Fortunately, the park is rarely overcrowded and gets about one-third of the visitors that Yosemite welcomes every summer. The moment you’ve been waiting for… Giant Sequoias! 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. This is a popular inquiry, but you won’t find that attraction here. First, you avoid traffic on your way to Sequoia National Park. 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. Moreover, early visit enables you to explore the place without crowds that start appearing around noon. The morning views from Beetle Rock are magnificent. If you don't stop to pay the fee, you risk being ticketed by a park ranger while in the park. Most people drive to Sequoia National Park from Los Angeles or San Francisco, but Los Angeles is about an hour closer. Sequoia National Park, well-known in part for its namesake giant trees, is also home to some fantastic alpine lakes. Sequoia is particularly great for short hikes and "poking around." 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. In fall, you'll find colorful foliage along the river in Kings Canyon. You’ve definitely earned a little time with your feet up! Path is paved, which makes it less dusty. For simplicity, this guide refers to them all as "Sequoia" in the descriptions below. 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. You were looking for the standing Sequoia that you can drive underneath? You’re not the only one. This is a great place to get an up-close look at the Kaweah River. Follow Generals Highway from Hospital Rock for about 8 miles until you reach Crystal Cave Road on the left. The spectacular groves that the Giant Sequoias grow in are spaced throughout the park and are accessible by car and foot! It’s tree-hugging heaven. This area has camping, hiking trails, river access, concessions, a visitor center, and even hot showers! 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! 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. In spring and summer, you'll see showy wildflower blooms at Sequoia, and the waterfalls in the park are at their peak in summer. 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. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located on the Western Sierras and can be accessed by Highway 180 and 198 from Fresno. Sequoia Resort is a 377-acre vacation property with trails and paved paths that are great for walks, hikes, jogs, and biking. Our first stop is always to the visitor center to pick up the Junior … The sunset in a Sequoia Grove is unlike any other. This is a great area to spot deer and bear grazing in the meadow area. Compare prices for car rental from Los Angeles here. Follow Generals Highway about 2 miles from the Sequoia National Park sign. 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. There are plenty of day hikes available, in varying degrees of difficulty, that will take you to the base of giant sequoias, and through … The loop will end at the General Sherman Tree, where you can continue back to the parking area. 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! Here are 50 things to do see and eat while exploring Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon. 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! After about 6 miles, turn right onto Crescent Meadow Road and follow signs to the Moro Rock Trailhead. 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. Soak in the scenery on your hike while reminiscing on all the memories you’ve made following this Sequoia National Park itinerary. 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! This area is home to giant Sequoias, waterfalls, a rushing river, meadows of wildflowers, alpine lakes, deep canyons and black bears. Restaurants Inside the 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. Compare prices for car rental from Los Angeles here. 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. It took us to Mr. Thorpe’s summer house . However, gasoline costs significantly more there than it would if you filled up in Fresno or Three Rivers on your way to the park. Enjoy! As a result, you can typically find hotel rooms near the park on most weekends, even in mid-summer. There are many beautiful campgrounds as well as conveniently located lodges right inside the park. A visit to Sequoia National Park is the perfect opportunity to explore the rugged natural landscapes California has to offer. 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. Along the road to get there, you'll pass by the Auto Log and drive through the Tree Tunnel, both of which were carved out of giant fallen sequoia trees. 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, … Larger vehicles are encouraged to use the Big Stump Entrance to the north to avoid the sharp switchbacks along the winding mountain road. However, this may not be the best hike for folks with a fear of heights or exposure. There will be no food service in Sequoia until the lodge reopens, and travelers are advised to bring food from outside the parks. Rome2rio makes travelling from Napa Valley Wine Train to Sequoia National Park easy. Rocks are kind of a theme on this leg of the trip! There are no gas stations in either park, but you can fill up your tank at Hume Lake, Stony Creek, and Kings Canyon Lodge. 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. If constant communication is important, check your provider's coverage map and leave your hotel phone number with the folks back home. Find all the transport options for your trip from Napa Valley Wine Train to Sequoia National Park … 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. Although Congress created these two parks in the southern Sierra Nevada at different times, Sequoia and Kings Canyon share miles of boundary. General Grant National Park, the forerunner of Kings Canyon, was the third, established in 1940. The road will switchback and is best taken at a slow speed. Soon after, there will be a parking area on the side of the road. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth it to hop over to Kings Canyon! Today we are starting off with a couple of sights in the Giant Forest before heading north on Generals Highway. The tour lasts about 45 minutes and guides guests along a fascinating ½-mile loop. 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. After your hike, grab a treat at the Lodgepole Market and Grill before heading off to your next site. Single vehicles must be 40 feet long or less while a vehicle and towed unit combined must be less than 50 feet long. When she’s not writing, Emily can be found backpacking, road tripping to outdoor destinations, climbing, or rowing whitewater. Designed & Developed by Solo Pine. Leave all Sequoia and Sugar Pine Cones where they have fallen. 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 late summer, this waterfall usually dries up completely, so its best to time this one for early in the season. Walk over and check out Tunnel Rock. Connecting the adjacent parks, and two celebrated giant sequoia groves (the Giant Forest and Grant Grove ), is the Generals Highway. To find the best place for you, see the guide to finding hotels and campgrounds at Sequoia. a cabin he built into a Sequoia tree that had fallen down! 