Kings Canyon and Giant Sequoia

Sept. 29 – Thursday – Oakhurst, CA to Kings Canyon& Sequoia National Parks to Oakhurst, CA

General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park

The goal today was to visit two additional national parks, Kings Canyon and Sequoia. After a two-hour drive our first encounter of the day was at the majestic General Grant tree, at 267 feet in height and neatly 29 feet in diameter, the second largest tree in the world. But the entire grove is astounding. In addition to the gigantic General Grant specimen there are dozens of “smaller” companions in the area. Being late in the season and early in the day, there were few other visitors and the Forest Service was doing a controlled burn of underbrush so the whole area had the wonderful scent of incense cedar. We abandoned our drive on the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway after about 45 minutes to save the rest of the day for Sequoia NP.

It’s really impossible to describe the scale and majesty of giant sequoias. The displays at Giant Forest Museum and other visitor centers are informative but the site of so many of these enormous, 2,000 year old trees is just breath-taking. Seeing the world’s largest tree, the famed General Sherman, is thrilling bit I think we enjoyed as much or more the drive south of the Giant Forest where scores of these stately, serene trees line the road sometimes with just enough space between for two narrow lanes. Trisha says she likes the Sequoia forest even more than Yosemite.

The frequent stops and numerous road repair delays made for a long day but still it was an immensely satisfying visit.  We spent the night at a very nice, comfy Hampton Inn in Visalia, CA.

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