Sequoias are most massive trees in the world (if measured by trunk volume) & are only found in a few groves around Sierra Nevada in the wild. The giant trees are also one of the oldest (some even as old as 3500 years!) trees.
They can go up to 267.4 ft. with 107.6 ft. & massive volumes of 46608 cubic ft.
Why Sierra Nevada as the main protagonist for sequoias – That is because of their relation with fire! Yes, a forest fire may be. Weird, isn’t it? A giant sequoia needs fire to release its seeds from cones, to expose bare mineral in which seedlings can take root & recycle nutrients in soil. Also used to open holes in forest to let sunlight reach seedlings. So they require periodic wildfire.
Sierra Nevada and places like are prone to regular fires in the wild giving rise to huge Sequoias. There are many wild groves in Sierra Nevada where one can enjoy feeling of dwarf standing in front of huge sequoias. Below are the top wild groves for the purpose –
Grant Grove – They are in remote Kings Canyon National Park. The same can be accessed via short road from Highway 180. Several humongous trees lie here in a grouping of 90-acre area. There is a great vantage point for those who want to photograph a full sequoia. Every Christmas, General Grant tree is each year celebrated as the nation’s Christmas tree. There is a loop trail and one can see other variety of trees such as Gamlin Cabin, Fallen Monarch & the centennial stump.
Redwood Mountain Grove – This is the largest & also oldest grove (total area). Obviously it contains more mature sequoias than any other. Hike out 2.5 miles to sugar bowl grove which is again a giant mixture of sequoia trees. Also get additional access to redwood creek and vistas. It’s a simple 1-mile stretch of dirty and bumpy road towards parking area and further down to trailheads.
Muir Grove – If you are the one who likes solidarity or who prefers isolated places or trails, then this is the viable place for you. It’s a mid-size grove. The grove features a tightly packed and denser area for sequoias. One can go for deeper groves for longer trails. Also, you can have views across creek gorge of the massive sequoias on Eastern side of grove. If you are camping at Dorst Creek Campground or are travelling to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National park, it’s an ideal choice.
Atwell & East Fork Groves – Across the North and South slopes of East Fork of the Kaweah River. Accessing these groves is pretty easy, all you have to do is drive 19 miles to the Mineral King Highway 198 to access them. Acceptably, most of the area is not accessible by trails. Basically it’s a decent trail and one can see sequoias trees on all sides.
These are the top hiking options in vicinity here with adventure and lots of fun and to see age old giant trees who probably are there from your 30 forefather generations.
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