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Sequoia and Kings Canyon: A Land of Giants

Program Number: 19539RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/15/2013 - 9/18/2013;
Duration: 3 nights
Location: Sanger, California
Price starting at: $659.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks
Meals: 8; 3 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 3 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Standing amid the majesty of the Sierra Nevada, it's not hard to understand why Sequoia and Kings Canyon have been enshrined in our National Park System. Walk in Kings Canyon and discover how the granite cliffs of Grand Sentinel and North Dome were carved through the eons, and visit spots where John Muir delivered impassioned speeches in defense of the magnificent Sierra wilderness.




Highlights

• Be awestruck in the cathedral-like Giant Forest by the General Sherman Tree, more than 2,000 years old and with a girth of 203 feet.
• Enjoy “An Evening With John Muir” as the Scott-born American naturalist colorfully recounts his adventures in nature
• Walk into Zumwalt Meadow, which affords excellent views of the meandering Kings River, a lush meadow and surrounding high granite cliffs.



Activity Particulars

Moderate walking up to 1.5 miles over fairly level terrain, carrying a day pack for water and jacket. Elevations up to 7,000 feet. Field trip destinations and walks are subject to weather conditions.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Sanger

Situated along the King’s River, this small city offers the best of many worlds. Proximity to the region’s spectacular natural beauty — including Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Parks — and the area’s largest city, Fresno, complements its small-town atmosphere.



Accommodations
New beautiful Cedar Hall has dormitory style accommodations; rooms have bunk beds and 2 lower queen beds; couples/singles will be assigned own room with 2 queen beds. Two shower rooms and two restroom facilities are located in center of the building.Facilities are private with floor to ceiling doors but in a communal setting; couples/singles will be assigned own shower and toilet. Each room will have the same amenities as all of our other rooms (i.e. a television, alarm clock, spacious closet, phone, bedding, wall-to-wall carpeting, AC/Heater and typical hotel furniture.) Accommodations are nestled in Sierra Nevada foothills and offer outstanding food, recreational activities and on-site museum.
Meals and Lodgings
   Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center
  Sanger - Near King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks 3 nights
 Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Nestled in the golden Sierra foothills of Central California, Wonder Valley Ranch Resort and Conference Center is four hours away from both Los Angeles and San Francisco and just minutes east of Fresno. A conference center, several smaller lodges, and country cottages are gracefully situated around the verdant 75-acre property. The resort has a mix of 53 guest rooms ranging from small two-person cottages to spacious hotel style accommodations. There are numerous recreational activities and sites not far from Wonder Valley, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks; whitewater rafting on the Kings River; boating and water-skiing on Pine Flat Lake; Fresno County Blossom Trail; antique shopping in Old Town Clovis.
  Contact info: 6450 Elwood Road
Sanger, CA 93657 USA
phone: 800-821-2801
web: www.wondervalley.com
  Room amenities: The following is a list of amenities that come with a guest room in Cedar Hall: • Individually Controlled Heating & Air Conditioning • Wall-to-Wall Carpeting • In-Room Coffee Service • Free, Wireless Internet Access • Flat Screen, Satellite Television • Bedding • Spacious, Walk-In Closet • Iron & Ironing Board • Typical Hotel Furniture (i.e., Alarm Clock, Telephone, Work desk & Hotel style Chairs)
  Facility amenities: Wonder Valley Ranch Resort offers guests many forms of recreation on its 75-acre property including a large Equestrian Center providing guests with an opportunity to ride horses through the scenic Sierra foothills; two sparkling pools, a water slide and Dalton Pond on which to enjoy sailing, fishing, canoe rides or swimming; and many outdoor sports and recreational activities. An on-site coin-operated laundry is available to guests seven days a week.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Bathroom: Fourteen private toilet and 14 private shower facilities are located in the center of the building. Facilities are private with floor to ceiling doors but in a communal setting. Couples and singles will be assigned their own shower and toilet.
  Additional nights prior: Based on availability Please call the hotel directly at 800-821-2801 for reservations and to inquire about rates. Be sure to mention that you are part of a Road Scholar group and the start date of the Road Scholar program.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Based on availability Please call the hotel directly at 800-821-2801 for reservations and to inquire about rates. Be sure to mention that you are part of a Road Scholar group and the start date of the Road Scholar program.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program registration is from 4:00-5:00PM. Stop at the Main Office for your room key and to find the location for the Road Scholar registration. You will be staying at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center that night.
  End of Program:
Please arrange your transportation so you can join us for our final class on The People of the Sierras which ends at 10:30AM. You will be staying at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. On the enclosed Participant Information Form, please indicate to us the name of your roommate/traveling companion. Also let us know if you are traveling with other individuals and wish to be assigned a room near them. Photo ID
  Parking availability:
Complimentary parking is available at Wonder Valley Ranch Resort.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sanger - Near King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
  Nearest city or town:  Fresno
  Nearest highway: Hwys 99 and 180
  Nearest airport:  Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Sanger - Near King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Fresno Int'l Airport to Wonder Valley Ranch

