Sequoia National Forest is one of the most beautiful places in the United States and is a must-see for nature lovers everywhere. This magic place is located in the Southern Central part of California, stretching over the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. The park features the famous giant sequoias, meadows, and bodies of water.
Endangered Species, And Then Some. The national park boasts an extensive variety of wildlife, including five types of fish unique to the area, 200 different bird species, and 26 different types of reptiles. There are some endangered species as well including the California Condor, the Bald Eagle and the Bighorn Sheep.
Volcanic Rock. The beautiful landscape of this park was created by quite violent means. Deep volcanic rock was forced above the ground by a subduction zone, which created the iconic peaks admired by so many in the modern day.
The Straight and Narrow of Sequoia. One of the factors that contributes to these trees being so resistant to fire and living such fantastically long lives is the way they grow. While other trees bend or curve, sequoias grow up perfectly vertical.
Native American Settlements. It’s been proven that Native Americans such as the Western Mono settled in areas of the park every so often, using the mountains as trade routes. We know this because there have been artifacts and pictographs found throughout the park.
Complex Road Systems. More than 1,500 miles of intricate road systems exist within this park and are meticulously maintained. There are also about 1,000 miles of abandoned roads in the area, and 850 dedicated to horseback riding and driving ATVs.
John Muir’s Contributions. The famed naturalist writer, John Muir, helped the park gain recognition through his talent and written works. He knew that the park was ecologically significant, and aided its development.
The First National Park Founded to Protect a Species. Sequoia National Park was formed with the intention of protecting a living organism, which is quite unique in the world of national parks.
Honoring the Cherokee. The name given to these gigantic wonders, “Sequoiadendron giganteum,” was chosen in honor of a Cherokee chief named Sequoya. This man is known for creating the Cherokee phonetic alphabet.
The Tallest Trees in Its Forest Aren’t Sequoias. The forest features 30 groves of the world’s largest trees (though the tallest are the coastal redwoods). The giant sequoia only grows on the western side of the mountain range, in a 260-mile-long and 15-mile-wide area.
Sequoia Has Contradictory Weather. While one part of the forest, Ash Mountain, gets about 25 inches of rainfall and 1 inch of snowfall per year, other areas get up to 42 inches of rainfall and 260 inches of snowfall. This contributes to the very diverse environment in the area.
Fire Resistant Trees. Giant sequoias are amazing in multiple ways, including their immunity to fire. Interestingly, this species of tree needs fire to regenerate, since their pine cones only open under the circumstances of intense heat. Fire damage can be observed on the trunks of some of these trees. This is one of the many reasons why these trees are so old.
Undiscovered Caves. Although there have already been almost 300 caves found in the forest, scientists guess that there are many more to be discovered. Most of the caves link together to make underground tunnels, which stretch up to 35 miles in combination.
The Exceptionally Deep Canyon. One of the deepest canyons in North America can be found here, and there is a scenic byway you can drive through to get a glimpse of it. The elevation of this breathtaking place reaches over 11,000 feet at the tallest point.