After so many national parks based in the desert, was nice to get back into a mountainous and tree-filled landscape with Sequoia National Park, which houses some of the largest trees in the world. Starting out at Big Stump entrance were plenty of trails through some of the sequoia’s, including General Grant, the second largest tree in the world:
Not quite as tall as the redwoods, though getting on for the same age with some of the sequoias around 1,500-2,000 years old, but much wider at the trunk (up to 80 foot in circumference). Within the Cedar Grove area was a fallen tree that was hollowed out. The park service isn’t sure whether it was burnt out before the tree fell or after, and over the years the tree has been used as a stable for horses, a saloon, and as bunkhouses!
The largest redwood grove in the world sits high up in the park, giving fine views over the whole area. A larger grove originally existed a little further to the south, however logging in the early 19th century vastly reduced it’s size.
Down into the Giant Forest is General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. A winding path from the parking lot starts out almost as high as the tree itself, and gives a good idea as to how high it is! Up close it was certainly impressive, and some of the smaller trails in the area gave good vies of the tree in all it’s glory:
A part of the centennial stump, felled back in Cedar Grove near General Grant, was also on display. Originally the tree was transported in sections to Pennsylvania as part of the centennial celebrations and the people wouldn’t believe it was all from one tree and believed it to be a Californian hoax!
The classic image of a roadway leading through a tree is associated with Sequoia National Park, but we found out beforehand that it was actually in Yosemite, not Sequoia, and fell in 1969. There was a fallen tree off the beaten track in Sequoia that they had cut a single lane road through which was cool, and further down the road weaved through existing trees:
Overall, Sequoia was pretty cool, though the crowds of people really detracted from the peace and calmness the area gave in small sections out the way of the main attractions. Can definately tell we’re further into the summer vacation window as the parks are getting a lot busier, and unfortunately it seems to be with pretty inconsiderate people. I was amazed at the number of idiots wandering along the trails smoking cigarettes and flicking the ash onto the ground or stepping over signs warning people to stay on the trails to prevent damage to the plant life in order to have their photo taken of them climbing on the trees. Think we’re going to leave Kings Canyon tomorrow as the crowds were just too much, and hope to make an early start on Yosemite on Monday to avoid the worst of the congestion.