Sequoias to Death Valley
When you start planning your next road trip, consider a trip to California to see Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park and Death Valley National Park. You will have the chance to see some of California's greatest natural wonders and enjoy a nice road trip during the travel between the two.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park varies from mountains to deep canyons. Within this park lies the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states, with an elevation of 14,491 ft. Depending on the amount of time you have for your stop in Sequoias National Park, there are a few things you should make sure to check out. Visit the National Park Service website for maps of the park.
Make sure to visit the General Grant Tree in Grant Grove or the General Sherman Tree in Giant Forest. Purchase tickets for the Crystal Cave Tour. Stand in awe of the sequoia trees in Giant Forest on the Big Trees Trail. Take a walk to Tokopah Falls or hike to Redwood Canyon to see the largest grove of sequoias in the world. Or you could see the forest of sequoia stumps around the Boole Tree in Converse Basin. Finally, for more hiking for breathtaking vistas, take a trek into the High Sierra.
On the way from Sequoias National Park to Death Valley on CA-198 make a short stop in Exeter. Check out the Festival of Arts to see the murals or take a horse drawn carriage ride. Or, if you are in the mood for some water sports, take a break at Lake Kaweah.
If you want to make a little longer trip you could continue down CA-99 to stop at Bakersfield. Grab a bite to eat at one of Bakersfield's Basque restaurants, or take a day to visit Murray Family Farms and enjoy the fresh vegetables at the Farmers Market or take a ride in the Hay Wagon. If you visit on a Friday, catch a Friday night Movie in the Park.
Stop for a few days to enjoy the recreation at Lake Isabella along CA-178. Here you will find opportunities to fish, hike, boat or even windsurf. There is also a large Wild West celebration called Whiskey Flat Days. Lake Isabella also hosts the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby.
Owens Dry Lake
Stop to take a look at Owens Lake, along CA-190. The glaciers that formed the topography of the region left this lakebed. This lake had water in it until the water was diverted to feed the Los Angeles Aqueduct. Today there is periodic flooding of the lakebed to prevent dust storms. Now you can sometimes sight water birds on the shore of Owens Lake.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is home to the snow capped Panamint Mountains and Badwater Basin with an elevation 282 feet below sea level, the lowest elevation in the nation. Death Valley National Park is home to the lowest, driest and hottest spot in North America. There have been years in which no rain whatsoever was recorded in Death Valley.
Despite the heat, there are a variety of great natural sights in Death Valley National Park. However, if you are planning a trip to this park it might be a good idea to avoid visiting during the summer. Hike through the narrow Mosaic Canyon or view the pupfish found only at Salt Creek in the Stovepipe Wells area. In the Furnace Creek Area, visit the Devil's Golf Course to see the wind-eroded rock salt spires and walk under the natural bridge. Visit the lowest point in North America at Badwater Basin or take in the vastness of Death Valley from Dante's View. In the Scotty's Castle Area of Death Valley, hike around the Ubehebe Crater. Or, if you have a proper vehicle, drive out to the Racetrack to see the mysterious tracks left by the rocks sliding across the lakebed.