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Sequoia in early October
  
 
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sequoia in early October


Well, I'll be doing Sequoia in early October. I don't know if that's a great time, but that's what my schedule allowed.

I'm not a camper (not if you paid me), so I think my route and what I can see will be limited by the hotels. Depending on the exact dates my base will be at Wuksachi Lodge or splitting time between Wuksachi and John Muir Lodges.

All tips from attire to poisonous plants to most important locales to best (non-expert) trails are appreciated. I do already have the Robert Hitchman booklet.

I think I'll bring my 28 Elmarit-R II and 100 APO-Macro-Elmarit-R and leave behind my 85 VC and 90 PC-TS.

Should I bother with a telephoto? I've only got 180; too short for wildlife. And the 180 APO-Summicron is quite hefty even though I'll be on easier/shorter trails. I do have a smaller Voigtlander 180 SL or Mamiya 150 A...



Sep 11, 2017 at 11:53 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sequoia in early October


I had a short 2 and half day trip before kids' school started. Without overnight camp and long hiking, you have very limited choice there. Most great views/images I see around are from multi-day hiking, otherwise I'd say Sequoia is not a very nice choice IMO for day hike.

I did a 10 mile lake trail in Sequoia, I reached to Pear lake I think. Because my wife feel very uncomfortable at high attitude, we have to stop there. With my 7 and 9 years old, some of nice trail are not recommended such as mineral King area. (too wild with mountain lions etc) They were actually did well on long trail and had better shape than me at high attitude.

Overall, the place is rough, hot with difficult drive. Especially at the time we visit at end of Aug. You might feel better at Oct.

Definitely drive 180 to Kings Canyon, you will see pretty impressive view around valley.

If you can do overnight, multi-day hike, I feel this place is better than even Yosemite that you can have lots of freedom to get beautiful images than icon places. (I couldn't) Otherwise, I feel nothing special about common places around the park. (tourist spots) There is reason you don't see many beautiful images in this area compare to Yosemite

As for focal length, I feel 21 28 50 90 will cover my need nicely. I don't see much option to go super wide. (at least for what I saw.)



Sep 12, 2017 at 12:59 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sequoia in early October


A 180 is like a towel. Never go anywhere without one.


Sep 12, 2017 at 01:03 AM
zhangyue
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sequoia in early October


Yes, I did bring 180S, I feel it is useful to capture mountain far away. There is lots of haze in the air though at that time. Ideally, a 70-200 zoom will do.


Sep 12, 2017 at 03:32 AM
sizzzzlerz
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sequoia in early October


Sequoia is a little tough for day hikes but there are a couple. First is the drive and short hike to the top of Moro rock which looks out over the valley to the west and the Great Divide to the east. However, if it is hot and smoggy, you aren't going to see anything. Another hike is to Tokopah Falls out of the Lodgepole area. And, of course, there are the hikes around the Giant Sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree. I suggest that you stop in to the visitor center at Lodgepole and talk to the rangers who can give you some other ideas. As zhangyue points out, the spectacular scenery is in the back country requiring overnighting and multi-day hikes. If you have the time and patience, driving to the bottom on Kings Canyon and Cedar Grove is worthwhile. There are some nice hikes around Zumwalt meadows and along Bubbs Creek at the end of the road.

As far as poisonous plants, you could run into some poison oak but generally only if you are going off-trail in some of the drier terrain, primarily on the western slope. I don't think you've got anything to worry about.



Sep 12, 2017 at 08:42 PM
Jeffrey
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sequoia in early October


zhangyue wrote:
I had a short 2 and half day trip before kids' school started. Without overnight camp and long hiking, you have very limited choice there. Most great views/images I see around are from multi-day hiking, otherwise I'd say Sequoia is not a very nice choice IMO for day hike.

Overall, the place is rough, hot with difficult drive. Especially at the time we visit at end of Aug. You might feel better at Oct.

Definitely drive 180 to Kings Canyon, you will see pretty impressive view around valley.

If you can do overnight, multi-day hike, I feel this place is
...Show more

I couldn't DISAGREE with you more strongly. I don't know what your personal point of reference is, but SNP is an absolutely beautiful place with numerous easy hikes into gorgeous areas. Even with NO HIKING, the basic walks around the Giant Forest and anywhere off the main road are wonderful. I've been there in winter and spring a few times and always capture meaningful images. I would recommend staying in ANY of the lodges and simply following the map/guide as you head into the forest. I've made satisfying images right from the side of the main road. Just do it! You'll be glad.













