Contents
  1. 1. Pre-trip Preparations
  2. 2. Itinerary
    1. 2.1. Day 1
    2. 2.2. Day 2
    3. 2.3. Day 3
    4. 2.4. Day 4
    5. 2.5. Day 5
    6. 2.6. Day 6
    7. 2.7. Day 7
    8. 2.8. Day 8
  3. 3. Trip Menu
  4. 4. Driving Routes
  5. 5. Hiking Records
  6. 6. Total Expenses

This content was automatically generated by gpt-4-turbo-preview (No human review). The original post is in Chinese.

Pre-trip Preparations

Actually, I don’t remember much about this summer’s trip anymore. Fortunately, we always make detailed travel plans before we go. We write our itinerary in Google Docs, including the specific routes, where we will stay at night, places to refuel and dine, attractive and enjoyable spots at each destination, and trails that are of suitable length to hike. For this trip, we brought along a Camping Cooler, enabling us to carry frozen food. So, I also planned the meals for the trip. Besides, we printed out important information (like hotel reservations and park entrance tickets) and placed them in a designated folder. We also printed out two copies of our travel plan (one to keep in the car and the other to leave with friends at home for safety considerations) since we often encounter areas with no cellphone service outdoors. In addition, we downloaded maps of the trails we intended to hike and imported them into my Garmin watch as courses. We downloaded offline maps from Google Maps for navigation convenience. We also went to REI to buy some travel gear.

In summary, preparations involved:

  • Making travel plans (Google Docs document)
  • Booking hotels and tickets
  • Printing important documents (travel plans, reservation slips, etc.)
  • Downloading offline maps from Google Maps
  • Downloading Trail Routes from AllTrails and importing them into a Garmin watch
  • Buying travel gear and food
  • Packing luggage

This blog post mainly consolidates past information to share with everyone. The itinerary has been modified according to our actual schedule because plans can’t keep up with changes, and the real itinerary inevitably differs from the planned one.

Itinerary

Day 1

Transportation: Home -> Kings Canyon NP (Sunset Campground)

  • Depart at 8:30 am
  • I-5 N -> CA-99 N -> CA-63 N/S -> CA-180 E (6h30m, 352mi)
  • Arrive at Kings Canyon NP around 4:00 pm, first to the Campground to store food

Attractions: Grant Grove Area

  • Panoramic Point (good for sunrise, sunset, and stargazing)

Accommodation: Sunset Campground

Moments shared:

Departing!! Handling a cooler is really troublesome!

Stuck in a traffic jam near Gorman on CA Highway 5 for an hour… It looks like a very serious accident, a truck burned to ashes, and the hillside next to it was scorched.

Day 2

Attractions: Grant Grove Area

  • General Grant Tree Loop trail (1km, 14m)

Attractions: Cedar Grove Area (~1h, 35mi from the Campground)

  • Roaring River Falls trail (0.5km, 8m)
  • Grizzly Falls (0.2km, 3m)
  • Hume Lake

Hiking:

  • Zumwalt Meadow loop trail (2.6km, 38m)
  • Mist Fall trail (14km, 3h29m)

Accommodation: Sunset Campground

Day 3

Attractions: Giant Forest & Lodgepole Area (~1h, 32mi from the Campground)

  • General Sherman Tree Trail (1.9km, 29m)
  • Tunnel Log
  • Moro Rock Trail (0.8km, 11m)

Hiking:

  • Congress Trail (4.8km, 1h33m)

Transportation: Sunset Campground -> Fresno

  • CA-180 W (1h10m, 56mi)

Accommodation: La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Fresno

Sequoia and Kings Canyon national park
Every giant sequoia bears the scars left by wildfires.
The mist fall trail is the most beautiful forest trail I’ve ever hiked; so breathtakingly beautiful that I couldn’t help but stop and admire the view and take pictures.
The national park’s bear-proofing policy made packing our luggage a great inconvenience. So far, we haven’t seen a black bear.
There are too many photos to sort through…

Day 4

Transportation: Fresno -> Yosemite NP (Housekeeping Camp)

  • CA-41 N (2h21m, 92mi)
  • Refuel in Oakhurst or Wawona
  • First to the Camp to store food

Attractions: Yosemite Valley

  • Tunnel View
  • El Capitan Meadow
  • Visitor Center

Hiking:

Accommodation: Housekeeping Camp

Stuck in traffic for nearly two hours at the Yosemite entrance on Tuesday morning around 10… Surprisingly, there’s 4G signal in the park…

Staying at the housekeeping camp today, and the conditions are quite good. Shockingly, we spotted 3 groups of a total of 8 climbers on El Capitan, with 3 tents on the rock face. It’s amazing because at first, we couldn’t see anyone with the naked eye, so we thought there were no climbers. However, using binoculars, we discovered many climbers, appearing so tiny (Picture 9 has three people). We, along with several other groups, spent a long time watching through binoculars, exchanging discoveries from time to time. There are lots of visitors in Yosemite, and the temperature these days is 20-40 degrees… Comparing this to SD’s temperature of 19-24 degrees, it seems we came at the wrong time.

