Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park contains the largest grove of
sequoia trees in the world. It is also the site of California longest
cavern, the Lilburn Cave. There are two loop trails in the canyon. The
Sugar Bowl Trail (6.4 miles) follows the ridge of Redwood Mountain and
then drops down into the canyon and joins the Redwood Creek Trail which
will return to the trailhead. The Hart Tree Trail (6.5 miles) travels
along the (east) opposite side of the canyon and passes the Hart Tree,
the largest tree in the grove.
I day hiked in Redwood Canyon on June 5, 2012. It was a good hike covering a little more than 12 miles and just under 2000 feet of elevation gain. It had rained the night before and the temp that morning was a chilly 38F (it only warmed up to about 42F by mid-day). This ancient forest, the largest grove of redwoods in the world, was shrouded in mist from the low hanging clouds. It produced a neat atmosphere that deadened sound. Sometimes it was eerie, sometimes it was spectacular. I saw less than a dozen other hikers that day which was just enough to make me feel comfortable, but not crowded. I left the trailhead and ascended the ridge of Redwood Mountain (known as the Sugar Bowl Loop). I was surprised by how many redwoods could be found along the top of a mountain. Then I descended into the canyon and crossed Redwood Creek and climbed the other side of the canyon (known as the Hart Tree Loop). The trail on this side wandered more and the redwoods were more spread out. It also had more human history and I found the remains of a few cut redwoods, one of which had been turned into a log cabin -- one hollowed out log WAS the entire cabin. Perhaps the most special thing for me was being able to walk among the redwoods without lots of tourist about. There were no paved trails or fences. You could walk right up to the trees and touch them. The only signs were trail markers. I like it that way -- natural, with no human "improvements" other than a trail. I did discover something new: the fallen cones of redwood trees are small and like to collect in the depression of the trails that pass under the trees. If these stretches of trail happen to be on a slope, the round little cones act like ball-bearings and are extremely treacherous. Damn things almost made me fall on my butt several times!
The Redwood Canyon Trailhead is 6 ½ miles from the Grant Grove Visitor Center. From Grant Grove, drive 5 miles south on the Generals Highway, turn right at Quail Flat onto a rough dirt road. Continue for 1 ½ miles to Redwood Saddle, and follow the left fork to the parking area.
Google Maps - Redwood Canyon
Redwood Canyon - National Park Service Website
Buena Vista Peak - nearby location
More interesting burn patterns on a giant redwood.
A different angle of the base of the Hart Tree.
The trail passes through a fallen redwood.
This is the spectacular bottom side of the tree that the trail passes through.