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Wonder Valley Ranch Resort Shuttle
phone: 800-821-2801
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$75 round trip fare per person
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45-60 minutes from Fresno Airport to Wonder Valley Ranch 

 

Distance:

 

37 miles from Fresno Airport to Wonder Valley Ranch

   

The only practical means to get to Wonder Valley Ranch Resort from Fresno Int'l Airport is by (rental) car or via the Wonder Valley Ranch Resort Shuttle. ADVANCED RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. You must contact Wonder Valley Resort at least one week in advance of your scheduled arrival to arrange for pick-up at Fresno Airport. Wonder Valley Resort Local Phone: (559) 787-2551 Toll-Free: (800) 821-2801 Email: lt@wondervalley.com MAJOR CAR RENTAL FIRMS ARE FOUND AT FRESNO-YOSEMITE INT'L AIRPORT.

 
Driving Directions
  From Fresno/Clovis: From Fwy 41 north or south, take the Fwy 180 (Kings Canyon) exit. Drive EAST through Fresno until the 180 Fwy turns into a two lane highway (Kings Canyon Rd.) near Temperance Avenue. Drive EAST on Kings Canyon Rd. past the Academy Avenue intersection (controlled by a stop-light). Continue on Kings Canyon Rd. approximately 7 miles, and just after crossing the Kings River bridge, turn LEFT on Piedra Rd. Travel approximately 8 miles and turn RIGHT on Elwood Rd. Follow Elwood 5 miles and Wonder Valley Ranch Resort will be on your left.
  From the North: From the north, take Fwy 99 south to the Fwy 180 (Kings Canyon) exit. Drive EAST through Fresno until the 180 Fwy turns into a two lane highway (Kings Canyon Rd.) near Temperance Avenue. Drive EAST on Kings Canyon Rd. past the Academy Avenue intersection (controlled by a stop-light). Continue on Kings Canyon Rd. approximately 7 miles, and just after crossing the Kings River bridge, turn LEFT on Piedra Rd. Travel approximately 8 miles and turn RIGHT on Elwood Rd. Follow Elwood 5 miles and Wonder Valley Ranch Resort will be on your left.
  From the South: Take Freeway 99 north to Manning Ave. Go RIGHT (east) on Manning 5-3/4 miles to Academy Ave. Go LEFT on Academy for 9 miles through Sanger to Hwy 180/Kings Canyon Rd. Turn RIGHT on Kings Canyon and drive 5 miles to Piedra Rd. Turn LEFT on Piedra and go 5 miles. Turn RIGHT on Elwood Rd. Follow Elwood for 5 miles and Wonder Valley Ranch Resort will be on your left.
Elevation Note: Elevation at Wonder Valley is 650 ft. Elevation in Sequoia/KC NP ranges from 1000 to mid of 7000 ft.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Independent Arrivals
(Sunday, September 15)
   
 Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Check into Wonder Valley Resort after 3:00PM

PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet that we'll review during our orientation session before dinner.

ORIENTATION: We'll have an overview of the program ahead and review the up-to-date schedule and any other administrative issues, and answer your questions. Please be aware that local circumstances may require adjusting program elements. In the event of changes, we will notify you as quickly as possible. We appreciate your understanding.

