It was cold last night, about 0.5 C (33F). We got up early abut 6am, and after a hearty breakfast went for a long hike with the intention of seeing some bears! We climbed snow covered tracks starting with Manzanita trail. We both had a few layers on and rain jackets but before long I was stripping off with all the huffing and puffing going up hill. Close to the start of our walk we saw a herd of deer that had no fear of us at all. We kept on climbing up through the snowy tracks to the ridge towards panoramic point and reached a clearing on the ridge at an altitude of 7680ft , where we could see over to the snow covered mountains. We came back down the park ridge trail which then climbed up to the the fire lookout . We came back down the fire road then onto the Azalea trail and finally through the residential area of Wilsonia before reaching the Visitor’s centre . The scenery on every step was breathtaking. I couldn’t stop taking pictures especially with the morning sun shining light on different parts of the woods. We could hear the birds in the trees and a eerie stillness for we were both listening for cougars, bears, coyote, and bob cats and a couple times we heard noises we were not sure what they were, I thought it was a bear and Rick thought it was a plane! Anyway in the snow we saw different animal foot prints mostly squirrels but we definitely saw bear prints and went to the visitors centre to compare with the poster on the wall, and so we were pretty close to a bear after all. The walk took nearly 4 hours. We went back to our van for tinned lentil soups, hot drinks etc. We didn’t want to waste a minute of our time so we went for a drive into King Canyon. We drove to Cedar Grove which is a no through road. The road was cut into the side of a cliff and very narrow and winding again. The granite sides of the canyon with its differing vegetation, shrubs to large trees and King River at its base was breathtaking, and again I took a lot of pictures despite being a very anxious passenger. On the way back we stopped at Grizzly falls,only Black Bears in this park now though , before continuing back up to Grant Grove and parked for the night again at Azalea campground.
Bear footprints!!? Lentil Soup?? Quite a combination. Keep taking the photos they are great.