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Yosemite: Its Wonders and Its Beauties (1868) by John S. Hittell

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TUOLUMNE BIG TREES.

The next morning we start at five o’clock, as we have forty miles of hard riding before us. The road is up hill for a considerable distance. Black’s is two thousand eight hundred feet above the sea, and near Hazel Green we cross a ridge that has an elevation of its thousand six hundred and sixty-nine feet, commanding a very extensive view of the San Joaquin Valley. The flats are little better than swamps. After riding eighteen miles we reach Crane Flat—a beautiful place to camp. We rest here, and then turn off to see the Tuolumne Big Tree Grove, for it is in Tuolumne County. The trail leads up over the hill from the head of the flat, and then down a very steep and rugged pitch on the right of some chaparral, and in less than a mile reach a collection of two dozen big trees, the largest thirty-six feet in diameter, and a dozen of them exceeding sixteen feet. The trees occupy an isolated position, and appear much larger relatively than those in the Mariposa and Calaveras groves, where they are surrounded and partly hidden by other timber. This Tuolumne grove was discovered on the 11th of May, 1859, by a party of Yosemite tourists from Garrote.

Nine miles beyond Crane Flat we reach Valley View, from which we get a glimpse of Yosemite, but the view is far less impressive than that on the Mariposa trail from either Komah Rock or Inspiration Point.

The last two miles before reaching the valley are very steep, and those who can walk well, should go down on foot and spare their horses. Upon reaching the bottom, the tourist is, at first, disappointed, as the trees prevent him from gotting a good view, but the disappointment soon ceases when he enters the open meadows.


Next: Mariposa Big TreesContentsPrevious: Bower Cave

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