We set up our base camp at Dorst Creek and then hiked out all over the park. As a group, we got in over 30 miles in the four days we were in Sequoia National Park.
One of our most favorite trails was our backpacking trip to Emerald Lake on the Lakes Trail.
Step one, we went to Lodgepole Visitor Center and put in for a Wilderness Permit. Step two, we packed our packs and headed out on the trail.
The Lakes Trail is about 15-17 miles depending how much wandering you do. We wandered all over and got in about 15 miles.
Elevation change for Emerald lake is about 5000 feet. You start at 6800 and go up to 9200 or so. It is a tough hike to the lakes. The trail gets very steep at times and it is quite challenging.
Our group consisted of one old man [our dad], our mom, and us – 13, 11, and 5 years of age.
Yes, a 5-year-old did backpack the entire trail with a pack.
Starting off was pretty easy. The Wilverine had to stop for gummy bears quite a few times.
We stopped for lunch on the way up at the watchtower. Take the watchtower trail; do not take the hump trail. The views on the watchtower trail were spectacular and the elevation was not nearly as extreme.
After the watchtower, the trail gets very rocky and narrow. If you look over the edge of the trail, the valley bottom is a long way down.
The first lake you encounter is Heather Lake. Next up is Aster Lake and then Emerald. The last lake is Pear Lake.
We camped at Emerald Lake and were the only people in the camp. We saw only a few people the entire time on the mountain and it was awesome.
If you are in the area and have a chance to hike or backpack the Lakes Trail, we encourage you to do it. It was a really cool trip.
This hike was a paved hike that was short, fast, and somewhat flat. We did it with our friends and had a lot of fun hiking along the coast and seeing the amazing views of Hawaii like this view of the koko head crater.
The trail has a low cement border to keep you from falling off.
It is well marked and very clean. Some folks were riding bikes on the trail when we were there.
From the first viewpoint, you get a nice view of the koko head crater.
We will put a whooping on koko head before we head out.
The trail goes on for about 2 miles.
From the last few viewpoints, you get great views of the pacific ocean.
The top lookout has a great view of a small island.
We didn’t get to go to the lighthouse because it was government property but we got a pretty good view of the lighthouse from the trail. There is a trail that leads to the lighthouse, but that trail is private property.
The hike is very easy and only takes about 1 and 1/2 hours if you move briskly and do not stop a ton. If you have little kids and stop quite a bit, the hike will take more around 2 hours. It is well worth the time.
We hiked the Diamond Head Crater trail a couple days ago. It was a really fun hike. It only takes about 2 hours total and the hike is barely 2 miles. The total elevation change going up and back down is 1520 feet. 760 feet up and 760 down. Lots of people were on the trail of all ages so make sure you do not miss out if you’re in Oahu.
We posed for a group pic before filling up water bottles and heading to the trail.
The trail starts off paved and then turns to rocks and some boulders. It is a clear trail that is well marked with rails. It is very safe even for little people.
There is one section where you go through a cave, up a couple hundred stairs, and around a spiral staircase. We liked this so much we did it twice and ran up the stairs. Macho!
The views from the top were spectacular. You get a stamp if you make it to the top. You must bring a receipt or a map along with you. You can also buy a certificate at the top for five dollars.
What an awesome hike. We ran down to get in an extra workout.
Off to the Makapu’u Lighthouse Trail for more hiking.
We got up and my parents went for a run and brought us back some Portugese style donuts called malasadas from a bakery called Leonard’s
Then, to work off all those donuts’ we went on one of the scariest hikes we have ever done, just to get to a waterfall.
We hiked down to Waimano Falls which is a spur trail off of the Manana Trail.
You get to the Manana Trail from Pearl City by taking Kaahele Street from H1.
From Kaahele street, you take Komo Mai Drive straight to the trail head.
There is little parking so be aware of that. You will have to park on the street.
Map of the Manana trail in Pearl City – link
Many websites list the hike as super easy, but that is not the case.
It is well worth the time and effort, but it is a tough hike for sure.
But it was worth it and we went rope swinging and cliff-jumping into a deep pool.
The hike out was very tough and steep but was not quite as scary as the hike in.
once we finished the hike’ we needed to wash off the mud so we went to the beach to relax and build a pyramid
After the beach, everyone was hungry so we stopped at a place called the rainbow drive-in
#1 food stop so far on our trip – Rainbow Drive-In!
You must go here if you are in Oahu!
Then after we went to the rainbow drive-in we stopped at a souvenir shop to get Hawaiian shirts and a hat for me.
We will post a group pic of us with our shirts and Wilverine in his matching shorty shorts that he loves.
We are out the door for more fun in the sun.
Peace out yo.
We ate at Krispy Kreme,(again),then headed out to Joshua Tree NP to look for Junior ranger programs and Joshua Trees. Wile and I almost finished the program but the Ranger Station closed before we got there. While driving through the park wile and i worked on our junior ranger booklets and went rock climbing to test out our new GoPro and to let off some energy before the long drive to los angeles.
After we left the park everyone was starving so we stopped at a northern chain restaurant called the in-and-out burger for a delicious burger and shake dinner.
Then we went to LA and set up at our hotel realizing that I had left my Moms $150 sleeping bag and my $200 camera at our last hotel, luckily the hotel shipped them back to our house instead of keeping them. So we thanked them and packed for our trip toHawaii.
