The moderate 4-mile out and back Tokopah Valley Trail to Tokopah Falls begins from the Lodgepole Parking Area. When driving around Sequoia, expect to maintain an average speed of 25 miles per hour or less, which means it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to drive from Grant Village to Roads End in Kings Canyon. This 1.7-mile loop begins at the parking area at the very end of the Crescent Meadow Road, and it leads hikers right through a beautiful Sequoia Grove. Not only is Crystal Cave closed each winter, but from mid-November through mid-May, the road that takes you on a dramatic drive through Kings Canyon down to the Kings River is also closed. The loop will end at the General Sherman Tree, where you can continue back to the parking area. Back on Generals Highway, we’re headed over to the Lodgepole Area. Winter snow sometimes closes the road between the Giant Forest and Grant Village, and you may not be able to get into Sequoia National Park from Highway 180. Although Congress created these two parks in the southern Sierra Nevada at different times, Sequoia and Kings Canyon share miles of boundary. In the Giant Forest, the Congress Trail, a paved 2-mile loop that begins near the General Sherman Tree, is a … This area has camping, hiking trails, river access, concessions, a visitor center, and even hot showers! . Second, you need to prepare for a long drive not only to the park, but also inside it. There’s one more hike on the list for today, and wow are the views of the Western Divide at the top worth the trek! You’ve definitely earned a little time with your feet up! Editor’s Note: If you only have one day in Sequoia National Park, get an earlier start and combine all of Day 1, skipping the Giant Forest Museum, with General Sherman and Congress Trail from Day 2. Search for NPS Sequoia & Kings Canyon and download the app from the Apple App or the Google Play store before you get arrive at the parks. They love human food and can cause damage to your vehicles trying to get it. Being located near Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon, Sequoia Resort gives you the perfect opportunity to explore these national treasures while having a clean, safe base camp ~ with warm showers! Although the viewpoint is fenced in, it can trigger sensations of discomfort for some. Drive the Steep Winding Road to Mineral King. While not nearly as popular as Yosemite or Joshua Tree in terms of California's national parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are great destinations for travelers looking to escape into nature during their trip. The Little Baldy Trail is a popular 3.5-mile out and back hike that will take about 2 hours to complete. It's a very pretty drive, with optional stops to … Notice the bowl-shaped carvings in the stone? Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. In late summer, this waterfall usually dries up completely, so its best to time this one for early in the season. First, you avoid traffic on your way to Sequoia National Park. This location is also home to a beautiful panel of pictographs. The Generals Highway runs nearly 50 miles from Sequoia National Park's Ash Mountain Entrance to Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park, passing through the Giant Forest, home of the world's largest sequoia trees. Some tips for visiting Sequoia National Park:-Sequoia National Park is often lumped in with nearby Kings Canyon. As a result, you can typically find hotel rooms near the park on most weekends, even in mid-summer. Keep your eyes peeled! You’ve probably spotted the iconic granite face of Moro Rock standing proud above the foothills at 6,725 ft. You’ve had a good look, and now it’s time to stand on it! The Sequoias are waiting and are surely glowing in the early-morning lighting. Midsummer temperatures can reach well above 100 degrees F! Day Hiking: There are plenty of trails to hike throughout Sequoia National Park. Fun and easy on the legs. At Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, recreational opportunities expand dramatically from late spring to early fall. We know you can’t wait to explore even more of the Giant Forest. With frequent service to visitor centers, trailheads, and more, shuttles are a quick and easy way to discover the sequoias while reducing air pollution. Fortunately, the park is rarely overcrowded and gets about one-third of the visitors that Yosemite welcomes every summer. Park in the large lot at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area to check out Hospital Rock right across the street. The Top Destinations in Sequoia National Park Foothills. Bring plenty of water to start out the day if you’re traveling in summer. Insider Tip: Be advised, entering from this part of the park is not recommended for vehicles over 22 ft in length. Happy trails! Getting to Sequoia National Park The most scenic way to get to Sequoia (and the shortest route from Los Angeles) is to take California Highway 198 through Visalia and Three Rivers until you reach the Ash Mountain entrance, which is about an hour's drive from U.S. Highway 99. If you enjoy your time at Sequoia Nationa Park, consider donating online or becoming a volunteer for the. There are any number of trails in Sequoia National Park for all abilities and ages. If you have a big RV or are towing a trailer, check the limits before your visit. Additionally, Crystal Cave, a marble cave filled with huge stalactites