Nelder Grove - Graveyard of the Giants, Hawksworth Tree and Granddad Tree
The Sequoia Tree trails in Nelder Grove gives you access to the Graveyard of the Giants, the Hawksworth Tree and the Granddad Tree. They are all about 3 miles up the trail in about the same vicinity. Trees you see on the way: The Leaner (1 mile), the Clothespin Tree (2 miles), the Kiawa Tree (about 2.5 miles), the Graveyard of the Giants, Hawksworth Tree and the Granddad Tree (about 3 miles). Local bicyclists use part of this trail for their "Big Trees Loop".
The Graveyard of the Giants is difficult to see if you are not paying attention or know where to look. The trees around the dead giants have now grown and the forest is dense... making them difficult to find. If you are looking in the right areas YOU WILL SEE THEM. The largest one can be found after the Kiawa tree. Walk past the Kiawa Tree, the "road cut" area that allows you to see down to Tenaya Lodge then in a bit you will walk through a smaller "road cut" area. Immediately to your left you can see the largest of the dead giants. Others can be seen near the Hawksworth tree just a bit farther down the trail.
The Hawksworth Tree was named to honor John and Marge Hawksworth (my grandparents). They were campground hosts for 20 years at Nelder Grove. This was Marge's favorite tree! She used to call it the "Bee Tree" because for several years a nest was within the tree. It is a beautiful specimen tree. Gooseberries and Dogwood can be found at the base of the tree... and if you happen to be a "geocacher" you may even find a cache close by.
The Granddad Tree is a definite must see if you have made it this far. Immediately past the Hawksworth Tree is a little trail on your right. It is very short and you will be happy you decided to go a bit further. This isolated mature sequoia has one huge branch outstretched like a protective arm, and below this tree are several young sequoias. A sign once stood at the top of the trail that said the "Granddad and the Grandkids", now all that is left the the "and". Even without the sign you will be able to identify this tree. The large branch is near the top of the tree and it seems impossible to have it reaching so far out... and have it still there. You can see this tree and the Hawksworth tree from the Tenaya parking lot if you go to the lower-right side parking area at the front of the hotel that is just above the Big Sandy road.
Pet Friendly Notes
Horses use this trail. Leashed pets are welcome.
3 miles one-way (though once you reach the Hawksworth Tree you can continue straight and follow a path down to another road-1mi. At that road take a right-2 mi, next road take a left-3mi, you can get to Tenaya Lodge)
Vertical Gain or Loss
The first two miles are up, the last mile is flat. This trail does have an elevation gain (not sure what it is), but overlooks are gorgeous, it is not overly steep, and shaded in all areas except two small rocky spots.