Tharp’s Log – Three Rivers, California - Atlas Obscura

Tharp’s Log

A 19th-century cabin built into a hollowed-out Sequoia tree. 


This curious cabin is nestled along the Crescent Meadow Trail in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest. Hale Dixon Tharp, who is considered to be the first non-Native American to enter the Giant Forest, built the structure.

Yokut guides first led Tharp to the Giant Forest in 1858. He established a summer cattle ranch next to a nearby meadow. There, he also transformed a fallen Sequoia tree into a cabin.

Fell used fire to hollow out 55 feet of the 70-f00t-long trunk. He built the front of the cabin into the log, and used the felled tree as part of the structure. The rustic abode even contains a fireplace, a door, and windows. 

Tharp’s Log had been used as a shelter by many early pioneers, including John Muir, America’s most well-known conservationist, who called it a “noble den.” In 1875, Muir stayed at the cabin as he was exploring the forests in his early years. Today, hikers can take a short hike in Crescent Meadow to see this cabin, which still contains an old bed, table, and bench. 

Know Before You Go

You can take a shuttle from the visitor center in Sequoia National Park to the Crescent Meadows. Once there, it is a short one-to-two-mile hike to Tharp's Log.

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