After visiting Redwoods National Park as a college student, I was curious to visit Sequoia National Park which was only three hours north of where I was living. I often wondered what the difference was between redwoods and sequoias. I discovered at the park that redwoods are taller, but the sequoias are fatter and therefore are the largest trees on earth. I found the scale and grandeur of the reddish giants stunning, and the park had numerous trails that wind through the woody groves and led me to quiet undisturbed places to reflect and meditate.
The two largest (not tallest) trees in the world are found here, General Sherman and General Grant, although the latter is actually in adjoining Kings Canyon Park. The General Grant tree, the tallest in Grant’s Grove, is near a fallen sequoia named the Fallen Monarch which is estimated to have tumbled around 300 years ago.
The climb up Moro Rock’s 400 stairs led me to a spectacular view. If you lack the stamina to reach the top, you can still enjoy superb vistas along the way. While the trees and hills were enchanting I also found petroglyphs left by the Western Mono Indians at Hospital Rock.
I had visited the park to simply see sequoias, but I was pleased to discover, the majority of the park protects a large part of the Sierra Nevada range with canyons, lakes, waterfalls and high mountains, including Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States. I was disappointed to learn that this park didn’t need volunteers as I would have loved to spend at least three months exploring this beautiful treasure.
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