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Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park: Original Purpose and Usage Today

California is a state full of natural wonders, including many state and national parks. See interesting sites in San Francisco and beyond.

Hume Lake looking pretty in the sun!

Hume Lake looking pretty in the sun!

A Serendipitous Discovery!

Were it not for the fact that my rental car's gas tank was starting to get a bit low, my traveling companion and I might never have discovered Hume Lake, which is in Sequoia National Park.

Inside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, which adjoin one another, there are not many places to refuel one's vehicle. Of course, one can drive out of the parks to surrounding communities, but this takes time away from sightseeing and doing other things. Thus it was with delight that we not only found a source of gasoline at Hume Lake, but also got to see this dammed-up lake and discover its many uses.

This 87-acre lake had an entirely different purpose at first. The creation of a dam took place in 1908 from Tenmile Creek, which flowed in that area of magnificent and thick sequoia forests. It became a place to store the cut-down sequoia and other harvested trees until they could be transported via lumber flume (utilizing the lake water) to facilitate that passage.

Do behold the king sequoia. Behold! Behold! Seems all I can say.

— John Muir

Logging Operations and Lumber Flume History

Harvesting of lumber was being done by large commercial concerns back in the late 1800s in this location. After cutting down the massive sequoia trees in this area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the logging operators had to have an economical way to move the trees to market.

Since wood floats, getting the tree trunks to a water source is one means of moving massive lumbar logs. The logs move guided by water currents from a harvested site to one in which they can be retrieved and processed into usable lumber boards or even ground up as pulp made into other products like paper.

A lumber flume is a trough-like structure generally built up and elevated above the ground. Water flows through the trough, and with the aid of gravity, moves the floating lumber along. Moving the lumber any other way down the mountainside would have been a much harder job to accomplish.

In this particular case, a flume built by the Kings River Lumber Company in 1890 was in full operation, moving the cut timber down the mountainside to Sanger, California, to be retrieved and utilized. The one built and located amidst these magnificent trees comprising what is now known as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was the longest lumber flume in all of the United States!

Sadly, all of the centuries-old sequoias, which used to be in this part of the park, did not even make good usable wood. Such massive trees, when they came crashing to the ground, often shattered. While not the tallest trees in existence, the girth and massive bulk of the giant sequoias make them the overall largest trees. Can you even imagine the sound that one of them must make when impacting the ground and how the land must shake?

According to information from the Sanger Depot Museum and History of the Flume, along with the Depression of 1892, the combination of things might have played a part in saving more of these sequoias from ultimate destruction since the lumber company went bankrupt.

Old photo of a lumber flume

Old photo of a lumber flume

Lumber Flume From Sequoia National Park to Sanger

Hume Lake Today—An Outdoor Paradise

Fortunately, Hume Lake now offers a great recreational site located in the Sequoia National Forest, operated by the U.S. Forest Service. It has many different campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. For reservations and to find out more park information, you can call 559-335-2232.

Catch a Fish

For people who like to fish, they might be lucky and catch rainbow, brown, and smallmouth trout as well as green sunfish.

Take a Hike or Ride Your Bike

Hikers and mountain bikers will find much to their satisfaction in enjoyment of this spectacular scenery. There is a trail that surrounds the entire lake.

Swim or Row on the Lake

Swimming and non-motorized boating is allowed on Hume Lake. It is nice to enjoy the beauty of this blue water, surrounded by forested areas and mountains, without the droning sounds of boat engines spoiling the pristine setting.

Camp (But Beware the Bears!)

When camping, be aware that black bears also call this territory home. One must be careful about food storage. Food stored improperly can attract bears.

Hume Lake Christian Camps

Since the mid-1940s, kid's camps, as well as couple's, women's, and men's retreats, have been held at this non-profit several hundred acre privately owned location. This large scale facility operates on a year-round basis.

Naturally, the emphasis is on leading a good life via the Christian faith, and attendees must dress moderately and act accordingly, but that is not to say that they cannot have fun.

Judging from all the YouTube videos, the kids attending the camps have plenty of fun! They can enjoy paddle-boating, canoeing, and swimming in the summer, and ice skating in the winter. Rock climbing to paint-balling, and from zip-lining to every game imaginable, kids will find themselves with no lack of things to keep themselves occupied in this gorgeous and safe setting.

In reading about this camp, if all of the cabins or the hotel rooms are not full, tourists can rent rooms even if not being a participant of a program. In addition to their service station on the grounds, one can also access a post office and even a market to pick up some needed supplies.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures of our delightful discovery of finding Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. It has a fascinating history and is a great destination within the park to have some fun and enjoy some recreational activities.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 19, 2017:

Hi Susie,

Happy to be able to introduce you to Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. There are so many pretty places within this park! Visiting there will always be a happy memory for me especially since I was with a dear friend who was experiencing it also for the first time.

