The tree, which lies deep in the park with no trails leading to it, has suffered severe environmental degradation from thrill-seekers who have visited it since 2006, when it was found by a few naturalists.
The coast redwood tree (sequoia sempervirens) is 115.92 meters high and its name is derived from Greek mythology – Hyperion was one of the Titans and the father of sun god Helios and moon goddess Selene.
Hyperion’s trunk diameter is 4.84 meters (13 feet).
“Hyperion is off the path through dense vegetation and requires heavy bushwhacking to reach the tree,” a statement on the national park’s website reads.
“Despite the difficult journey, the increased popularity by bloggers, travel writers and websites of this off-trail boom has resulted in the destruction of the habitat around Hyperion,” the statement said. “As a visitor, you have to decide whether you are part of preserving this unique landscape – or part of its destruction?”
In addition to erosion and damage to the base of the tree, there are secondary problems arising from an influx of people.
“There was trash and people were creating even more sidewalks to use the bathroom. They’re leaving used toilet paper and human waste — that’s not a good thing,” Arguello said.
Human visitors aren’t the only risk to these giant trees.
Wildfires are a growing problem in California’s national parks.
In 2021, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks officials took extreme measures to protect some of the world’s largest trees from fire.
Hyperion tree image via Shutterstock