The Giant Sequoia National Monument
The Giant Sequoia National Monument was designated by President William Jefferson Clinton in April 2000. The Monument now encompasses 328,315 acres. The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is the world's largest tree. It grows naturally only in a narrow 60-mile band of mixed conifer forest on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The Giant Sequoia National Monument Management Plan was completed in August 2012.
There are 33 giant sequoia grovesin the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Six groves are featured here for you to explore for a rich, exciting, and varied experience: three groves in the northern portion of the Monument in the Hume Lake Ranger District, near Dunlap, California; and three groves in the southern portion of the Monument in the Western Divide Ranger District just east of Springville, California.
The amazing giant sequoia is one of the largest organisms on earth and grows from a seed less than half-an-inch long! When fully grown, the sequoia pushes its craggy tree top more than 250 feet into the sky. A few rare specimens have grown taller than 300 feet. But it is the sequoia’s huge girth that sets it apart from all other trees. Sequoias are commonly more than 20 feet in diameter and at least one has grown to 35 feet across. Six people would have to lay head-to-toe to match this width.
Northern Portion: In the late 1800s, privately-owned logging operations took place in Converse Basin. By 1908, the area had been thoroughly logged. Visitors can see remnants of this logging today. Cut sections of one of the famous giants, the General Noble tree, were reassembled at the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Today, visitors can view the remaining 20-foot “Chicago Stump” in Converse Basin. The trail to the stump is universally accessible.
The Boole Tree is the last of the large giant sequoias in Converse Basin that has grown since the 1890s. It is the largest tree on National Forest System land and is recognized as one of the largest trees in the world.
Indian Basin Grove is one of the few groves with a campground. Princess Campground has three campground loops: Shining Cloud, Yellow Moon, and Morning Star. It has the greatest number of large sequoia tree stumps, as well as young sequoia trees and a variety of conifers. Shade is good throughout the campground; privacy between camp sites is fair to good. Princess Campground lies in the middle of Indian Basin Grove beside Indian Basin Meadow and Creek. Campfire talks and guided hikes are offered most weekends from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend (this campground is currently under construction, so please check when it will be open).
Southern Portion: The Trail of a Hundred Giants across from Redwood Meadow Campground on the Western Divide Highway provides interpretation of life among the giant sequoias. This self-guided loop trail is about 1.3 miles long and portions of the trail are fully accessible. In April 2000, President Bill Clinton signed the Presidential Proclamation establishing the Giant Sequoia National Monument at this site.
The Belknap Grove is a complex of multiple groves. Belknap Campground is in this grove. Beautiful trails through old growth sequoias meander along Bear Creek and the Tule River. This grove is fairly easy to get to on paved roads. You can visit this grove year-round, but there may be snow and ice on the roads in winter, so please check in advance and bring your tire chains.
The Freeman Creek Grove is the easternmost grove of giant sequoias and contains the President George H.W. Bush Tree. In 1992, President Bush signed a Presidential Proclamation here that provided management direction for all giant sequoia groves in national forests.
History: For centuries, the giant sequoia was known only by the Native Americans, and was not seen by European descendants until the mid-1800s. Since then these ancient giants have known a history of logging and renewal, of common use and veneration, and of human conquering and legal patronage. Wide-spread logging before the turn of the century inspired the public to clamor for their protection. Three national forests, three national parks, and various state holdings have met that demand.
Present Day: The Forest Service manages 33 giant sequoia groves and other objects of interest in the Giant Sequoia National Monument for their protection, restoration, and preservation. The sequoia groves inside Monument boundaries are: Abbot Creek, Agnew, Bearskin, Big Stump, Cherry Gap, Converse Basin, Deer Meadow, Evans Complex, Grant, Indian Basin, Landslide, Monarch, and Redwood Mountain in the northern portion of the Monument; and Alder Creek, Belknap Complex, Black Mountain, Burro Creek, Cunningham, Deer Creek, Dillonwood, Freeman Creek, Long Meadow, Maggie Mountain, Middle Tule, Mountain Home, Packsaddle, Peyrone, Red Hill, Silver Creek, South Peyrone, Starvation Complex, Upper Tule, and Wishon in the southern portion of the Monument.
Come Visit 6 Exciting Giant Sequoia Groves!
In the northern portion of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, 13 groves are located in the Hume Lake Ranger District, east of Fresno, California. Nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks also manage sequoia groves, with similar practices for their protection.
- Indian Basin Grove & Princess Campground
- Converse Basin Grove: a look back at history
- Boole Tree: the largest giant sequoia tree
In the southern portion of the Giant Sequoia National Monument, 20 giant sequoia groves are located in the Western Divide Ranger District, east of Porterville and Springville, California.
- Belknap Grove: access year round
- Tule River Canyon
- Trail of 100 Giants: walk and learn about giant sequoias.
- Freeman Creek Grove: awe-inspiring!
- Photo Gallery
Roads are subject to snow closures during winter months. Mountain bikes are allowed on all of the designated trails in the Monument.