and stalagmites that offers guided tours, is only open during the summer, and this season is the best time to hike to the summit of Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. When she’s not writing, Emily can be found backpacking, road tripping to outdoor destinations, climbing, or rowing whitewater. find a list on the national park website of places nearby that rent chains, visit the alerts page of the national park website, guide to finding hotels and campgrounds at Sequoia. To find the best place for you, see the guide to finding hotels and campgrounds at Sequoia. Find all the transport options for your trip from Napa Valley Wine Train to Sequoia National Park … Walk over and check out Tunnel Rock. Designed & Developed by Solo Pine. Enjoy! From hiking to fishing, and rock climbing to wildlife viewing, activity opportunities are endless in Sequoia & Kings Canyon. Single vehicles must be 40 feet long or less while a vehicle and towed unit combined must be less than 50 feet long. Soak in the scenery on your hike while reminiscing on all the memories you’ve made following this Sequoia National Park itinerary. If you need chains and don't have them, you can find a list on the national park website of places nearby that rent chains. There are plenty of day hikes available, in varying degrees of difficulty, that will take you to the base of giant sequoias, and through … This is a popular inquiry, but you won’t find that attraction here. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth it to hop over to Kings Canyon! Some secondary roads have tighter restrictions, and so does the 12 miles between Potwisha Campground and Giant Forest Museum, where the maximum recommended length is 22 feet. Head back toward Generals Highway after your fun adventure through Crescent Meadow and park in the Giant Forest Parking Area. Giant trees, even larger than the giant trees in Redwood State Parks. Halstead meadow is a perfect place to stop along Generals Highway to set up camp chairs or a hammock to relax in. Remember, only take memories and photos of these beautiful groves. Not too many people in October (and probably due to smoke, but I must say at this elevation smoke is not an issue) Highly recommend as an intro to sequoia park! You were looking for the standing Sequoia that you can drive underneath? Just sitting still on Beetle rock, away from others (or on a big log on the hill behind it) you'll start to see all kinds of things (including beetles, but also lizards, ground squirrels, tree squirrels, chimpmunks, … This is a great place to get an up-close look at the Kaweah River. Sequoia National Park, well-known in part for its namesake giant trees, is also home to some fantastic alpine lakes. The morning views from Beetle Rock are magnificent. Rise and shine! The moment you’ve been waiting for… Giant Sequoias! This scenic hiking loop is less than a mile and provides a wonderfully relaxing escape into nature. You will pass the visitor center, which is a great place to stop to buy a hiking map and get current park information. To get to the parking area, head north on Generals Highway. Crystal Cave is a fun guided excursion to spelunk one of the park’s many natural caverns. With Free Shuttle & Stay, visitors book a two-night stay in any of the 16 Visalia hotels and they receive two free passes for the Sequoia Shuttle, which includes entry into Sequoia National Park. 11 Useful Things to Know Before You Visit Denver, Colorado, 75 Perfect Camping Quotes & Captions for Instagram, Read my privacy policy and disclaimer here. You will be accessing the park through the Ash Mountain Entrance Station at the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas: the perfect start to any road trip to Sequoia National Park! Here are 50 things to do see and eat while exploring Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon. It’s tree-hugging heaven. The easiest to use resource is the California Statewide Fire Map. Earn Your Junior Ranger Badge. Her adventurous spirit has led her to the high peaks of the Sierras and the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48. While Sequoia National Park is open year-round, some seasons are better than others, depending on what you want to do and see during your trip. Don’t worry, as we work our way up into the mountains, temperatures will become more bearable. Most people drive to Sequoia National Park from Los Angeles or San Francisco, but Los Angeles is about an hour closer. Sequoia National Park, or “the land of giants” as it’s often referred, will make you feel like you’re wandering through a fairytale and leave you in complete awe! If constant communication is important, check your provider's coverage map and leave your hotel phone number with the folks back home. Located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, Sequoia National Park boasts endless mountain views, epic whitewater rivers, and, of course, Giant Sequoias. Take advantage of the opportunities to stop and enjoy the view! Additionally, according to California state law, you should always have chains with you in the winter. In Sequoia National Park, all visitor services at Wuksachi Lodge are closed through December 28, including the lodge, the restaurant, gift shop, and restrooms. Mineral King. Sequoia was America’s second national park designated in 1890. Leave all Sequoia and Sugar Pine Cones where they have fallen. The hike to General Sherman is an easy ½-mile walk down a paved trail. General Grant National Park, the forerunner of Kings Canyon, was the third, established in 1940. The two are contiguous, and the National Parks Service manages them as one unit. This is a sacred Native American site, so please be respectful. Path is paved, which makes it less dusty. There are no gas stations in either park, but you can fill up your tank at Hume Lake, Stony Creek, and Kings Canyon Lodge. Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon sit in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The river’s flows are powerful, especially in the spring and early summer, so use extreme caution at its banks! Only a short 3-minute walk from the Giant Forest Parking Area, this is a spectacular viewpoint to hang out at while drinking your morning coffee. Even away from cell service, this interactive guide will help you make the most out of your trip. This park … Eternal Arrival is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Mobile devices may not work everywhere. Although there are places inside to park to stop and get a bit to eat, you … We’re continuing on the Crescent Meadow Road toward Tunnel Log! We recommend staying near the Lodgepole Area for a convenient starting point. Soon after, there will be a parking area on the side of the road. Sequoia Shuttle allows guests to relax and enjoy the journey into the Giant Forest. Mineral King is a glacial valley seven and a half miles … During the summer, you can drive down a steep, narrow, winding road near the Sequoia gate off CA 198 to explore Mineral King, a sub-alpine valley that's the only part of the park's backcountry accessible by automobile. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and guides guests along a fascinating ½-mile loop. The parks offer a chance for visitors to explore expansive mountain peaks, sprawling woodlands, profound canyons, a vast array of wildlife, and the world’s largest trees. The sunset in a Sequoia Grove is unlike any other. It took us to Mr. Thorpe’s summer house . Take the short trail to the Giant Forest Museum to learn a little more about these massive trees you have been encountering! The trail hugs the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River before arriving at the beautiful 1,200 ft falls that cascade over the impressive granite walls. Once in the park, use the pullout at the Sequoia National Park sign and take the short trail down to the river for the first stop on your Sequoia National Park itinerary. How to Spend a Weekend in Sequoia National Park Sequoia and Kings Canyon are called “hiker’s parks” and rightfully so. It’s amazing to think Generals Highway used to direct traffic right under it! If you don't stop to pay the fee, you risk being ticketed by a park ranger while in the park. The General Sherman Tree stands at an impressive height of 275 ft with a diameter of nearly 37 ft around! Before you go, find out how to stay well and comfortable by taking a look at these. a cabin he built into a Sequoia tree that had fallen down! There are no Giant Sequoias here, but still plenty of exciting attractions to explore. Soon after, there will be a parking area on the side of the road. Sequoia National Park feeds into Sequoia National Forest to the south, and up beyond Kings Canyon National Park lies Yosemite National Park and Sierra National Forest. One of the side trails we opted to do was The Thorpe’s Tree loop. However, the park is planning to install a new cell tower by 2020, so the signal available in the park may improve significantly in the near future. Take a right onto Wolverton Road and follow the helpful signs to General Sherman. If you’re able to make the short ¼ – mile hike up, you’ll be generously rewarded with 360-degree views of the surrounding mountain landscape. You’ve done quite a bit of hiking today! Follow Generals Highway from Hospital Rock for about 8 miles until you reach Crystal Cave Road on the left. Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor recreation writer from Big Sky, Montana. There will be no food service in Sequoia until the lodge reopens, and travelers are advised to bring food from outside the parks. For simplicity, this guide refers to them all as "Sequoia" in the descriptions below. You will pass the visitor center, which is a great place to stop to buy a hiking map and get current park information. When you get up close to this tree, it’s easy to believe it’s the world’s biggest! Those big trees you heard so much about will begin to make an appearance as you continue on Generals Highway. This is where we leave you to discover your next adventure — either in Kings Canyon National Park as you head north or on your way back home after enjoying a short visit to Sequoia National Park. Copyright 2019 - Eternal Arrival. Ready for a visit to the biggest tree in the entire world? However, gasoline costs significantly more there than it would if you filled up in Fresno or Three Rivers on your way to the park. Along the trail, you’ll pass by Tharp’s log, which is a fallen Sequoia converted into a cozy woodland cabin. However, if you're traveling from Sacramento and northern California, you'll want to exit U.S. Highway 99 at Fresno and take California Highway 180 east, which will take about an hour and a half to reach the Foothills entrance. The best way to get around Sequoia National Park is by car and on foot. Now you will be driving on Generals Highway, the