This itinerary concerned a short trip to the Tule River District of the Sequoia National Forest. Since we were staying in a town called Ponderosa, I tend to refer to this trap as the “Ponderosa Trip”.
Really, the only reason why we even considered doing a trip like this was because we were well into our waterfalling pursuits throughout the state of California. And there were some impressive waterfalls that we noticed in Ann Marie Brown’s book about California Waterfalls that essentially opened our minds up to devote a weekend trip to see this part of the state.
At the time, it seemed like not many people knew much about this part of the state. So it certainly felt like we were on our own in this trip.
Concerning car trouble, we actually helped one guy who’s car had overheated and we let him have our coolant. On our way home, we had a flat tire at the Grapevine and had to change it with all this high speed traffic whizzing by as we were doing the tire change on the shoulder of the I-5. I guess this was one of those things where we were also learning that we had to be a little more self-sufficient when going to unfamiliar places, especially since we were doing these trips in my own personal car.
I guess this experience also taught me the value of renting cars for long distance trips like this.
Here’s a summary of how this trip turned out…
Nobe Young Falls – We had a little trouble finding this waterfall because it seemed to be the “secret” waterfall of the Sequoia National Forest. Indeed, there was no official signage and the trail to even get to it followed informal angler’s trails. But now that we know where it is, we can take comfort in knowing that it’s a mere short scramble to reach this impressive 100ft waterfall that even let us go behind it within its massive alcove.
Peppermint Creek Falls – This was another one of those seemingly not-so-well-known gems of the Sequoia National Forest. We were amazed that this was a 150ft waterfall tumbling over rounded granite slopes while the approach to the Lower Peppermint Creek Campground on the Lloyds Meadow Road yielded views of the impressive Needles Formation. Indeed, this place felt like our own little slide of paradise in California.
Day 1: Drive from Los Angeles to Springville
Overnight: Ponderosa Lodge (Springville, California, USA)
This was a driving day as we headed up after a half-day of work. Along the way to Ponderosa, we checked out the Middle Fork Tule River Falls.
Day 2: Drive Home
This was a busy day of touring before going home. We first scrambled to Nobe Young Falls. Then, we went up the Lloyds Meadow Road to check out the Peppermint Creek Falls. Finally, on our way out following the Kern River to Lake Isabella, we stopped by the South Creek Falls.
This was also the day where we had to change to a spare tire and drive slowly from the Grapevine all the way to home.