The idea that a tree could be big enough to drive a car through has intrigued me since I was a kid and spending time in the Mariposa Grove of Yosemite NP only made me more excited to see Sequoia National Park. It did not disappoint!
The trees are massive and the views are incredible. Lots of the trees have fire damage sustained over the last 2000 years (yes they live this long and more) and several are hollowed out by fire so much they were big enough to live in. In fact, the largest and 3rd largest trees in the world are right here in Sequoia NP. The General Sherman tree is the largest and its footprint seems to have more space than my first apartment, haha. They had a stat that if the tree was filled with water and you used it to fill a bathtub each day it would take over 27 years to empty. The General Grant is the 3rd largest and the NPS had a sign stating if it was used as a gas tank for a car that got 25 MPG you could drive 350 times around the Earth. WOW!!!!
If you want to visit Sequoia National Park then I suggest planning a full active day or even two. I arrived via highway 180 from Fresno at the north entrance on the west side of the park (there are no entrances on the east side) and visited the General Grant Grove and drove to the heart of the Kings Canyon valley (I wrote about it on Thursday) and back before heading to the main part of Sequoia NP. From here I just continue driving south and stopping at all the different turnouts or road spurs. My favorites besides the trees mentioned above are:
Fallen Monarch is a sequoia near the General Grant tree that fell centuries ago and the center has been burned and rotted out forming a living space the size of an RV. Check out tomorrow’s “photo of the day” for a view inside.
Giant Forest Visitor Center provides parking for the General Sherman tree and the Giant Forest, which is one of the largest collection of giant sequoia trees. They provide lots of great info in the visitor’s center.
Tunnel Log is a sequoia tree that fell across a park road in 1937. A few years later the NPS carved an eight foot high tunnel through the tree to open the road back up. Very cool to drive though, but I have no idea who the people on top were, haha.
Crescent Meadow is a beautiful meadow high in the Sierras lined with trees, some of which are sequoias, and has some hikes into the mountains and waterfalls (dried up in September when I visited).
Moro Rock a dome of granite sticking up out of the ground that you can climb to the top of via a quarter mile steep staircase carved into the rock. The sunsets are spectacular here and a good way to end your day in Sequoia NP.
Once I was done I took highway 198 to Visalia. Even though I came in on one highway and left on another they are actually the same road and the only one through Sequoia NP. I hope you get a chance someday to visit Sequoia NP, because it was spectacular. Next up is Los Angeles to visit my niece and see the sites of the country’s 2nd largest city. Come back and join me. 🙂