Our four day program includes hotel-based classes combined with 2 all day bus adventures through the giant grandeur of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, home to the world's largest trees which grow peacefully in valleys protected by immense mountains and deeply chiseled canyons.

 Dinner: Dinner at Wonder Valley Resort

Menus are contracted well in advance with a variety of dining facilities and are designed to offer balanced, healthy meals for the participants.

Since meals are served in a group setting, it is difficult to adjust to individual dietary requests. If you are unable to eat what is on the regular menu, a vegetarian alternative is available, if not already part of the menu.

As alternative meal arrangements have to be made in advance, please indicate your need for a vegetarian entree on the enclosed Participant Information Form.

 Evening: INTRODUCTIONS: Crossing Points: Getting to know your fellow participants.

Enjoy the remainder of the evening getting to know your fellow participants and discover what you share beyond a love of lifelong learning.

   
Accommodations: Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: All day bus field trip to Sequoia National Park/General Sherman Tree/Giant Forest Museum/Big Tree Trail
(Monday, September 16)

Note: We will be traveling at elevations from 650 at Wonder Valley Resort to 7,600 feet in the Parks with frequent opportunities for moderate walking up to 1.5 miles over fairly level terrain, carrying a day pack for water and jacket. Field trip destinations and walks are subject to weather conditions. You will be “on the road” on Monday and Tuesday with access to your rooms at the beginning and end of each day.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Wonder Valley Resort
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Sequoia National Park

Our bus departs the hotel in the morning for an all-day field trip to Sequoia National Park.Our onboard guide will provide commentary as we drive to the park. Upon arrival, we will walk the General Sherman Tree Trail, a paved 1 mile trail (one-way) which descends some 200 feet. The trail is wide with a few staircases. In the cathedral-like Giant Forest stands the 275-foot-tall General Sherman giant sequoia tree, whose trunk weighs an estimated 1385 tons and whose circumference at the ground is nearly 203 ft. The General Sherman tree has the distinction of being the largest living tree in the world (in terms of volume) and is more than 2000 years old. The General Sherman tree was named in 1879 by a Civil War veteran.

 Lunch: A box lunch will be served in a nearby picnic area in the park.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Giant Forest Museum

Visit the Giant Forest Museum which features exhibits on giant sequoia ecology and the trees' relationship with man. In the entire world, sequoias grow naturally only on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada, between 5000-7000 ft of elevation.

You'll learn about sequoia ecology as you walk the Big Trees Trail, a 2/3 mile paved/boardwalked trail which circles Round Meadow.

 Dinner: Dinner at Wonder Valley Resort
 Evening: CLASS: "California Grizzlies"
   
Accommodations: Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: All day bus field trip to Kings Canyon National Park/General Grant Tree/Grant Grove/Roaring River Falls/Zumwalt Meadows
(Tuesday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Wonder Valley
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Kings Canyon National Park

Our bus departs the hotel in the morning for an all-day field trip to Kings Canyon National Park. Our onboard guide will provide commentary as we drive to the park. After stopping at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village, we will continue on to the General Grant Tree, one of the five largest living trees on earth. The trail to the General Grant Tree is a gently-graded, paved, one-third of a mile loop walk through the sequoia grove.

 Lunch: Drive down into Kings Canyon National Park and enjoy a boxed lunch in a picnic area.
 Afternoon: Depending upon group’s ability:

Walk the Zumwalt Meadow Trail, a mostly level, 1.5 mile long trail, which affords excellent views of the meandering Kings River, a lush meadow and the surrounding high granite cliffs including Grand Sentinel (8,518 ft.) and North Dome (8,717 ft.). This is one of the most scenic trails in Kings Canyon.

Or Stand at Muir's 'Pulpit', a wide flat rock of historical significance in the park’s modern day history on which John Muir delivered impassioned speeches about the Sierra and conservation. The walk to the Rock is 300 ft/10 minutes from the parking area at Road’s End, along the trail to Zumwalt Meadow.

