Both Redwoods! July 2020

Last summer we traveled to the Rockies and this year we decided to stay in California and visit the eastern side of the Sierras and Sequoia/Kings Canyon NP. I made reservations as soon as the window opened, and also made reservations for Humboldt Redwoods SP to start off the trip with family. Well we all know how that went- as everything due to COVID 19 was cancelled and closed, and refunds were made. Then it all opened up again with limitations, stress and challenges. Moving forward, plans were shifted but there was a plan and reservations were again secured with compromises.  We had sheltered in place since March 17 and after venturing out June 16 we were ready to camp again, this time with family and friends. Leaving on July 6th after a family 4th of July at home, we headed to Humboldt Redwoods SP. We arrived around 5 pm on Monday, set up camp, hugged the family and relaxed for the next 4 nights in one site and two nights campsite hopping. We felt so nicely isolated here, but knew after the 4th of July, and with places opening up on a limited basis, everyone would want to be outside and recreating.

This at one time was the campground nobody would go to and now its super popular. The road getting in is narrow with those massive redwoods ever growing and the road is tight.

We had a good view of the meadow and the kids riding the loop. It was fabulous having the Airstream while they tent camped in two other sites.

Having everyone eat at our site was perfect, and the meals were so fun to create and have together.

Hiking from Albee Creek to the Giant Tree.

Tallest around and my favorite forest on the planet.

363 Tall!

We learned this was the best cell place in the campground and also the best place to see the deer, and find bear poop.

While the guys rode bikes we went for a hike to explore.

Nothing better than the Eel River, family, lunch, and riding our bikes here.

This dragonfly needed to eat that wasp and didn’t care where.

Fabulous 4 days with this group!

After the family left we decided to stay two more nights and were able to do that by leaving the campground and dropping our Airstream in the day use area. After 5 we could come back in and take an overflow site if they were empty.  Had to play the game to stay.  One day we drove the Lost Coast Road, and the second day we hiked.

Honeydew Market – had a great lunch outside on the picnic tables.

Wouldn’t mind sitting on the Mattole River right there!

Lost Coast – hiked it back in the day – 26 miles!

Nobody within miles!

We hiked the Addie Johnson trail and had lunch on the prairie.

Breathtaking view looking west from the prairie.

Our little spot for two nights at Albee Creek.

Next up was out journey towards the east side of the Sierras. No reservations so mostly one night only places. Hookups were a must as it was in the 100’s during our journey through the valley.

The city of Colusa operates Colusa-Sacramento River SRA. There are about 14 sites. It was blazing hot -109.

The sunset and river were beautiful- we thought about kayaking but need to research the current here more.

Jackson Rancheria is well laid out and we were able to have a night with this view. The next day they were having to close their pool due to increased COVID numbers in the county. Hot here – in the upper 90’s

The drive to north Lake Tahoe is gorgeous. We moochdocked at old friends, had a BBQ, good times and even a campfire. Luckily cooler in Tahoe.

When we crossed over the Sierra’s, we were both taken with it’s beauty. We tried numerous places to camp but they were all full with reservations. Finally we found Upper Honeymoon Flat Campground -first come first serve. We decided to stay two nights and explore the area. This area is just outside of Bridgeport.

The weather was perfect, so even out in the open we stayed comfortable.

Kitchen view looking towards the Twin Lakes area.

One night we had a smallish bit of rain and then this sunset.

Lower Twin Lakes and just about the best spot! We had a blast kayaking here. Then we went into Bridgeport and explored, and I had a Jolly Cone! The market was out of ice, not that we needed any but it was so busy! It was evident that people needed to be outside and get away.

Kayaks have the best views.

Bridgeport Reservoir and so many different birds.

On our way down 395 looking at Mono Lake.

We should have stayed another night in Honeymoon. As we traveled south it got busier and busier. Going into Mammoth was a huge mistake looking for a campsite. We drove up to the Lake Mary area and it was packed with wall to wall cars and campers. I even had to stop traffic so we could cross over the bridge to get back.

Ended up at Brown’s Millpond Campground where I did one load of laundry and we were happy to be done driving.

