Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day Trip From Fresno CA To The McKinley Grove Of Giant Sequoias And Wishon Reservoir

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

The Drive From Fresno to Wishon Reservoir takes about 2 hours. You take Highway 168 to Shaver Lake, Then Dinkey Creek Road to McKinley Grove Road. After a considerable drive you pass the road to Courtright Reservoir with the main road ending at Wishon Reservoir. The McKinley Grove is about midway between Dinkey Creek and the Wishon Reservoir.
The McKinley Grove was the turnaround point the only time the “Dinkey Double Century” bicycle ride was held. I suffered enough doing the 155-mile Climb To Kaiser ride with most of the other cyclists that year. Only seven riders finished the Dinkey Double. My friend Dave Youngs was one of the seven select finishers (survivors). Dave and I arrived at Shaver Lake about the same time with him having already done the additional 45 mile round trip leg to the McKinley Grove and back.
The McKinley Grove is lesser known than other Sequoia Groves and the 2nd of the Fresno County Sequoia Groves with the Grant Grove being the other one. I like it because it is less fenced in and you feel much more a part of the primitive primeval experience. McKinley Grove is about 6,500’ in elevation, which is about the elevation of the Giant Sequoia Grove because the necessary rainfall/snowfall is abundant at that elevation.
Not long after leaving the Dinkey Creek area, headed toward the grove, Ben and I encountered a swollen and unsigned raging creek that crossed under the road. We had to stop and take photos of this impressive and noisy stream cascading toward the road. There was another spot about 7 miles past Dinkey Creek that had been repaired where a section of the road had entirely washed away during a winter storm on January 17.  This year has finally seen an abundance of rain and snow.

The Dogwoods are currently in full bloom and their white blossoms stand out along the road. When you finally arrive at the Wishon Reservoir, a good location to head is not the boat ramp but the dam where you can get a fine view and park near the reservoir. We went down by the water to get out of the wind and enjoyed lunch there. The north fork of the Kings River primarily feeds the Wishon Reservoir. After leaving the reservoir the Kings River flows into Black Rock Reservoir and then joins the south fork (flowing out of Kings Canyon Park) before flowing into Pine Flat Lake.


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