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A Weekend in Sequoia Without Cell Service

This past weekend my boyfriend and I spent the weekend in Sequoia. We do weekend trips all the time, but what made this one different was that there was practically no cell service for miles. Initially, I had multiple hikes for us to explore and rock climbing routes to check out, but no reception meant no GPS to guide us along the way. I realize I could have downloaded the map to my phone beforehand, but the week leading up to our trip was so busy I didn’t have a moment to do that. So I did what any person back in the day would do, I used a map! Shocking right? I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t rely on maps as much as I do Siri.

What It Meant for the Drive through Sequoia

Using a map actually elicited more communication between my boyfriend and me. Less reliance on the GPS meant checking in with each other during the drive, and asking how we can be better co-pilots.

How it Felt While at the National Park

I often wish I could “unplug” for a few days, to not receive email notifications, or news pings. It’s not as easy to do at home when there’s information at my fingertips anytime of the day. But when the only option is to unplug, it’s a welcomed experience.

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Here are some of the ways I spent my time in Sequoia rather than scrolling:

  • Listen to the sound of leaves rustling in the trees as the cool breeze brushes my hair off my shoulders and feel the warmth of the sun as it pokes through the forest canopy.
  • Smile in contentment as I help set up the tent, prep for dinner, and warm my toes around the campfire.
  • Watch the river as it continuously flows downhill and gushes over the rocks at the bottom, flows calmly without obstruction over the smoothed over rocks, and curves at the bend ahead.
  • Site in the shade and read with the sound of birds chirping and camping neighbors chatting in the background.

Sequoia Hikes

We started off the day with a hike to Tokopah Falls. It was a moderate hike with some switchbacks, but the end is worth it! The waterfall was beautiful and the view of the monolith rocks along the way was stunning. I wore a couple of layers because walking in the shade was noticeably cooler. By the time I got to the top of the falls, the trees thinned out and I was in direct sunlight. Plus, walking at a steady incline definitely warms you up. We had lunch on a rock by the waterfall and it was the best view in the house.

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Next up, we checked out General Sherman, one of the largest and oldest trees around. It’s hard to grasp how big the tree is – I found myself staring dumbfound at its grandeur. If that tree could talk, can you image the stories it could tell? I wish I could tap into that memory and see what Sequoia looked like all those years ago.

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From General Sherman, we walk along Congress Trail. It’s an easy walk that takes you through the forest of giant trees. I loved how the light from the sun would touch the moss on the trees making the green color pop.

Last on our list was hiking up to Moro Rock. It was incredible to see all the steps carved into the actual rock, railings installed, and walls created for visitors to summit the top. Being a rock climber, I appreciated the time and effort it took to create such a friendly experience – if you’re not afraid of heights that is!

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Sequoia has been called “little Yosemite”, and it’s easy to see why. Giant rock formations, beautiful meadows and forests are tucked away in the mountains. If you’re looking to escape LA to nature with little to no cell service, consider Sequoia for your next trip.

Curious about Joshua Tree? Here’s my outdoor adventure from there.

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