Marvelling at the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Forest

A teenage Sequoia with acne?

Emily inspecting what looks like a teenage Sequoia with acne.

As mentioned in my previous post, “Where did all the Sequoia Trees Go…” the most anticipated destination of our California camping road trip adventure was The Giant Forest. After our long scenic drive we arrived in Sequoia National Park just in time for dinner. We didn’t have a reservation, but it was our lucky day and there was a drop in campsite still available for us at the Potwisha camp ground. To add to our fortune it was National Park Week, so admission was FREE (aka. a travelers dream)!

We were eager to set out immediately to see the Giant forest, but the sun was already on it’s descent to the horizon, and our stomachs were grumbling with hunger. So instead, we settled into our campsite and made fajitas! After supper, we made a valiant attempt to start a campfire with the wood scattered around the campsite, but unfortunately it was too damp, and our kindling fizzled out before a log could catch (so much for my Girl Guide camping badge…). On that note, I brushed my teeth, mentally added ‘relearn how to make a campfire’ to my summer to do list, and turned in for an early night.

I needed about 9 more people to make this tree hug work!

I needed about 9 more people to make this tree hug work!

The next morning we woke up bright and early. As we packed up the camper van, three stealthy deer were quietly sneaking between the tents and RVs, munching away on the tall grass. They only stopped to look at us when we started the ignition, and soon continued to enjoy their breakfast as we drove off.

We drove through the forest keeping our eyes peeled in anticipation for a Sequoia tree. Would I know one when I saw it? I wondered. That questions was quickly answered as we rounded a corner and came face to face with a beautiful red barked giant tree that shot up high into the sky. I was in complete awe at the sheer size of the sequoia, which towered high above all the other species that surrounded it. Turns out, we didn’t need the “Giant Forest” sign we passed a minute later to know we had arrived.

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General Sherman, The largest tree in the world.

The Sequoias were scattered throughout the forest, and made everything else appear to shrink in their presence. It is a place that will make you feel very small and insignificant in the world, yet fill you with wonder and appreciation of the power of nature. I was half expecting these ancient giants to slowly creek to life like the Ents in Lord Of The Rings. Some of the trees are estimated to be over 3000 years old! If only they could talk, I’m sure they would have some interesting stories to tell. The forest is also home to General Sherman, the largest tree in the world. He has a volume of 52 312 cubic meters and a height of 275 feet! That is ONE BIG TREE!

It was truly magnificent. Be forewarned, if you go, you will likely end up with a crook in your neck from staring up, up, up.

Keep scrolling down for photos of the Giant Sequoia Trees we saw!

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Emily sitting inside of “Chimney Tree”

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Look waaaay up!

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Burnt bark

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This Seqoia was turned into a summer cabin

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I loved the pattern on these two

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Double Trouble

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