scenic road that connects the two parks together. Along the way, you’ll pass many of the area’s other giants! This is also a popular place to spot deer and bear. The trailhead is located near the parking area. To get to Sequoia National Park from Kings Canyon, drive south past Grant Grove and follow the signs for Sequoia National Park. You don’t need to be an accomplished climber to get on top because the NPS has laid 350 steps to make it an easily accessible lookout. From General Sherman, follow signs for the Congress Trail. Nature is at the forefront of things to do in Sequoia National Park, but there are also several manmade structures and attractions worth checking out during your trip. The main trail walks by a meadow where you can see the contrast of the meadow with the large sequoias growing right on the edge of the meadow. Along Generals Highway, you will pass multiple scenic turnouts. Read my privacy policy and disclaimer here. Located in California's southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, Sequoia National Park and the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park are known for their towering sequoia trees and miles of uninterrupted wilderness trails. . Sequoia trees can only grow between 4,000 and 8,000 ft elevation, so don’t be surprised to find that every inch of the park isn’t completely covered in these beasts. How to See the Tallest Trees on Earth: California's Redwoods, What You Need to Know About Lodging at Sequoia and Kings Canyon, California's Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park - An Overview, Top Things to Do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Virtual Tour of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Pack Up the Tent, Hook Up the Trailer: Places to Camp in Sequoia National Park, The Top 11 Things to Do in Fresno, California, Visit These National Parks Near Los Angeles, Fall in California: Weather and Event Guide, A Day Away: Fab Family Vacations Within 6 Hours of San Francisco, How to Get From San Francisco to Yosemite National Park, Visiting California in the Winter: What to Expect, September in California: Weather and Event Guide, RV Destination Guide: Sequoia National Park, Why Wuksachi Lodge Is the Best Place to Stay in Sequoia National Park. After about 6 miles, turn right onto Crescent Meadow Road and follow signs to the Moro Rock Trailhead. Time to leave the heat behind and drive into the mountains where it’s a little cooler. The road will switchback and is best taken at a slow speed. In the National Forest, they can go on trails with you but must be on a leash less than 6 feet long. Explore some of America's most beautiful scenery. Moreover, early visit enables you to explore the place without crowds that start appearing around noon. A visit to Sequoia National Park is the perfect opportunity to explore the rugged natural landscapes California has to offer. Restaurants Inside the Park. The new Majestic Mountain Loop is another way to experience the highlights of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, as well as Yosemite National Park. Betsy has been writing about California for nearly more than two decades as TripSavvy's expert on the state. Follow Generals Highway about 2 miles from the Sequoia National Park sign. Compare prices for car rental from Los Angeles here. Disappear off the map and into a world of outdoor possibilities at Sequoia National Park. In the off-season and winter, the entrance kiosk closes and the payment center for visiting the park moves to Grant Village. The most scenic way to get to Sequoia (and the shortest route from Los Angeles) is to take California Highway 198 through Visalia and Three Rivers until you reach the Ash Mountain entrance, which is about an hour's drive from U.S. Highway 99. All Rights Reserved. The dramatic landscapes of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lie side by side in the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains – a testament to the majesty and geographic diversity of the Western United States. Best Hikes at Sequoia National Park: General Sherman Tree (0.5 Miles) Get ready to whip out your Phone or camera, because the General Sherman is the largest tree in the entire world, by volume! Forest fires are always a possibility from spring through fall, but they're especially likely in the summer. Our first stop is always to the visitor center to pick up the Junior … You’re not the only one. You will feel like an ant next to this chunk and look kind of like one in your photos. Explore Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with the free, official National Park Service App. Sequoia Resort is a 377-acre vacation property with trails and paved paths that are great for walks, hikes, jogs, and biking. If you wish to see Sequoia National Park: Do it only if you’re in the southern area of California as it’s nearby and you can also check out other areas in the region such as the southern coast of California and even head east towards Nevada and check out places like Death Valley National Park. In spring and summer, you'll see showy wildflower blooms at Sequoia, and the waterfalls in the park are at their peak in summer. You can find campgrounds, cabins, and hotels in the national park, in the national forest, at the national monument, and on private property outside the park boundaries. This neat tunnel carved out of a fallen Sequoia makes for a great op of you and your road-tripping rig. Follow Generals Highway about 2 miles from the Sequoia National Park sign. This area is home to giant Sequoias, waterfalls, a rushing river, meadows of wildflowers, alpine lakes, deep canyons and black bears. Connecting the adjacent parks, and two celebrated giant sequoia groves (the Giant Forest and Grant Grove ), is the Generals Highway. Today we are starting off with a couple of sights in the Giant Forest before heading north on Generals Highway. If you've only got a day to see the park, the giant redwood trees are a must-see feature of the parks; be sure to stop by the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on the planet, by taking a short walk from the main road while you're there. Bears are among the many creatures that live in Sequoia National Park. