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Crescent Meadow

Sequoia National Park

Southern Sierra, California

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Crescent Meadow

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  • Crescent Meadow lies nestled among the ancient sequoia trees of the Giant Forest. Sequoia National Park.- Crescent Meadow
  • Crescent Meadow also marks the western trailhead for the High Sierra Trail, which runs 60 miles west to east between Giant Forest and Mount Whitney.- Crescent Meadow
  • Crescent Meadow.- Crescent Meadow
  • Quaking aspens (Populus tremuloides) along the meadow's fringe.- Crescent Meadow
  • - Crescent Meadow
  • Sierra lupine (Lupinus grayi) in Crescent Meadow.- Crescent Meadow
  • Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) near Crescent Meadow.- Crescent Meadow
  • Crescent Meadow Trail.- Crescent Meadow
  • - Crescent Meadow
  • - Crescent Meadow
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Picturesque meadow backed by massive trees. Start of High Sierra Trail.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Southern Sierra, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

It's difficult to overstate the importance of montane meadows. These high-elevation ecosystems support a tremendous variety of plant and animal life and function as wetlands that stabilize and purify seasonal water flows. To look upon a montane meadow is to see a critical natural process at work. Thankfully, Crescent Meadow, one of the Sequoia National Park's healthiest examples of a montane meadow, is easily visible on your tour of Giant Forest, and it is an excellent stop when paired with a visit to the granite dome viewpoint known as Moro Rock.

Surrounded by giant sequoias and filled with burgeoning flowers, lush grasses, and ferns in the summer, it's easy to see why John Muir called Crescent Meadow the "Gem of the Sierra." A beautiful 1.5-mile trail encircles the boot-shaped portion of the meadow, and this is a great walk for families looking to extend their exploration of the Giant Forest. Crescent Creek enters the meadow at the south end, and a trail also leads to Log Meadow, which sits just east of Crescent Meadow. The hike to Tharp's Log, the former abode of Hale Tharp, is only a mile from the meadow as well. Crescent Meadow is also the western end of the High Sierra Trail that runs for nearly 60 miles east to Mount Whitney.

Note that it is especially important to stay on established paths in such a fragile environment. Wetlands are very easily damaged by heavy traffic. Fallen logs can make excellent viewpoints if you want to get out into the meadow a bit. Also, while the Giant Forest can be beautiful in the off season, the road to Crescent Meadow is often closed in winter.

 

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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(46 within a 30 mile radius)

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