Last summer we visited California, and our road trip included the famous Sequoia National Park. It was a beautiful place and I strongly recommend that you visit it. The sequoia trees were really impressive, more than once we would find ourselves standing in awe, looking up those huge red logs amazed by their sheer size. But of course, that’s what we expected to find in this place.
What we didn’t expect, was to see several bears, from the very first moment we arrived. We hadn’t been very lucky about that at Yosemite Valley, where bears and other wild animals weren’t available even for our camera’s largest zoom. But here at Sequoia National Park we saw a bear walking next to the road, and a minute later another bear entered the parking lot.
These are black bears, not very big, so as a general rule they aren’t dangerous for people. The signs mention that, if a bear approaches you, you should try to make yourself as “big” and noisy as possible. So raise your arms, scream and don’t run. Also, don’t go alone. A group of two or more humans shouting and waving their arms is enough for black bears to decide it’s not a sensible idea to engage in a fight.
We walked the “big trees trail”, and in the clearing around it we saw a “mama bear” with two baby bears. They were only about one hundred meters away from us, so I managed to take a few pictures of them. I guess they weren’t scared because they are used to see human beings walking that trail, and people don’t usually approach them. They just stayed there under the sun. We had never seen a bear in its habitat before, so it was quite an amazing experience.
If you do a road trip in California, I recommend that you include the Sequoia National Park. Even if you are not lucky enough to see bears, the trees alone are absolutely worth it.