I woke up this morning to the rumble of thunder and the sound of heavy rain. Fortunately the weather cleared up a bit after breakfast and I was able to see more of Sequoia National Park.
My first stop was the Giant Forest Museum in the southern section of the park. The museum is in an old building that used to serve as a market for travelers. It shows the history of the park and acts as a starting point for several trails.
From the museum, I hiked to the Big Trees Trail which loops around a small meadow. There are sequoias all along the edge of the meadow, but not in it because the soil is too wet for them. The roots of sequoia trees are relatively shallow and they can fall over if the ground becomes too soft from a lot of rain.
After the Big Trees Trail I walked to Beetle Rock, a granite dome that looks out over the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When I got there, clouds were just starting to drift into the valley. They moved so quickly that within a few minutes, the view completely disappeared.
My next stop was to see the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree, by volume, in the world. The path down to the tree is fairly steep which makes the hike back up a little tough, especially in the high elevation. Fortunately, the path is well paved and there are benches along the way where you can catch your breath.
Before heading back to the lodge, I drove through the Tunnel Log. In 1937, a giant sequoia fell across one of the park roads blocking to way to the Crescent Meadow. The following year, park had a hole cut in the tree to allow cars to pass through it.
I have a few more things to see in Sequoia National park tomorrow before heading up to Kings Canyon again.