If you’re in the mood for a road trip soon and wanted to check out a little-known corner of a great National Park, the Sacramento Bee’s got you covered.

The paper just highlighted the Ladybug Trail, tucked away in Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Park‘s less-visited South Fork area. See if this description doesn’t get you running for your hiking boots:

One moment, your ears are filled with thunder from the south fork of the Kaweah River, swollen by spring runoff. The next, the only noise is the crunching of footsteps.

One moment, you’re hiking along a grassy hillside peppered with wildflowers. The next, you’re strolling through a stand of incense cedars.

Throw in a few stream crossings, views of distant rocky pinnacles and up-close encounters with giant sequoias, and it adds up to quite a hike.

As if the spectacular scenery and uncrowded trail weren’t enough, there is also no entrance fee for this part of the National Park, and the wilderness permits required are self-serve at a campsite near the trailhead.

The trail also features waterfalls, sequoia groves, swimming, and catch-and-release fishing, as well as a trail campground further in the forest.

a fisher in Sequoia National Park

The National Park Service site has a very detailed guide to the Ladybug Trail, and puts the route at 8.04 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2120 feet.

… looks like it might be time to take another trip up north!

Image on Ladybug Trail courtesy of the National Park Service<. Via California Camping Online.

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