A ride to find the official George HW Bush tree, on the Freeman Creek trail, starting at the RM Pyles Boys Camp and riding to the famous dedication tree. 6,000ft elevation traveling through Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) old growth forest and open meadows.
Length: 8.1 miles
Duration: 4 hours
Difficulty: Trails filled with deadfalls, single file, many boggy water crossings and dead-ends and trails requiring re-routing.
Altitude gain: 410 ft
View George Bush Tree 7-17-11 in a larger map
Very quickly we slip into the forest, with the hot day baking down in the open areas and the cool shade under the canopy.
And here's a video of what it feels like to walk through it.
Giant sequoias are slightly shorter than the coastal redwoods, more massive and considered to be the largest tree in the world in terms of volume.
Popping out of the woods for a stretch we got a clear look up at Hermit's Peak. The Pyles counselors tell a scary campfire story about the evil Hermit and his wicked sister Hermitsina.
I tried to stack the three photos there so you can get a sense for how tall that tree is. The use of the words massive, gigantic, huge, all the adjectives eventually run out and anyone with a soul has to just stand in awe of these towering trees, grateful for the chance to experience their grandeur.
Giant Sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) grow only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. The groves are scattered over a narrow 260-mile belt no more than about 15 miles wide at any point. They range in elevations mainly between 5,000-7,500 feet. Here we are at 6,000 feet elevation.