Susie Lehto from Minnesota on April 18, 2017:

I hadn't heard of Hume Lake, what a beautiful place that must be to visit. Many times I have kind of wished I could visit Sequoia National Park, but I get over it. It is wonderful to learn more about the USA with you as my tour guide, Peg.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 09, 2014:

Hello DaisysJourney,

So nice to hear from someone who actually attended one of those camps at Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. Will look forward to reading your article. It is surely a beautiful place in nature!

DaisysJourney from Midwest, USA on July 09, 2014:


Your hub came up as I just posted mine on Hume Lake several moments ago. I was one of those youth attending the Christian camps (pre-youtube), but it was still incredibly fun. Your descriptions of both the camp and the Lake and Sequoia National Park as well made me yearn to be back in California - mountains, forest, tall tall trees....but more specifically back at Hume Lake. Thank you for a lovely piece of writing on a lovely place in nature.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 10, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

Nice to know that you enjoyed learning about the development of Hume Lake within Sequoia National Park, the lumber flumes...and its main use today for recreation. Thanks for your votes, share and the rest. :)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 09, 2013:

Voted up, beautiful and rated 5 stars. The sequoia trees are huge no doubt. Lovely place and fun things to do on a picnic. I enjoyed reading the history behind the lake development.

voted up, beautiful, shared and voted 5 stars.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2012:

Hi Eddy,

Very happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about the pretty Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. It must be so much fun to camp there! Thanks for your visit, comment and the sharing to FB.

Eiddwen from Wales on September 04, 2012:

Another gem for me to share.


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 24, 2012:

Hi Pamela,

Sequoia National Park is so beautiful. Nice to know that you have also gotten to enjoy it. Thanks for your comment.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 24, 2012:

I have traveled in these areas and love the redwoods. Your hub is outstanding and the pictures are beautiful. Rated way up!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 30, 2011:

Hello Tracy Robinson and welcome to Hubpages. Glad that you found this hub regarding Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park to be of interest. Thanks for your comment and votes. Heading on over to see what you write.

Tracy Robinson from Mauk, Georgia on September 30, 2011:

As a new hubber, I find myself looking for something to aspire to. And, here it is. Wonderful graphics, Very informative, and definately interesting. Hope I can be as successful as you one day. Great Hub. "Voted it Beautiful." Voted Up!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 09, 2011:

Hi Om,

Such a lovely thing to say! So glad that you enjoyed this hub about Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. Thanks for your comment. :)))

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 09, 2011:

Hello Eiddwen,

Thanks for commenting so favorably on this portion of Sequoia National Park...that of the Hume Lake area.

Om Paramapoonya on August 09, 2011:

Hi, Peggy! I believe I've said this before but I'll say it again. I LOVE all your travel hubs. Lovely stories. Beautiful photos. Always a fun read. :)

Eiddwen from Wales on August 09, 2011:

Hi Peggy,

As always a great hub which is again written in your own unique style. Combined with beautiful pictures they are indeed gems.

Take care


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 30, 2011:

Hi James,

Those colorful canoes lined up along Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park did make for a great photo. Thanks for the compliment and your comment.

James A Watkins from Chicago on July 30, 2011:

My goodness, you have outdone yourself with that first photograph. How beautiful it is! All of your photography is lovely. I had not heard of this place. Thanks for the journey.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 23, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

Nice being nominated but I don't go on Facebook often enough to interact with many people...so will obviously never win contests like this. If you ever do get to visit Sequoia National Park in person, make sure and set enough time aside to visit the Hume Lake area whether you need gas for your car or not. Very pretty area! Thanks for your comment.

Cheryl J. from Houston, TX on July 22, 2011:

Congrats Peggy on getting selected for your beautiful hub.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Wouldn't it be lovely right now to be in those higher elevations seeing such majesty of the giant sequoias and be missing some of this good old Texas summer heat? From your comment, I know you agree. :))

billyaustindillon on July 21, 2011:

I second those thoughts Peggy

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2011:

Hi Dolores Monet,

We are having similar temperatures down here in Houston. Hume Lake and those massive sequoias would look ever so appealing right now! At those elevations, the temperatures would be cooler for sure. Thanks for your comment and your vote. Appreciate it.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2011:

Hi Cheryl,

To think that those sequoia trees have been living on earth prior to most of the world's major religions being founded is really something! Does give one a peek into a small fraction of eternity. Hope you get to see Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park next year per your wish of vacation plans.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 21, 2011:

Hello akirchner,

Nice to know that you have seen the majesty of Sequoia National Park in person. I'd love to go back there and do more exploring when there would not be so much snow on the ground. Maybe someday... :)) Thanks for your comment.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on July 21, 2011:

Oh, Peggy - I want to go there! That spliced together picture is AWESOME. It's going to be 100 degrees here today and I just want to go jump in that lake. Then check out the fabulous trees. Voted up and voting for you in the contest!

