Giant Sequoia National Monument

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Martin Hash
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Giant Sequoia National Monument

Post by Martin Hash » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:30 pm

Sequoia National Forest already contained two National Parks, Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon National Park, when president Bill Clinton protected the remaining 824 sq. mi. a National Monument in 2000. It contains 38 Giant Sequoia groves, half of all those in existence. Because it’s basically an afterthought, its weird boundaries are such that without GPS, you wouldn’t know what park you were in. Most of the Reserve is undeveloped for hiking, probably because it abuts the Tule River Indian Reservation, and there’s a large burned area with thousands of cinder-black trunks standing is silent reproach at how ephemeral even a forest with 1000-year old trees can be.

Most notable is Boyden Caverns in the northeast part. My wife, Gwynne, and I stop at all caves given the chance, and it’s a good thing we didn’t hesitate because it closed exactly as we asked to join the tour. It was a small group so they said okay, and since it was they last of the day, our ranger guide let us walk in the underground creek and get right up to the mineral formations without touching them. He also showed us a bind cave spider, something new to my insect repertoire.

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