Sequoia and Kings Canyon Newsletter
2013 Fall Newsletter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park skyline.
Outdoor adventure, some fresh mountain air and a cozy lodge nestled among fallng leaves. That means it's fall in Sequoia National Park and the perfect time to visit Wuksachi Lodge. Warm days and crisp nights blend with wilderness adventures to create vivid memories in the Sierra.
Enjoy this edition of Sequoia and Kings Canyon fall newsletter packed with stories and offers to get you going. To help guests savor the sunny seasons, Wuksachi Lodge, nestled in the heart of the park, is offering fall getaways starting as low as $155 in October and $115 in November and value-added packages that highlight all the area has to offer.
Introducing Kings Canyon National Park
It’s official. As of November 1, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts now manages concessions in Kings Canyon National Park along with concessions in Sequoia National Park. We’ve managed the concessions in Sequoia since 1998, and we’re excited to bring the same elevated experience you’ve enjoyed at Sequoia to Kings Canyon. We invite you to be one of the first to stay with us at John Muir Lodge, Grant Grove Village or Cedar Grove.
As an introductory offer to past Wuksachi Lodge guests, book a stay at John Muir Lodge any time November 2013 through March 2014 and receive complimentary breakfast for two. Starting from just $99* per night midweek and $119* on weekends.
The handsome John Muir Lodge sits nestled among epic Sierra vistas in Kings Canyon National Park. Along with the Grant Grove Cabins and The Cedar Grove Lodge, these mountain retreats are conveniently located within the national park. Now when you book your stay at Sequoia, add on a night or two in Kings Canyon for the expanded park experience in this glaciated, mile-deep canyon.
Did you know Kings Canyon and Sequoia are parts of the same park? Pay just one entrance fee and get access to all areas. On the western side of the park, Grant Grove boasts the Kings Canyon Park Visitor Center, featuring a gift shop, exhibits and an espresso bar to help warm you against the cool mountain air. Plus, you can’t miss the legendary General Grant Tree. Measuring 270 feet tall and 107 feet around its base, this magnificent 3,000-year-old sequoia is the second-largest tree in the world.
Just 35 miles east of Grant Grove, Cedar Grove holds towering cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and the white-capped Kings River. This cavernous river gorge, which is deeper than Arizona’s Grand Canyon, inspired the park’s name. Two prominent rock formations, North Dome at 8,717 feet and Grand Sentinel at 8,518 feet, rise stoically above the canyon floor and offer towering sights to
the many backcountry trails originating in the area.
Finding Your Sequoia Special Place
There comes a time in everyone’s life when simply finding some peace and quiet is at the top of the bucket list. It’s a time when getting away from the daily grind to explore a place of serenity is what you dream about almost every night. Luckily, the season of fall in Sequoia National Park creates that sense of solitude every year – but only for a few months.
From mid-September to November, a rare and calm atmosphere tinted with natural auburn colors unfurls. The temperatures sink to near perfection and nearly 800 miles of beautiful hiking paths wind and stretch before you. As the summer crowds disperse, the birds sing and wildlife busily prepares for winter – leaving you with perfect photo-ops. So don’t forget to bring your camera to capture a memory or two. And if you decide to immerse yourself in fall, top it off with the best tastes of the harvest season. The Peaks Restaurant can tame any appetite – whether it’s a picnic lunch for your pack or a signature Sierra dinner of pan-seared ruby-red trout in sage brown butter. With fresh, local and sustainable cuisine, you’ll find something to suit your every taste.
There are two ways to get the best of fall. The FALL FOLIAGE PACKAGE lets you easily enjoy a wild day out on uniquely wooded trails. STARTING AT JUST $189*, you’ll receive one nights’ accommodation at Wuksachi Lodge, box lunches for two, a field guide card, and a keepsake copper-dipped sequoia pine cone. You can also enjoy nature on foot with The AUTUMN GETAWAY PACKAGE. Enjoy a two-night stay in a superior room including dinner for two, and breakfast for two each morning. Plus, receive everything you’ll need on the trail: a Sequoia backpack, two water canteens, two box lunches, some trail mix and a local trail map. It’s the perfect journey wrapped into one low price – two nights STARTING AT $219 per night.*
View From The Top
If you’ve always wanted to walk on the moon, here’s your chance. Enjoy the view every step of the way on this 1/3-mile ascending hike to Moro Rock’s 6,725-foot granite summit, and come face-to-face with the man on the moon himself.
