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Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

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Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:41 pm

My niece passed her initiation this year with an easy three day backpacking trip with no complaining, and is very excited about a longer one next summer. She has requested a west side trip where we might be able to encounter redwoods. I was thinking of a trip through pear Lake to tablelands to big arroyo and back through Hamilton lake and bear paw meadow for redwoods and back to the trail head. This hike seems unbelievably beautiful, but seems like it might be a lot like a Rae lakes or evolution Valley hike (beautiful but crowded). Any other suggestions, is it as bad as I fear?
Last edited by overheadx2 on Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has redwoods

Postby longri » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:25 pm

Most of the time when people say redwood in California they mean the coast redwood. The redwood trees in the Sierra are the giant sequoia. They're very different, different species, different genera even. The coast redwood is very tall while the girth of the giant sequoia is almost unbelievable.

That said, I don't think you'd see any giant sequoia on that hike you detailed. I can't offer a suggestion for you as I've only seen them on brief day hikes near the road. But I'm pretty sure there are backcountry groves.

edit:

Apparently there is a grove not too far from Bearpaw Meadow. It's about 5 miles and 1700 feet of descent from the camp to the modest little grove. Some friends of mine camped down there one time. Look here: http://www.redwoodhikes.com/SequoiaNP/Bearpaw.html
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has redwoods

Postby overheadx2 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:47 pm

You are correct, I should have said giantSequoia grove. I know there is a grove below Bear Paw meadow, but was curious if there were any others off the beaten path. We may just have to stop at Lodge pole and see them before we head out.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby LMBSGV » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:52 pm

Redwood Canyon and Redwood Meadow both fit your criteria. Here's a thread to check out:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9328&p=69373&hilit=+redwood+canyon#p69373
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby dave54 » Mon Oct 06, 2014 8:56 pm

If you want to drive farther:

In 1932 the CCC planted a grove of Giant Sequoia south of the SW corner of Lassen Volcanic NP. A trail starts at north of Mineral, off forest road 30N16, heads north, just cuts across the SW corner of LAVO and goes to Heart Lake, and connects to forest road 17. The trail to Brokeoff Mountain connects with it, and following the Brokeoff Trail east to hwy 89 can connect you with the rest of LAVO trail system where you can put together any number of multi day trips.

The Sequoia Grove is just a 1/3 mile or so from the Glassburner trailhead and along the trail. You would be amazed at how large those trees have grown in just 80 years. They are not old growth, at 80 years they are still youngsters, but large in girth.

This trail is little known and little used except by locals.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:54 pm

There are a few places with giant sequoia one can backpack into on trails or dirt roads, like Redwood Canyon, but these are low elevations few bother backpacking into. Those groves are not particularly impressive compared to the many one can simple day hike into. Thus would advise separating notions of combining High Sierra backpacking with visiting giant sequoia groves. So besides any backpacking trip, take her on a weekend camping trip to Giant Forest where you can easily spend a couple days day hiking for miles through the big trees. To make it even more interesting while there also take the Crystal Cave tour.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby mort » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:29 am

Hi overheadx2,
I endorse Redwood Canyon. The Park Service says:
The Redwood Canyon contains the largest of all sequoia groves, and the largest area of old growth sequoia trees.

You could take it as a first night, then go back to the car and hike out into the park. Redwood Canyon is kind of landlocked, south and west of the General's Highway. But depending on the season... I went with my family, including 5 year old son, some years back. Wednesday through Friday. We camped under Sequoias, all by our lonesome. There is a field of strawberries a few miles in, and ripe that day.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby Strider » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:12 am

We found a gorgeous grove off-trail coming down off of Maggie Mountain towards Balch Park.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:27 am

Overnights I have hiked through Sequoias include the HST coming back via Crescent Meadow, Redwood Canyon, Garfield-Hockett trail (the Garfield grove surrounds you as you hike up up up up to Hockett Meadow), and Case Mountain (a little known BLM property near Three Rivers - coming down the road on the north side of the mountain takes you through one of the groves there).

Of the options available, I would take a newbie to Redwood Canyon. Garfield-Hockett is a wade through poison oak in the first mile or so and so low it gets quite warm hiking up the exposed sections of the trail. Case is a 5000 foot gain and you have to carry all your water. An out and back on the HST would probably suit you as well but Redwood Canyon is more pleasant especially in late spring when the flowers are going.

Your original plan is far too ambitious for someone who's only been out once. Have you been to the Tablelands? Do you know an "easy" route through it? I go there every year and it's always an adventure in rock hopping at least part of the time, and the elevation gains are strenuous. I can guarantee a sunburn - I put on 50 spf several times a day, wear a huge hat and long sleeves, and still come away with pink skin after a day in open granite.
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby overheadx2 » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:35 am

Thanks for all the input
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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby RodofJ » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:30 am

Not sure what you're looking for, but these were somewhere (I'm guessing a few miles) south of Bearpaw Meadow on the way to Mineral King. There were lots of really cool trees there. I was there a couple months ago - there's a big "campground" around Bearpaw Meadow and there were a lot of people there, I stayed at Buck Creek and there were people there too. On the trail from Bearpaw to Mineral King I didn't see that many people.

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Re: Any one know of a back country hike that has giant sequoias

Postby oleander » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:34 am

If she wants to go to either Pear Lake (short-ish trip) or out the High Sierra Trail to any number of destinations (long-ish trip), she can get permitted for a start at the Alta trailhead. The first mile of the Alta Trail winds through some truly spectacular Sequoia groves, in the general area of the Sherman Tree (but far enough away from Sherman so that the crowds are dispersed). Also, Alta is one of the easiest trailheads for which to snag a permit.

Alternatively, she could also consider this,

Car-camp at Lodgepole or Grant Grove for 2-3 nights to acclimatize a bit.

Day-hike between Crescent Meadow and the Sherman Tree - a spectacular one-way northbound hike through the Sequoias. Park at Sherman, and have the shuttle drop you off at Moro Rock. Or, do some other SEKI Sequoai hike.

Follow with a nearby backpacking trip. For shorter backpacking trips (1-2 nights), Pear Lake, Franklin Lakes, Paradise Valley, East Lake. For longer trips, Rae Lakes, or the High Sierra Trail partway.

(I'm reluctant to recommend a longer hike in Mineral King for a relative newbie, as there is so much vertical there - it's difficult. Would also not at all recommend Tablelands to a newbie. People seem to overstate how "easy" the x-country is at Tablelands. Neither the navigation nor the terrain there is beginner-appropriate unless she has an experienced x-country person leading her trip.)

- Elizabeth
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