Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Thru Tree, California.

Sequoia National Park is a national park in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California, in the United States. It was established on September 25, 1890. The park spans 404,063 acres (631.35 sq mi; 1,635.18 km2). Encompassing a vertical relief of nearly 13,000 feet (4,000 m), the park contains among its natural resources the highest point in the contiguous 48 United States, Mount Whitney, at 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level. The park is south of and contiguous with Kings Canyon National Park; the two are administered by the National Park Service together as the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The park is famous for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman tree, one of the largest trees on Earth. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, which contains five out of the ten largest trees in the world. The Giant Forest is connected by the Generals Highway to Kings Canyon National Park's General Grant Grove, home to the General Grant treeamong other giant sequoias. The park's giant sequoia forests are part of 202,430 acres (81,921 ha) of old-growth forests shared by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Indeed, the parks preserve a landscape that still resembles the southern Sierra Nevada before Euro-American settlement.
Many park visitors enter Sequoia National Park through its southern entrance near the town of Three Rivers at Ash Mountain at 1,700 ft (520 m) elevation. The lower elevations around Ash Mountain contain the only National Park Service-protected California Foothills ecosystem, consisting of blue oak woodlands, foothills chaparral, grasslands, yucca plants, and steep, mild river valleys. The foothills region is also home to abundant wildlife: bobcats, foxes, ground squirrels, rattlesnakes, and mule deer are commonly seen in this area, and more rarely, reclusive mountain lions are seen as well. The California Black Oak is a key transition species between the chaparral and higher elevation conifer forest.
At higher elevations in the front country, between 5,500 and 9,000 feet (1,700 and 2,700 m) in elevation, the landscape becomes montane forest-dominated coniferous belt. Found here are Ponderosa, Jeffrey, sugar, and lodgepole pine trees, as well as abundant white and red fir. Found here too are the mighty giant sequoia trees, the most massive living single-stem trees on earth. Between the trees, spring and summer snowmelts sometimes fan out to form lush, though delicate, meadows. In this region, visitors often see mule deer, Douglas squirrels, and American black bears, which sometimes break into unattended cars to eat food left by careless visitors.
The area which now comprises Sequoia National Park was first home to Monachee (or Western MonoNative Americans, who resided mainly in the Kaweah River drainage in the Foothills region of the park, though evidence of seasonal habitation exists even as high as the Giant Forest. In the summertime, Native Americans would travel over the high mountain passes to trade with tribes to the East. To this day, pictographs can be found at several sites within the park, notably at Hospital Rock and Potwisha, as well as bedrock mortars used to process acorns, a staple food for the Monachee people.
By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had already spread to the region, decimating Native American populations. The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp, who famously built a home out of a hollowed-out fallen giant sequoia log in the Giant Forest next to Log Meadow. Tharp allowed his cattle to graze the meadow, but at the same time had a respect for the grandeur of the forest and led early battles against logging in the area. From time to time, Tharp received visits from John Muir, who would stay at Tharp's log cabin. Tharp's Log can still be visited today in its original location in the Giant Forest.
However, Tharp's attempts to conserve the giant sequoias were at first met with only limited success. In the 1880s, white settlers seeking to create a utopian society founded the Kaweah Colony, which sought economic success in trading Sequoia timber. However, Sequoia trees, unlike their coast redwood relatives, were later discovered to splinter easily and therefore were ill-suited to timber harvesting, though thousands of trees were felled before logging operations finally ceased.
The National Park Service incorporated the Giant Forest into Sequoia National Park in 1890, the year of its founding, promptly ceasing all logging operations in the Giant Forest. The park has expanded several times over the decades to its present size; one of the most recent expansions occurred in 1978, when grassroots efforts, spearheaded by the Sierra Club, fought off attempts by the Walt Disney Corporation to purchase a high-alpine former mining site south of the park for use as a ski resort. This site was annexed to the park to become Mineral King, the highest-elevation developed site within the park and a popular destination for backpackers.

Overview
Dorst Creek Campground is located in the breathtaking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in central California's rugged Sierra Nevada range.

The campground is perched at an elevation of 6,700 ft., on the banks of scenic Dorst Creek. Several meadows surround the campground and a number of small streams flow through the site.

A handful of popular day-hikes begin from or near the campground, including the trail to Lost Grove, a 57-acre grove containing 15 beautiful sequoias.
Natural Features:
Lodgepole pine, red fir, and shrubs forest the campground, while towering groves of giant sequoias and craggy granite peaks dot the landscape.

This region is characterized by warm days and cool nights in the summer and deep snow and cold days in the winter.
Recreation:
Dorst Creek lies in the Giant Forest region of Sequoia National Park, where forty miles of trails invite visitors to immerse themselves in the majesty of the ancient groves.

Several additional popular hiking and wilderness trailheads are close by, including the Big Trees Trail and the trail to Moro Rock, a granite dome with spectacular views of the Great Western Divide and western half of the park.

Tokopah Falls Trail is an easy walk along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, leading to an impressive 1,200 ft. waterfall. Fly-fishing is a popular activity on Dorst Creek and the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River.
Facilities:
The campground is very popular with tent and RV campers alike. It has paved roads, flush toilets, and drinking water, but no electricity.

Picnic tables, fire rings, and bear food storage boxes are provided at each site. A free dump station is located on-site.

Lodgepole Village is eight miles away, offering a visitor center, nightly Interpretive Ranger programs, a market, deli, snack bar, gift shop, post office, coin-operated showers and laundry facilities.
Nearby Attractions:
The inspiring Giant Forest Grove, General Sherman Tree, General Grant Tree, and Tunnel Log are just 10 miles away, as well as the informative Giant Forest Museum and Beetle Rock Education Center.

Colorful Crescent Meadow offers views of vivid summer wildflowers and access to Tharp's Log, a cabin in a fallen sequoia.

Tours into Crystal Cave, one of hundreds of marble caves in the park, give visitors an interesting view of rock formations, fossils, rare minerals and unique wildlife.Tickets are required and are available at the Lodgepole Visitor Center.

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