Snowshoeing in Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is located in California just south of Yosemite National Park. Sequoia is one of my favorite parks because you can go year-round. You can hike or backpack most of the year, and in the winter you can snowshoe and go sledding.
During my visit last winter, my mom and I tried snowshoeing for the first time. The first trail we went on was the Congress Trail, where you can see the largest trees in the world. While we were there, we stopped by the biggest tree in the world by volume, the General Sherman Tree. It was really cool to see the tree in the snow!
After walking through a sequoia tree on the Congress trail, we came upon a fallen giant sequoia. Its roots spread out as wide as a school bus but only went a few feet deep. I remembered learning that this is a characteristic of sequoia trees. I felt so tiny next to these massive trees.
I took off my snowshoes here to eat some lunch. My feet sank 2 feet into the snow! That’s when I realized how well my snowshoes worked.
It took us a long time to go far because we had so much fun exploring the different trees. There were many with fire scars that we could walk through. After about a mile and a half, we finally made it to The President, which is the 5th largest tree in the world. We also saw the group of trees called The House and The Senate.
I find it amazing that a seed the size of an oatmeal flake can grow to a 3,000-year-old tree. In a sequoia’s lifetime, it produces 60 million seeds but only 3 or 4 will grow to be 100 years old. And even fewer grow to be thousands of years old.
Can you believe the oldest sequoia tree was already 1,000 years old at the peak of the Roman Empire?
After we were done exploring the area it was time to go back to the car, but we could not find the trail in all the snow. Luckily my mom was tracking our hike on her phone so we were able to retrace our steps back. We had a lot of fun, but it was a long day. Snowshoeing is much harder than hiking, but I still love it because you can access places you may not be able to by just hiking in the snow.
Another fun trail we explored was Tunnel Log Trail. This trail takes you past huge fallen trees and ends up at a tree you can walk through (or drive in summer). We did not make it to the actual Tunnel Log because it was so hard to snowshoe through such high snow. But we still had fun climbing on large snowbanks, eating snow, and jumping around in it.
Finally, we hiked the Big Trees Trail, which is a great one for kids. It was super fun because it had signboards along the trail so we could learn about Sequoia trees. My favorite part was a fallen log that I was able to slide through over and over again.
If you decide to go snowshoeing in Sequoia, here are a few tips we learned.
- Wear waterproof clothing because you will get wet.
- Make sure your snowshoes fit before hiking.
- Bring extra water, because you can get dehydrated in the snow.
- Download the trail map before hiking, even if you know the trail, because it looks different in the snow.
- Have fun!