Scenic USA - California

Castle Rocks

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Castle Rocks - Sequoia National Park, Three Rivers, California

Photo by Mike Matenkosky
Images In The Backcountry

   When California's giant sequoias seemed threatened by logging, quick action created America's second national park in the late 1800s. Adjacent Sequoia National Park is Kings Canyon Park; and when its territory expanded, it fell under co-management with Sequoia. These two parks are often described with a list of superlatives, having the biggest mountains, deepest canyons, the most rugged wilderness, and highest peaks.
   The park's namesake is the world largest living thing, the sequoia tree. General Sherman, a giant sequoia, weighs in at 6000 tons, tops out at 280 feet, and outweighs the largest blue whale by 30 times. America's deepest canyon drops 8000 feet from Spanish Mountain to the Kings River. Here, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are made up with one of the world's largest batholiths, covering 16,000 square miles. From this immense batholithic mass, sprouts the tallest peak in continental United States, Mount Whitney. Pictured here is Castle Rocks, one of the toughest climbs found in the Sierra Nevada Range. The extremely challenging Castle Rocks, seen peaking out of Sequoia Park's low lying clouds, are found just south of the Generals Highway. These snowy granite spires are just one of the many majestic wonders found in Sequoia National Park.

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