Northern California Nature July 03, 2019
The Oldest Juniper Tree In America Is Right Here In Northern California And It’s An Extraordinary Sight To See
It’s no secret that Northern California is chock full of unique and ancient trees—we call them the Redwoods! However, there’s one gigantic and ancient tree that is
not a redwood, and it’s considered one of the most unique in the country. Known as the oldest juniper tree in America, seeking out this incredible natural wonder is no easy feat. However, the effort will definitely pay off. Seeing this thing for yourself is an extraordinary experience that is bound to leave you in awe. Keep reading to check it out!
Explore one of Northern California's lesser-known natural wonders when you plan a journey to the Bennett Juniper in Stanislaus National Forest. Located in Tuolumne County, seeking out this tree is a must for those with an appreciation for really big, really old things!
At a whopping 78-feet high, the Bennett Juniper is considered the tallest juniper tree in the country. However, that's not the only notable thing about this tree. Known to be thousands of years old, it's also considered the
oldest juniper tree you've ever laid eyes on.
If you know a thing or two about junipers, you probably know it's rare for a juniper tree to grow very tall—never mind nearly 80-feet-high! Its towering figure is definitely impressive, but its age is truly mind-blowing.
While the exact age of the Bennett Tree has been the subject of much debate over the past century, it's generally agreed upon that it is at least 3,000 years old. However, some naturalists claim that it could be over 6,000 years old. Whatever the exact age of the tree is, we can settle on the fact that this juniper has been around for a very, very long time.
Although the Bennett Tree was initially discovered in the 1920s, the tree surprisingly doesn't receive all that many visitors. That's because getting here can be tricky, but it's far from impossible.
The area of the Stanislaus National Forest where the tree can be found is private land. However, it's managed by the Save the Redwoods organization and is open to the public. To get there, however, you have to traverse a road that is only open from around mid-June until October. Otherwise, the road is blocked by mud or snow.
To get there, drive 13 miles east of Strawberry before turning right on Eagle Meadow Road. From here, you'll drive approximately an hour on a dirt road until you get to a sign pointing you towards the Bennett Juniper on your left. Getting here is a real adventure, but you can bet it's worth every moment!
What do you think? Are you ready to find the oldest juniper tree in America? Check out more amazing destinations with our list of
11 Amazing Natural Wonders In Northern California Hiding In Plain Sight.