 Dinner: Dinner at Wonder Valley Resort
 Evening: PERFORMANCE: An Evening with John Muir.

A live presentation of John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate for wilderness preservation in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions. His activism helped to save the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is now one of the most important conservation organizations in the United States.

   
Accommodations: Wonder Valley Ranch Resort & Conference Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Native Americans lecture/Independent Departures
(Wednesday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Wonder Valley Resort
 Morning: CLASS: "The People of the Sierras". Learn about the Native Americans who settled this area of the Sierra Nevada and San Joaquin Valley.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Sanger - Near King's Canyon and Sequoia National Parks National Park Service
Information about natural resources, news, events, camping, lodging, fees, permits and facilities at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks may be obtained from the National Park Service through their official website. (Your local library may have excellent natural history books and travel guide books.) For additional information, visit www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm
  Fresno / Clovis Convention and Visitors Bureau
1550 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 101

Fresno, CA 93710

Phone (559) 981-5500 or 800-788-0836

Visit this site to learn more about the region and view or download a Visitor Planning Guide which takes you through a seasonal tour of Fresno County and beyond. It's packed with information about the many attractions, sports and recreation, dining and lodging options available in the Fresno/Clovis/Sierras area. For additional information, visit playfresno.org/

  Sequoia-Kings Canyon Park Services Company
This website provide additional information about the sights, hotels, lodges, cabins, dining, and shopping found in the parks from the authorized concessionaire for Kings Canyon National Park and the Giant Sequoia National Monument of the Sequoia National Forest. For additional information, visit www.sequoia-kingscanyon.com/index.html
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


My First Summer in the Sierra


Author: John Muir


Description: In the summer of 1869, John Muir made his first long trip to Yosemite. When a friend offered him the chance to accompany his flock of sheep and a shepherd to the high pastures of the Sierra, it was an opportunity Muir could not resist. This book reprints the journal he kept of those summer days, of the wildlife and plant life, and of his explorations into the magical places of the mountains.



The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada


Author: John Muir Laws


Description: The most comprehensive field guide to the natural wonders of the Range of Light! In this groundbreaking and meticulously field-tested guide, the rich variety of Sierra life—trees, wildflowers, ferns, fungi, lichens, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, and insects—comes alive.



Top Trails: Sequoia and Kings Canyon: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone


Author: Mike White


Description: Veteran author Mike White has selected the best 50 trips in these parks, ranging in length from a half-mile stroll among the Potwisha Pictographs to a 21-mile trek to visit Charlotte Lake in the heart of the Kings Canyon backcountry.



Hidden Beneath the Mountains: The Caves of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


Author: Joel Despain


Description: Hidden Beneath the Mountains: The Caves of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is a new book about the amazing caves in this mountainous region of California by National Park Cave Specialist Joel Despain. The 128 page, large-format volume focuses on the larger caves of the parks and describes their fascinating human history, the rare and strange animals that live in the caves, and the role of these caves in science.



John Muir, Son of the Wilderness


Author: Linnie Marsh Wolfe


Description: Working closely with Muir’s family and with his papers, Wolfe was able to create a full portrait of her subject, not only as America’s firebrand conservationist and founder of the national park system, but also as husband, father, and friend.



Mountains of California


Author: John Muir


Description: This volume of 1894 vignettes by the founder of the Sierra Club reveals John Muir’s ebullient spirit and love of nature which infuse these accounts of visiting Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, sequoia groves, and Mount Whitney.



Indians of the Sierra Foothills


Author: Marvin L. Keintz


Indian Summer


Author: Thomas Jefferson Mayfield


Description: With accuracy, zest, and insight, "Indian Summer" portrays the nearly lost and unspeakably beautiful world of the Choinumne Yokuts and the valley in which they lived. This account is sub-titled "A True Account of Traditional Life Among the Choinumne Indians of California's San Joaquin Valley" by the author who lived there in the mid-nineteenth century.



Challenge of the Big Trees: A Resource History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks


Author: Lary M. Dilsaver and William C. Tweed


Description: This volume is widely credited as the best natural history book of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.





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