Giants live in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Soaring mountains, rocky foothills, deep canyons, more than 200 marble caverns and the world's largest trees call these side-by-side parks home.
The highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney (with a peak at 14,491 feet, or 4,417 meters), stretches across the Sequoia border. The world's largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, soars 275 feet (83.8 m) above Sequoia soil. The General Sherman tree grows in the Giant Forest, home to five out of the 10 largest trees in the world. Giant Forest is connected to the General Grant Grove of Kings Canyon National Park, home to the 267-foot-tall (81.3 m) General Grant tree, the world's third largest.
The adjacent parks are in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, east of California's San Joaquin Valley. The parksrecently held a photo contest to celebrate their beautiful and diverse landscape. The above photo of Aster Lake by Scott Toste was one of the contest favorites. Aster Lake is a high alpine lake, popular with backpackers and other outdoor enthusiasts for its remote setting —a perfect spot to commune with giants.
To see all the contest entries, visit the parks' facebook page.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.