What is the best way to see the giant sequoia trees of Northern California? You could visit Sequoia National Park and try to stretch your arms around one of the massive tree trunks, or you could visit the one off the browse exit on I-15 in Southern Utah. 

Wait, what? There’s a giant sequoia here in Washington County? That’s right. Back in the early 1930’s a guard station was built in this mountainous area on the east side of Pine Valley Mountain and one of the researchers at the time planted a sequoia sapling behind it. Over the years that sapling has grown into a fairly large tree.  


The researcher’s name was Dr. Walter P Cottam and he said he planted several of these sequoia saplings, but the one at the guard station is the only one to survive. They were testing out different plants for grazing animals. This tree is often mistaken for a redwood, although related, the sequoia is not the same.  


You can see the tree if you take the browse exit to the west and drive until you get to the locked gate. From there you will have to hike for a few miles until you come to a guard station and the tree is behind it. It is a beautiful area and a nice hike. 


I love the idea of a giant sequoia in Southern Utah. I hope one day it stands so tall that it towers above all the other trees, kind of like the tall girl in 6th grade class pictures. I also wouldn’t mind if more of them grew around it. Maybe someday we will have our own giant sequoia park here in Washington County. 


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