Giant Trees in Sequoia National Park

You should have been convinced so far that California is the most beautiful and diverse place in the United States. But if you aren&#...

You should have been convinced so far that California is the most beautiful and diverse place in the United States. But if you aren't, you should definitely read this article about Sequoia National Park with its gigantic sequoia trees and high peaks of the Sierra Nevada.

Sequoia National Park is the second-oldest national park in the US which was set aside in 1890 to save its giant trees from logging which was prevalent those days. It's remarkable how barbaric Americans behaved in the west in the 19th century exhausting its natural resources and fighting  its native people. Did they not feel like they're going keep those lands? 
That's why it was so important that the first parks such as Yellowstone, Yosemite and Sequoia were created as it triggered a huge change how people perceived their land. However, setting aside a park by Congress or a president did not automatically mean that the park is now protected. 
In case of Sequoia National Park, illegal logging was still happening, so enforcement was absolutely required. US Cavalry protected the park for over two decades until the National Park Service (NPS) was established in 1916 which took over the park management and protection from militants. By the way, NPS celebrates a centennial this year. Congratulations!
But let's go back to the park. Sequoia National Park along with adjacent Kings Canyon National Park protect a huge part of the Sierra Nevada south of Yosemite National Park and other federal lands. Indeed, sequoia trees is the main attraction here, however they occupy only a small piece of land comparing to the rest of the park.
The only way you can reach the park by car is from the west.  

You have way more options though if you like backpacking. You can even reach Mount Whitney which is the highest peak in the continuous US (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) - 14, 494 ft (4,418 m), not shown on these pictures.
Views of the High Sierra Nevada are simply stunning, so why not shoot your wedding video here from a drone?
Western slopes of the park are very dry. Cactus and yucca are the best proof for that.
Moro Rock is a granite monolith likely formed due to exfoliation of rock layers. There will be pictures from its top at the end of this article.
Entering the Giant Forest.
These gigantic sequoia trees clearly stand out from the rest of the forest.
You can tell how huge these trees are comparing to the visitors centre below.
Sequoia tree is the largest living tree in volume and weight. It's also one of the oldest trees on Earth. These giants can also be easily 2,000 - 3,000 years old.
The picture below taken at the visitors centre shows how huge the tree is if you compare it with other big trees and some man-made artifacts.
At least one tree can have a bigger diameter and one can live longer, three grow taller (including the highest tree on Earth - Coast Redwood), but none of them rivals a sequoia tree in volume and weight. 
If you have only a few hours in the park (who would want to do that?), make sure you don't miss the Big Trees trail.
It's short and accessible hence busy, yet it gives you the best overview of sequoia trees.
The bark is fluffy.
Sequoia tree is very capricious. It would only grow in perfect climate conditions, that's why its habitat is so small. Naturally it only grows in California.
What it needs to have is lots of precipitation and not very cold temperatures year around. Moist soil, open sunny forest and bare ashy ground are also important prerequisites for a sequoia tree to grow. 
Sequoia seeds can only open during the forest fire that naturally occur in Central California. Although healthy for sequoia, uncontrolled fires can be very dangerous for people and harmful for economy. That's why the park performs prescribed fires once in a while. 
Mature sequoia trees cannot be killed by a low ground fire. Moreover, fires remove the canopy on the ground which also helps sequoia as it means less competition for it.
This tree probably uses the rock for extra stability.
When the soil becomes too soft, the sequoia tree falls. That's pretty much the only reason sequoia can die, because it's big enough to withstand wind and fire, and its chemicals in the bark keep bugs away.
Dead tops mean that the tree is very old. They grow up up until a certain point. After that they just become thicker. 
A furry marmot is heading toward to the forest.
General Sherman tree is the largest living tree on Earth. It's 275 ft (83.8 m) tall and its largest branch is almost 7 ft (2.1 m) in diameter! Scientists estimated its age to be around 2,200 years. Because it's huge and there is almost no competition from other trees, it grows so much new wood per year (!) enough for a 60 ft (18 m) tall tree of a normal size.
The layer of soil where sequoia trees grow is very thin here and it can easily be only 3 ft (1 m) thick. Nevertheless, a sequoia tree is comfortable with it as it spreads its root for stability for hundreds of feet away.
Ever wanted to drive through a tree? Well, now you have a chance. This place is called the "Tunnel Log", not to be missed.
This tree gives you an option to walk through it. I bet it can protect you from rain, too.
This cabin has been built before Sequoia National Park was established in 1890.
Early visitors to then to-be Sequoia National Park told other people of unusually huge trees, but very few people believed them. At least three sequoias died to prove they existed. One of them called Mark Twain Tree was cut in 1875 and its 16 ft (5 m) trunk was shipped by pieces to Philadelphia (!) where it was reassembled for the America's Centennial Exhibition. But still people didn't believe and laughed it off as the "California Hoax".
And, as I promised, a few pictures from the top of Moro Rock.
High peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post from Kings Canyon.

My other posts from the Trip to California:

Kings Canyon - One of the Deepest Canyons in North America
The Hottest Place on Earth. But Is It Really Dead?

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