The 1.4 mile Trail of 100 Giants
loops through some of the most accessible big trees in Giant Sequoia National Monument - the path is nearly level, paved and reached by a good wide road (Hwy 107, nighty, Western Divide Highway). This location is towards the south side of the monument, elevation 6,400 feet, on a gently sloping, south-facing hillside above the valley of Long Meadow Creek
, named for a sizeable patch of moist grassland around the upper end of the stream, on the opposite side of the highway from the sequoia.
The trees are contained within the 340 acre Long Meadow Grove
, and though the really big trees number around two dozen rather than a hundred, the scenery is still impressive, the sequoia, around 800 in total, mixed with many tall, grey-barked pines, with little undergrowth. The oldest sequoia is around 1,500 years.
The grove is usually accessible between May and October, being closed by snow in winter and spring, and since the trail is relatively popular, a $10 fee is charged for parking, in a spacious, tree-lined lot on the south side of the highway. Other facilities are restrooms, a picnic area, drinking water and the Redwood Meadow Campground, a short distance east.
The trail starts on the opposite (north) side of the road from the parking place, right away passing one huge old-growth tree and soon afterwards reaching a junction at the start of a figure-of-eight loop, the central portion of which has the most big trees. The higher elevations of the path encounter more sequoia, including a huge, partly conjoined tree that fell in 2011, and an equally tall trunk that fell on top during the winter of 2018-2019. A very short link path connects this loop with the campground road. The furthest section of the circuit, the Fallen Giant Loop, who has another lying tree and just a few major upright trees, plus many much younger specimens.
Scattered alongside the trail and various stumps and sawed trunks, seemingly either trees deliberately felled because of damage, or naturally fallen trunks cut to keep the pathways clear; this area has never been logged. A small stream flows down the slopes through the junction of the two loops, under the road, and joins Long Meadow Creek beside the campground. The moist, partly shady conditions are good for wildflowers in the summer, and birds.