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“A NICE WALK IN THE WOODS, BUT....” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Big Stump Basin

Big Stump Basin
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
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Type: Trails, Outdoors
Activities: Hiking, Birdwatching
Attraction details
Big Bear Lake, California
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A NICE WALK IN THE WOODS, BUT....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2014

Perhaps it suffers in comparison to the Giant Forest and Grants Grove, but I was somewhat disappointed by the walk (1 mile loop) to the stump of the Mark Twain Sequoia, which was cut down in the 1890's, so that a cross section could be sent to the American Museum of Natural History and a British Museum, where a disbelieving public called it a "California Hoax" due to its unbelievable immensity. Other evidence of the logging of these giant trees lies along the trail, although several large trees survive in this grove. if you're in a hurry, this attraction can be dispensed with. It does have a bathroom, however, which you may need after the hour long drive from Fresno up Highway 180. ;o)

Visited March 2014
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15 reviews from our community

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
416 reviews 416 reviews
186 attraction reviews
Reviews in 158 cities Reviews in 158 cities
292 helpful votes 292 helpful votes
“Great hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

The Big Stump Basin is located next to the Kings Canyon National Park main entrance on Highway 180 about two and a half miles southwest of the visitor center. The Big Stump trail is in this basin and starts near the rest room next to the parking lot (it took me a few minutes to find it). This easy two mile loop trail is relatively flat and takes about an hour to complete. The circular loop path passes a few surviving large sequoias, plus many fallen trunks and stumps.

This area was once home to a grove of massive and majestic Giant Sequoias but sadly, early loggers cut down most of the trees in this basin. In addition, early loggers cut down about one third of all the Giant Sequoias. Ironically the sequoia wood was brittle and broke across the grain when it fell, so it was useless as timber.

I went with my wife in mid-July and we really enjoyed the hike and the basin. The best part of the hike is looking at the stump of the Mark Twain tree. This massive tree was cut down in 1891 to display in the New York Museum of Natural History and the British Museum of Natural History in London. You can still see slices of it today. What a shame someone cut this magnificent old tree down. There are wooden steps that allow you to climb up and walk on the stump. You really get a feel for how big this tree was by walking on the stump. I also enjoyed looking at the Giant Sequoias that was partially cut down but the loggers gave up as it would have fallen in the wrong direction. The tree still lives over 100 years after giant cuts were made around the tree. The trail was not crowded and we did not see that many other people on the hike.

Overall I really enjoyed the hike and looking at the old and massive stumps. While visiting the stumps was not as interesting as visiting the live trees, it was still worth the visit and I recommend it. The stumps are a reminder of why the park was created – to protect the fantastic Giant Sequoia trees.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Mark Twain Stump and Big Stump Basin”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2014

As someone has already said, "GET OUT OF YOUR CAR". This very short hike is well worth the time. Seeing some of the history of the park, the deforestation, the damage we did, etc . . really drives home the idea of preserving these natural wonders for all to enjoy. The hike from the parking lot for Big Basin is very short and starts right near the restrooms. You will see all kinds of wonders that most never see and still be within walking distance to the Generals Highway. This short hike is a real treat.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Virginia
Top Contributor
336 reviews 336 reviews
235 attraction reviews
Reviews in 101 cities Reviews in 101 cities
202 helpful votes 202 helpful votes
“Worth a Stop”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

Go see these stumps! A short loop hike that is very easy and very impressive. Get up close and on one of the stumps. Quiet, less crowded and a nice break from the crowds.

Visited July 2013
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Edwards, Colorado
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Go see this stump”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013

I thought that seeing a stump was dumb, I was wrong. This is completely worth the short hike. You can stand on top of the stump of the cross section of Sequoia Tree that is in 2 museums. One in London and one somewhere in the US. (I cannot remember where). You can stand up on a 40 foot diameter stump, it is amazing.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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