If you are doing a road trip around California, this stop at the Sequoia National Park will raise your interest. After a drastic change of scenery and a rise in altitude, you will be at around 7,000 feet above sea level. This splendid region gathers both high summits and high trees. There are also great lakes, canyons, and rivers, but here, we will focus on the sequoias.
The Giant Sequoia is the highest conifer in the world. It can get up to 300 feet. If you decide to visit this park, you will be able to walk along with those giants. You will even be able to walk inside one of them! Indeed, one of the dead sequoias is laying silently on the ground. The park managers decided to dig the trunk so you can walk under it, just like you would walk in a tunnel.
Standing next to the giant sequoias feels like standing next to a Basketball player. When you see him on the television, you do not realize how tall he is. However, when you stand next to him, you finally realize the difference between him and you. If you want to know more about what is the biggest tree in the world, which is not located in this park, I recommend that you read the article I wrote on the topic.
What is Sequoia National Park’s largest tree?
Among all the giants of the Sequoia National Park, there must be one taller than the other. But which one is it? What is Sequoia National Park’s largest tree?
General Sherman is 275 feet (84 meters) high, making it Sequoia National Park’s largest tree in terms of height. It is more than 2,000 years old and you can see it next to a path inside the park.
The record holder: General Sherman
General Sherman is the sacred monster of this forest. People gather from all around the world to see it. It is the biggest vegetal organism in the world.
It is more than 2000 years old, which means that it was already there during middle age. The US were not even discovered by the Europeans that this tree was already waiting for them. This is mindblowing.
Picture from General Sherman, Wikipedia.
The opponent: General Grant
General Grant is General Sherman little’s brother. It is younger and smaller, however, its diameter at the base is bigger! Indeed, it is 40 feet in diameter, whereas General Sherman is 25 feet in diameter.
General Grant is around 1,650 years old, but we cannot be sure about it. We used to think General Grant was much older. However, recent estimates suggest it is not so old.
Walking between such trees makes you realize how little we are compared to nature. It definitely helps to step back and question ourselves about our rights over nature.
Picture from General Grant, Wikipedia.
Sequoia National Park President
In 2012, National Geographic thought about taking The President in the picture. However, they were not talking about Barrack Obama. “The President” is one of the largest trees in the world. It is 27 feet in diameter and 247 feet tall, which is not the highest of the park, but which is still massive. Indeed, the record holder in height is General Sherman, which we have seen before. The latter is 275 feet tall, which makes it the highest tree in the world. However, The President is 3200 years old, which is older than General Sherman, who is “only” 2200 years old.
National Geographic had the idea to take a full picture of the tree. Since it is surrounded by a lot of other sequoias, this is impossible to do in one shot. In order to capture the 2 billion leaves of the tree, they had to use very creative technics, which you can see in the video down below.
Camping in the Sequoia National Park
There are a lot of campgrounds in the National Park. Since California has a lot of National Parks, the managers are used to camping. However, make sure to respect the local rules. They can change from a park to another. Please, check the rules before camping. Also, keep in mind that the weather does not allow camping throughout the year. As you saw in the video, it can snow during winter because you are at altitude. For the rest of the year, the weather is okay for camping.
Travel responsibly in Sequoia National Park
Just like the other parks of the U.S. such as Badlands National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, on the Grand Canyon Skywalk, or Monument Valley, Sequoia National Park is a place that we should respect. So please travel responsibly and follow the eco-tourism advice.