"Mineral King Valley" Sequoia National Park... Tip by chewy3326

Sequoia National Park..., California: 19 reviews and 33 photos

  Mineral King Valley
by chewy3326

There are few places in the Sierra quite as quiet and beautiful yet accessible as Mineral King Valley. Yes, the road to the valley is narrow, winding, and unforgiving- but reaching the valley more than justifies driving the Mineral King Road. This subalpine valley lies in the southern part of Sequoia National Park and actually was not incorporated into the park until 1978 (Sequoia National Park itself was founded in 1890). This wasn't because the valley lacked any qualities to become a national park, but because there was always mining interests in the area (and later ski-resort interests by Disney).

The valley is ringed by snowcapped peaks and the valley floor is filled with forests and meadows. The East Fork Kaweah River runs through Mineral King Valley. Visitors are relatively rare; the road discourages most of them. However, there are tens of miles of trails around the valley that will allow you to leave the presence of all other people.

The road dead-ends at 7,800 feet, where trails lead to various lakes, meadows, and passes. We hiked to Eagle Lake (and only saw two other people), a 7-mile round trip full day hike. The scenery is outstanding. Another trail I hiked was the Cold Springs Nature Trail, a one-mile one way leading from the Cold Springs Campground to the Eagle-Mosquito Trailhead. It's a wonderful early morning hike.

Other trails in the area lead to Farewell Gap, Monarch Lakes, Franklin Lakes, Crystal Lake, Mosquito Lakes, and Timber Gap. You could probably spend half a month hiking the valley.

See my Mineral King page for more details.

Directions: Southern Sequoia National Park; from Three Rivers, take the Mineral King Road 25 miles.
Website: http://www.nps.gov/seki

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  • Written Nov 23, 2006
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