There is a little secret in the Sierras, a small grove called McKinley Grove, Giant Sequoia Trees less than 1.5 hours away from Fresno. It’s a little secret because the grove is approximately 100 acres and not located within Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Parks.
To get here, take highway 168 from fresno north to the little down of Shaver Lake,before you reach Shaver Lake turn right on the Dinkey Creek Road. Travel 12 miles east to the Intersection of the Dinkey Creek Road and the McKinley Grove Road. Turn right and travel 5.7 miles north on the McKinley Grove Road. There will be a picnic area on the left, and a small parking lot turn out on your right.
McKinley Grove was originally discovered by early settlers in 1869. The giants are among some of the oldest living things on earth, estimated to be 2,000 years old. The tallest tree in the grove is over 230 feet and another tree has a diameter of 19’6.5” ! This is one of the few groves that has never been logged.
The trails are paved and even on a hot day down in the valley, it was only 79 degrees! Perfect for the Shih Tzus.
Sometimes the girls are not very cooperative when I want to take pictures… I don’t think I would like to be propped up on a log either!
Since Sequoias have shallow root systems, you see a few downed trees. You will also find lots of little pine cones on the ground too! Each Sequoia pine cone contains approximately 200 seeds but this isn’t nearly enough to produce a tree. The odds are stacked against the Sequoia. Why? For the Sequoia to grow, the soil must be bare, there must be lots of water and a lot of shade, usually it takes 20 million seeds to produce one tree.
The girls basking in the semi-shade of the Sequoias.
No trip is complete without a stop for lunch. We found a great little spot that had an outdoor patio which was dog friendly. The Hungry Hut! On your way back home, just head into the town of Shaver Lake to a cute little red triangle roof cabin with green trim! I had the deluxe cheeseburger which was huge! It was definitely tasty and I will stop again on our next trip through Shaver Lake.