Cheryl on July 20, 2011:

I love the symbols of eternity. You have presented a very interesting and beautiful hub on Hume Lake. Sequoia National Park will be one of my vacation spots in 2012. Wonderful and beautiful hub.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on July 20, 2011:

Thanks, Peggy for the virtual trip this afternoon - I haven't been there in years and remember its majesty!

Great hub and great write!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hi Charles,

Nicely said and so true! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment regarding Hume Lake. Looks like a great place to purposely vacation and do some camping.

Charles Criner on July 20, 2011:

You made the comment about needing gas for the car. Isn't if funny how God slows us down sometime to give us blessings. The picture of the tall trees is amazing.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hello sagebrush_mama,

Nice to hear that you enjoyed this hub regarding Hume Lake. It is a beautiful spot! Thanks for commenting.

sagebrush_mama from The Shadow of Death Valley...Snow Covered Mountain Views Abound! on July 20, 2011:

Beautiful photos, wonderful hub!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 20, 2011:

Hi Hello, hello,

Getting to see the Hume Lake area within Sequoia National Park was indeed a beautiful part of our day. Nice to know that you also got to enjoy it via the Internet and this hub. Thanks for your comment. :)

Hello, hello, from London, UK on July 20, 2011:

Again you showed a beutiful piece of your country. It must be such experience to see it in real. Thank you so much.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 19, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Am working on one loaded with many pictures combining Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. Not yet published but it will be soon. They adjoin one another and are handled by the park service as if they were one park. So stay tuned....! :)

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 19, 2011:

Hi Pollyannalana,

Enjoy your park trips be they local city, county or even national parks. They all have something of value and are good for refreshing the soul. Glad you enjoyed this hub about Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. Perhaps you will write hubs about the ones you visit? Thanks!

billyaustindillon on July 18, 2011:

Peggy am off to check out the latest hub as advised :)

Pollyannalana from US on July 18, 2011:

Beautiful, we go to local parks and they are beautiful but there are many near the east coast we need to see and we plan to soon. Great hub!


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2011:

Hi JSParker,

So glad that you enjoyed this hub and that it brought back good memories of your own visits to Sequoia National Park (with the exception of Hume Lake). The sequoias and redwoods are also two of my favorite things! Such majesty! Such grandeur! Thanks for your comment and vote.

JSParker from Detroit, Michigan on July 15, 2011:

Terrific hub! Love love love your photos and the videos! When we were in Sequoia National Park in 2009, we did not know about Hume Lake. Another reason to go back! The Sequoias and the Redwoods are two of my favorite things on earth. Voted beautiful.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2011:

Hi Charlu,

Glad that they have now added an interesting button to push. Appropriate for so many hubs that I read. Glad you enjoyed this part of Sequoia National Park and Hume Lake. What a fabulous place for a kid's camp! Thanks for your comment and votes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2011:

Hi Eiddwen,

Like you I was also surrounded by the beauty of nature as a child and have also loved it. By far my favorite type of vacation is seeing nature in all its glory. We have so many wonderful national parks over here. My dream would be to see all of them someday. I may or may not make it...but it is a quest worth undertaking. Also like you, I enjoy the small things. Flowers in our garden...the fragrance of herbs...all of that and more bring peace and serenity to one's soul. Thanks for your comment.

Charlu from Florida on July 15, 2011:

Breathtaking photos and such an interesting place to enjoy the basics we have been given. What a statuesque tree that just projects such a strong foundation. Fabulous hub making the all up votes (including interesting now) a must Thanks for sharing and I can't help but wish I was closer to embrace it in person.

Eiddwen from Wales on July 15, 2011:

Hi peggy,

Thank you for sharing another gem because your hubs are beautiful.

I have from a young child loved nature and we are surrounded by so much beauty that we tend to overlook !!

I vote this one all the way up and here's to sharing many more hubs with you.

Take care


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2011:

Hi Trish_M,

Always happy to be able to share pretty pictures of such places as Sequoia National Park but also nice when information new to readers can be shared. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2011:

Greetings D.A.L.,

So glad to be able to share some pictures of Hume Lake and a portion of the beautiful Sequoia National Park with you. Thanks for your comment.

Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on July 14, 2011:

Yes, the photos are beauitiful ~ and very educational too!

Dave from Lancashire north west England on July 14, 2011:

Hi, sure am glad that your gas tank was low or we would have been deprived of much beauty so beautifully captured for us with your skilful know how. I have enjoyed another part of your country with you, for that I will always be grateful. Best wishes to you.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 14, 2011:

Hi Prasetio,

Sequoia National Park is so beautiful. Will show you more of it in another hub sometime in the future. Thanks for your nice comment and votes. God bless you also. :))

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 14, 2011:

Again, I have admit to you that you are "the master". Thanks for always update and renew your hub, especially about beautiful places. One thing that I love from your hub. You always complete this with very well review, stunning pictures and video also. "Sequoia National Park" is one of the best park. I'll press all buttons here. God bless you.

Love and peace,

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi SweetiePie,

Glad you enjoyed this hub regarding Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on July 13, 2011:

Very beautiful pictures, and informative write up about Lake Sequoia National park.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi AliciaC,

I hope that you get to see those magnificent Seguoia trees in the National Park for yourself someday also. Hume Lake is just one portion of it that certainly entertains people. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi Billy,

Stay tuned to see more of Sequoia National Park. Hume Lake was (as stated above) a serendipitous discovery of which we were glad. Trying to tie more of my hubs together. Glad you noticed. Thanks!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 2011:

I would love to visit Sequoia National Park. It sounds like an amazing place. Thank you very much for the great information and photos. Hopefully one day I will be able to see Hume Lake and the sequoia trees myself!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi Simone,

Wish I had gotten to go to Hume Lake and attend a camp there as a kid also. That blob (in the video) surely looks like fun among many other things. Sure beats my girl scout camping experience when I immediately came down with a whopping case of poison ivy. Ha! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi Robin,

Wow! How lucky you were to experience Hume Lake as a kid! Such a gorgeous part of Sequoia National Park. As to showcasing Sequoia National Park...there is more to come! Thanks for your informed comment as to the beauty of that area.

billyaustindillon on July 13, 2011:

Great presentation of the beautiful Sequoia trees and Hume Lake - dovetails very nicely with your other national park hubs Peggy.

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on July 13, 2011:

What a beautiful place! I wish I could say that I've been there as a kid, too! Gosh. I really loved reading about this place and looking at the gorgeous photos. Siiigh... I've got a lot of camping to do!

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on July 13, 2011:

I remember going to Hume Lake as a kid. Your pictures are absolutely amazing, Peggy. The first photo with the canoes has amazing color! Thank you for sharing them and all fo the details about Hume Lake and Sequoia!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi dahoglund,

Serendipitous was the right word to describing our finding of Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park. Glad you liked it. Lakes certainly are an attractive feature in any environment and while Minnesota is tagged with having 10,000 lakes (the license plates used to have that and perhaps still do?), Wisconsin where you now live certainly has its fare share of them also. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi Trish_M,

When visiting Sequoia National Park every twist and turn of the road exposes more beauty. Hume Lake would have gone undiscovered by us had we not needed more petrol. Thanks for your comment.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on July 13, 2011:

Serendipity. A term for finding something you are not actually looking for.Coming from Minnesota lakes are the best part of any environment.

Tricia Mason from The English Midlands on July 13, 2011:

Hi :)

Looks lovely!

You were, indeed, lucky to find this beautiful spot!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 13, 2011:

Hi Charles,

Nice to see you here commenting on this Hume Lake hub. Had we not needed gasoline for the car, we might have missed seeing this part of Sequoia National Park on that particular vacation. Thanks for your comment. :))

charles criner on July 13, 2011:

Amazing. I feel that I have been there. I really enjoy all of the information that you are providing. Thanks.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 12, 2011:

Hi Happyboomernurse,

Hope that you do get to visit Sequoia National Park someday and get to see these awe inspiring trees and surrounding environs in person. It is quite an experience! Glad that you also liked learning about Hume Lake. Yes...that blob looks like it would be a lot of fun! :))

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 12, 2011:

Thanks for sharing this national treasure with those of us who live in the east. Your photos were beautiful and I enjoyed reading about the history of Hume Lake and the logging.

Have never seen the magnificent Sequoia trees in person but hope to one day. We have beautiful trees in the east, but none that grow that tall and majestic.

The video of Meadow Ranch Pond was cool and those kids did look like they were having a blast bouncing off the blob!

Voted up, useful, awesome and beautiful.

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