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Sequoia National Park

The giant sequoias are an amazing site to behold. They are often the highlight of anyone's California vacation. Giant sequoias are the largest living organism in the world, when measured by volume. And it is easily worth the four-hour drive from Los Angeles or Sacramento to see them. Once you arrive and see them with your own eyes, I promise it'll make you a tree-hugger.

It is hard to capture the scale of a giant sequoia with a camera. Using a wide angle to photograph the whole tree, makes the tree look smaller. But by including an object in the scene - like an automobile, you will then marvel at the trees' size.

There are several paved trails near the park museum that wind through the forest. These are easy, and fun as there are two trees with a hollowed-out tunnel to walk through.

Another great hike is to the top of Moro Rock, located near the Parker Group of trees. It is about a 15-minute uphill walk to the vista. During summertime, the haze may obscure much of the view. You can see a photograph of a sunset from Moro Rock by clicking on the thumbnail to the left.

Be sure to hike the Crescent Meadow trail. John Muir called it the "Gem of the Sierras". Along the trail is an old hollow log that a pioneer from the 1800's made into a summer home.

Sequoia National Park is also great place to see black bears. I spotted several at dawn and dusk along the roadways and parking lots. Of course, this was during the off-season, so your odds may not be as good. Never approach a bear, but do admire them from the safety of your car. If you're staying at the lodge in the park, be sure to remove all food from your car.

These ancient sequoias have been around since the dinosaurs. They have survived logging, fires and insects. The newest threat - air pollution from the San Francisco Bay area - may be doing more damage than realized. But for now the trees still stand waiting for your visit...and a hug!

 

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