Today is the walk around the rim of Kings Canyon. Yesterday had been hot, and there was every indication today would be as hot if not worse. The survival trick is plenty of water and an early start, we didn’t reach the track until 9.30, so much for the early start. Signs indicated a walk time of around 3 to 4 hours. Our habit is lots of photo stops and reading all the material available so we counted on the four hours, this left time for lunch in the park somewhere.
The start of the track is quite steep and climbs a series of stairs made from the canyon sandstone rock. Climbing the 100 meters to the rim of the canyon is a heart starter right off. Following us is a woman with three girls aged from around 4 years old to about 12, I would guess. Only held up by their struggling mum the girls romped up the stairs behind us. A brave woman we thought, taking these kids for the walk on her own, however it turned out there was a dad in the picture. Well actually dad was never in the picture he was busy taking pictures of his own and he would lag behind and then take off in front again.
The family is French and father turned out a pain in the arse, he is everywhere we are. Rounding a corner he’s there clicking away, take a photo of a cliff, he’s climbing the cliff, frame up a deep ravine shot and he’s standing on the over-hang. I’ll get that picture of a deep red craggy knob against the pure blue sky, he pops up on top of the knob, then frightens the crap out of us by rushing out of some scrub. Several times we found him standing on the edge of huge cliffs just past the sign that said “don’t go too close to the edge”.
The walk around the rim is spectacular and well worth the effort, the rock formations are fantastic and even with the many travellers on the track there’s still a feeling of solitude. Well marked but not over developed, it felt a privilege to do this walk. Passing through narrow gaps in rocks that open to a dusty bowl of a rock amphitheatre or round a corner and find ourselves high on the top of a mound with hundreds of feet fall on either side. In places the track is particularly difficult wooden bridges provide canyon crossings and wooden steps help scale cliff faces.
At the head of the canyon are the water holes that help create the so called Garden of Eden. Abundant green edges surround the deep red, yellow and orange of the cliff walls. It’s easy to imagine this place millions of years ago in our prehistoric past with its palms and bushes clinging close to the water source.
A diversion takes us down to the actual permanent water called the “Garden of Eden”, this path leads into a deep part of the canyon to a very large cold and dark water hole. We’re permitted to swim, the heat made it very tempting, but we refrained as we have no swimming gear.
It is a hard hot climb out of the bottom of the canyon and the trip back is a long trudge, we arrived back at the car park very hot with empty water bottles. It’s time for a cold beer and a BBQ at the picnic area before returning to the tent for the afternoon.
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