After a day in Kings Canyon, we headed down the road to explore Sequoia National Park. Sequoia is home to some of the biggest trees in the world, including the General Sherman Tree, considered to be the largest living tree on the planet!
We’ve seen a lot of big trees this year, with a couple of trips to the Redwood Forest (including a trip to the Grove of Titans). The redwoods were pretty enormous, but we could appreciate the massive size of these sequoias a little easier because of the lack of brush around the trees. Because sequoias need fires to reproduce, fires are allowed to spread in the park, burning away the brush around the sturdy sequoias.
We started our day with a hike on the Trail of the Sequoias. This trail starts with the General Sherman tree (the big guy), and then moves to the Congress Trail, before 6 or so miles (more, if you are us and get a little lost) on the actual Trail of the Sequoias.
The Congress Trail has some enormous sequoias with fun tree names, like The Senate (a group of enormous trees clustered together), The President, and Chief Sequoia. Hiking along this trail involved a lot of the classic big tree hike phrases, such as, “That’s a big guy.”
We ended up hiking for quite a long time because we missed a turn-off that would take us down to Tharp’s Log, which I really wanted to see. Hale Tharp, the first non-Native American to live in the area, built a log cabin in a fallen tree back in 1861 and grazed his cattle in the nearby meadow. Crazy stuff.
The Trail of the Sequoias was a really beautiful hike. After we finally made it back to our car (several extra miles later), we drove over to Moro Rock. I was a little nervous about this thing because we were already pretty tired, but the climb up 400 stairs wasn’t too bad. Moro Rock is basically a giant rock (6,736 feet high) with stone steps (built by the National Park Service in 1931!) leading to the top. And the view is incredible. And terrifying.
And if we hadn’t had enough visual treats in Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, we got this awesome sunrise on the way out the next morning. Give me the mountains forever.