Monday, Sept 27th – We left Yosemite NP headed towards Sequoia, driving some VERY winding roads down the mountain. Very scenic, but slow going…. and then some very winding roads back UP the mountains heading into Sequoia NP and Kings Canyon. We got to the campground around 2pm…. set up….then headed out to explore………
The main feature at Sequoia and Kings Canyon is, of course, the giant Sequoia trees, with their massive trunks and tops which soar above all the other trees.
The Sequoias are very long lived trees, with many of them living more than a thousand years.The longest lived Sequoia on record is 3,200 years old. Because of their massive girth and height, the Sequoias are the largest tree (by volume) on earth.
The Sequoia has a bark that can grow up to two to four feet thick. it is light and spongy, similar to balsa wood.
The bark lacks resin, which makes it fire resistant, and contains tannin, which resists insects. The grain is very tight with growth rings very close together. The heart wood is also has a high tannin level, which makes it very rot resistant.
Fire scars, such as this one, can be seen on many of the Sequoias. Fire may damage a Sequoia, but not kill it. The Sequoia groves actually depend on regular fires to open the pine cones and allow new Sequoias to grow. After 100 years of fire suppression in this park, officials realized that it was beneficial to the overall health of the Sequoia groves to allow smaller, more frequent fires to burn naturally.
We hiked the trail around the General Grant Tree (some of the largest trees are named). The General Grant is 267 feet tall and 107 feet in circumference and is 1,700 years old.
It is a massive tree, but you could not get that close to it, and nothing really allows you to judge the scale.
As we walked on around the North Grove trail, we were able to get closer to the trees.
And fully appreciate their size….
This is the root end of a fallen Sequoia…..
We were able to walk upright the length of this log…..
This is the same fallen log viewed from the side.
And some trees are famous even after they are cut down….
It seems a shame to “celebrate” by cutting down one of these majestic trees…….
After hiking around the giant trees, we drove up to Panoramic Point….
And sat and enjoyed the view…..