Our first day in the Sequoias began with a stop into the Giant Forest Museum where we gained knowledge about giant sequoias and sought refuge from a spring snowstorm. The museum is located inside the park’s original market. Built in 1928, it was designed by a well known architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood, who also designed the Majestic Yosemite Hotel. Like all architectural masterpieces the old market has morphed into its environment, it is now a part of the forest.
There are a few trail options from the museum, not needing to drive anywhere to be amongst the most massive trees on Earth. Although there are taller trees, like its sister the coast redwood, the giant redwood stands alone in its girth. The average trunk diameter is 20-26 feet across. The effects of the 2021 wildfires is prevalent on any hike, or any drive for that matter. Giant sequoia bark can grow up to three feet thick, making them fire resistant, not fire proof. It is estimated that 10-14% of giant sequoias were victims to the last round of wildfires. Which is exactly why we are here in the Sierras today, better be safe than sorry and enjoy this endangered species while we still can.
Giant sequoias are spectacular. And even more so in the snow, when you have to wait patiently for the snow that touched its apex to finally fall to its roots.