Stand in awe of its enchanting features, including craters and lunar seas. On September 19 and October 19, meet at the top to enjoy an astronomy program that highlights the sheer brightness of stars, planets and constellations. You’ll discover the best views of the western half of Sequoia National Park while you watch the harvest moon rise over the Great Western Divide. This is an experience you’ll love to the moon and back.
The only thing you need to light up your visit is the night sky. Just flip the switch on the NIGHT SKY PACKAGE and make your way to Wuksachi Lodge. STARTING FROM $165*, this package includes a one-night stay, an astronomy wheel, and a complimentary flashlight, throw and tote.
Say Hello To "Yogi" Bair
It was love at first sight for “Yogi” Bair when he visited Sequoia National Park in 1981. “I immediately asked employees how to get a job here,” he says. “But it was five years and many visits later that I finally came to work.” Since April of 1987, some would say that Yogi has worked almost every job in the park, but he never fails to make time for backpacking, peak-climbing and helping Sequoia guests.
Every year, Yogi takes a three-month break from his duties to tramp the high country of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. After climbing 60 peaks and walking countless miles, Yogi still finds something new and exciting to explore: “I’ve realized that one lifetime isn’t enough to see everything there is, plus I’m a lazy man,” he jokes.
Yogi might say he’s lazy, but he’s been busy putting together his top five favorite sites and walks for fall. He says the most beautiful sunsets are seen from Moro, Beetle or Sunset Rocks. The best trails include The Big Trees Trail, where hikers circle Round Meadow on the most accessible trail in the park. On The Trail of Sequoias, hikers wander through The Giant Forest and Log Meadow, past the hollowed Chimney Tree, along a more scenic and secluded path. These hikes are relatively flat and easy, perfect for the novice adventurer but with enough entertaining scenery for seasoned pros. Last but not least, fall is perfect for hooking a German Brown or Rainbow Trout at Kaweah River. “As the seasons change, so do my favorite sites and walks,” says Yogi. Truly, his favorites list and growing love for the park are never ending. Explore other hiking trails in the area.
Fall in love with the park, just like Yogi did, with the TRAIL BLAZER PACKAGE. STARTING FROM $189* this package includes a one-night stay and everything that goes with a fun-filled Sequoia hiking experience: a Sequoia logo backpack, two water “canteens,” box lunches for two, some trail mix and a local trail map.
Relive the Legends of Sequoia
During the crisp fall season, retrace the footsteps of Sequoia's storied past. On September 14 and 28, see the park in a different light on the Giant Forest Lantern Tour. Enjoy the famous Pumpkin Carving at Wuksachi Lodge on October 25, or visit the depths of Crystal Cave on October 26 and 27 for a spooky Halloween Tour.
On September 14 and 28, see the park in a different light with the Giant Forest Lantern Tour. First, gather at the Giant Forest Museum and then roam through the darkness with a lantern in hand. As the guide leads you to the most historic and memorable trees, you’ll also hear exciting stories of pioneers past.
After the famous Pumpkin Carving at Wuksachi Lodge on October 25, visit the depths of Crystal Cave. Discovered by park employees in 1918, this historic wonder has been open to the public for over 70 years. On October 26 and 27, walk the paths of those who called this cave home. After passing through the spider web gate, your guide gives a brief history of the cave and points out unique features and glittering formations. So skip the tricks this fall and treat yourself to a real adventure.
Getting Here is Half the Fun
As you hop in your car and cruise to Sequoia, be on the lookout for things to do along the way. Check out the must-see roadside markets, museums and rivers. And make sure to pull over for Bravo Farms cheese, Reimer’s ice cream and the Castle Air Museum.
Once you arrive, get settled with the BED & BREAKFAST PACKAGE. STARTING FROM $139*, rest comfortably with nightly accommodations. Then, start each day with your breakfast favorites. After all, you’ll need to keep your energy up for every adventure while you’re here.
Fall is in the Air
Everywhere you look, love is in the air during the fall season. Take the hand of your special someone and stroll down the park’s quiet trails. The birds will sing their romantic songs, and the trees will guard you from the daily grind.
When you’ve reached the peak of romance, you can cozy up and reconnect at Wuksachi Lodge with the Wuksachi ROMANCE PACKAGE. STARTING FROM $225*, fall in love all over again with a one-night stay, a bottle of crisp Sequoia wine and two keepsake wine glasses. Then, savor the moment with sweet local truffles from Reimer’s Candies and a $60 credit toward a candlelit dinner for two at the charming Peaks Restaurant. And if your romance is ready for the next level, consider Sequoia for your wedding, and find your fairytale beginning worlds away from the ordinary.
*All packages and rates subject to availability. Restrictions may apply. Outdoor activities are subject to weather conditions.