Around the World with Yellow Wood: The Joshua Tree & Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park Edition

We’re proud to feature our friends Diana and Sarah of Women Hiking Wisconsin for the March 2019 edition of Around the World with Yellow Wood.

1.     Where did you travel and why?

We traveled to California in October to visit Joshua Tree National Park and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park.  We wanted to go during autumn when it would be a little bit cooler and less crowded.  The weather was absolutely perfect during our week there and at some points we were the only people on the trails! No tour busses in sight! 

2.     What was the coolest thing you saw or did there? 

Everything! Joshua Tree was basically a playground, you could climb and jump around on all the boulders.  We summited Ryan Mountain.  We saw a jackrabbit,  bighorn sheep and came a little too close to a rattlesnake! 

At Sequoia we got to see the tallest trees in the world and at Kings Canyon we got to be in one of the deepest canyons in North America. The air was fresh and crisp, the trees were towering and there weren’t many people around (once you got away from General Grant/Sherman). It felt so great being in the mountains again.

3.      What is one thing you wish you would've known before you went?

 How expensive gas is there! And how few gas stations there are in those areas. Definitely would have set more money aside for that! 

4.     What's one item you couldn't have done the hike/trip without? 

Bladder bags! All the snacks! Stopping at all the visitors centers to ask the rangers questions/pick up park maps/ask for recommendations-if we wouldn’t have stopped at the Sequoia visitor center we wouldn’t have realized construction was going on and that they were only letting cars through every hour on the hour, so we had to leave asap in order to be let through.

5.     What else would you like to share about your trip? 

If it’s doable in your schedule, visiting the national parks during the off season is the way to go. In our experience, the weather was still incredible, all the trails were still open, the visitors centers/bathrooms were still open.  It was so nice to get to experience these remarkable places without having the hassle of overbearing crowds.

Do you think Sarah and Diana sound like a blast to hike a trail with? There’s an upcoming opportunity to do just that! Stay tuned on our Facebook page for event info.

Have you traveled somewhere recently - either internationally or domestically - and have a story to share with the Yellow Wood community? Email us responses to the questions above at for your chance to be featured in our blog series!

sarah pollack