It’s been a long while since we found a new trail, but I was over the moon for the two hikes we took today. Just past Oakhurst on Highway 41 is the Sequoia National Forest, where we headed down Lewis Creek Trail and then on to the Shadow of the Giants. Unlike state and national parks that require dogs stay off unpaved trails (the majority of trails), national forests have no such regulation. Not to mention, these trails aren’t nearly as well known and have minimum signage to attract visitors. On this gorgeous autumn day, we met only a handful of fellow hikers.
Click below for directions…
The fall colors were out in full force and it was a fresh seventy degrees in the mountains. There are many aspects of the midwest that I can’t help but miss (vibrant fall colors!), but the weather and frequent grey skies are not one of them. My favorite hiking season in the Central Valley is November to February, so gear up for some more posts soon!
Corlieu Falls is the lower falls on Lewis Creek and is accessible within the first 10-15 minutes of the hike. I couldn’t stop snapping pictures of this earthy sanctuary, but since we were hoping to check out another location we didn’t move on to Red Rock Falls – which is a 3 mile RT from the trailhead. Next time!
We find ourselves off trail all the time – intentionally and unintentionally. This time it was a quick fix… but there have been a handful of 2 hour detours in our trekking history. Worth it? Totally. The best sites are often just beyond the neatly smoothed path.
That being said, always hike with a buddy – or, at a minimum, let someone know where you’re hiking and when you expect to be back. Cell services is not nearly as reliable as identical looking trees when you’re lost in the wilderness.
Sugar Pine Cones are massive. Ironically, the giants on this trail – Sequoias – have pretty tiny cones that are closed up tight until the heat from a fire opens them. There are a million magical discoveries to be made on this 2 mile circle trail, which just surpassed Angel Falls as my favorite hike within 90 minutes of my back door.
In Chicago, you can tell the tourists from the natives by the direction of their gaze. Inevitably, visitors are always gazing up at the skyscrapers (and standing shoulder to shoulder across the entire sidewalk?!@#*$&*) while real Chicagoans are scanning the river of people around them for an opening. (Here we will take a brief pause while I compose myself.)
But in Cali, natives and non-natives alike will find themselves craning their necks over these jurassic monstrosities. As I mentioned before, when it comes to Redwoods vs. Sequoias, I know what side I’m on.
This trail was full of fairy tale views and had virtually no elevation. We’ll be bringing visitors on this hike for sure, so let us know when you’re coming to visit!
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
― W.B. Yeats