We left for Krispy Kreme at 8:45 am. We ordered 12 donuts and got five free. It was a good breakfast. Afterward, we got lost for an hour trying to avoid a major accident and the traffic that it caused on I-10, then we drove to El Paso. Do you know how boring I-10 is through this part of Texas?!? On the way there, we spent our time programming in Scratch and I created a game. Then we took a tour through the Franklin Mountains SP. We hiked up a cool trail to an even cooler cave, then drove back to El Paso. After that, we ate more Mexican food at the L&J cafe. I highly recommend the tacos picadillos or tacos deshabradas. This place has been around since 1927 for a reason, folks! My little brother loved the sopapillas, too.
My whole family wears Salomons for trail running and hiking (except for my youngest brother because we can’t find them in his size). I have bought the same model of Salomon trail shoes, Speedcross 3, four times, but in different colors and sizes, as I’ve outgrown each pair. I also recently purchased a pair of Salomon hiking boots. Every time I buy a pair of these I find that it is well worth the investment. For example, the last time I was out chasing Bigfoot, my Salomon trail-running shoes helped me run through the snow to catch it. It turned out to be my dad after he hadn’t shaved for a month. Anyone could make that mistake. But I go out training for my Philmont trek with my troop and both my running shoes and my boots make training on mount Hockley that much more fun.
This is a picture of my brother and me in action sporting our Salomons and another shot of my family showing off their kicks on the Appalachian Trail.
This is all the pairs of Salomons we currently have in the house. (Two other pairs had to be thrown out due to the swamp smell emanating from them.)
Guess who didn’t wear his Salomons.
If you need a pair of boots or trail running shoes, I recommend Salomons as they have served me well and they will probably do the same for you. In the Houston area, we recommend a visit to Ground Up Athletics. They were the first to introduce us to this great line of trail shoes.
Disclaimer: We don’t yet receive any kickbacks or discounts from the companies that we brag about, but we are certainly willing to change that…
We finally made it to Acadia National Park and our parents have not mailed any of us back yet. At this point, we have been roadtripping for almost 30 straight days and have seen some of the most beautiful spots in this great country!
We camped at the Seawall Campground in section D in site 13. Our mom chose the Seawall Campground as it is more remote and filled with fewer tourists. Our campsite was amazing and we had tons of room to run around and attempt to injure ourselves.
We were right by a nice trail and we had a great place to make smores and campfires.
This was one of our all-time favorite spots to camp.
We wish we could have done more wilderness survival practice, but this campground did not allow that in the area where we were camping. We are going to Baxter State Park next and wilderness survival will be on like Donkey Kong.
The Seawall Campground has no showers so you need to find a swimming hole to was off the dust. We went to Echo Lake and took a dip in the nice cool water with all of the other stinky people. It is ok to be stinky as long as the other people around stink just as bad.
Wile was determined to dig down far enough to find some cool creatures. He never found anything, but he did almost get stuck. The beach was really nice and the water felt great. What a pretty lake.
This lake is close to the campground and has several hiking trails that lead out from the parking area by the lake.
After a trip to the lake, we drove over to the Visitor Center to get more information and to drive up and see up the view from Cadillac Mountain. The view was spectacular. Many people hike up to the peak to see the view and we plan to do the same.
Looking for creatures in the Tide Pools was fun. As the tide went out, we could go out and look around for cool sea life. We always left no trace and after looking at creatures, we gently put them back in their homes. We never took any creatures nor should anyone else.
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On our way to New Hampshire, we stopped off in Vermont for a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream factory. We watched a short video and learned all about the history of the company. We love running our own shaved ice stand in the summer so learning more about a company that makes awesome ice cream was really cool. The ice cream was the best and the WilE loved the bathroom. Free samples rock and roll. We had milk and cookies for FREE! What can you say – Ice Cream is really good and Ben and Jerry’s makes some cool flavors of ice cream.
The Flume Gorge Hike was really cool as we were able to walk down into a live water fall. It was cold and the water was blowing everywhere. Wile loved the cave, but it was wet and creepy.
We camped at the Lafayette Place Campground in site 19. The site was great as it was a large camp site that backed up to the mountains. We had awesome neighbors minus the crazy lady with the dog and beer breath. She scared Ben so bad he almost wanted to go home. We loved the open field and all of the soccer games with Ellis and his big brother from Massachusetts. Our hot dogs were really good as well as we got to cook them on the fire once our dog got out of the way. He almost ate all of the dogs.
The state park rents bikes all over and you can bike from spot to spot throughout the park. We really wish we had done this, but our little brother is too small. Maybe next time.
We saw the illusive pigmy bear that only exists in Franconia Notch. It kept trying to steal our oreos.
It did rain on us a bit, but it was not a big deal. It actually rained on us on all of our camping spots but 1 this summer so we were used to it. Our Marmot tents have held up really well and have kept us dry the whole way no matter how much it has rained.
We rode the Mt. Washington Cog Railway to the top of Mount Washington. Wile is in love in trains and he loved this ride more than anything else on the whole trip. It was really cool and we all loved it. This railway is self-maintained and does not get any funding from any state or national level. Great job guys taking care of your business!
Acadia is up next and we will stay in Maine for 8 days!
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On the road again and telling about it as we go . . .