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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.57

     challenging words:    cinnamon-colored, exfoliation, gargantuan, heartwood, hook-up, circumference, overview, hands-on, leadership, difficulty, volume, munchkins, tannin, self-guided, organism, rental
     content words:    Girl Scout, Los Angeles, East Coast, Kings Canyon National Parks, San Francisco, Lodgepole Visitors Center, Walter Fry, Congress Trail, General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest Grove

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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Meredith and her family loved the outdoors. They played sports, hiked, swam, and canoed. Meredith was also a Girl Scout who enjoyed camping with her troop. The next few days in her life were about to combine the best of all these favorite activities.
2     Meredith and her family were visiting relatives in Los Angeles. Since they lived on the East Coast, they decided to take advantage and do some special activities while in California. Because they loved the outdoors, they wanted to visit some of the spectacular places California had to offer.
3     Early Wednesday morning Meredith, her parents, and her brother got into their rental car and drove five hours to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These parks are actually halfway between the major cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and the drive is about five hours from either city.
4     After the long drive, Meredith's family finally arrived. They stopped at their campsite where they would be staying overnight. They certainly would be roughing it. There was a table and a fire pit but no electric hook-up.
5     After they had set up camp, they made their first stop at the Lodgepole Visitors Center to check out the park activities and the current park conditions.
6     The family learned the story of Walter Fry. He was a logger in 1888 who was a part of a team who took five days to cut down a single sequoia. When it fell, he realized it was 3,266 years old. So upset by what had been done, he helped support the idea of the area becoming a new national park to protect the sequoias. In 1890, it became a park. Walter Fry stayed around and took a leadership position within the park. In 1994, the nature center at Lodgepole was named for him.
7     The day was perfect for a hike. There were so many ranger-led programs and scenic trails from which to choose!
8     The family decided to see what they could on such a gorgeous day. The parks had 800 miles of marked trails, perfect for the casual hiker, backpacker, and the mountaineer, depending on the level of difficulty they'd like to experience.
9     The family chose to hike the Congress Trail, which was marked "easy." The trail is about two miles and can take about one to three hours round trip. It is a self-guided trail. It is an extremely popular trail because of what's on it - the General Sherman Tree, Giant Forest Grove, and Alta Plateau.

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