My schedule has not been kind to me. I have plenty of excuses as to why I haven’t posted in two months, but none of them are very good. Please enjoy my experience of Sequoia. We’ll be finishing it out very soon as we head down, around, and through Southern California, with a final stop at Saguaro, Arizona.
After parking at the Crescent Meadow area and settling onto the first of the few short trails that would make up the Giant Forest Loop, I, of course, immediately got lost. Even with the help of the paper map, the REI app, and Google’s GPS, I could not figure out what exact trail I was on. It wasn’t “I’m going to die” lost, but “I’m very annoyed at myself and this park” lost.
I passed Bobcat Point, crossed a couple streams, passed the white-flowered Crescent Meadow, and then finally found my trail. Apparently, the Log Meadow trail is literally just that, a fallen log in the meadow, with no visible trail whatsoever. So after a stupid detour, I somehow made it to the Trail of the Sequoias and headed north to the General Sherman Tree.
This park reminded me very much of Redwoods, and could very well be described in similar words. I was actually not even aware until this day that the Tunnel Log and these famous trees were located here and not at Redwoods. These places were previously indistinguishable to me in pictures. Huge, thick, stripy trunks among the short, green foliage and lilac-colored wildflowers.
Areas had been burned for their own benefit, and smelled pleasantly like a huge campfire. I was able to walk through a carved tunnel through a massive tree, and I stepped inside the walls of another that had been hollowed out.
It was a long, confusing trek to the General Sherman Tree, as well as the Congress Group and the President. I wondered what made these in particular so special. They looked identical to others I’d already passed on the trail. But the Sherman Tree is close to the road with a shuttle stop, so of course it was crowded. Apparently, General Sherman is the largest tree by volume in the world, at 275 feet tall and 36 feet in diameter at the base. To me, it didn’t really appear to be record-breaking after seeing the other sequoias in the park. Impressive nonetheless, I guess.
After a morning of getting lost, I cut the back half of my hiking loop short and rode an empty shuttle back to Crescent Meadow. Quiet and air conditioned, and myself very tired again, it was one of the better parts of my day.
Note: something I learned about this park was that Sequoia and King’s Canyon are one combined national park. Seems obvious, but caused a little confusion upon navigation. Check your directions before you take off.