Trees are everywhere, right? No big deal, we see them all the time.
Then we heard the stories.
An ancient tree that only lives on the western facing slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains between elevations of 5k and 7k feet. A tree that grows up to 311 feet in a massive, perfect column that doesn’t bother to taper at the top. With bark up to 31 inches thick, branches up to eight feet in diameter, a base up to 40 feet wide and total weight up to 2.7 MILLION pounds. This monster is born from a cone the size of a chicken egg with seeds the size of oatmeal flakes and can reign over the forest for up to 3,200 years!
We have seen lots of trees in our previous 33 National Parks. But nothing like this.
During our visits to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks we set eyes on the aptly named Giant Sequoia Trees for the first time. Billed as the largest living things (by volume) in the world, they did not disappoint! Besides these towering giants, we got our first taste of fresh snowfall and snow hiking.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon are technically two parks. Sequoia was created as the third National Park in 1890 and General Grant National Park was created a month later to protect a specific grove of Sequoias. Fifty years later Kings Canyon National Park was created and assimilated the tiny General Grant grove. The current parks are the only National Parks that share a border and are administered jointly by the NPS. They even share an NPS webpage and a park brochure. So we’re going to follow that example and talk about the two parks together in one video and post.
The awe-inspiring Giant Sequoias are rightly the pride and joy of these parks. But we spectacular waterfalls, mountain views and granite domes made for a good bonus!