01 October 2010

California Day 5: Moro Rock and General Sherman Tree

After the Grove of the Giants we headed to Moro Rock. We took our time climbing up and up and up the many stone steps until we finally reached the peak. Moro Rock is a large granite dome located in the center of Sequoia National Park. It sits at a elevation of 6,725 feet and has a 400-step stairway cut into the rock. It's a steep climb but managable for anyone that is willing to tackle the heights. The guardrails are ample and there are plenty of spots to stop and rest if needed.



From the top you have an amazing aerial view of the park. Looking towards the east you can see the peaks that make out the Great Western Divide (seen above) and looking to the west you can see the Middle Fork Canyon (seen below) which is almost as deep as the Grand Canyon.


After leaving Moro Rock we stopped at the Parker Group, a beautiful stand of sequoias named for the Parker family. These were some of the prettiest trees in the park and Geraldine and took our time weaving in and out of the stand.




Next we took a drive through the Tunnel Log. The 275 ft. tree fell from natural causes in 1937 and the following year a crew cut an 8 by 17 ft. tunnel through the center, making the road passable again.


Next we only had one more important stop before heading back to our campsite and that was to pay a visit to the largest tree on Earth, the General Sherman Tree. This giant sequoia has a height of 275 ft. and a volume of 52,513 cu. ft which makes it the largest known non-colonial tree by volume. The tree is believed to be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.


When you're walking around all these groves and stands it's hard to pinpoint which tree is bigger than the rest. I loved seeing the General Sherman Tree but I must admit that I didn't find it was any bigger than some of the others we had seen. Regardless it was nice to see and I even digibinned a view of the top of the tree. You will notice that it's been struck by lightning and no longer growing taller, only wider.


After hiking and looking upwards all day at large trees we decided to end the day with a dip in Hume Lake. This a small little lake found in the eastern part of Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Park. It was busy with children laughing and swimming. We retreated to the quiet areas of the waterfall and managed to keep busy with our wading.


It was the end to a perfect day and exactly the kind of adventure I wanted from my vacation. Nothing could be better than checking out the largest organisms on Earth and then retreating to the cool waters of a lake.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your journey was so amazing,astonishing and awesome !!! The picture that I like are the very big trees... I really hope that I could be there and stand under that biggest tree.! That's so awesome picts. Thanks for sharing your picts.

SHIMA said...

Fascinating post.! That's so amazing journal..

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