Day 5

Hiking: The Mist Trail (Vernal & Nevada Falls) (11.6km, 4h, middle)

Accommodation: Housekeeping Camp

Hiked the mist trail today, saw Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, and went all the way to Little Yosemite Valley Campground before turning back. The only regret is not hiking Half Dome. To avoid hiking in the heat, we woke up at 5:15 am, reached the trailhead by 6:30 am, and finished the trail by 12:30 pm. We didn’t win the permit for Half Dome the other day, and I was hesitating whether to go; ultimately, we gave up due to the hot weather, so we only tried once… Seeing the hikers on the road to Half Dome today, I still envy them, feeling I could have done it… Back at camp, made lunch, showered, took a nap, did laundry, until 5:30 pm the temperature became slightly more bearable. There are actually free shared bikes in Yosemite Valley, so we rode bikes to Mirror Lake. Returning to the camp at 7:30 pm planning to light a campfire tonight, only to find our two bundles of firewood missing, along with a shovel and a barbecue tong. Felt very downhearted, searched around but found nothing. Talked to a staff member about it. Surprisingly, they brought us two boxes of firewood after a while, felt so moved. We have a campfire tonight again. Planning to hike the Four Mile Trail tomorrow.

Day 6

Hiking: 4-Mile Trail (14.8km, 6h9m, hard)

Accommodation: Housekeeping Camp

No more tough hiking… Today we hiked the Four Mile Trail, with an elevation gain of 1000 meters. Cuihao said we came here to endure hardship, not for a vacation… It’s so hot now that I’m playing with my phone inside the cabin because it’s 40 degrees outside… These two days, we go hiking every morning, sort out stuff in the afternoon (rest…), and go out again in the evening. There are 2 more days left in the vacation, and the goal of walking 100km seems within reach.

Day 7

Hiking: Upper Yosemite Falls (12.2km, 4h, hard)

Attractions:

  • Tenaya Lake (~1h20m, 49mi from the Camp)
  • Tuolumne Meadows

Transportation: Yosemite NP -> Salinas

  • CA-140 W -> CA-152 W -> US-101 S (3h52m, 187mi)

Accommodation: Super 8 by Wyndham Salinas

On Yosemite’s last day, hiked the front half of Upper Yosemite Fall Trail, then visited Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake, with an elevation of 2500 meters. Staying in Salinas at night, we discovered severe air pollution here… the distant mountains are invisible… Tomorrow we’ll drive home along Highway 1.

Day 8

Transportation: Salinas -> CA-1 -> Home

Attractions:

  • Big Sur
  • Partington Cove
  • McWay Falls

Finally home… Today’s drive on California Highway 1, from Big Sur to SD, was entirely foggy… ended up being a bit of a letdown.

Trip Menu

Sharing our meals for the past few days, basically cooking 1-2 meals a day, spent a lot of time preparing and packing the camp cooler before heading out. After leaving Sequoia and Kings Canyon, we bought 2 bags of ice (14lb in total) to add in. Surprisingly, by the third night, the ice at the bottom mostly hadn’t melted, while the frozen dumplings and shrimp were mostly thawed but still fresh to eat. Prepared a large amount of food for this 8-day trip, and due to the park’s bear-proofing policy, handling and storing food was a bit of a hassle, but we ate well, almost no different from the usual meals at home.

Take out need vegetable

Vegetables (17 servings, 1 serving for two meals for two people):

  • Tomatoes*2
  • Onions*2
  • Carrots*4
  • Celery*4
  • Broccoli*2
  • Bell Peppers*3

Meat (10 servings):

  • Shrimp*3
  • Beef Dumplings*2
  • Wontons*1
  • Onion and Egg Stir-fry*2
  • Tomato and Egg Stir-fry*2
  • Eggs*16

Driving Routes

Below is our actual driving route, created from memory after returning home: Google Map Link

Hiking Records

Below are the hiking GPS records from my Garmin watch.

Total Expenses

Contents
  1. 1. Pre-trip Preparations
  2. 2. Itinerary
    1. 2.1. Day 1
    2. 2.2. Day 2
    3. 2.3. Day 3
    4. 2.4. Day 4
    5. 2.5. Day 5
    6. 2.6. Day 6
    7. 2.7. Day 7
    8. 2.8. Day 8
  3. 3. Trip Menu
  4. 4. Driving Routes
  5. 5. Hiking Records
  6. 6. Total Expenses