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Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks

Sequoia National Park was established as the second national park in the United States in 1890. The park has much outstanding natural beauty but the main attraction here are the Giant Sequoias in the area called Giant Forest . Five out of the ten largest trees in the world are situated here, including the largest: General Sherman.

Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks

General Sherman was named after an American Civil War leader, General William Tecumseh Sherman in 1879. It is the tallest Giant Sequoia tree though it's not the tallest tree in the world. What makes General Sherman the largest tree in the world is its volume - the tree stands about 83.8 metres (275 feet) high and the trunk is immense with a circumference at ground level of 31.1 metres (102.6 feet) though until you stand next to General Sherman you just can't appreciate these numbers!

Over in the adjoining King's Canyon National Park , which was established in 1940, Grant Grove contains the second largest tree in the world, General Grant. General Grant was named in 1867 in honour of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18 th President of the United States .

General Grant is not as tall as General Sherman but it does have a larger circumference at the base, being 32.8 metres (107.6 feet), but it's important to remember that these are living things and they continue to grow all the time! General Grant is now thought to be around 1,650 years old whilst General Sherman could be between 2,300 and 2,700 years old, so as well as being the largest living things on earth, they are amongst the oldest as well!

Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks are situated in the Sierra Nevada in California . The nearest cities are Fresno and Visalia which are easily accessible by road. If you're flying in, the nearest commercial airport is at Fresno and this is also the site of nearest Amtrak train station too.

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