Picturesque forests, hiking adventures and packages celebrating preservation milestones offer cool ways to escape the heat and explore
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, July 7, 2014 (Newswire.com) - With summer beginning to swelter, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks offer a cool departure from the grind of the urban jungle. Whether enjoying the sun-soaked blue skies and vibrant wildlife during the day or counting stars under the cover of quiet nights, parks visitors will have plenty of ways to celebrate the season and shake up the typical “lazy summer.”
On August 23, guests can help ring in the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act at the Wonders of Wilderness event, which will feature guest speakers, book signings, ranger-led programs and more throughout both parks. The Wilderness Act has been instrumental in advancing the preservation of American land since 1964 by immediately safeguarding 9.1 million acres in 13 states and has since grown to protect close to 110 million acres across 44 states. The event is sponsored by the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA) and the National Park Service (NPS).
In addition to celebrating milestones, summer is also a fantastic time to explore uncharted territory in Kings Canyon. The less visited of the two neighboring parks, Kings Canyon has incredible views, unique destinations and its own fair share of famous “Big Trees.” Wonder at the vast landscape seen from atop Canyon View, which showcases Kings Canyon’s glacial history, or pay a visit to Knapp’s Cabin, a historic structure dating back to the 1920s. Hungry travelers can stock up on snacks and quick bites at the Cedar Grove Snack Bar before heading to Roads End for a picnic overlooking crystal streams from John Muir Rock or wildflowers and towering cliffs at Zumwalt Meadow, accessible via a quick 1.5-mile trail. For those seeking expert guidance along park trails and paths, the Kings Canyon Tour Package offers an overnight stay, boxed lunches for two and a full-day Kings Canyon National Park Tour. Available at Wuksachi Lodge and John Muir Lodge through October 30, the Kings Canyon Tour Package is available starting at $405.
Although they offer a number of opportunities year-round, the national parks have their finest hiking on display during the summer. Quick and simple treks include the Congress Trail in Sequoia National Park, which starts near the famed General Sherman Tree, or the Grant Grove Trail in Kings Canyon. If a longer expedition is in store, hikers are wise to make their way to Redwood Canyon, located off the Generals Highway between the two parks. Here, avid hikers can explore the Sugar Bowl Loop, which stretches for 6.5 miles round-trip; the Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Loop, which continues for 7.3 miles round-trip; the 10-mile round-trip Red Mountain Loop and Big Baldy, a 4.5-mile journey round-trip.
For education and entertainment, park visitors can turn to events with the SNHA naturalists and NPS rangers. Held on select Saturdays, SNHA’s free Family Birding Walk is a great way to get moving and view some of Sequoia’s feathered friends firsthand – binoculars included. NPS’ Ranger Programs are run throughout the season and include sessions like Critter Chat, Investigation Stations and Owl Prowls. Even when the sun goes down in Sequoia and Kings Canyon, the fun is just getting started. Guests can gather around a campfire on select Wednesdays at John Muir Lodge and select Saturdays at Wuksachi Lodge to enjoy story time, history and plenty of s’mores all summer long. Other campfire programs may be available on other days of the week. The SNHA is also hosting a traditional Big Trees Barn Dance on select Saturdays. Visitors of all ages are welcome to enjoy traditional 1940s music and dance instruction.
Nighttime in the parks also brings about opportunities for astronomy enthusiasts to catch some out-of-this-world stargazing. At Wuksachi Lodge, guests can meet with a guide for a Wonders of the Night Sky Astronomy or Beyond the Naked Eye Astronomy lesson, which feature everything from constellation education and storytelling to in-depth stargazing with binoculars and telescopes. On June 11, July 10, Aug. 8, Sept. 7 and Oct. 13, visitors also have the chance to learn about the moon from one of the best vantage points around – Moro Rock – during SNHA’s Full Moon on Moro Rock events. And, on July 25-27, the Dark Sky Festival weekend appeals to fans of all things celestial with constellation tours, telescope sessions, solar observations, speaking sessions with astronauts and more. For optimal enjoyment, the Night Sky Package provides overnight lodging, an astronomy wheel, flashlight and keepsake blanket and tote for cozy stargazing sessions. Available at Wuksachi Lodge and John Muir Lodge, package rates begin at $249.
To learn more about lodging, packages and special events in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, please visit VisitSequoiaKingsCanyon.com.
About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts serves as concessioner to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, operating overnight accommodations, food and beverage, retail and other services at destinations including Wuksachi Lodge, Lodgepole, Grant Grove Village, John Muir Lodge and Cedar Grove. To learn more about Delaware North Companies’ lodging and retail operations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, visit www.VisitSequoiaKingsCanyon.com.
About Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is an industry leader, providing Stewardship and Hospitality in Special Places SM with hotel, retail, food service, recreation and transportation operations at historic and scenic properties in North America and Australia. To learn more about Delaware North Companies’ hospitality management expertise, visit http://www.delawarenorth.com/parks-and-resorts-home.aspx.
About Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
This press release is issued by Delaware North Companies. For additional information on Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, please contact Dana Dierkes; Chief, Branch of Communications and Outreach; at email@example.com or 559-565-3131, or visit www.NPS.gov/SeKi.