ranger we would meet later confirmed there were a couple of controlled burns). On one side of the lake was a tall granite structure which had a noticeable "crack" in it.
We set up tents and rested until dinner - actually ate a late lunch (mostly Bob did), then rested until dinner.
Wind stopped, mosquitos came, Reenie prepared turkey chili bean dinner with cheese. Then we cleaned up and went to bed for night.
This is the day Reenie's phone (with GPS) dies!
In the morning we hiked up to lake above Lost Lake - cross country, no trail. Pretty lake with lots of fish of a good size (9"-12"), hence our name for it: Big Fish Lake. Walked along ridge above Big Fish Lake which had panoramic views. Snacked. Found a rock carving that confirmed our calling the lake Big Fish Lake.
Came back to campsite, rested (did jumbles, Sudoku). Reenie rinsed her clothes.
We heard group of backpackers arrive and go to distant campsite. They jumped into lake. About 10 people in an Outward Bound group.
We walked to waterfall coming into Lost Last - hiking over large rock boulders at side of lake. Came back to our campsite, ate dinner, and cleaned up. We even made the one fire of our trip.
With the sun setting, the "crack" showed up clearly and the moon came up over the lake.
We went into our tents for night.
Phone gets fixed! We have GPS again
Left at 8 AM for 9 - 10 mile hike past Ranger Lake, Beville Lake, then up to Silliman Pass and Twin Peaks. Very steep.
On way to Ranger Lake we ran into another Outward Bound group (12 people) who also were going to Ranger Lake. We hiked around Ranger Lake then up boulders to ridge with wonderful views.
When up there a young woman from Outward Bound also came up. She was from Colorado. She offered to take our pics, holding both our cameras at once for each picture.
Left Ranger Lake, visited nearby Beville Lake, then "Started Up" trail to Silliman Pass. Ran into young ranger out backpacking who confirmed there had been controlled burn fires causing smoke. He was backpacking over to Rowell Meadows. We continued up trail, stopped to eat lunch, then kept going. And kept going. And reached Silliman Pass.
Then hiked up to ridge at base of Twin Peaks. See video. Bob even began climbing up to top of one peak (OK, not really).
More wonderful views. See video.
Headed back. We saw a marmot. Met the same ranger again who had to turn back when he lost the trail from Lost Lake to Seville Lake due to many downed trees. (Days later, we would have the same problem, using our phone GPS to relocate the trail)
This time we met group near our camp, one of whom had the cord Reenie needed to connect her phone and batteries. She recharged her phone. Phone fixed! We ate dinner and wrote in the diary.
A day to enjoy being at Lost Lake. Cleaned up, organized camp, walked all the way around lake. On the way we went over very slippery log jam/bridge at one point and made it across water. Found perfect granite slab that went gently into water. Even Bob got in water deep enough to clean legs. Reenie swam and loved it. See video. Water was "moderately cold".
We watched group on other side of lake, two of whom jumped off boulder into lake. That group would later in the afternoon leave. Reenie rinsed clothes.
After that we continued around lake and found a way to do it, in spite of marshy areas. More wild flowers and interesting plants. Looked up at nearby snow packs but did not go over to them.
After lunch we did crosswords and Sudoku. Got windy and cold. Ate early dinner, cleaned up. Did more puzzles, went to bed. Full moon, but clouds.
Woke to a beautiful day, though cooler. After breakfast began hike that was intense. We climbed to top of ridge. Video of Bob climbing
Then down to a view from above Seville lake, then up to a "crack" which is visible from Lost Lake far below. Here are videos of that hike:
On the way back we met 3 guys, one of whom was from New Zealand. We also saw an impressive, old tree trunk.
While high up we had lunch of salmon, smoked Gouda cheese, Triscuits, cashews, peanuts, dried Mandarin oranges.
We decided this hike was even more magnificent than earlier hike to Silliman Pass and Twin Peaks two days ago.
Back to camp by late afternoon, got in tents for naps. Then had dinner, watched duck flying around lake, landing near us, flying again. Duck had also visited us in the morning.
Met woman from couple now staying at nearby campsite. Watched the sunset and the moon rise.
Got up early (6 AM), left at 8:30 AM, backpacked 8 miles to car, got lost between Lost Lake and Seville Lake, found path with GPS (path was some distance away), lots of downed trees.
We were passed by horse/mule pack group that were going and coming back, made it to car at around 4 PM.
Car started with no problem. Drove out one forest road (not paved) to second forest road that was paved and found campground (Big Meadows) with several empty campsites and no one else there. Nice campsites. We ate dinner after setting up camp. Others came later. Did Sudoku, etc. Nice night.
