06 July, 2014

Wagner Road Trip 2014 - Sequoia National Park

We caught a glimpse of the Sequoia trees while in Kings Canyon, but I wanted to write about these ancient trees in my entry about the Sequoia National Park.

My family visited this park when I was four years old and honestly, I don't recall much about the trip.  I do remember seeing photos of our trip in the family photo album and I really wanted to bring the girls to see the Sequoias.

To learn some interesting facts about Sequoias, this website offers some quick facts and information regarding the largest living things on earth!

Elisan standing in the fire scarred trunk of a living Sequoia.

One thing that I learned about Sequoias is that the NEED fire to help them grow.  A controlled fire burns the underbrush.  The heat from the fire opens up the Sequoia cones and seeds virtually rain down onto the newly cleared (burned) ground where the seeds can take root.  Sequoia trees by design are fire resistant, so while they can burn, they don't die.

Surprisingly, this is NOT a Sequoia pine cone.  This is actually a Sugar Pine Cone.

This egg-sized cone is a Sequoia cone.

Climbing Moro Rock, a granite monolith inside Sequoia National Park.

The view from (not quite the top of) Moro Rock.

General Sherman Sequoia tree.  The largest living thing on earth!

Being silly on the Redwood Canyon Trail.

A giant Sequoia amid the forest.

Another interesting fact about Sequoia trees is that they only grow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Read below:

"All naturally occurring groves of giant sequoias are located in moist, unglaciated ridges and valleys of the west slope of the Sierra Nevada range in CaliforniaUnited States.  The giant sequoia is usually found in a humid climate characterized by dry summers and snowy winters. Most giant sequoia groves are on granitic-based residual and alluvial soils. The elevation of the giant sequoia groves generally ranges from 1,400–2,000 m (4,600–6,600 ft) in the north, to 1,700–2,150 metres (5,580–7,050 ft) to the south. Giant sequoias generally occur on the south-facing sides of northern mountains, and on the northern faces of more southerly slopes." 

The Big Stump Basin, standing on the Mark Twain Tree Stump.

The Big Stump Basin is a quiet reminder of how man can enter a completely beautifully preserved area and destroy it for profit and gain.  The Big Stump Basin was home to the Smith Comstock Lumber Mill that was in business during the 1880's.  

I loved Sequoia National Park.  It was beautiful, fascinating and a joy to revisit.

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