Fred and I drove into Sequoia National park today (Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Giant Sequoia are all connected although the management changes). Based on the California Hiking book, Heather Lake via the Watchtower trail seemed to be calling our name. It is a 9 mile hike with about a 2,000 foot elevation change and, once again, stunning views.
The wildflowers during this time of year are abundant and gorgeous.
But the highlight for me was the bears. I kept telling Fred I wanted to see a black bear but not be attacked by one, and my wish came true. Our first bear sighting was a mom and her two cubs.
I think this is a beaver.
This is The Watchtower, a 1,600 foot tall chunk of granite. Taking pictures here and looking down made me as woozy as taking pictures while flying over the Nazca Lines. Even looking at this picture now makes me a little sick to my stomach. From this point most of the trail was on the side of a cliff that hovers over Tokopah Valley.
We could not pass up a swim in Heather lake. It was refreshing and beautiful, and we had it to ourselves.
We came down the hill via Hump trail which is much steeper. Although it did not have 'the butterflies in your stomach' views there were butterflies, which I am perfectly happy with.
When we were almost back to our car we came across another black bear. (I know it is brown but black bears come in all colors.) This was one of my favorite hikes ever.