Sep 13, 2017 at 03:12 AM
adamdewilde
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sequoia in early October


zhangyue wrote:
I had a short 2 and half day trip before kids' school started. Without overnight camp and long hiking, you have very limited choice there. Most great views/images I see around are from multi-day hiking, otherwise I'd say Sequoia is not a very nice choice IMO for day hike.

I did a 10 mile lake trail in Sequoia, I reached to Pear lake I think. Because my wife feel very uncomfortable at high attitude, we have to stop there. With my 7 and 9 years old, some of nice trail are not recommended such as mineral King area. (too wild
...Show more

I think you're photos are testament to what you get with hard work.. I wish I had the energy to hike and capture truly beautiful images.. I actually picked up another medium format system with the intention of trying to actually force myself to do landscapes (something I'm not really personally interested in but would like to take the time to practice). And I know it's not the gear, trust me I do know this... But I bought the gear as an excuse to force myself not to be lazy (much like how I once bought an M246 to teach myself to appreciate black and whites)... I hope it works because the gear was expensive and I'm really lazy.

With that said I too don't like camping and hiking... So what is your personal favourite breathtaking spot that's easily accessible within the state of CA?



Sep 13, 2017 at 04:42 AM
 

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zhangyue
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sequoia in early October


sizlerz wrote:
Sequoia is a little tough for day hikes but there are a couple. First is the drive and short hike to the top of Moro rock which looks out over the valley to the west and the Great Divide to the east. However, if it is hot and smoggy, you aren't going to see anything. Another hike is to Tokopah Falls out of the Lodgepole area. And, of course, there are the hikes around the Giant Sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree. I suggest that you stop in to the visitor center at Lodgepole and talk to the rangers
...Show more

I did the moro Rock hike. For that place, a long lens should work nicely. However, it is hard to get a image I like. 1. the haze from air during day light 2. the composition is very limited, there is no foreground strong enough to support the composition. For long lens, you either have a nice sun rise/set or beautiful cloud with clean air to have a nice background for those mountain.

I took these two during visit moro rock with 180mm S lens. Haze and harsh light force me use BW here.











I have a very high expectation on this place. I have seen many beautiful images around this area (including Adams and Galen Rowell)until I reach here to do deep research to realize that most amazing place I saw are out of reach such as mount whitney etc. I can imagine I could get a nice image during sunrise with big mountain as back ground but find out I can't unless prepare myself for a few day deep hiking.
---------------------------------------------

Jeffrey wrote:
I couldn't DISAGREE with you more strongly. I don't know what your personal point of reference is, but SNP is an absolutely beautiful place with numerous easy hikes into gorgeous areas. Even with NO HIKING, the basic walks around the Giant Forest and anywhere off the main road are wonderful. I've been there in winter and spring a few times and always capture meaningful images. I would recommend staying in ANY of the lodges and simply following the map/guide as you head into the forest. I've made satisfying images right from the side of the main road. Just do it!
...Show more

If everybody think the same, the world would be boring. I don't have reference but I do see many images in this area I like. I realize I can't get even a chance to get those if I am not prepared for multi-day hiking. I personal feel capture a Sequoia tree boring especially around those tourist place such General Sherman. If capture tree as my main purpose for this visit, I'd avoid drive such long and difficult drive. Any redwood or muir wood state park around me will be fine. In 2 and half day there, I feel the view with trees is not as pretty as redwood national park which is far nicer IMO. (this is also the reason for my disappointment as I enjoy capture tree images in that park especially during Rhododendron flowers season ) So, the suggestion I gave Lee who from New Orleans at least was trying to align his expectation. Since he was not prepared for long hike, he will miss lots of great view like I did.

I will not deny unpleasant hot summer season and drive(lots of road work, and two couple died because of car accident within two week I was there) could be the reason I don't highly recommend it. IT doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the stay overall. I will upload a few images later in this thread once I have time to browse what I have with explanation of location.(at least helpful for OP) I for sure capture many family images I like since we all enjoy the stay.


---------------------------------------------

adamdewilde wrote:
I think you're photos are testament to what you get with hard work.. I wish I had the energy to hike and capture truly beautiful images.. I actually picked up another medium format system with the intention of trying to actually force myself to do landscapes (something I'm not really personally interested in but would like to take the time to practice). And I know it's not the gear, trust me I do know this... But I bought the gear as an excuse to force myself not to be lazy (much like how I once bought an M246 to teach
...Show more

I think Yosemite will be a very easy recommendation. Death valley is also a bucket list I plan to visit in near future. At north, Redwood National Park is absolutely gorgeous especially at spring.

Canada Banff and Jasper area really spoiled me that I find photo opportunity are infinity.

