In 2019, I stayed in Sequoia High Sierra Camp for the first time. The only reservation we could get was for 2 nights. We had a wonderful time, but it felt too rushed and too short. So when we were looking for a place for a girls weekend this summer, it was the perfect opportunity for returning to Sequoia National Park.
Into the wilderness we go
We leave on a Thursday morning in July. There are four of us, as our friend Tammy decided to go a day early. After a nice lunch of shrimp tacos and rose sangria at the Lazy Dog in Fresno, we arrive at the gate of Sequoia National park. From there, we turn south onto the Generals HWY, before turning onto Big Meadows Horse Corral Road. When we take the Sequoia High Sierra Camp/Marvin Pass Turn off, we enter the wilderness. The last 2.5 miles are unpaved, but not as rough as I remember from last time. We arrive at the parking lot. Just as we are getting ready for our hike in, Tammy’s car pulls up besides us. She is just coming back from her day hike. Perfect timing!
The hike in is quick and we arrive at the camp just before 5. We check in and are shown to our tents. I am happy that our tent is close to the main area, unlike last time when we were way up on the hill. We had planned to have Tammy’s birthday dinner the next night, but our host asks us if we can move it to tonight. So we quickly change and come back to decorate the table. At 6pm, we are ready with a bottle of bubbly for a toast to the birthday girl.
The birthday dinner is sublime. Appetizers are served outside with our prosecco, followed by a delicious poblano soup (yes you read that correctly, I liked it and that for somebody who doesn’t normally eat peppers). A nice salad with pear and pickled onions is followed by a shrimp pasta. We wash it down with several bottles of Sauvignon Blanc. We switch to a red wine from Paso Robles for dessert, which is a muffin, with ice-cream on top, sitting in a pool of chocolate. Irresistible.
The most amazing sunsets
After dinner, we move back to the lawn for sunset. Our fellow guests join us. Abby and Maggie, a mother and daughter from the UK who just moved to California, and a family of four from Alaska. We share stories and experiences and discuss hikes for tomorrow. When the sun starts setting, our conversations fade as we watch the sunset over Kings Canyon. It is spectacular, the sky turning from yellow, to orange to deep pink. We take pictures, but sometimes the best pictures are the ones you store in your head and your heart. The other guests retire after the sunset, while we order more wine and have deep conversations about life experiences and lessons, the way only girlfriends do. It’s a good first night and I walk back to our tent in the dark with my headtorch, feeling very grateful.
Hiking Jennie Lakes Wilderness
On our first day, we take it easy as we are still adjusting to the altitude (and recovering from the wine the night before). The camp is at an altitude of just over 8,000 and the air is definitely thinner up here. We are out of breath just hiking up from our tent to go for breakfast. Over a wonderful breakfast of fresh fruits, fresh made blueberry muffins and eggs, we discuss our plans for the day. We decide to hike to the Lookout Point. It is about 6 miles out and back. While we are having breakfast, the camp staff has set out a buffet style lunch spread for us to make our sandwiches to take on our hike. The ciabatta bread is still warm from the oven and the banana bread with chocolate chips freshly baked. We are not going hungry this weekend!
All the people in the camp have decided to go to Lookout Point, so we leave camp together. We follow the road to the trailhead and follow the little signs hanging in the trees. It is an relatively easy hike, with nice views. We reach the Lookout Point from where the views over Kings Canyon are fantastic. We all take pictures and sit down to eat our lunch. it is amazing how a sandwich always taste so much better out in nature, with beautiful views. After lunch we continue a bit further on the trail, trying to find the trail to the next lookout, but no luck. So we turn around and head back to camp.
After nice warm showers, we play hearts until it is dinner time. Dinner is another fabulous 5 course meal. This time with a mushroom soup, another salad, chicken and a crumble for dessert. We go to bed early today, as we have planned a long hike for Saturday.
We get up early as we want to leave right after breakfast. The first part of the hike is switchbacks to the top of the Marvin pass. We take it slow as it is a 875 feet climb in less than a mile to an altitude of over 9,000 feet. We stop at every corner, but eventually we make it to the top. From there it is a pleasant hike through the woods and past several beautiful meadows. It’s dry this time, so not many mosquitos during the day, unlike last time.
We leave Jennie Lakes and enter Kings Canyon National Park. I think it is so cool that we hike from one National Park to the next. Eventually we arrive at our destination. We sit down at the lake and take in the beauty while enjoying our well deserved lunch. The way back is challenging at the beginning with a two mile hike up, but we make it and by the time we get back to camp, we have done 13 miles.
After showers and another great meal, we sit out and play more cards while watching the sunset. It has been a wonderful weekend, full of wonderful food, hikes and talks. We have agreed to make this a yearly trip.
Sequoia High Sierra Camp
The Sequoia High Sierra Camp, is a luxury camp with tented cabins. Each cabins has a king or 2 singles. The beds are comfortable with sheets and blankets. There are rugs on the floor, towels and a gas lamp. The tents do not have electricity. The bathrooms and showers have electricity and are well stocked with soap, shampoo, conditioner and even hair dryers. The camp has a chef and the meals are high end cuisine.