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The United States is very fortunate that past citizens had a vision to protect our most beautiful places. If it wasn’t for people like John Muir and many others, the current and future generations wouldn’t be able to enjoy its treasures. Join the nation as we celebrate National Park Week in the California High Sierra’s parks.

All National Park operations have been modified due to COVID-19, check in advance for restrictions and service limitations. For example, in Yosemite a temporary reservation system is in effect from May 21st through September 30th.

Yosemite

Lunar Rainbow at Upper Yosemite Falls
Image appears courtesy: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau – Photo by: Kristal Leonard

It may not have been the first to become a national park, but it was the inspiration that sparked the revolution. This is where John Muir took Teddy Roosevelt on the most famous camping trip of all time. It was here that the president realized the importance of saving places like Yosemite Valley for future generations. A true hotbed of rock climbing on its granite walls, one of the biggest concentrations of waterfalls, giant Sequoias, and so much more. Access to the east entrance of Yosemite National Park via Tioga Pass Road/SR 120 West in Mono County will reopen once snow-clearing is complete, usually just prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Sequoia

Giant Sequoia tree stump
Image appears courtesy: Visit Visalia

Just east of Visalia in the southern High Sierra, everything about this park is massive. Within its boundaries, you’ll find over 13,000 vertical feet of relief. This includes the TALLEST peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney. It’s also home to the LARGEST tree on Earth by volume. It’s none other than General Sherman, standing amongst four others that are in the top 10 largest in the world.

Kings Canyon

Lookout Peak View Kings Canyon
Image appears courtesy: Visit Visalia

Sharing a border with Sequoia and connected by the legendary Generals Highway, you’ll usually see both parks named together. In addition to the Giant Forest which connects Sequoia’s groves and Kings’ General Grant Grove, it’s home to its own unique attractions as well. One of them being the park’s namesake – Kings Canyon. More than a mile deep, this glacial valley is similar in form to Yosemite Valley but with its own characteristics. If you’re in Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks during National Park Week there are a variety of special programs, events, and digital experiences to explore.

A Salute To High Sierra’s State Parks

Emerald Bay Natural Attractions in the High Sierra
Image appears courtesy: Tahoe South

Although not under federal protection, California’s state parks are incredible in their own right! From Tahoe’s legendary Emerald Bay State Park to million year old Mono Lake, and California’s official ghost town, Bodie State Historic Park, you’ll be blown away by their beauty AND history. For more on these parks, read our article: There’s Gold In Them Thar Hills… State Parks Of The High Sierra Offer Priceless Experiences.

If you’re around during the 3rd week of April, be sure to check the amazing list of events going down on each day to celebrate this momentous occasion. Here’s to another century of outdoor fun in America’s treasures.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at https://localfreshies.com



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