Muir Grove

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Muir Grove is a giant sequoia grove in Sequoia National Park of the Tulare County, which covers about 215 acres (0.87 km2). The grove, located in the northwest corner of the park, is accessed by the Muir Grove Trail which begins from the Dorst Creek Campground. Because of its relatively remote location in the park, it is significantly less visited than the more popular groves of large sequoia trees in the park.[1] The isolated atmosphere helps keep Muir Grove untouched and preserved.

History and Origin[edit]

Muir Grove was named after the Scottish-American naturalist and author John Muir. His advocacy for the preservation of wilderness in the United States made him well known among environmentalists and politicians. His writing about nature and conservation efforts helped sway many public and political opinions. His attempts lead to the creation of Sequoia and General Grant National Parks. [2]


The midsized sequoias (1.5 to 2.4 m DBH classes) had major pattern scales 350–450 m in diameter.[3] Muir Grove has a total of 629 coniferous trees that scatter the terrain. The giant sequoia reproduction is relatively slim compared to other groves in the California National Parks. The high relative density of mature trees compensates for the lack of young trees. There is an increased reduction of trees between one and five feet DBH class compared to other mature groves. The following includes descriptions of the trees that populate the grove.

The tree that dominates the grove is Abies concolor, which makes up 83% of the tree in Muir Grove.

  • 523 Trees
  • Relative Density: 85.4
  • Relative Dominance: 40.4
  • Relative Frequency 48.6

The next most important species in the moderate-elevation grove is Pinus lambertiana, which makes up 11% of the trees.

  • 71 Trees
  • Relative Density: 3.3
  • Relative Dominance: 2.3
  • Relative Frequency: 17.1

The following are other mature trees in area.

Sequoiadendron giganteum

  • 33 Trees (5%)
  • Relative Density: 11.4
  • Relative Dominance: 57.3
  • Relative Frequency: 34.3

Libocedrus decurrens

  • 0.3% of all trees
  • Abundant around the grove on the dry or rocky surfaces, but not in the center

Understory Trees and Shrubs[edit]

Percentage of Ground Area Covered

Castanopsis sempervirens

  • 2.7%

Cornus nuttallii

  • 0.2%

Corylus cornuta var. californica

  • 2.4%

Ground-Cover Vegetation[edit]

There are 56 different species present in the ground-covered vegetation. It’s relatively moist, creating mesic conditions. There is only 16% land without vegetation in Muir Grove.[4]

Muir Grove Trail[edit]

Muir Grove Trail is about a 4.2 mi hike, climbing 530 feet. Beginning from the Dorst Creek Campground, hikers can travel west for 1.9 miles, which leads to the edge of the old-growth sequoia grove. Few travelers take the time to walk this trail to witness the mammoth sequoias. Along the trail, there are not many sequoias, but it has Sierra woodland scenery which people admire. There are two creeks, pinewoods, and other large trees that encompass the scenery. As hikers finally reach Muir Grove, the trail stops and the grove becomes a shallow saddle around the outskirts. There are abundant sequoias that scatter the grove making it an isolated domain.[5]



  1. ^ Brown, Ann Marie (2004). 250 Great Hikes in California's National Parks. Avalon Travel Publishing. ISBN 1-56691-775-1. 
  2. ^ "Muir Grove Trail". Hiking Trails, Mountain Bike Trails & Trail Maps. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Stohlgren, Thomas J. "Spatial Patterns of Giant Sequoia () in Two Sequoia Groves in Sequoia National Park, California". Canadian Journal of Forest Research 23.2 (1993): 120–32. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Rundel, Philip W. "Community Structure and Stability in the Giant Sequoia Groves of the Sierra Nevada, California". American Midland Naturalist 85.2 (1971): 478–492. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ Baselt, David. "Muir Grove". Muir Grove. Retrieved December 7, 2014. 

"USDA Forest Service - Sequoia National Forest". Retrieved 2008-04-29. 

Coordinates: 36°37′53″N 118°50′10″W / 36.63139°N 118.83611°W / 36.63139; -118.83611