Mary West: Visiting the northernmost Giant Sequoia Grove
This short hike, or I should say two hikes that can easily be done in an hour and a half, is more about the history and uniqueness of this park than for exercise.
If you’re going to Placer Big Trees it’s to see the northernmost Giant Sequoia Grove.
Placer Big Trees Grove is also the smallest grove of Giant Sequoias with six living trees. There are three grouped together in their teenage years 500 to 700 years old and a couple of individual trees. And frankly, two of the most impressive trees are on the ground. They’ve been down since the 1860s following a storm.
Although the hike is short the drive to get there will take you some time but it’s worth it for a beautiful drive 25-miles East of Foresthill on Mosquito Ridge Road.
The picnic and day use area have two trails. An inner and outer trail around the Giant Sequoias. The inner trail is only 0.4 miles long. The Forest View Trail is 0.9 miles in length.
The park website tells you that the Pershing Tree is the most impressive. And it is, of the live trees, but the Roosevelt tree that’s been laying on the ground since 1861 is, I think, the most impressive tree in the park.
The fact that it’s still hard as iron after all these years is impressive in and of itself and its size is hard to capture in a single photo.
To get there: Take interstate 80 East to the Foresthill exit. Take Foresthill road to Mosquito Ridge Road, turn right. Take Mosquito Ridge Road 25-miles East of Forest Hill to the entrance to the Placer Big Trees picnic area on your right.
Mary West is the author of the book series Day Hiker – Gold Country Trail Guide. The books are a collection of Day Hiker columns where West shares her longtime love of the outdoors, and favorite hikes in Northern California’s Gold Country and beyond (Available on Amazon). West was the recipient of the 2017 and 2019 CRAFT Award for Best Outdoor Newspaper Column by the Outdoor Writers Association of California.
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