Sequoia National Forest closes trail after 2 giant trees fall

Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A family looks at the base of a Giant Sequoia tree that lies toppled in the Sequoia National Park in Central California on October 10, 2009. The oldest known Giant Sequoia based on it's ring count is 3,500 years old.

The famous Trail of the 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest is closed to tourists after two of the colossal trees fell side by side over the trail.

The Forest Service said the downed sequoias were reported Friday and that no one was injured. Some of the trees in the area rise a towering 245 feet over the trail and measure 18 feet across. Officials are still working to determine the ages of the trees and why they fell.

Photographs showed the unearthed root wads of the fallen trees were about three times as tall as a firefighter standing at the base.

The giant tree species can be traced as far back as some 200 million years ago and was the dominant tree in North American and Europe during the Jurassic period. Now there are few places left in the world that support the giant species, the Sierra Nevada Mountains being one of them.

The Sequoia National Forest draws over a million tourists annually to the park that his home to the General Sherman Tree — a tree that's reputed to be the largest in the world, according to the park's website.

Forest Service officials said tourists can still see giant Sequoias at Freeman Creek Grove along Lloyd Meadow Road and other areas of the park.

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