Giant Sequoia Photo Gallery

Learning Through Pictures

The old saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" is certainly true when viewing photographs of giant sequoias. Captions for these photos offer interesting information about giant sequoia trees, the groves in which they grow and other interesting facts. You will learn a lot just by browsing through these beautiful photographs.

Grove boundary signs mark perimeters of all giant sequoia groves outside of wilderness in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Grove mapping was completed in 1997 using very accurate global positioning (GPS) technology.

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Giant sequoias in the Alder Creek Grove. (File size 42k)


A large giant sequoia in Bearskin grove has survived centuries of forest fires. The thick bark is fire resistant. Note young giant sequoia in the background. (File size 53k)

Flowering lupine add a touch of color to Bearskin grove in late spring. (File size 39k)

An old monarch giant sequoia towers over young trees in Bearskin grove. (File size 68k)


Looking up through the crowns of four large giant sequoia offers an awesome perspective of their towering height in Black Mountain grove. (File size 58k)

A huge fire scar on an old giant sequoia in Black Mountain grove. This gnarled old giant is still clinging to life after centuries of surviving forest fires. (File size 39k)

A new giant sequoia seedling replaces its fallen ancestor. (File size 67k)

Old sentinels guard the ridge top overlooking Tule River canyon in Black Mountain grove. Note the young giant sequoias underneath. (File size 52k)

A view of large giant sequoia's in Black Mountain grove. This grove is located just above the Tule River canyon and has had a number of wildfires burn through it. This is not typical of Black Mountain Grove. These pictures are all of logged portions of the grove. Most of Black Mountain Grove has not been logged. (File size 74k)

A group of young giant sequoias in Black Mountain grove. (File size 62k)


A clump of young giant sequoias in Cherry Gap grove. These trees have grown back after the raging McGee fire of 1955. (File size 55k)


The famous Boole Tree in Converse Basin grove. This is the largest standing tree known in any U.S. national forest and the seventh largest of all known living giant sequoias. This was one of the few large giant sequoias spared from the late 1800's logging in Converse Basin. There is a trail leading to this tree and nearby vistas of the Kings River canyon. (File size 59k)

The "Muir Snag" in Converse Basin grove. John Muir visited this giant sequoia snag and counted tree rings visible in a large fire scar at the base, extending past the center of the tree. He counted slightly over 4,000 rings. Subsequent counts have been somewhat less, but well over 3,200 years. (File size 60k)

These old giant sequoia logs in Converse Basin were part of a trestle used to ship logs across a drainage. They remain mostly in sound condition after in this pile for about 100 years. Giant sequoia is among the most resistant conifer species to decay, much like the coast redwood, a distant cousin to the sequoia. (File size 63k)

These huge stumps found throughout most of Converse Basin grove are remnants of the late 1800's logging. Most harvested giant sequoia trees were used for grape stakes because giant sequoia lumber cut from large trees is too weak and brittle for structural use in standard lumber sizes. (File size 66k)

A view looking north from the south end of Converse grove, the largest of all giant sequoia groves, spanning over 3,700 acres. Virtually all of the giant sequoia trees here are 100 years old or less - a result of late 1800's clearcut logging and two major forest fires in 1928 and 1955. Some of these 100 year old sequoias are over 150 feet tall. (File size 75k)


The locally well-known "Wishbone Tree" in Deer Creek grove. Fire has burned a hole big enough to ride a horse through this giant sequoia. (File size 44k)


Giants in the mist - Long Meadow grove. (File size 22k)

"Trail of 100 Giants" in Long Meadow grove. This trail is a fully accessible interpretive trail in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. (File size 59k)

A giant sequoia slowly engulfing an incense-cedar tree along the Trail of 100 Giants in Long Meadow grove. Giant sequoias grow faster and live longer (bristlecone pine can live longer but are much slower growing) than any other conifer, sometimes reaching ages of over 3,000 years and diameters of over 30 feet. The incense-cedar will die long before the giant sequoia, which may eventually grow completely around it. (File size 67k)

An old fallen giant in Long Meadow grove. (File size 60k)

A large giant sequoia in Long Meadow grove being measured for diameter. The Sequoia National Forest is in the process of conducting inventory of giant sequoia groves to learn more about their structure, tree species composition, fuel buildup, growth rates, incidence of insect and disease activity, and other elements. Inventory data will help forest managers learn about relative grove health, susceptibility to damage from wildfires, and opportunities for recreational interpretation. (File size 84k)

A deep fire scar in a large giant sequoia in Long Meadow grove. Many large giant sequoias have deep fire scars, but continue to thrive for centuries although nearly hollow. Eventually, the big trees can be so weakened by these fire scars that they blow down or break off in a strong wind. (File size 46k)

A foggy view in Long Meadow grove. Young giant sequoias have distinctive sharp, pointed crowns as in the right foreground example. Other young trees in the foreground are ponderosa pine. Giant sequoias seldom grow in pure stands. They are typically intermixed with ponderosa pine, white fir, sugar pine and incense-cedar. (File size 35k)


Dense undergrowth of white fir and incense-cedar, as in this view of Starvation grove, exists in many giant sequoia groves because natural wildfires that would have prevented this dense growth have been controlled for the past 50 years or more. These unnaturally dense thickets of understory trees now reach into the crowns of giant sequoias and pose the serious threat of raging crown fires and possible death of large giant sequoias, should a wildfire burn into these thickets. (File size 65k)

A small patch of giant sequoia saplings in Starvation grove. Giant sequoias need bare mineral soil and full sunlight from above to germinate and grow normally. (File size 73k)

A large "middle-aged" giant sequoia in starvation grove behind a clump of dead and dying white fir. Fomes annosus root disease seems to be fairly common in giant sequoia groves and is a major cause of mortality in white fir. The giant sequoias are highly resistant to this and most other conifer diseases. (File size 64k)