Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were to be the last stops on our road trip. Sadly, due to the Rough Fire, Kings Canyon had been evacuated, so we could not even set foot in the park, but we did still spend some time in Sequoia.
Sequoia is home to the world's largest tree by volume, General Sherman, so of course that was on the top of our to-do list. We had also wanted to do some more hiking, but the Rough Fire foiled those plans again, as the air quality was rated as unhealthy for strenuous activity in most part of the park. So we kept our time in Sequoia short and did the quick hike to the big tree early on before the smoke picked up. This also meant that we got some quiet time in the grove of Giant Sequoias before the tour buses started arriving.
General Sherman is not nearly the tallest tree in the world. That's Hyperion at 379 feet in Redwoods NP, where we were just a few weeks ago. It's also not the oldest in the world. That's a 5000 year old bristlecone pine in Inyo National Forest that we haven't seen yet, so we'll just have to put it on our list. Still, at 275 feet tall, 103 feet circumference at the base, and more than 2300 years old, General Sherman is a sight to behold. Even it's largest branch, at nearly 7 feet in diameter (wider than most trees at their base) is impressive.
So we spent a while taking photos and appreciating the grandeur of GS before retreating from the effects of the fire and heading back for home. And just like that our six months on the road visiting national parks came to a close! Stay tuned for more on overall thoughts and lessons learned later.
Ryan and Cristina's travel blog, detailing our adventures in US National Parks and overseas in New Zealand and SE Asia.
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