Sherman Tree Trail to Crescent Meadows and back,
(11 miles, +2,300/-2,300 feet).
ZoZoZoom got very excited reading about the Trail of the Sequoias on Modern Hiker. We originally intended to do that hike, but we could not get to the trailhead at Crescent Meadows for it because of parking restrictions. So we decided to park at the lot for the Sherman Tree instead, adding that trail and the Congress Trail both ways to the mileage.
We also decided to add some miles by taking the Huckleberry and Alta trails instead of the Washington Tree Trail between Crescent Meadow and Circle Meadow. Add to that some bonus distance from getting lost once in the maze of the Giant Forest, and today turned out to be a very big day!
We got a lazy start this morning, hitting the trail about 8:30am. But we were still practically the first ones there.
We soon started seeing the crazy majestic sequoia trees all along the trail.
We also encountered some forest creatures who were also taking their time getting started this morning.
The Congress group was quite impressive, but we really liked the President Tree which may soon overtake the Sherman Tree as the world’s largest.
The trail down to the Congress Group is all paved, which was great when I came here years ago with small children, but we were happy when we turned onto the Trail of the Sequoias. It was a lovely duffy trail, and mostly empty, giving us great solitude with John Muir’s giants.
The forest was deep and dark, giving lots of opportunity to living things that like shade.
Fortunately for us, all the blowdowns on the trail had been there for decades (or more).
By 11:30am we made it to the start of the High Sierra Trail, where I started and finished a 110 mile hike just two months ago. It was amazing to see how different everything looked. We decided to eat our peanut butter sandwiches and check on our progress.
While we were sitting there, we watched lots of hikers come and go. One family in particular had a small boy who was really revved up for the hike. One of the older men in the family asked him “Do you think we’ll see a bear?” At the top of his lungs, the boy enthusiastically replied “I KILL THE BEAR!” At this point, his mother ran after him with a worried expression and yelled “But you’re a VEGETARIAN!”
ZoZoZoom and I certainly had fun with that one.
After lunch we continued past Crescent Meadow where the forest was particularly full of sequoias.
Soon we came to an old cabin a man had built in order to try and gain rights to the land back in the 1800s. We tried to imagine living there through a Sierra winter with only our wits to get us through.
Once again we deviated from the main path, taking the long way around the Huckleberry and Alta Trails. We saw hardly anyone and the foliage was outstanding.
We loved the trail markers along this route. They were the sequoia cones that seem improbably tiny given what some of them would become.
We also loved the aspens along this trail, which were in their full autumn glory.
When we finally got back to Circle Meadow we got a little lost and had to do just a bit of cross country.
We found ourselves headed back north into the heart of the Founders Group.
Of course we had to stop for a photo op in the Room Tree.
And my last good shot was of the McKinley Tree.
By 3pm we were back at the Sherman Tree Trailhead with 11 miles in the books, a PR for ZoZoZoom.