Sequoia National Park
This park is located in the southern part of Sierra Nevada, California. Many park visitors enter Sequoia National Park through its southern entrance near the town of Three Rivers. Entering the park through this entrance, you will notice that temperatures during summer are very hot. As you drive up towards the Lodgepole Visitor Centre, the temperatures will drop dramatically. Camping in the Lodgepole Campground we experienced very cold nights even during summer, so be well prepared if you are camping there.
As the name of the park implies, it is famous for it's giant sequoia trees with the General Sherman (large picture above) being one of the largest trees on Earth. The tree with an estimated age of 2.300-2,700 years is 84m tall and weights 1,900,000 kilograms!!!
There are two trails leading to the tree. The Main Trail, which is off the Wolverton Road, is about 800m long. This trail has some stairs so remember that the walk back is uphill. The second access is a wheelchair accessible trail from the Generals Hwy. This trail is much shorter and easier to walk and this is also where the shuttle stop is.
The road to Crescent Meadow is closed to private vehicles between 9am and 6pm during summer. The shuttle bus leaves the Giant Forest Museum every 15 minutes with the Moro Rock stop on this route.
The walk around the meadow is very easy and beautiful with leopard lillies, ferns and other flowers in full bloom.
When we visited Sequoia National Park a couple of years ago, we were lucky to spot a couple of brown bears. We hoped that we could see them on our recent trip as well, so we headed to the Crescent Meadow before sunset. Unfortunately there were too many people around the meadow with kids screaming like there is no tomorrow :-(. Bears wouldn't come anywhere near noises like that.
We returned very early the next morning hoping that with no people in sight, bears might come close to the meadow. We loved how the morning sun played with the ferns and flowers, so we couldn't resist taking a few pictures.