Early morning get away and we stopped in Bishop for breakfast and to visit his place! Incredible pastries!

Another long day and staying in Porterville where again its over 100 at Deer Creek RV Park!

Dinner in Porterville was great – best takeout Mexican food up the road! Lots of leftovers.

One more day before Sequoia/Kings Canyon Reservations start. I called to see if we can get a reservation at the Sequoia RV Park and they have a night available. Originally our plans were to go to the national park in the beginning of our trip, but they didn’t open until after we had started, so we had to reverse our direction.  Consequently, as everything was opening up and camping was limited, it was busy especially in the southern part of the state.

Sequoia RV Park had a few openings and I did two loads of laundry here – to pass the time. It was over a 100 here.

So lucky we got in line early in the morning. Then we had traffic control in three spots – it took forever! We never did come back up to the Kings Canyon part of the park because of road construction.

It’s a small world, as our campsite # 56 in Lodgepole Campground was right across from a family from my hometown. Lucky, because we had to ask them to move their car so we could get into the site.

Middle Fork of the Kaweah River that runs through the campsites. There are about 6 different loops in Lodgepole.

We drove to the Giant Forest Museum and parked, Taking the Moro Rock Trail we saw birds, flowers.

We took a detour off the Moro Rock trail to Hanging Rock.

In the distance form Hanging Rock is Moro Rock. There are people on top of it. I couldn’t do the hike up to the top – too many people for me, but John did it.

We continued the trail past Moro Rock along the Congress trail.

The Congress trail had the best groves of Giant Sequoia’s I thought.

Wuksachi Lodge was open serving quick take out meals. We went here everyday for the WIFI.

After the 4th of July, everyone was ready to get out and explore. By my observance of licence plate holders a majority of campers were from areas south. It was rare to see an out of state camper.

Still some wildflowers to be seen in the middle of July.

Day two and we hiked the Crescent Meadow area. We hiked along side the Log Meadow to see it and Tharps Log house. We also hiked along the Crescent Meadow.

Day Three we hiked the Big Trees trail and Round Meadow.

Captivating sight in Round Meadow.

We moved from site 59 to 56 for a night.

Last day in the park we hiked the Tokopah Falls trail. It was packed with people. It takes off from one of the loops and has great pools along the trail. The falls were unimpressive though.

We were suppose to move to a site for our last night but were unable to fit. The ranger allowed us to move into another area to the uninhabited camp host site #18. It was our favorite site.

As we headed west and then north along highway 41 we stumbled upon the Axis Coffee Bar for lunch outside in the heat. Our lunch was fabulous though.

Who else can say they literally camped for the night in front of the CA State Mining and Mineral Museum.

Even though one had to have a reservation to even drive though Yosemite we were able to go though to get to the other side towards Lee Vining. It was a spectacular drive! They gave us two hours 🙂

Just off of 395 we found this day use area that allows overnights. There isn’t any water so we had to pack the Rhino a couple of times to another campground up the road at Silver Lake. This is Aerie Crag. And we enjoyed three nights here.

Only about 11 sites here and most were full with more than one nighters. The sun didn’t hit our site until 8:45 am but at least it was predictable.

Rush Creek is within the campground and such a sweet little creek.

Close by is Mono Lake and we took the trail down to the water at Mono Lake South Tufa.

Warm water and all that black are flies. Lots of birds to be seen.

We also drove to the north side of Mono Lake and took the Boardwalk Trail at Moro Lake Park.

Camping along the June Loop we were close to this gem of a place – Silver Lake. We took the kayak out and explored both the lake and the inlet.

Silver Lake

Silver Lake inlet.

Leaving the June Loop area we headed north towards Susanville with the thought of going to Eagle Lake for two nights. However when we got to the road to turn it was a hard closure due to a fire. Plan B was to continue to Lassen. We stayed at this little campground our last night – 10 sites and there were three of us. Bogard Campground.

Leaving Bogard with 25 days of camping! Such a great trip!  Can’t even imagine what is ahead with COVID 19 still in all of our lives. However I am hopeful, and will start thinking about our next adventure.