Now you're ready to hit the snow. The Panoramic Point Trail begins on a wide path near the lodge. You might have to walk down the road a bit before there's enough snow on the ground to merit strapping on your spikes.
As you start the slow, 1,000-foot climb, the village quickly drops out of view. Under a thick covering of pines, you work your way up, walking along the main road and around the rim of the expansive Round Meadow, where warming weather forms ice crystals atop the vast field of snow. The result is a shimmering white blanket that stretches almost as far as you can see.
After a while, the trail leaves the road for its final climb to Panoramic Point. Yellow circles on tree trunks mark your path to the lookout point, where you'll stand on a ridge overlooking distant Sierra peaks and valleys. This is your turnaround point (not that you'll be in any rush to turn around). When you're ready, just retrace your steps to the village. The total distance, out and back, is five miles.
The next day's adventure requires a little bit of highway time. Take Highway 180 back to the three-way intersection about a mile and a half before the Kings Canyon National Park entrance. Take the left fork and drive eight miles. You'll see the sign for Montecito-Sequoia on the right. The parking lot is half a mile farther.
Montecito-Sequoia sits right between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, but it isn't part of either one. Though it functions primarily as a family-style resort, the reason to come here is the spring skiing. About 30 miles of regularly groomed trails loop around the property, not including backcountry paths. Since the elevation here is quite a bit higher, snow lasts longer than in Grant Grove and the surrounding areas.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication