We enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park. It is the deepest canyon in America (far deeper than the Grand Canyon) and it is made out of granite and marble instead of softly erodible rock. This canyon was carved by a glacier so is more U-shaped than the V-shape of a canyon carved by water alone. The Kings River is gorgeous and does flow at the bottom of this canyon, slowly continuing the carving process in this exceptionally hard rock (I’ll have more photos of that tomorrow).
There are eight foot tall yucca plants here and vibrant spring green lichen on the rocks. The bottom two photos are of the Chevron Folds which depict the Pangea plates crunching together, revealing ancient Pacific coral in fossilized rippling ribbons. We were told that a photo of this is in every college level geology book in the country. We just happened to see it and asked a ranger about it later; he was impressed we had noticed it, as most apparently do not. This place is home to the world’s fastest birds; these swifts have special air release holes in their noses so the intake of air as they fly at 63 miles/hr doesn’t blow their brains out.
Kings Canyon campgrounds do not require reservations, and at least during the week, they were relatively empty. The area has very little in the way of amenities or services and very few visitors, since it is hard to reach at the end of a very long dead end road. Other than those obvious differences, Kings Canyon felt a lot like Yosemite, only more remote and wild. We liked it a lot and would have liked to have stayed longer to explore it more. The photo below with Laura in it shows my favorite view so far on this trip.