The General Sherman Tree and Crystal Cave

Sequoia National Park Travel Blog

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Panorama view of the General Sherman Tree with me at the very bottom!
I should probably mention that while there were 6 of us most of the time only 5 of us went out hiking. My one friend was quite happy to stay in the campsite and enjoy the air rather than go hiking. He did join us for Crystal Cave but most of the time you will only see pictures of the other 4.

The 5 who wished to go hiking set out in the morning to see the worlds largest tree, the General Sherman tree. The free shuttle took us to the parking lot where we "hiked" down about at half mile on a paved road. They had a lot of trails going from there to see some of the other named trees but since we had to get back to eat lunch and then get to the Crystal Cave we only saw the General Sherman tree.

The Redwoods that grow on the nothern coast of California are generally taller and there is a tree in Mexico that is wider at the base but the General Sherman Tree is the largest by volume in the world.
The way down to the cave
I would have thought that was because it was also the oldest tree but that is not the case as we learned that the reason it was so large was because it happened to be in a good spot for soil nutrients and water.  It is still pretty tall at 275 ft and still pretty wide at 103 ft in circumference at its base. The sign by it says that looking up at the General Sherman Tree for a 6ft tall human is about the equivalent of a mouse looking up at a 6ft tall human. If the Sherman tree trunk could be filled with water it would provide enough water for 9,844 baths. Thats one bath every day for 27 years. Nuts hunh?!

After lunch we drove down to the entrance to the Crystal Cave. The shuttle doesnt run to it and it takes at least 45 min from the campsite to drive there.
A waterfall like cave formation
Once there you have to give yourself at least 15 min to hike down to the actual cave entrance. It was fairly steep and the lady who sold us the tickets (at the Campground Village Market - NOT at the cave as they arent sold there!) told us that it is the equivalent of 30 stories down. We took our time on the way up I can tell you!

The cave itself was refreshing after the hike down as it is constantly at 50 F. Our guide led us through a bunch of caverns and at one point had us turn all our cameras and lights off and then she turned off the lights so you could see what it was like to be like the little cave bugs who live there (never saw any surprisingly). We all tried to be really quiet. It was weird as it was completly dark and all you could hear was water dripping. Some of the formations are pretty amazing and a few of them are almost transparent! I learned a lot and I would really like to go on the longer all day tour where you get a hard hat and knee pads and actually get to go spelunking !
X_Drive says:
You didn't get a picture of the cave entrance with the spider web style wrought iron. :(
Posted on: Jul 01, 2008
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Panorama view of the General Sherm…
Panorama view of the General Sher…
The way down to the cave
The way down to the cave
A waterfall like cave formation
A waterfall like cave formation
A view of the General Sherman Tree
A view of the General Sherman Tree
Four of my five companions
Four of my five companions
This tree is really big.
This tree is really big.
The Capitol Building formation
The Capitol Building formation
Sequoia National Park Sights & Attractions review
Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
On my camping trip to Sequoia National Park we made a point of seeing this cave as it is one of the largest in the park and the only one that can be t… read entire review
Sequoia National Park Sights & Attractions review
The Largest Tree in the World (by volume)
The free summer shuttle drops you off in either the parking lot ( a mere half mile easy hike to the tree ) or at the drop off point 100 feet from the … read entire review
Sequoia National Park
photo by: travelwithsuz