Time to get out of Ridgecrest - super hot and humid and we were on the search for cooler weather. Going to Sequoia National Forest has been on my list since we moved here a year and a half ago and we finally had a Saturday that worked out to go.
I keep forgetting to try these PsiBands from Target out. The roads were super windy to get to the forest so I am glad I brought these along to test out. 
Review coming!
Loving all the green even though there were quite a lot of dead trees mixed in. Not sure if they were just old or if it is a certain kind of beetle that has been killing trees in California.
I have a friend (@theflipflopwanderer) who hiked up to the Needles Lookout and his picture was so amazing I knew I wanted to hike there too. We did not research it out that well, one of those things being the road in. Definitely better with a high clearance vehicle, it's quite bumpy and rocky in spots but there were a couple regular sedans up in the camping and parking areas. 
This is where we were hiking to. 2.5 miles there and back. A much longer hike than we normally do but I figured it would be okay. We started by 10am and got to the tower around noon, I think.
Huge hollowed out stump
Loving the layered look of the mountains in the distance.
I sure am glad we brought our hiking sticks. They came in very handy.
Stopped and took some fun photos along the way
After a while on the trail with ups and downs and narrow paths and lots of rocks, we made it to the tower. We did take quite a few rests on our way. Then the trail turned in to switchbacks and at the very first one, I saw a snake. A rattlesnake. Live. We stopped and looked at it for a moment, less than 5 feet away, until it raised its head and we hustled away. 
Our view before hiking up to the tower
A kind guy offered to take our picture. This was about as high / far as Tony would go. He's not a huge fan of heights plus it was somewhat windy. 
You could see 360* and the views were pretty awesome.
We spent 30 or 40 minutes at the tower. This was the view before we actually climbed up higher
Gonna step off the edge!
Looking down the stairs we had just climbed up.
As you can see, the 'tower' doesn't look the same as the picture we saw at the beginning of our hike. Still fun just the same.
Interesting looking rock
I slipped on a rock got my elbow scraped. My right kneecap felt like it was all over the place. It started to get pretty hot outside and my calves and hamstrings were yelling at me. But, the views were worth it. I probably would not do this hike again though. 
Three trees in one!
Why would I not hike this trail again? Main reasons are I don't like long hikes and this one was pushing it. I prefer loop hikes where I don't walk back the same way. When we travel to different parks or places with hikes, we prefer various short ones vs one long one that takes a majority of the day. Also, there are soo many hikes in California we have not done yet and we have limited time here so there's no time to waste!
Another detail of the hike will be in a different post with pictures from my point and shoot camera. All these photos were taken with my Google Pixel phone.