Although better known for the mighty canyon from which it gets its name, Kings Canyon National Park is also home to some mighty Giant Sequoia trees. In March 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the new Kings Canyon National Park to include the glacially formed and massive Kings Canyon and absorbed the former General Grant National Park into it (in a separate section, established in 1890 and includes General Grant Grove where the big trees are). The canyon by the way is surrounded by mountain peaks and is one of the deepest canyons in North America with a maximum depth of 2,500 metres / 8,200 feet (more on the canyon in a future post).
The General Grant Tree is the largest Giant Sequoia in the General Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park and the third largest tree by volume in the world (46,608 cubic feet / 1,319.8 cubic meters) and is 81.6 metres / 268 feet tall and the trunk is nearly 12 metres / 40 feet wide at ground level! The largest tree by volume is the General Sherman Tree in nearby Sequoia National Park. The General Grant Tree at 1,700 years old was named in 1867 to honour General Ulysses S. Grant (April 27th, 1822 – July 23rd, 1885 a Civil War Union General and US President)and is also the nations Christmas tree (since 1926) and a national shrine (since 1956).
General Grant Grove is one of the largest clusters of Giant Sequoia trees. It is a beautiful place to wander around and look way up to those mighty tree tops!