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February 2003 Winter Gear

Powder Hungry? Hike These Snowshoe Trails

Bust out of winter doldrums on one of these stellar snowshoe routes.

California

Redwood Meadow/ Mineral King

Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park

Snow muffles every sound in the great redwood forests of Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Awed whispers fade away, making these natural cathedrals seem even closer to the divine. To sample some of that magic, head north on narrow hiking trails from the end of the plowed Mineral King Road; pass through Little Sand Meadow into the Redwood Meadow Grove. Complete the 20-mile loop by dropping south of the grove on the Cliff Creek Trail to Timber Gap and then on to Mineral King Ranger Station and campground (closed in winter). Return along the road through Silver City. This relatively easy route offers moderate elevation changes and the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including weasels, marten, bobcats, cougars, snowshoe hares, and great horned owls.

Guides: Ski Tours in the Sierra Nevada, Volume 3: Yosemite, Huntington and Shaver Lakes, Kings Canyon and Sequoia, by Marcus Libkind ($12.95). Trails Illustrated’s Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks #205 map (800-962-1643; www.backpacker.com/mapstore; $9.95).

Contact: Wilderness Office, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, (559) 565-3708; www.nps.gov/seki.

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