One day at Sequoia National Park really isn’t enough to see all the scenic places and hikes that the park has available. But with a quick weekend getaway, Juan and I decided to go see the largest trees in the world in one day, followed by another day at Yosemite National Park.
The night before heading out, we researched which hikes would be best to do given we only would have a day. We had to opt out of self-guided trails that would take too long, and instead chose to follow the main tourist paved trails and see the main attractions. It wasn’t hard to do so because the Sequoia Shuttle took us to the different trail stops. We wanted to see as much as we could but our main goal was to see General Sherman, the oldest and largest tree.
Not only did we see General Sherman, we also got to see many more trees just as impressive. Standing next to them was a fun comparison in relation to our size as humans. We also got to see an area that looked like the meadow in the movie Twilight, got to see some animals in nature, and we got to hike and sweat a little.
Leaving the park we agreed we would be back to explore again but give ourselves at least a couple of days next time. We hope to go back and complete a hiking trail and see the places we didn’t see the first time. This time, the two main places we explored were Giant Forest (General Sherman site) and Crescent Meadow. We stopped at two other small trail stops, but unfortunately didn’t write the name of the trails and can’t share that information with you. Here I leave you with the two places we took the most time in, some pictures of burnt trees, and scenic views along the way.
General Sherman is the worlds largest (not tallest or widest) living tree by volume. It was amazing to see it but getting a picture alone with it was nearly impossible because it’s the most crowded place in the park. It’s understandable because General Sherman is impressive in size and known to be over 2,000 years old. It’s also over 100 ft at the base and over 275 ft high. With those facts, who doesn’t want a picture with the oldest living tree?
We got to General Sherman by taking the Sequoia Shuttle which drops you off at the General Sherman Tree Trail and Big Tree Trail, which leads directly to the tree. If you have trouble finding it, park rangers can be helpful in giving the information you need.
The Twilight Meadow or Crescent Meadow
Okay, so maybe this isn’t the meadow from twilight but it sure reminded me of it. Every time I looked before me I could almost imagine Edward and Bella there. But to keep you non-Twilight fans from getting bored I won’t go on about it. This area was probably one of my favorite because I had never seen a swamp/meadow like this. We also found it was a beautiful spot and actually quite romantic for any couple. It was also a very easy hike and easy to follow trail. Crescent Meadow was my favorite area because we ran into a Mama and baby deer, a badger building his home, a tree with a huge rock attached to it, and some other cool trees we took pictures with. See for yourself…..
Sequoia Trees Depend on Fire for Survival
Many of the trees had burnt marks on them, but we soon found out many of them are burnt on purpose and some were burnt when they were caught in a natural fire. Sequoias actually benefit from fires in that it helps them reproduce. After a fire, rapid growth takes place because the fire dries out the cones that open up and allows tons of seeds to come out. And since the ash serves as fertilizer, they quickly take root. Apart from this, Sequoia trees are fire resistant which makes the process a lot easier for them. Their ability to heal keeps them alive and thriving for many more years. Check out these cool facts listed on this page about fires and more…
Road to Sequoia National Park
When we entered and left Sequoia National Park, we were tempted to stop at every scenic pull out but chose to only stop at two. The First one here, was on our way back down and out of the park. It had an open view of the surrounding mountains that gave us a spectacular view. We chose to sit back and admire it for a while before heading out again. People pulled aside, stopped, took pictures and left. But we had a nice time just admiring the view before us for a few extra minutes.
The next stop was more towards the bottom of the road that headed back out of the park. The rock which I’m making an illusion to touch is Morro Rock. From where we were, we could actually see small figures walking at the top. I was a bit disappointed we didn’t make it there because it was late and we weren’t going to make it out of the park in the time planned, but this just leaves us with an excuse to come back.
I wish I could have more of this park to share with you, but if like us you only have one day to explore, I recommend hiking Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. I also recommend using the shuttle system as it takes you to main tourist trails. The shuttle stops quite often allowing you to go from one trail to the other quickly without the hassle of finding parking at each spot. Park in one place, and let the shuttle take you. I recommend taking small snacks and water because you will be walking all day. And even if you have just one day to explore, you will LOVE the little bit that you see at Sequoia National Park.
Sequoia National Park Pictures