FREEMAN CREEK SEQUOIAS
|Season:||June through October|
|Distance:||6 miles, round trip|
|Elevation:||Trail Head – 7,100 feet
Camp Ground – 5,900 feet
Gain/Loss – 1,200 feet
|Difficulty:||Easy down – moderate back, 2-4 hours|
|Water:||Trail crosses creek near top|
Go to the end of State Highway 190 (1/4 mile west of Quaking Aspen Campground) and take the “North Road” 0.4 mile past the little meadow on your right to a junction with a dirt road to your right. Take the dirt road and then bear left on road 21S99A to the very end, 0.1 mile past the gate. Park there and you will see the well signed trailhead – “Freeman Creek Trail – 33E20”.
The trail skirts an elongated meadow to your right and the air is full of the delicious odor of Jeffrey pines. The trail soon passes a boggy area nd 1/2 mile further on it crosses the upper reaches of Freeman Creek. You now enter the Sequoia Grove. Soon you see the Sequoias of the Freeman Creek grove surround the rather large meadow along the creek. This is the eastern-most grove of Sequoias. Note that the trees are almost all very young – perhaps less than 1,000 years old – and there are no fallen giants. Also there are many immature trees around -they are the ones with the feathery, pointly tops which look like inverted icicles. These are the signs of young, very vigorous Sequoia groves – unlike the tired groves in the North.
The trail parallels the creek for a while and then veers to the north to cross a ridge where it commences to switch back down a ravine which is forested with sugar pine and black oaks. When the trail levels out you are again creek-side in the grove and there are several campsites about. Proceeding further down the trail reveals even more campsites.
Unless you have had the time and foresight to position a shuttle on the paved, yellow lined road at Lloyd Meadows (a 35 mile, one way, return trip by road), you should retrace from here. Beyond the campsites the trail is almost level on in to Pyles Camp at Lloyd Meadows. It is dry, dusty and is an excellent place for studying rattlesnakes.