Sequoia National Forest
Boole Tree (Converse Basin Grove)
Handout: Converse Basin - Boole Tree & Chicago Stump (PDF - 214k)
Nearby Campgrounds: Princess Campground (GPS NAD 83: 36.80278, -118.93694)
The Boole Tree (GPS NAD 83: 36.823889, -118.949167) is a giant sequoia in Converse Basin grove in Sequoia National Forest, in the edge of Kings Canyon, 5 miles (8 km) from Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada in eastern California. Converse Basin used to be a large grove, but was logged of most of its giant sequoias between 1892 and 1918. Now only perhaps 60 large specimens survive out of thousands. This grove is the largest contiguous grove in the world. The tree was named around 1895 by A.H. Sweeny, a Fresno doctor, after Franklin A. Boole, a supervisor of the logging operation who spared the tree's life due to its great size. Before 1931, it was thought to be the largest tree in the world, but it's now known as the sixth largest tree and the largest tree within the U.S. Forest Service.
Grove size: 4,666 acres to explore (GPS NAD 83: 36.799,-118.968)
Map: View larger, printable map of Boole Tree Trail (PDF - 130k)
Location: It is fairly easy to get to by car, but the main access is a dirt road. It is best to visit in the summer when the road is dry or in the winter by cross-country skis, or snowmobile.
Boole Tree Trail is a moderate 2.5 mile loop to the Boole Tree. There are restroom facilities at the trailhead, but no drinkable water. Boole, the largest giant sequoia on National Forest system land, is the 8th largest of all known sequoias. This trail offers spectacular views of the Kings River gorge and spectacular high Sierra Nevada mountain vistas. As you travel along the trail, you’ll come across remains of sequoias left where they fell in the historic logging days. The Loop will take a couple of hours since you’ll be staring up in the air looking at some incredible views. Since it is a loop, you can go either direction you wish. The first part of the trail will wind through at least 40 Giant Sequoia stumps that will boggle your mind with their size. Passing these, you’ll head up to a plateau where you can look down upon valleys in the canyon with Spanish Mountain in the distance. Regardless of which way you go, you’ll eventually come upon Boole Tree.
Boole Tree is big, but not as big as many of the stumps you’ll see. Boole Tree stands roughly 275 feet high with a perimeter of some 35 feet. It is estimated to be over 2,000 years old and is one of the biggest living trees in the world located in the northeast corner of the grove and is the last of the huge giant sequoias that had grown until the 1890's in Converse Basin. It is the largest tree in the National Forests and is recognized as one of the largest trees in the world. It stand 269 feet tall and has a diameter of 35 feet.
The Boole Tree lies in the Converse Basin Grove which is about 3,700 acres with sequoias concentrated in the basin formed by Converse Creek.
In the late 1800s, the Converse Basin Grove was under private ownership, and was cut extensively during our country’s historic logging period. Several groups of sequoias escaped the 1880s logging. Much of the grove was cut down, denuded and the land was later sold to the U.S. Forest Service. Today, the grove has recovered and it is breathtaking!
Recreation Opportunities: There are quite of few areas to get out and explore! There are also a few dispersed camping areas which people are welcome to use, please check with the Hume Lake Ranger District office. Three prominent developed recreation sites lie within Converse Basin Grove; the Boole Tree Trail, and Chicago Stump Trail, and Stump Meadow.
How to Get There: You can reach Converse Basin Grove from State Highway 180 or General's Highway (State Highway 198). Take Highway 180 about 5 miles north of Grant Grove village to the Converse Turnoff (Forest Road 13S55). There is a sign at this point saying Converse Basin Grove, Stump Meadow and Boole Tree Trail. Take Forest Road 13S55 about 0.5 mile into Converse Basin Grove. If you want to go to Stump Meadow, continue on Forest Road 13S55 past an intersection until you arrive at the meadow. You can continue on this route to Boole Tree Trail, which is at the end of Forest Road 13S55.
Last Modified: July 21, 2010