DescriptionSequoia National Forest lies in Central California at the southern end of the Sierra Nevadas, extending from Kings River southward to the Kern River and Piute Mountains, and westward from the Sierra Nevada summit to the brush-covered foothills of the San Joaquin Valley.
Groves of giant sequoias, the Kern Plateau and the Golden Trout, Monarch, Jennie Lakes, South Sierra, Dome Land and Kiavah wildernesses are among the more popular attractions. The South Fork Kings Wild and Scenic River, Kings River Special Management Area, North Fork Kern Wild and Scenic River and South Fork Kern Wild and Scenic River also draw outdoor recreation enthusiasts to this spectacularly scenic wilderness area, which covers approximately 1,193,500 acres.
To permanently protect most of the nation's remaining giant sequoia trees, the Giant Sequoia National Monument was created in 2000. The monument's 353,000 acres, all within Sequoia National Forest, encompass 33 groves of these soaring specimens. The largest trees on Earth by volume, they can grow to nearly 300 feet in height and live more than 3,000 years. The monument is separated into two sections, divided by Sequoia National Park; the northern portion is in Fresno and Tulare counties, the southern entirely within Tulare County. The Trail of 100 Giants, a one-mile interpretive trail, can be reached mid-May through mid-November (weather permitting). Hiking and horseback riding are permitted, and motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles may be used, although restrictions apply. For additional information phone the national forest office.
More than 50 campgrounds and picnic areas provide bases for activities that include fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing and hunting. White-water rafting is popular on the Kern and Kings rivers. Swimming along the shoreline is permitted on 87-acre Hume Lake. Fall-foliage color is particularly spectacular at Quaking Aspen, Indian Basin and the Kern Plateau. Snowmobiling and cross-country and downhill skiing take over in winter. A fire lookout tower and ranger cabins can be rented.
For information contact the Forest Supervisor, Sequoia National Forest, 1839 S. Newcomb St., Porterville, CA 93257-2035; phone (559) 784-1500.
Things to SeeBalch Park