Bob, who packed scale in car, weighs himself - 156.8 lbs (a 3 lb loss).
During breakfast as we were closing up camp, Larry, the Park Host, showed up. He was very chatty and collected $16.00 for our using the campsite. There was no running water, but an extra clean drop toilet bathroom.
We finished packing and drove to Grant Grove Village, where we had lunch of trout sandwich (fantastic) and chicken salad wrapped in spinach tortilla - good but not as good.
Reenie called and got our Sheep Creek campsite for both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Bob called Shirley, Reenie tried to call Bill.
Drove from Grant Grove Village on Hwy 180 to Sheep Creek (a long and winding road), but got behind slowest driver ever who refused to use many, many turnouts in spite of eventually having 5 cars behind. Speed limit was 45 mph and that driver went between 15 and up to 30 (rarely to 30, usually 20- 25). So it took a lot of extra time to get to Sheep Creek. But it was a beautiful drive along beautiful, cascading South Fork of Kings River.
We set up camp. We visited Cedar Grove Village, picked up groceries, checked out gift shop. Visitor Center was closed.
Then we went to Roaring River Falls, they were very impressive. Next we hiked to Zumwalt Meadows and back (5.2 miles round trip), crossing several bridges, on one of which Reenie danced. See video. We returned to camp.
It was hot, there were lots of people at campsites, including young, partying group near us. Bob was able to feed many peanuts to couple of jays, along with a few cashews. They became permanent residents at our campsite #47 (see Wildlife pics near top of page).
Drove to Roads End and hiked the loop trail to Bailey's bridge, but detoured up Bubb's Creek trail and snacked. See video of Bubb's Creek. Getting there involved crossing streams with no bridges. See video At one crossing we each got our boots wet. Hiked between 5 and 6 miles, except for Bubb's Creek climb it was mostly flat. Mosquitos in abundance. Very hazy.
Rock formations were impressive. We took pics of Copper Creek Canyon. (Bob had hiked up the Canyon and eventually out Bubb's creek about 50 years ago, in 1973).
River water was very green (copper tends to give greenish tinge). There was strong water flow both in Bubb's Creek and the South Fork of Kings River.
Last half of hike was hot. On drive back we stopped at gift shop in Cedar Grove to buy souvenirs and gifts.
Back at camp we washed up some (Reenie washed hair). After about 1/2 hour of napping drove to Cedar Grove snack bar and had great dinner of trout sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cole slaw while sitting on a porch overlooking South Fork of Kings River. We then walked down to Kings River and lay in lounge chairs by ourselves watching and listening to the river. Video of river from lounge chairs
Got up early and drove home. Video of river and canyon at road pull-off
This map shows the route we took from the parking lot/trailhead of Rowell Meadow all the way to Silliman Pass (and up to the base of Twin Peaks). Although we visited Ranger Lake and Beville Lake, we camped only at Seville Lake (2 nights) and Lost Lake (5 nights).
Not shown on the map are the campground where we stayed at for one night right after the backpack (it was just a short drive from the Rowell Meadow Trailhead) and the Sheep Creek Campground near Cedar Grove where we stayed at for two nights.
Monday-- Sub Veggie Sandwich with avocado
Tuesday-- Cheese, crackers, apples (altitude sickness, no appetite)
Wednesday-- Chicken Shawarma: chic, squash, red bell,mushroom, pineapple, mango, Marrakech spice blend, curry, cayenne, lemon, with rice noodles
Thursday-- Turkey Chile Bean(turkey, bean soup mix, stewed tom, corn, chile powder, tom paste) with rice and cheddar cheese
Friday-- Chickpea Masala with spinach
Saturday-- Chicken Vegetable Soup: chic, onion, peas, carrots, corn, pasilla pepper, celery, mushroom, seasonings, with rice and spinach
Sunday-- Chicken noodle casserole (REI) with broccoli and red bell
Monday-- Chicken Curry Soup: chic, cauliflower, carrots , mushroom, corn, potatoes, curry
Tuesday-- Spaghetti squash 'nests' (TJ) with tomato basil sauce, mushroom, broccoli, Parmesan
Wednesday-- Salmon, Pasta with spring vegetables(Mountain House), Parmesan cheese, fresh peaches and mandarin oranges from Cedar Grove store
Thursday-- Trout sandwiches, coleslaw, fresh fruit cup
Photos, videos and narrative were contributed by both of us: Reenie and Bob
Here are all of the backpacking trips Reenie and Bob have taken
Bob Phillips [phillips bob 27 at yahoo dot com - no spaces]
Santa Rosa, CA