Campout and Hike to the
Mountain Home State Forest
June 10-11, 2006
On Saturday afternoon Todd and I drove up to Mountain Home State Forest. It is no
secret that this is one of my favorite haunts. The Mountain Home Grove is one of the
largest giant sequoia groves and it has some of the very largest sequoias. There are
views of Maggie and Moses Mountains, the Middle Fork of the Tule River runs along one
side of this area, and there are lots of hiking trails and free campgrounds! Best of all,
it's never crowded and it's only a 40 minute drive from home :) We drove down to
Moses Gulch Campground which is near the river but the only spot available there wasn't
very appealing so we drove over to Hidden Falls. There the first and best two
campsites were taken so we drove up to Shake Camp. Here we chatted with the Balch
Park Pack Station owner for a little bit then drove over to the Shake Camp
Campground. Only two spots were occupied but in one there was a barking dog and in the
other there was a loud radio playing :p So then we went to Frazier Mill. This
campground is the largest in Mountain Home and there we found a secluded site next to
a small creek and underneath beautiful blooming dogwood trees and young giant
sequoias. We had a nice evening roasting some hotdogs over our campfire and then
falling asleep to the sounds of the bubbling creek.
|The meadow across from our campsite
|A stand of young sequoias is on the right
|Our campsite underneath the young trees
and beside a small creek
|"The stump of a Giant Sequoia in the Frasier Mill Campground that, when it was
still standing in the late 1800s, had a crawl hole leading into a large hollow in the
center of the tree. It received the name Nero Tree because it had a "totally
degraded heart inside a regal exterior". It was cut down in 1903 by John
McKiernan, the same man who cut down the Centennial Stump in 1878."
|Stream violet, as the name suggests,
grows along the creek
|Dogwood leaves, above
Dogwood blossom, below
On Sunday morning we got up and I made breakfast burritos. We packed up then
headed back over to Shake Camp. Here there is a trailhead for a "2-mile" loop trail
going out to the Adam Tree. Well, the trail we took was definitely more than 2-miles; it
turned out to be more like 3. And it didn't seem to follow the map. Oh, well, we did
pass by the Adam Tree and lots of other beautiful sequoias. The trail goes up a
drainage chock full of young and old sequoias then climbs a ridge, crosses a few creeks,
then eventually skirts its way up a drier mountainside. It was here that we began to
get great views of the higher mountains then we descended and eventually we found
ourselves at Shake Camp Campground. I walked along the road for about 1/4 mile back
to where we'd left the car and then we headed down the winding road towards home.
|We were on the main trail... up to this point anyway!
|This gnarly old tree had a huge fire scar, lots of burls, and a dead top
But it's still alive and it's growing a new top
|This is the Adam Tree, it is huge!
Wendell Flint ranks this tree as #21
|This mushroom was the size of a softball!
|The views are far reaching on this part of the trail
|What a sequoia grove looks like from above
Can you see the giants punctuating the forest landscape?