So, part number 3 on our, quite epic, California road trip! I’ve talked about the beginning and the end of our trip, so now it’s time to fill in the blanks about what we did in between. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a few photos. For the rest of you, here’s the lowdown!
Leaving Los Angeles, rather than take the Pacific Coast Higway towards Santa Barbara, we took Highway 5 and headed towards Sequoia National Park. You see we wanted to incorporate one National Park in our itinerary and since Yosemite would be a hit or miss at this time of the year, we decided on Sequoia instead, and more specifically on seeing the General Sherman tree, which is the biggest tree on earth (based on trunk volume).
So, we got up there after a pit stop at a small town called Lindsay for a coffee (I got a cake pop…it was yummy) and walked around for about an hour. There is a trail that goes around General Sherman Tree, which is full of information points about Sequoia trees and General Sherman in particular. For example, did you know that Sequoias as almost immortal? I didn’t! They are resilient to fire (unless it’s a lot) and the way that they usually die is by falling due to their weight and the fact that they have rather shallow roots. You can see a fallen Sequoia in one of my photos!
A few things to consider before venturing out to see those giant trees and meet the General are the following:
1) If you’re visiting during winter time (that would be from November to April) make sure you call/ check ahead for road closures due to ice. Thankfully the weather was good to the week’s leading to our visit, so the road was clear and we were able to reach the park. You can find lots of information in the park’s website.
2) General Sherman tree is a 4,5 hours drive from Los Angeles per Google maps. Now what the map doesn’t tell you is that the last hour or so is spent on a winding road full of turns and U-turns while going up the mountain. Now, I’m perfectly OK with winding roads (met lots of them during my Greek road trips), but keep that in mind in case you or someone else in your company is prone to motion sickness.
3) The nearest “town” to the Sequoia National Park is Three Rivers. Now I used the brackets there, as Three rivers is less than a town and more like a place where lot’s of restaurants, inns and activity places are located. If you’re visiting the park for multiple days, it makes sense to stay there.
4) The entrance fee in order to get in the park is 20$ per car and is good for a week. Of course we only used it for 3 hours, but still we were 4 people in the car.
5) Dress warm. The Giant Forest, where the the General Sherman Tree resides is at an altitude of 7,000 ft (that’s about 2.100 meters), so even in the summertime it’s bound to be cold!
Have you visited the Sequoia National Park?