We just left Kings Canyon National Park and I am as dirty as I have ever been, bruised, scraped, sun burned, sore, and totally content. But first, let me share some pictures of Sequoia National Park which was amazing! Staying at Lodgepole in Sequoia was super convenient. There is a shuttle stop at the campground to many of the major sites and trail heads to several beautiful trails. I headed out early one morning on the Tokopah Falls Trail and practically had the trail to myself. I loved our time at Sequoia but was also excited to head to Kings Canyon for a backpacking hike on the Rae Lakes Loop trail. Because you must pick up your wilderness permit at Roads End by 9am, we left Lodgepole before sunrise in order to get there on time. After checking in and renting bear canisters ($7 each for our planned 4 night trip), we were on our way. I will do a full write up of this trail later, but let me say that this was hands down the most gorgeous 40 miles I have ever walked. The trail meets up with both the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trails and travels through the unforgettable Sierra Nevada wilderness. The scenery is breath taking and the wildlife heart stopping. We saw mule deer, coyote, squirrels, chipmunks, marmots, pika, bear, rattle snakes and lizards. The terrain was amazingly diverse as well with crystal clear creeks, waterfalls, gorgeous clear lakes, sweeping mountain vistas and even a traverse of leftover winter snow at almost 12,000 feet in elevation. This hike is Un-freaking-believable and worth every scrape, bruise and sore muscle. We ended up finishing the hike a day earlier than we thought and so now we have time for some rest. I know, I know, that’s a LOT of pictures. I took about 500 over the 3 night trip. It is that beautiful. We are heading now for food and showers- two things we all desperately need. Kings Canyon National Park is amazing and the Rae Lakes Loop is a hike we will NEVER forget. Happy Travels!