Sequoia National Park forms a huge area for recreation. This amazing wonderland, covered with a living dome of ancient trees, creates a unique atmosphere of a fairy tale. Stone canyons and rivers frame this splendor, and the sunny weather of the Sierra Nevada maintains a constant temperature. Travelling with BMW rental Pittsburgh, you can admire the beauty of the park at any weather conditions.
The national park is named after the giant sequoias. It is believed that these are the largest living organisms on the planet. Their massive, cinnamon-colored trunks and powerful branches rise up to 100 meters. You can find these trees only in a narrow strip along the Pacific coast of North America. The most extensive and less visited part of the park is the Giant Forest. Now only young trees up to 100 years old grow here.
In the park, you can touch the oldest trees on earth. An amazing specimen of giant sequoias is “General Sherman”, which received its name in honor of William Tekums Sherman, who took part in the Civil War. This tree is the largest in the world in volume. Its height is 84 m, diameter is 31 m, and the lowest branches grow only at a distance of 40 m from the ground.
In addition to giant sequoias, other smaller, but not less beautiful trees grow in the park. Their examples are:
Park’s short history
Native Americans, Indians, lived for thousands of years in an area that later became that National Park, but its modern history started here only in the middle of the 19th century. Farmers and settlers began to populate this region around 1860, moving from the east coast of the continent to the west.
Thanks to conservation enthusiasts, such as the famous naturalist John Muir, they managed to protect from massive deforestation the lands on which Sequoia National Park is located. On September 25, 1890, a law was passed in the US Congress that gave the park such a high status in order to preserve it in its original form for posterity.
Description of the park
Formed over the millennia, a unique ecosystem presents today variable beauties for everyone, who values nature:
- In the north of Sequoia Park, at an altitude of about 2 km above sea level, there is a plateau called the Giant Forest, where the tall thousand-year-old sequoia trees rise above their more modest-sized forest neighbors.
- In the west there are dry foothills descending towards the San Joaquin Valley, on which you will not see the coniferous giants. However, there, in absolutely wild territories, there are numerous thickets of California black oak and yucca shrubs, among which there are many wild animals – lynxes, cougars and foxes, deer, ground squirrels and rattlesnakes.
- In the south is the Kaweah River Canyon, descending from the Foothills and Mineral King for more than 1.5 kilometers down. Along it, stretch mountain meadows inhabited by small animals.
- In the east, the territory of Sequoia Park is gradually increasing, and the vegetation is changing to mountainous. Different species of pine and spruce grow here, as well as fir and juniper. In the distance, you can see the peaks of the mountains covered with snowcaps that are part of the Great Western Divide system and the Kaweah Peak, reaching a height of 4207 meters. Mount Whitney is located there as well, but it is impossible to see it from here.
Everyone knows that walking through a forest or a park is very good for health, because it:
- Relieves stress. When we are in the forest, our heart rate and cortisol levels are reduced, which is considered the main indicator of stress levels. For example, in Japan, some doctors prescribe “forest baths” for people.
- Reduces the level of inflammation. If suddenly any inflammatory processes occur in your body, fresh forest air will help reduce the level of inflammation. Scientists recorded such observations both in young people and in the elderly.
- Gives rest for the mind. If your brain is overloaded after a report at work or household chores – come to the Park. It happens to everyone that we cannot concentrate and the brain seems to stall. This condition is called mental fatigue. The best cure for such an ailment is trees and forest paths.
- Normalizes the blood pressure. In addition to reducing anxiety and heart rate, outdoor walks lower blood pressure.
- Helps prevent cancer. Japanese scientists have found that being outdoors stimulates the production of anti-cancer proteins. People, living in areas with forests and parks have a much lower cancer mortality rate than those, who live in industrial zones.
The territory of Sequoia National Park is so vast that you can easily spend several days with interest, constantly discovering something new. Most of it is absolutely wild, that is, a real paradise for people of any age who love to go hiking in nature. From the top of Mount Moro Rock you will enjoy stunning views that are quite difficult to describe in words, you just need to see them.