We can pm discuss spot whenever you are ready for any of them



Sep 13, 2017 at 07:26 AM
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sequoia in early October


Well, I am willing to do full-day trails, just not overnight/camping ones, and it does help timewise that I'm staying inside the park, so hopefully I should be able to get away from the "daytrip level" tourists somewhat.


Sep 14, 2017 at 07:40 AM
MASL
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Sequoia in early October


My second favorite place... can't get there often enough and there is great scenery whether you hike days, hours or minutes. October could be great, if there's snow the place becomes magical (though you may need chains, check with CA DOT).

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/dayhikes.htm

for me the attraction is the giant trees, the mountain vistas are a great 'throw-in' and few seem to venture those trails. Pear Lake is a great one for a good day hike with alpine ponds and granite walls.

Since you're staying in hotels, you may want to take shorter hikes on day 1, there are elevation considerations (I think Pear Lake is ~ 9000' so O2 diminishes as you go). Lodge pole trails around the Sequoia groves are a good start iff you're coming from LA. From the north, Grant Grove has a couple of secluded short climbs (Baldy Ridge & Buena Vista are very easy little hikes with short climbs).

Enjoy!
-Mark



Sep 14, 2017 at 02:33 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Sequoia in early October


For close-at-hand and target rich locations, I would skip Sequoia and concentrate on Yosemite Valley and other close at hand locations in Yosemite Park. Best shots are always around early morning and dusk hours, so you don't want to start out hiking for an hour to get to a location. Best to stay close. Camping is almost a must, but there are lodges in Yosemite Valley, and it's easy to get a pretty early start each day, and end off without trekking out in the dark at night.

Also, weather is less predictable at Sequoia, which is at much higher elevation ~7,000 feet, vs ~3000 feet for the Valley floor. We got snowed-in once at Grant's Grove overnight and were thankful to get out without snow chains.

I've made plenty of visits to both parks, and even though Sequoia is closer for me, now I'll go to Yosemite every time!



Sep 14, 2017 at 03:14 PM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Sequoia in early October


Went up from Visalia one day, I think it was an hour drive to the entrance. So not bad. I think it took another hour or so to get to the General Sherman tree. It was amazing.

I think it was February or March, and there was a bunch of snow. Rented chains at the bottom, which no one ever made us put on. The rental was front wheel drive, so no real problem.

So even if you ran into really cold weather, you could still potentially see stuff. Skeptical you'd have trouble with that in Oct, though. It might be perfect.

The person I was with just wasn't that intetesed, kinda ruined it. Definitely want to go back someday. King's Canyon is right there. Death Valley and Yosemite aren't far, you could easily spend a week or two in this general area.

I think more than one person has recommended Yosemite, which is great, but when you find something to photograph there, often, so did 20-30 other people. Crowds of photographers, with serious gear. Don't know if I've seen anything like it before.



Sep 14, 2017 at 03:55 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Sequoia in early October


Gunzorro wrote:
For close-at-hand and target rich locations, I would skip Sequoia and concentrate on Yosemite Valley and other close at hand locations in Yosemite Park. Best shots are always around early morning and dusk hours, so you don't want to start out hiking for an hour to get to a location. Best to stay close. Camping is almost a must, but there are lodges in Yosemite Valley, and it's easy to get a pretty early start each day, and end off without trekking out in the dark at night.

Also, weather is less predictable at Sequoia, which is at much higher
...Show more

+1 +1

The reason for multiday is exact like this, you can't show up at location at golden hour. You have to stay there wait for the magic time. This is very difficult for me with family. Place like Zion, Yosemite or Banff are very easy to accesses and come back at golden hour. Without soft light, most of my image are turn to snapshots fighting with harsh light and haze. However, I absolutely enjoy walk with my family there, hot, yes, but at higher elevation, degree difference is as big as 20. So, we actually prefer up around mountain area.

I hope Oct will be better season.



Sep 14, 2017 at 04:55 PM
zhangyue
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Sequoia in early October


Here are a few images I took there. At last day we drive back from Kings Canyon, i got my luck to have a nice sunset, but again, I wish I have more time to explore the area to have better composition during this magic hour.












The color intensity change within window of light show.
















And here are a few during the pear lake trail, we couldn't finish it as mentioned.

































and family images like below











I didn't show any tree images during day light, (I like the composition of some but not light) as the trip is last minute decision. We can't book anything inside the park during hot season like August, we have to stay 3 rivers and drive up everyday so basically I missed the soft light time frame.



Sep 14, 2017 at 05:38 PM







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