This was a great weekend sequoia hunting trip ... except I didn’t really do much tree hunting.
I met John, a cabin owner in Atwell Mill who knew where a couple of the biggest trees in the grove grew. He led me to both the Diamond and AD trees. What a relief! They're a couple-mile walk off the road, so they were going to require a bunch of ground covering wandering around to locate the hard way! Its steep up there, so it would be torturous. And Flint's maps on Atwell are ... well, let's just say not to scale.
Those two trees are deserving of their status on the largest list, tremendously big and impressive with huge base perimeter numbers. Quite a find--both my new friend John and the trees.
The next day I found the biggest tree in the Dean Tree area of Flints map using his directions to get as far as i could go, and then exploring from there. I will have to do a bit more looking around in the area in future to see what is around there; quite a few big ones up there.
This is a really nice grove--pretty, big, and spread out--but very steep. You're always either going up a ridge or coming back down one. There are a lot of large sequoias here, plenty of unique and interesting specimens.
I went to see the Tunnel Tree up the Paradise Ridge trail, its truly amazing. The Atwell Tunnel Tree is one of the biggest all natural tunnel trees, maybe the biggest. Its opening really is big enough, as Flint put it, to hold three economy cars. I measured it at over 20 feet wide on the downhill side, over 20 feet through it to its smaller uphill side opening, and over 23 feet diameter at breast height. Wow. And 110 feet in circumference on the ground--equally wow.
Touchdown Jesus tree, on the way to the Diamond & AD