Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Grant Grove Area: Kings Canyon National Park

Dale Matson

The Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park is a great day trip from Fresno CA and is in Fresno County. It is about a 60 mile 1.25 hour drive out Highway 180. Grant Grove Village has lodging, food and park information.

There are two sights I went up there for yesterday. There is a place called Panoramic Point where you can see a good section of the Sierra Nevada and all the way across Kings Canyon Park to Mt. Gould at Kearsarge Pass. If you pass through Grant Grove Village and make a right turn just before Muir Lodge, there is a winding asphalt road that will take you up to a parking area for Panoramic Point. My wife and I have parked in Grant Grove Village and skied up to Panoramic Point in the winter. It is marked as a ski trail. When it is icy, I would not recommend this ski since the descent is fairly fast under good ski conditions. There is an asphalt walk that takes you up to the view from there. There is a potty by the parking lot and I believe a motorized wheel chair could negotiate the fairly steep asphalt walk. I did the .75-mile loop counter clockwise.

The photos of the view were taken with my Sony A7R, the Sony Zeiss 55mm 1.8 and my Sony G 70-200mm lens. Two sign photographs were taken with my adapted Canon 17-40mm f4 USM lens. The autofocus works with this adapter. The most appropriate lens overall was the 70-200. This spot is a great place to view some of the iconic mountains in Kings Canyon including Mt. Goddard, Mt. Brewer and North Palisade. The metal signs offer excellent graphic information on the mountain locations and what can be seen from that location. It was a bit hazy yesterday but above average for the clarity of the air. There is a 2.5-mile trail along the ridge that leads to a lookout tower.
Click On Photographs To Enlarge

 Hume Lake

Canon 17-40 F4 USM Adapted To A7R Sony
I Needed The Wide End Of This Lens For A Full Photograph Of A Sequoia

The second sight was the Grant Grove of Giant Sequoias. General Grant is the second largest Sequoia in the world and considered “The nation’s Christmas Tree.” The “General Sherman Sequoia in the Giant Forest is the largest Sequoia in the world. There were plenty of parking spots and the loop hike through the grove was leisurely and not crowded.  When I compare this to the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite, just the logistics discourage me from going to Yosemite. On most days, you have to head the opposite direction of the Grove from the entry gate toward Wawona and take a shuttle bus back to the Mariposa Grove. The driving time from Fresno is about the same for both Park entrances.

A woman with a huge Canon Camera with a 24-70mm lens said she had brought the wrong lens for the Sequoias. She stated that she was a professional wedding photographer not a landscape photographer. 

 General Grant Giant Sequoia

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