This year marks the 100th year of the National Park Service, which makes it a great time to visit, but it also means that the number of folks visiting our National Parks is larger than ever. Over a million people visit Sequoia annually, most of whom are coming in the summer months. I have some pointers on how to enjoy the giant sequoia trees without sacrificing solace.
Why you should go
I love camping and visiting National Parks because it’s an opportunity to escape the city, commune with nature, and reconnect with friends and family. I am so grateful for the abundance of parks and wilderness here in my own state of California. Especially these days, it’s great to disconnect from our digital lives and fill the days with picturesque hikes, chilly dips in streams, wildlife sightings, hearty camp meals, and beers around the campfire. Sequoia, in particular is known as the land of giants for it’s giant sequoia trees. The park’s very own “General Sherman” is the largest tree on earth! The park offers beautiful wilderness from mountains to meadows and ample wildlife. Deer were commonplace in our campground. Marmots and bears can typically be spotted as well.
Stay at Dorst Creek Campground
Don’t get me wrong. I have really enjoyed staying at the most popular campsite – Lodgepole. It hosts great camp sites, has hot showers, a substantial food market with an exceptional beer selection, and even laundry services, but Lodgepole also hosts the largest crowds. We stayed at Dorst Creek for which there are no showers or market. But we were so glad that we did. Even though both Lodgepole and Dorst Creek Campgrounds were full, Dorst had very little traffic. Furthermore, we came across very few people on all the Dorst trails.
Scout out your Campsite in Advance
If you’ve camped before, you know that there are great sites – near bathrooms, but not too close. They are secluded, shaded, and maybe back up to wilderness. And a bad campsite might be on sloped terrain surrounded by other campsites with no privacy. At the Dorst Creek Campground, I can personally recommend our sites, number 165 & 167. They are located on a loop off the main road, minimizing car traffic.
Skip the big attractions
If you’ve never seen General Sherman or climbed Moro Rock, you probably should, but I just want you to know that you can enjoy any of the hikes within the park, and there are many, just as much as the big sites. For instance, trailheads that were located within Dorst Creek presented mountains, meadows, and canyon views just like the popular trails without the crowds. We even hiked down to Dorst Creek to swim in a waterhole and never saw a soul. It really comes down to searching out for your own magical spots.
Plan a hearty menu
There’s no cold cereal or instant meals for us. Meal preparation is shared with the group, so each couple is responsible for one dinner and one breakfast. Everyone is on their own for lunch and we typically bring ingredients for sandwiches. Here was our menu breakdown:
- Lasagna, par-baked and finished on the Weber
- garlic bread heated on the grill
- salad mix (Costco’s Sweet Kale Salad – crowd favorite)
- Bacon scrambled eggs
- Bagels toasted on the Weber with butter & cream cheese
- Carne Asada tacos with grilled tomatoes, as pictured
- Bacon scrambled eggs
- Sourdough toasted on Weber
- Fresh guacamole with tortilla chips
- Goulash (Recipe)
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Pork Sausages
- Scrambled Eggs
Camping definitely takes some planning and preparation, but you’ll be rejuvenated by the park’s beauty, the massive trees, and quality time with your loved one. So get out there and visit your parks.
Ready to go? Refer to my Camping Checklist for all your camping necessities.