After breakfast, the first order of business was to go to the Lodgepole Visitor Center to get tickets for the Crystal Cave. The Crystal Cave tour was advertised to encompass as much as three hours, so we needed to plan the rest of our day around it. We were very happy we were camping at Dorst Creek and not Lodgepole, because a prescribed burn was happening there. We got tickets for 1:30, and were told that we should plan on 1:15 to drive to the Crystal Cave parking lot and then another half an hour to hike down to the cave entrance. “You must arrive at the cave entrance at least five minutes before your tour, or you won’t be allowed on the tour,” we were warned.
General Sherman is between Lodgepole and the Crystal Cave, and as it was only 11:00 or so, we decided to stop and see him on the way.
According to the NPS web site, General Sherman is 83.8 m (274.9 ft) tall, 31.1 m (102.6 ft) around, and has a volume of 1,486.6 cubic meters (52,500 cubic feet). He is about 2,200 years old. According to A Natural History of California, General Sherman was originally named after Karl Marx, by some Communists who were living in the area. The NPS quickly took care of that problem once it acquired the land.
On to the beautiful Crystal Cave.