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Backpacker Magazine – November/December 2005

Weekend Adventures: Big Tree Hikes

Get ready to feel puny--and profoundly grateful--on three hikes through ancient forests.

by: Kelly Bastone

Redwood Canyon, CA
Hike among Millennia-old sequoias

The Hike

Sure, Kings Canyon's well-known Giant Forest has the Sherman Tree--a 102-foot-around sequoia with bark 3 feet thick. But nearby Redwood Canyon (also in the national park) attracts far fewer people and has California's largest concentration of mature sequoias in more than 4,000 acres of forest. A 10-mile loop on the Sugar Bowl and Hart Tree Trails traces the Redwood Mountain ridgeline to the Sugar Bowl, a 3-acre cluster of cinnamon-colored giants, then visits the Fallen Goliath, a fire-hollowed redwood tunnel. Next stop is the Hart Tree, a 3,000-year-old behemoth that requires 15 people to hug its 75-foot girth. The final spectacle is Redwood Log Cabin, a hollow sequoia dwelling modified with a chimney at one end.

Branch off

Nab a permit for the park's only backcountry big-tree camping, beneath Redwood Creek's sequoias. (559) 565-3766

The Way

Use the Big Stump Entrance. Turn right on Generals Highway; after 3 miles, turn right on a dirt road that leads to the Redwood Saddle trailhead.

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