Birthday Weekend Camping Trip – Sequoia National Park

For Christina’s 29th birthday, we decided to do something different rather than going out to dinner or find somewhere to drink. Instead, we grabbed a couple of friends and headed 6,700 feet up to the Sequoia National Park to a campground called Lodgepole. I had actually booked the campsite way back in December and it was more than worth it! Unlike the majority of sites in Lodgepole, site number 170 was not directly on the road. We had to park on the road and hand carry all our stuff into the site. It wasn’t more than about 100 feet away, but since it was down a little hill, it made this campsite one of the most private in the whole area.

Lodgepole Campground MapUnfortunately, campsite number 169 was right next to us and we ended up with a late-coming neighbor, but they were really cool and didn’t have any kids or animals running around so we were still able to maintain our peace and quiet. However, next time, I will probably book both sites just to take over the entire area!

Here’s a YouTube playlist of 8 short video clips from our weekend. Below that, you can continue reading about our experience and check out the picture gallery at the end!

Sequoia National Park

We decided to rent a truck for the long drive up north not only to spare miles on our own cars, but also to have the extra space for everyone’s stuff. We took off around 10 in the morning and got there around 3pm. It had been a long time since I had gone to Sequoia National Park and seeing all the big trees and smelling the fresh air brought back so many memories. However, the best part was watching my cell phone lose its service and we knew we were officially away!

Our camp set up

Setting up camp proved to be harder than I thought. The biggest problem was trying to find a flat spot of land that did NOT have a hundred ant holes on it. Ultimately, our tent ended up further away than we expected, but we had the room so why not. Once all of us had our tents up, we needed to stop off at the store to pick up firewood (since you can’t bring your own) and some other small supplies.

Back at camp, dinner was required after a long day of driving! We ate hamburgers with baked beans by the fire and truly felt like we were camping. We all played drinking games into the night and a few hours and lots of beer and whiskey, we packed everything into the bear box and turned in for the night.

Tokopah Falls

On the 30th, we decided to spend the day hiking and just hanging around. We thought about going horseback riding, but none of us were too keen on the cost. We walked toward the end of our campground and found a trail map with a handful of adventures ranging in distances from 1 mile to over 10 miles. Figuring none of our group were really in the best shape for a 10 mile hike, we opted to go up and see the Tokopah Falls.

The trail was a bit more busy than I thought it was going to be and people kept telling us they were seeing bears, but we eventually only saw one. 🙁 Once we got to the falls, it looked like a tourist destination while everyone rested from the short climb. Our plan was to eat lunch somewhere along the trail, but rather than fight for prime real estate at the falls, we decided to head back down about halfway and sit on the river rocks. This doubled as a place to take off our shoes and dip our feet in the water. At this elevation, the temperature felt a lot like melted water being poured from a cooler so we couldn’t stay in too long.

Here’s the photo gallery from our entire trip. I also brought along my Canon DSLR, but those photos will eventually be placed on my photography site, Digitizing Life once edited.

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Final Thoughts

Knowing what I know now about Lodgepole, we can be better prepared for future visits. The first thing on this list is to rent out campsite 169 and 170 so we can have the entire lower section of this area to ourselves. Whether or not we put someone there will be determined on who wants to join our weekend excursion. The next thing we’ll plan (and pack) for will be the 10 mile hike up to Ranger Lake. Other than that, we still need to add to our overall list of camping supplies.

As for the weekend itself, the Sequoia National Park was a MUCH needed breather from the rat race and Christina had a blast celebrating her birthday in a slightly different and unique way although she ended up celebrating it with a cake and a present when we got home anyway! Lodgepole gets a 10/10 rating from me and we will most certainly be back in this area again.