Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Road Trip: Mineral King, CA / July 2020

Road Trip: Mineral King, CA / July 2020

Day road trip (with a partial hike) to Mineral King, CA. Who is 'Mineral King'? Mineral King is not a 'who', but a what and a where - subalpine glacial valley located in the southern part of Sequoia National Park, in California. Accessed by a long and narrow winding road, the valley is mostly popular with backpackers and hikers.

Now, half the 'fun' of this trip is this 'long, winding road'. 25 miles long, it rises from a starting elevation of 1,400 feet above sea level to 7,830 feet above sea level over the course of *almost* 700 curves. This is a steep at times, mountain road that ascends through river-carved alpine valley, with some vertigo-inducing drop offs and only passable by barely more than 1 car in spots. This drive, up 6,400' of elevation gain, takes 1.5 - 2 hours... so as you can imagine, that's almost 4 hours of your time spent in the car driving to and from your destination.

In other words, even leaving at 6:30 in the morning didn't provide us with enough time to explore more than a few miles of hiking trails, of which there are a plethora. But even an initial visit with an hour or so on the trails, the views of the Sierra are majestic, pristine, breath taking and certainly calling for a future trip devoted to at least 2 days of exploration.

Our short 2+ mile hike was along the Eagle Lake trail - we didn't get too far, but far enough, at least for now.

Yeah, I will (and must) do it again.

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