After camping overnight in the park, I went on an ambitious hike from the end of the road up the main canyon. There was a ranger-led walk up to a waterfall on the way to where I was headed, so two european ladies and myself got to have a very personal guided hike in the park.
This was the bridge to the lodge, but indicative of the construction in the area.
It was a sunny September day, this part of the valley was very arid
But the canyon walls were so magnificent it was hard to keep moving
That is easily 2,500 feet up
Can you see the sphinx rock formation?
How about now?
Close-up, I want the orientation to switch, but the trees show which way it should go
Further up the valley it was greener
This one was really tall
A bridge over the river (kings river)
This was during the drought, otherwise it is more of a torrent all year long
Can you spot the snake in the center?
Native raspberry bushes were done fruiting, but what a treat that would have been
It looked like they need to do some thinning of the forest here
Very weird trees
With funny growths
Giant incense cedar
An old snag, or standing dead tree
Near the river these horsetail plants thrive, a very, very ancient order of plants
The trail got nice and shaded
The underside of the sphinx
And after some hiking, a much higher view of the edifice from head-on
More form the ascent of my hike, as well as those falls, next time.