Wednesday, February 22, 2012

General Grant Grove, Kings Canyon National Park

usbackroads destination--General Grant Grove, Kings Canyon National Park

I am continuing my tour of all the areas I worked in California way back in the early 1970's.  Today's trip was to visit a Giant Sequoia Grove.   While working for a consulting firm in 1973-74 I supervised a project that mapped the backcountry Sequoia groves in Sequoia National Park.

Only in California can you find the coast Redwood and the Sierra Redwood.  Most folks are familar with the coast redwood, however, the Sierra Redwoods are much more massive and impressive.  The coast redwoods do grow taller.

So how big are Giant Sequoia trees.  Well, take a look at the picture above.  That women is six feet tall.  The General Grant tree is 40 feet in diameter at four feet above ground.  Ok, that does not mean much.  If you have never seen a Giant Sequoia do this.  Get a tape measure and some plastic chairs for marking.  If you have a football field near by, do it on one of the end zones.  Set the tape measure for 20 feet and place a chair every few feet around the circle.  This is the size of  General Grant tree.  Now look towards the other end zone.  That is the height of the tree.  Now that is worth seeing in real life!!

This is the fallen Monarch log in the grove.  Be sure to let your kids explore!!  It served as a cabin and restaurant in the early years after discovery.

Soon after discovery a Giant Seqouia was cut down and the lower part re-assembled back east.  Everybody believed the tree to be a fake!!   Worth a stop on any trip through California if you have never seen one before.

We took California 180 to enter Kings Canyon National Park.  The road just barely enters Kings Canyon National Park and then exits and enters Sierra National Forest.  So you get to see the Sequoia's and then have the freedom of roaming the National Forest without all those silly Park Service regulations.  Bugaboo and Snowpatch are great fans of National Forests.  We have already commented many times on their feeling about National Parks.

Hwy 180 dead ends after 30 miles back inside the back at Cedar Grove.  However, we knew the road was gated and with the low snow year were hoping that we could bicycle on the road all the way to Cedar Grove.  Looked like just enough snow to make the trip very difficult.  The road from the General Grant Grove to Three Rivers was closed.  So we will make another trip to visit the south end of Sequoia National Park.

So make the trip to see the largest living things in the world.  If you are pressed for time and only visiting Yosemite National Park the Mariposa Grove at the south end of Yosemite National Park will be a satisfactory second to visiting Sequoia National Park.

Oh yeah, you still might want to visit some of those coast Redwoods.  Be forewarned that they will be disappointing after you have seen the Sierra Redwoods.

1 comment:

Nan said...

Absolutely breathtaking!