Safari Information Reservations Guide: Brent Paull

I've shot in the Mineral King section of Sequoia National Park every year since my first trip a decade ago.  At around 8000 feet, this area has beautiful scenic landscapes, lush wildflowers, waterfalls, the east fork of the Kaweah River, and wildlife.  This location is high on my list due to the Sooty Grouse, wildflowers, songbirds, and butterflies.  At the end of the valley is Farewell Gap (shown above) - a colorful display in the fall.  While trailheads go off in many directions (all steeply uphill) we stay fairly close to the road to shoot in the meadows that border the Cold Springs Trail, as well as past the end of the road about a half mile south towards Farewell Gap.  The June date is primarily for hooting male grouse, while the two July dates are for Sooty Grouse hens and their chicks.

We can meet at my home in Tulare or at a hotel in Visalia at 5am, or in Three Rivers on Highway 198 at 6am in the Pizza Factory parking lot.  From there we travel to the Mineral King Valley and photograph throughout the area.  We will stop for lunch at the Silver City Cafe, then shoot again through the early afternoon before heading back. 

The deposit is 50% via check, Paypal, or credit card, and the balance is due halfway between the deposit date and the safari date unless you are booking within 3 months, then full payment is due.  Check the main safari page for other information.  Spouses can ride/walk along at no charge, but you must have your own vehicle to travel in.  Link 
I've spent my 38-year wildlife photography career shooting in the American West.  The first 23 years shooting out of Utah, the past 15 years out of California.  With 1500 published photo credits, dozens of magazine covers and article, and a lifetime wandering the roads of the west, the photo safaris that I lead are all to the best locations, at the best times, during peak wildlife activity periods. 
Difficulty Level Dates

Moderate  -  some walking, little hiking June 20,   July 18 and 27    $250
The story of this area is truly unique.  At one time this high elevation valley was considered for a Disney Ski Resort (in the 1960's), but its remote location and difficult road access kept the valley from being anything but a summer home location.  Miners and hunters in the later 1870's first brought white men to the area, but the mines were less than successful  though they did leave traces of mining around and they did create the initial road for wagons. 

Image Galleries:  Grouse   Sequoia-1  2

A couple of summer home settlements remain, and eventually it was added to Sequoia National Park.  Views of Sawtooth Peak to the east, Farewell Gap to the south, and Timber Gap to the north surround the valley with photogenic sites. 

The 29 mile road into Mineral King is difficult (windy) and slow, but amazing views.

Participants - maximum of 3 photographers.
Video - Sooty Grouse Video from Mineral King - Link
INFO - Safari Checklist - Link


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