2016 Kings Canyon Wilderness Volunteers Service Trip
At the southern end of John Muir Wilderness, on the western border of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, Monarch Wilderness amply lives up to its regal name. Few areas of the United States can boast such an abundance of extravagant mountain scenery. Expansive mountain views of Deer Ridge and the Monarch Divide may be among the best in the world. Formerly known as the High Sierra Primitive Area, this wildland is steep and rugged, with high ridges standing above deep canyons. Mountain meadows, numerous streams, shallow lakes, and spectacular multicolored rock formations throughout the Wilderness add to the wonder. Elevations range from about 2,000 feet on the banks of the South Fork of the Kings River to 11,077 feet on Hogback Peak. Brush and oak woodlands cover the lower elevations, giving way to pine and red fir, and, finally, giant sequoias in the higher country. Sheer ruggedness has kept visitation light despite the fact that CA State Highway 180 splits the wilderness and the proximity to Kings Canyon National Park.
Our much needed service project was assisting the Hume Ranger District of the Sequoia National Forest clear and restore the Deer Cove trail after devastating fires and a general lack of maintenance. From highway 180, the Deer Cove trail quickly rises 3,000 feet in four miles. This one trail provides access into the northern side of highway 180, and leads from the Deer Cove trailhead in the National Forest into Kings Canyon National Park. We'll make our basecamp at a designated campground inside Kings Canyon National Park and hike into the Monarch Wilderness from the trailhead every day, making progress along the Deer Cove trail. There was much work to be done clearing downed logs, restoring trail tread, installing erosion controls and generally opening the trail up again.
For more information: http://www.WildernessVolunteers.org