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. 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. 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. Take a right onto Wolverton Road and follow the helpful signs to General Sherman. We know you can’t wait to explore even more of the Giant Forest. Insider Tip: Be advised, entering from this part of the park is not recommended for vehicles over 22 ft in length. Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon sit in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Rome2rio is a door-to-door travel information and booking engine, helping you get to and from any location in the world. They love human food and can cause damage to your vehicles trying to get it. 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. Really nice walk along giant sequoia trees. 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. 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! Walk over and check out Tunnel Rock. Although there are places inside to park to stop and get a bit to eat, you … Those big trees you heard so much about will begin to make an appearance as you continue on Generals Highway. To get to the parking area, head north on Generals Highway. Copyright 2019 - Eternal Arrival. To stay safe whether you're camping or staying in a hotel. 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. 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! We recommend staying near the Lodgepole Area for a convenient starting point. These were created over many years of grinding acorns for cooking in a pestle and mortar fashion. 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. 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’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. 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. This is also a popular place to spot deer and bear. Mineral King is a glacial valley seven and a half miles … The Top Destinations in Sequoia National Park Foothills. Before you go, find out how to stay well and comfortable by taking a look at these. In the National Forest, they can go on trails with you but must be on a leash less than 6 feet long. 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. 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. 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. The General Sherman Tree stands at an impressive height of 275 ft with a diameter of nearly 37 ft around! . It’s amazing to think Generals Highway used to direct traffic right under it! Giant trees, even larger than the giant trees in Redwood State Parks. Emily is a freelance travel and outdoor recreation writer from Big Sky, Montana. Halstead meadow is a perfect place to stop along Generals Highway to set up camp chairs or a hammock to relax in. Ready for a visit to the biggest tree in the entire world? Disappear off the map and into a world of outdoor possibilities at Sequoia National Park. Additionally, according to California state law, you should always have chains with you in the winter. This is a sacred Native American site, so please be respectful. 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! Bring plenty of water to start out the day if you’re traveling in summer. Park in the large lot at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area to check out Hospital Rock right across the street. 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. In Sequoia National Park, all visitor services at Wuksachi Lodge are closed through December 28, including the lodge, the restaurant, gift shop, and restrooms. Time to leave the heat behind and drive into the mountains where it’s a little cooler. Along Generals Highway, you will pass multiple scenic turnouts. One of the side trails we opted to do was The Thorpe’s Tree loop. 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. Notice the bowl-shaped carvings in the stone? Mineral King. Betsy has been writing about California for nearly more than two decades as TripSavvy's expert on the state. Back on Generals Highway, we’re headed over to the Lodgepole Area. This neat tunnel carved out of a fallen Sequoia makes for a great op of you and your road-tripping rig. From General Sherman, follow signs for the Congress Trail. Along the way, you’ll pass many of the area’s other giants! With giant sky-scraping trees, and terrain that invites engagement with adventure, it's a natural wonderland where … This scenic hiking loop is less than a mile and provides a wonderfully relaxing escape into nature. This location is also home to a beautiful panel of pictographs. Read my privacy policy and disclaimer here. Call (559) 563-3341 for a recorded message about road conditions or visit the alerts page of the national park website. Explore some of America's most beautiful scenery. The tree you’re thinking of once stood in Yosemite National Park, but fell over in 1969! 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. 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! You can continue on to other national parks like Joshua Tree and Death Valley easily based in Southern California as well. Some tips for visiting Sequoia National Park:-Sequoia National Park is often lumped in with nearby Kings Canyon. The Little Baldy Trail is a popular 3.5-mile out and back hike that will take about 2 hours to complete. This park … 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. Not sure where to get the best deal on your rental? Now you will be driving on Generals Highway, the scenic road that connects the two parks together. You will feel like an ant next to this chunk and look kind of like one in your photos. The two are contiguous, and the National Parks Service manages them as one unit. You’ve done quite a bit of hiking today! Activities and Things to Do in Sequoia National Park. Drive the Steep Winding Road to Mineral King. Along the trail, you’ll pass by Tharp’s log, which is a fallen Sequoia converted into a cozy woodland cabin. There are any number of trails in Sequoia National Park for all abilities and ages. How to Spend a Weekend in Sequoia National Park Sequoia and Kings Canyon are called “hiker’s parks” and rightfully so. Elevation varies at Sequoia but starts at more than 6,000 feet. Sequoia was America’s second national park designated in 1890. 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 pass the visitor center, which is a great place to stop to buy a hiking map and get current park information. Don’t worry, as we work our way up into the mountains, temperatures will become more bearable. Second, you need to prepare for a long drive not only to the park, but also inside it. Take advantage of the opportunities to stop and enjoy the view! In the off-season and winter, the entrance kiosk closes and the payment center for visiting the park moves to Grant Village. Make the most out of a fallen Sequoia makes for a recorded message about road conditions or visit the page! 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