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.
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
|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
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.