Tharp's Log
Height: 70.00 ft (21.34 m) Elevation: 6,830 ft (2,082 m) GPS Latitude: 36.56045
Volume: Creek: Crescent Creek GPS Longitude: -118.74279
Width: 17.00 ft (5.18 m) Grove: Giant Forest Discovery Date: September 1858
Age: Park: Sequoia NP Discovered By: Hale D. Tharp

Notes: Tharp's Log, also known as Tharp Cabin and Wolverton Log, is a fallen, fire-hollowed, giant redwood log at the northern edge of Log Meadow in Giant Forest and the oldest remaining pioneer cabin in Sequoia National Park. When this tree fell more than 300 years ago, the trunk split into two sections; the lower, 70 ft (21 m)-long section lies north of Tharp's Log Trail while the upper, 50 ft (15 m)-long section lies just south of the trail.

Cattleman Hale Dixon Tharp discovered Tharp's Log when Potwisha Indians first led him to Giant Forest in September 1858. He carved H. D. Tharp 1858 on the trunk, and his inscription, later protected by glass, remained visible until vandals destroyed it in 1953.

In 1861, Tharp built a rustic cabin inside the 55 ft (17 m) long, 3-6 ft (1-2 m) wide chamber which he used as a summer home while grazing cattle nearby. He carved a large window through the east side of the log and added a shutter, with hinges made from horseshoes, using a shingled wooden frame. He enclosed the southern, open end of the hollow log within a small, shingled building and added a fireplace and chimney made with granite boulders. Tharp furnished his cabin with a bed, a table, and a bench made from large redwood slabs.

Naturalist John Muir met Tharp in 1875 and camped at Tharp's Log while exploring Giant Forest. Muir described Tharp's Log as a noble den in a fallen Sequoia hollowed by fire: a spacious loghouse of one log, carbon-lined, centuries old yet sweet and fresh, weather proof, earthquake proof, likely to outlast the most durable stone castle, and commanding views of garden and grove grander far than the richest king ever enjoyed.

Cowboy James Wolverton, who worked for Tharp and discovered General Sherman on August 7, 1879, camped frequently at Tharp's Log while herding cattle. Tharp and Wolverton left Giant Forest after Sequoia National Park expanded to include Giant Forest on October 1, 1890. Wolverton died near Three Rivers, California in 1893. Tharp died at his ranch home in Three Rivers on November 5, 1912, at age 82, and was buried at Hamilton Cemetery in Exeter.

In 1923, The National Park Service restored Tharp's Log to its original condition using donations from the The Three Rivers Women's Club. On March 8, 1977, Tharp's Log was included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Drive: Tharp's Log is 219 mi (352 km) southeast of San Francisco near Fresno.

Northbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 North, transfer to California State Route 99 North toward Bakersfield. Drive north 97 mi (156 km) on California State Route 99 and transfer to California State Route 198 East toward Visalia. Drive east 57 mi (92 km) on California State Route 198 (Generals Highway), past Four Guardsmen, and turn right onto Crescent Meadow Road.

Southbound: From U.S. Interstate 5 South in Sacramento, transfer to U.S. Highway 50 East toward South Lake Tahoe. Drive east 1.7 mi (2.7 km) on U.S. Highway 50 and transfer to California State Highway 99 South. Near Fresno, transfer to California State Route 180 East. Drive east 56 mi (90 km) on California State Route 180, and turn right onto California State Route 198 West. Drive south 29 mi (47 km) on California State Route 198 (Generals Highway) and turn left onto Crescent Meadow Road.

Drive southeast 2.5 mi (4.0 km) on Crescent Meadow Road, past Booker T. Washington, Auto Log, Crescent Meadow Road Tree, Jefferson, Tunnel Log, and Near Tunnel Log, to the Crescent Meadow parking lot.

Road Warning: Crescent Meadow Road is open from late May to early November depending on snow levels. During summer (late May to early September) Sequoia Shuttle bus operations, Crescent Meadow Road is closed to private vehicles on weekends and holidays from 9:00 AM through late afternoon. When Crescent Meadow Road is closed, park in the lot near Giant Forest Museum and walk Crescent Meadow Road or take the free Sequoia Shuttle (Gray Route 2) from Giant Forest Museum to the Crescent Meadow parking lot.

Hike: From the parking lot, hike east to the trailhead. Turn right at the trailhead and hike southeast 0.1 mi (0.2 km) to the junction with High Sierra Trail. Veer left/north at the trail junction and hike north 0.2 mi (0.3 km) on Crescent Meadow Loop Trail to the junction with Tharp's Log Trail. Veer right at the trail junction and hike north 0.5 mi (0.8 km) on Tharp's Log Trail to Tharp's Log which lies beside the trail on your left.

Rating: Easy One-Way Distance: 0.8 mi (1.3 km) Ascent: 292 ft (89 m)
Time: 20 min Off-Trail: 0 ft (0 m) Descent: 145 ft (44 m)
Tharp's Log Hike Map

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Tharp's Log Tree

Photos: Pictures of Tharp's Log Tree taken from different sides

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