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Come Visit 6 Exciting Giant Sequoia Groves!

Northern Portion

Indian Basin Grove & Princess Campground)

Converse Basin Grove a look back at history

Boole Tree The largest giant sequoia tree

Southern Portion

Belknap Grove easy access year round

Trail of 100 Giants walk and learn about giant sequoias. Accessible for all!

Freeman Creek Grove Awe inspiring!

Giant Sequoia Grove Map (PDF 1.8MB)
Giant Sequoia Ecology
Photo Gallery
Recreation Brochures
Recreation Adventures
Giant Sequoia Collaborative Planning Effort

Indian Basin Grove - Princess Campground

Handout: Indian Basin Grove - Princess Campground (PDF - 204k)

Indian Basin Grove is a mid size grove with the popular Princess Campground, and Indian Basin interpretive trail. At the turn of the century, the grove was privately owned and all mature sequoias and other tree species were removed between 1901 and 1907. The engineering feats at the time were amazing! The Sanger Lumber Company hauled the trees by cable railways west up over Converse Mountain, and down the backside of the mountain by water chute to the historic Converse Mill. The historic Logging Camp 2 was the name of the operation. Beginning in 1935 this area was sold to the Federal Government. At that time many of the stumps became a part of dedrochonology studies.

Simply put, dendrochronology is the dating of past events (climate changes) through study of tree ring growth. Botonists, foresters and archaeologists began using this technique during the early part of the 20th century. Discovered by A.E. Douglass from the University of Arizona, who noted that the wide rings of certain species of trees were produced during wet years and, inversely, narrow rings during dry seasons. Each year a tree adds a layer of wood to its trunk and branches thus creating the annual rings we see so prominantly on the historic giant sequoia stumps in the area.

Between 1908 and 1945 fires have been an active part of the history of this grove which burned some of the historic logging debris. The historic 1955 McGee Fire also burned into this grove.

Today, the grove today contains many young sequoias approaching diameters of up to 10 feet. It is a breathtaking and fascinating area not to be missed!

Princess Campground is located in the Giant Sequoia National Monument of the Sequoia National Forest, has three loops - Shining Cloud, Yellow Moon, and Morning Star. Shining Cloud loop is furthest from State Rt. 180 and is the quietest. It has the greatest number of huge, old Sequoia tree stumps and young Sequoia trees along with a pleasant variety of conifers. Yellow Moon and Yellow Star loops are adjacent to Rt. 180 and do experience minimal traffic noise. Other sites on these loops back up on or have a view of a large, lush meadow complete with wild flowers. These loops have some variety of trees but cedars are most dominant with ferns and small grassy areas. Shade is good throughout the campground; privacy between camp sites is good.

Princess Campground lies in the middle of Indian Basin Grove beside Indian Basin Meadow and Creek. Campfire talks and guided hikes occur most weekends from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. The campground hosts have details on what is offered each week, and flyers are posted on bulletin boards throughout the campground.

The campground is an excellent location for day trips to Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Boyden Caverns, and General Grant Grove. Seeing the huge cedars and huge, huge Sequioas throughout the whole area, is a wonderful treat for everyone in the family.

This is bear country; practice safe food storage techniques.

Princess Campground (GPS NAD 83: 36.80278, -118.93694)

Season: June through October
Open weekend before Memorial Day through week after Labor Day depending on weather (Please check ahead, construction is occurring)
Distance: 6 miles, round trip
Elevation: Campground: 5,900 feet
Difficulty (hiking): Easy

Princess interpretive signIndian Basin Grove Interpretive Trail offers an accessible, paved ½ mile loop, and an additional ½ mile extension loop through the grove and meadow area. Almost all the trees in this grove were removed in the late 1800s. The massive stumps are silent reminders of the beauty this grove offered, and tells a compelling story of ancient times. This grove also provides unique opportunities to study how rapidly young sequoias grow.

It is easy to get to by car on State Highway 180. It is best to visit in the summer because the road can be snowy and icy in the winter. The grove is about 215 acres with sequoias mainly on the south side of Indian Basin Creek.

To reach the trailhead, proceed to Princess Campground (GPS NAD 83: 36.80278, -118.93694), and take the spur road straight ahead instead of bearing right to the host site and main campground. The trailhead accommodates 3 vehicles and has a restroom.

How to Get There: How to Get There: In Dunlap, CA, at intersection of Kings Canyon (State Rt. 180) and Dunlap Rd., take Rt. 180 west 16.5 miles to Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks entrance booth. Continue straight on Rt. 180 for 1.6 miles to an intersection and a Sequoia National Park sign. Continue straight again on Rt. 180, passing sign, for another 7.5 miles to campground sign. Turn right at sign into campground.