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks In summer, a free in-park shuttle runs through the Giant Forest and Lodgepole areas of Sequoia National Park, from Giant Forest Museum to Dorst Creek Campground. You can continue on to other national parks like Joshua Tree and Death Valley easily based in Southern California as well. With giant sky-scraping trees, and terrain that invites engagement with adventure, it's a natural wonderland where … In Mineral King, visitors can explore a wandering subalpine valley brimming with pine, sequoia and fir. Activities and Things to Do in Sequoia National Park. This is a great area to spot deer and bear grazing in the meadow area. Call (559) 563-3341 for a recorded message about road conditions or visit the alerts page of the national park website. There’s plenty of hiking trails to choose from and each of them gives something special to remember: from giant sequoias to waterfalls, quiet lakes and mountain top views. In winter, visitors may find the giant sequoias covered in snow like over-sized Christmas trees, but you'll miss some of the park's most spectacular scenery this season. The tree you’re thinking of once stood in Yosemite National Park, but fell over in 1969! Rocks are kind of a theme on this leg of the trip! This easy 3-mile loop will bring you deep into the Giant Forest while guiding you past the towering McKinley Tree and General Lee Tree. In fall, you'll find colorful foliage along the river in Kings Canyon. If you’re interested in hiking a bit further, the Hospital Rock Trail continues down to the Kaweah River. Elevation varies at Sequoia but starts at more than 6,000 feet. The spectacular groves that the Giant Sequoias grow in are spaced throughout the park and are accessible by car and foot! Not sure where to get the best deal on your rental? Compare prices for car rental from Los Angeles here. Fires can affect air quality and travel access to the mountains, so it’s a good idea to check for them before you go to Sequoia. Rome2rio makes travelling from Napa Valley Wine Train to Sequoia National Park easy. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located on the Western Sierras and can be accessed by Highway 180 and 198 from Fresno. Walk over and check out Tunnel Rock. The Lakes Trail visits four such lakes: Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear, and had been on our radar for the last couple of years. Really nice walk along giant sequoia trees. If you’re flying in and planning to visit Sequoia National Park and Yosemite together, which I recommend as they’re quite close together, I suggest renting a car at LAX if you don’t have your own. There are many beautiful campgrounds as well as conveniently located lodges right inside the park. Any time of year, guests are welcome to drive through Sequoia and Kings Canyon to Moro Rock, a scenic overlook towering over the parks with panoramic views of California on one side and Nevada on the other. Time to rest up for another fun day in Sequoia National Park. This park will treat you to the oldest and most spectacular trees in the world. To stay safe whether you're camping or staying in a hotel. However, this may not be the best hike for folks with a fear of heights or exposure. In the national parks, pets are allowed only in campgrounds, picnic areas, and other developed areas. Sequoia is particularly great for short hikes and "poking around." Larger vehicles are encouraged to use the Big Stump Entrance to the north to avoid the sharp switchbacks along the winding mountain road. Now that you’re fully educated on the history and biology of the Giant Sequoias, you’re ready for the Big Trees Trail. Book your tickets to tour Crystal Cave at least 48 hours in advance to reserve your spot. I’ve rented cars dozens of times through various search engines and have settled on Discover Cars as the best car rental search engine – it searches over 500 trusted rental companies to find the cheapest price for your rental! These were created over many years of grinding acorns for cooking in a pestle and mortar fashion. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are administered jointly along with Sequoia National Forest, which is located south of the parks, and Giant Sequoia National Monument, which includes two areas west of them. After your hike, grab a treat at the Lodgepole Market and Grill before heading off to your next site. There’s so much to see in Sequoia National Park, so lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready for two days of adventure: here’s your perfect Sequoia itinerary! 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