Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park Travel Blog› entry 46 of 77 › view all entries
Just South of Kings Canyon is Sequoia National Park, they are pretty much side by side of each other. Since I was last here eight years ago, they have added a new trail to The General Sherman tree. The General is the largest tree in the world, in sheer volume (not the tallest, and not the oldest, just the biggest.) You used to be able to drive up to a viewing area fairly close to the tree, but parking was always a problem close to the parks most popular attraction. The new trailhead has a large parking area, and allows you to walk about mile through the Sequoia forest to get there. A ranger told me they put it in to force people to excercise! (actually, she said parking was the major issue) While walking the trail, I accidentally left my new camera on a bench, but luckily it was still there when I ran back 10 minutes later after noticing it was missing! Tyler found a large, football-sized sugar pine cone on the trail.
As we got closer to the General Sherman tree, we noticed they had installed a large, cobblestone "footprint" of the tree, showing how big it actually is around the base. While we were there, some jerk decided to ignore the signs advising people to stay on the trail, and hopped the fence to walk over to the big tree. I was narrating to the camcorder at that time, and referred to him as an "idiot" on camera. A friend of his happened to be standing next to me at the time, and took offense to me calling his buddy an idiot. Too bad! I took offense to him hopping the fence and tromping through the underbrush! The root systems for these large trees are sensitive, and if everybody was allowed to walk on them, with the number of visitors they have, these big trees would die.
The rangers were busy cutting up a large branch that had recently fallen off the tree and crushed part of the fence. The branch itself was bigger than most trees! They left the pieces there to decompose where they fell, as nature intended, only removing the part thet crossed the trail. We waited our turn, then took a bunch of pictures in front of General Sherman.
Farther down the road, we came to a spot where a large tree that fell almost a hundred years ago...this used to be a "drive on" tree. I remember taking a picture of my friend Lee driving his car onto this tree 8 years ago, but part of the tree has since collapsed, and is now blocked off. Somebody probably tried to drive a big truck or SUV onto this old, rotting tree, and it just couldn't take it anymore. The big drive through tunnel log is still there, though, and we had Dawn drive through it a few times while we took pictures.
Not far from the tunnel tree, there is a mountain called Moro Rock with steps carved into it, over 400 of them. Ty and I went up, Dawn begged off because of her bad knee. Tyler, of course, raced way ahead of me to the top, while I huffed and puffed my way up the steps. Great views, and dizzying heights! By the time we got down from there, the sun was starting to set. Time to head out and find another campground!