Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is one of the most incredible and unique places in the world. With treetops towering at nearly 300 feet and over 404,000 acres of preserved land, this vast California park is comprised of 97% wilderness and offers 800 miles of uncrowded hiking trails. Technically referred to as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, as the two parks are now recognized as one by the National Park Service, this breathtaking landscape certainly boasts the best of both. Mountains, canyons, and giant sequoias are but a few of the wondrous displays of nature that can be found here.
Sequoia National Park is also home to the largest living organism on the planet ― General Sherman Tree. While it is not the tallest tree on the planet, nor the widest, it is estimated that General Sherman Tree is between 2,300 and 2,700 years old, making it a middle-aged sequoia skyscraper. (The oldest recorded giant sequoia is believed to have reached 3,500 years, based on tree ring counts.) It is, however, believed that General Sherman Tree may be the fastest growing tree of its kind. It would also appear that a giant sequoia could essentially live forever if it were not for an unprecedented catastrophic event, such as a fire or by erosion. We can barely begin to imagine all that this tree has seen and endured during its lifetime. From climate change to forest fires to the age of the modern man... it’s truly amazing to think about!
If you plan on visiting the park, which we highly recommend you do, don’t miss out on hiking the park’s most rewarding and challenging trail, Trail of the Sequoias. This 5-mile loop climbs over several ridges, down into four secluded meadows, and leads you into a forest full of sequoias. While there are other popular trails to embark on, such as the Congress Trail and Big Trees Trail, the Trail of the Sequoias is an excellent path to take if you seek solitude. If you ever find yourself fortunate enough to explore the land of the giants in your lifetime, consider it both an honor and a privilege. Relax, take your time, and soak in the beauty and wonder that surrounds you.