Sequoia Forest History

The Sequoia Forest is jam packed with history even before the Sequoia National Forest was created in 1918.

Indians lived a nomadic life in the Kern River Valley & surrounding areas by hunting & gathering. They moved between camps depending on the season. Interesting drawings on the rocks of their hunting & other activities can be found. They also made grind holes in the rocks from grinding meal out of pine nuts or other grains. Arrowheads & other artifacts are another indication of where Indians lived. There were a number of different tribes in the area Paiute, Nuni Kuni & Tubalatul. Please respect their culture & view but do not disturb any Indian relics that you may see.

Miners were extremely active in Sequoia. It is estimated that Claraville had over 5000 inhabitants in the 1800's. Some say that more gold was taken out of the Lake Isabella area than anywhere else in the US. There are still many old mines & cabins in the forest to attest to the hard remote life that these rugged miners led.

Cattle ranching came to the area in the 1800's & ranchers still graze their cattle by permit n the Sequoia National Forest. Cattle eat the low vegetation which reduces fire hazard & of course these free range cattle are sought after by beef lovers around the world.

Logging also has long history in the Sequoia & there was a mill located in Johnsondale up until the 1980's when it was shut down due to pressure by anti logging groups. The mill produced a renewable resource that we use every day, wood, paper & wood by products. By harvesting the timber logging also reduced wildfire hazards. Since the reduction in timber harvests the Sequoia has seen in huge increase in devastating Wildfires with the 2004 McNally fire incinerating 150,000 acres of forest, which may not return for 500 years.

Off Highway vehicle recreation has been popular in Sequoia since the invention of the automobile & motorcycle in the early 1900's. This picture is a Motorcycle Fie Patrol. Today Sequoia offers world class hiking, off road motorcycling, 4x4, mountain biking, horse riding, camping, gold panning, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing & more

The airspace over southern sections of the Sequoia is used by jet fighters & other aircraft practicing maneuvers. One fighter jet crashed in 1967 & the site provides a very interesting destination
Click here to see 4 page document on the Plane

The Sequoia National Forest is celebrating the 100 year anniversary & you can read more about the History of the Sequoia here on the Forest website