The Giant Forest

The western part of the United States yields an incredible amount of natural wonders that must be admired in person, as most photography just will not do them justice. The majority of these wonders are in the form of mountains, dense forest, rock formations, deserts and vast open landscapes.

On the coastline of Northern California the world’s tallest trees,  the coastal redwood trees (Sequoia sempervirens) grow. On the eastern side of the Golden State in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, some Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) can be found at Sequoia National Park. This is where we headed out to for a long summer weekend. All we knew was that these trees were not as tall as the Redwoods. 

Seeing these colossal trees inside the Giant Forest up close turned out to be astoundingly riveting and enchanting. No matter where you live or grew up, seeing trees every single day is one of the most common facts of human existence. Yet suddenly seeing an over thousand year old tree with a trunk perhaps 100 times more massive than anything you have ever seen in your life before will amaze and bewilder even the most nature apathetic person. Go see these trees in person at least once in your life and look around to enjoy the delightful spellbinding gaze of fellow travelers of all walks of life alike!

Once over several hundred years old, a Giant Sequoia is almost invincible and won’t be destroyed by fire, lightning, fungi or other natural occurrences. Ultimately the Sequoias do die, as they collapse under their own gargantuan weight. Food for thought.

General Sherman. The world’s largest tree by volume. Notice the tourist at the very bottom of the image.
Without a person for scale, you could never imagine how colossal these tree trunks are.
Close up of roots from a fallen Giant Sequoia tree.
Inside of a fallen and hollowed out Sequoia. A grown man can comfortably walk inside this tree trunk.
The immense root network of the Giant Sequoias spaced out sometimes far in between which allows beautiful light to enter the forest ground.
The cabin of one of the first European Settlers inside the Giant Forest.
Hike along the Kings river inside the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park.
Magnificent salt formation inside Crystal Cave, the most accessible cave inside Sequoia National Park.
19th century illustration of the Sequoia trees. Many people called this the “Great California Hoax”. © Wikimedia Commons