Sequoia and Death Valley

- December 24th, 2020

Amidst the backdrop of 2020 and the pandemic, I was able to make a road trip with Steph around a couple National Parks nearby in CA. The trip started off by picking Steph up from LAX, grabbing lunch (not so good!), buying some groceries, dropping off pie to Will and Jenny, before finally making our way north towards Sequoia National Park and Death Valley afterwards. In total, we drove over a 1,100 miles and for more than 20 hours.

The first night, we stayed an airbnb in Three Rivers. While packing the car for the trip, I brought my snow chains only because there was so much extra space; that turned out to be lucky! While conditions weren’t bad, rangers were requiring it for the last five miles before the park in Sequoia. Admittedly, we had late starts most of the days because of me. First day we parked around 1:30p so only had a couple hours before sun down!

That first day we did the Moro Rock Trail; because of snow, the hike ended up being a 3 mile round trip through the snow as the normal parking lot was closed. Moro Rock has some great views requiring over 300 steps to the top. While the hike is extremeley safe, I was pretty scared. I had psyched myself knowing that two of our friends bailed halfway up, and a lady we passed on our way there warned us it wasn’t pretty sketch to go all the way up on the icy trail. Up we went though! Oh did I mention that this trip was also Kuma’s first! He wasn’t officially allowed up so we stuffed into a backpack so he get a glimpse of the views too!

We came back to Sequoia the next day to see the Giant Sherman which is the largest living tree! Was an awesome five mile round trip to get there where even Kuma was able to trek.

Next morning we headed out to Ridgecrest to park ourselves closer to Death Valley. Along the way we got ourselves In-N-Out and got a covid test too (negative!).

We only a spent a day in Death Valley before we headed to Hunington Beach to stay with Ishan. This park was definitely the more picturesque of the two but also so different. The downside on our day was we spent most of it driving and didn’t get to be all that active. Feels like it’s worth another visit! Two highlights worth mentioning was the scenic route drive called Artist Drive & Palette:

And of course Badwater Basin:

- Sahil