June 24 to June 26, 2015
Seville Lake Backpacking Trip
Total trail distance: 13.2 miles
Our family visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park (SEKI) for the first time. The occasion was our annual backpacking trip. Mason, our future son-in-law, joined us. Like Yosemite, SEKI is not far from home and offers a myriad of trails to hike. John Muir once called it “a rival to Yosemite.” We chose Seville Lake as our destination.
We entered the park at the Big Stump entrance then headed to the Grant Grove Visitor Center to get our permit. The process at SEKI was similar to Yosemite’s. However, where Yosemite was more concerned with what type of bear canister we brought, SEKI was more meticulous in trying to locate us in the event of an emergency. They wanted an emergency contact, wanted to know our tent color and what type of car we drove. Another difference was a register located at the trailhead.
The trailhead was off the beaten path which worked to our advantage as we had the whole area to ourselves.
The first two miles we hiked in the heat of the afternoon climbing 1,000 feet up the sunny slope.
The ranger at the visitors center warned us of blow-down on the trail. She was right, there were several large trees that blocked the way.
Somewhere within the Jennie Lakes Wilderness the trail leveled and we walked mostly in the shade of red firs.
Though we carried a couple of maps, we used the trail signs to point us in the right direction. At the first junction, Andrew wrote his name in sticks to let us know he would meet us at the next stop.
The ranger mentioned that the creeks could be dry due to the drought, but we found most of them trickling with water and buzzing with mosquitoes.
Wildlife seemed scarce. We saw only two marmots stretched out on boulders near Rowell Meadow.
After some time we left the Jennie Lakes Wilderness within Sequoia National Park and walked into Kings Canyon National Park.
I find that sometimes when I don’t know exactly where I’m going, it seems to take forever to get there. That was the case in walking to Seville Lake, elevation 8,400 feet. The trail seemed to continue forever.
Fire is always a big deal when we are in the wilderness. Besides providing warmth, if needed it can heat water and cook food. This time it created much needed smoke to help keep the mosquitoes away; and at night, it was a deterrent for animals which Andrew appreciated since he cowboy camped. Finally, wherever we are, the campfire provides an entertaining activity.
From the moment we arrived at the lake to the time we packed our bags to leave, Andrew could be found perched on a floating log with his line in the water.
In the afternoon I attempted to walk around the lake but was deterred by Sugarloaf Creek, our water source. Instead I searched for wildflowers. These are just a few that I found:
ROSES, BUDS AND THORNS
While sitting around the campfire on the last day, we talked about some of the things we liked best (roses) about this trip: the exercise we received from the hike; having the lake exclusively to ourselves; being together; and swimming.
Something we would have changed (buds) would have been to have less bothersome mosquitoes biting us and humming in our ears, or none at all.
Some of the things we didn’t like during this trip (thorns) were: the mosquitoes, thinking we were at the lake but still had another mile to walk, and the inability to sleep the first night.
On the third day we left Seville Lake and the beautiful surrounding granite cliffs. Our packs were lighter than when we arrived, but we left with stories, photos, and memories that we will keep in our hearts forever.