The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.John Muir
About the Park
Sequoia National Park in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Central California is home to the massive Sequoia Redwood trees and Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower contiguous United States. When we were walking amongst these fantastic trees in the Giant Forest was an awe-inspiring experience. It contains 5 of the ten most giant trees in the world, including General Sherman, the largest. The Generals Highway connects Sequoia to Kings Canyon and allows easy access to the adjacent national park.
Check out the view from the park!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Visit the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, which weighs 1,385 tons!
- Climb to the top of Moro Rock for amazing views of the park
- Walk or drive through the Tunnel Log
- See the tallest mountain in the contiguous United State, Mt. Whitney at 14,494 feet
While visiting Sequoia National Park in California, the immense size of the giant Sequoias does not disappoint. Here we go through a tunnel in a downed tree on a short hike near the General Sherman Tree. There’s nothing better than walking around these forest giants and imagining what the first people who saw them thought. Wow!
Size of Park
Sequoias are the world’s largest tree by volume!
Sequoia National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada mountains in central California and is home to some of the world’s tallest trees, including the General Sherman Tree, the largest living tree in the world.
The park also features deep canyons, giant mountains, and incredible wildlife. Visitors can enjoy activities such as camping, hiking, horseback riding, and even rafting. So whether you’re looking for a relaxing escape or an adrenaline-filled adventure, Sequoia National Park is the perfect place to explore and experience nature at its best!
Taking a casual stroll in the park alone can be quite rewarding due to the ginormous trees, which is why hiking is one of the most popular things to do here. Finding trails in the park is a piece of cake as there are so many options, and hikers of every skill level end up finding the perfect track for them!
Moro Rock Trail
The Moro Rock Trail is a great hike that offers spectacular views of the Sequoia National Park. It’s a moderate trail, about 0.6 miles long, with an elevation gain of about 400 feet. It’s a loop trail so that you can start and end at the same spot. The trail is well-maintained and offers lots of scenic overlooks. This trail can be completed in 30 minutes.
Big Trees Trail
If you are looking for another easy trail, head to the Big Trees Trail, which is a little over a mile long and has minimal elevation. It enjoys the reputation of being the second most popular trail in the park as it takes you through one of the world’s largest groves of Sequoias.
While crossing the Round Meadow, hikers can learn more about these ancient trees that leave a lasting impression on the onlooker. The boardwalk begins at the Giant Forest Museum and is accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Franklin Lakes Trail
This 11-mile-long trail starts at the Mineral King area of the park and can be completed in 7 hours. Then, there is a steady climb of almost 1000 meters, where you trek toward the Franklin Lakes. Once you reach the endpoint, you will find three alpine lakes in the middle of a visually stunning landscape. Surrounded by the Sierra peaks, the view is breathtaking after a long and arduous hike.
This is one of the easier hikes in the park, as it is just 3 miles long. The trail showcases the defining feature of the park; its giant Sequoias! Hikers get to pass the General Sherman Tree and loop out to two other Sequoia groves.
You can spot the McKinley Tree and President Tree here, which are also impressive. There is some moderate elevation gain at certain sections of the trail, but it can be easily navigated.
Alta Peak Trail
If you want to go for something more challenging, there is always the Alta Peak Trail which is 15 miles long with an elevation of 1200 meters. The entire hike can take up to 9 hours which tests your limits.
Once you get to Alta Peak, you will be treated to a stunning view of the valleys and expansive mountains in Sequoia National Park. On a clear day, you can also see Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states.
Camping in the Park
There are seven campgrounds located in various regions of the park. Dorst Creek Campground and Lodgepole Campground are located in the Lodgepole area and are the most popular camping sites in the park. The Foothills area has the most campgrounds, including Potwisha Campground, Buckeye Flat Campground, and South Fork Campground. Many campers stay in the Foothills area because of its low elevation, which makes it a suitable spot to camp during winter.
The Mineral King area of the park does not receive many visitors, but it contains multiple alpine lakes. In addition, Atwell Mill Campground and Cold Springs Campground are located in this area.
Only South Fork Campground and Potwisha Campground are open year-round, while the remaining camping sites are only available during summer. Three of the most popular campgrounds in the park are listed below.
The most popular campground in the park is the Lodgepole Campground which has more than 200 sites, including 76 tents-only sites and 16 walk-in sites. The campground accepts RVs that are up to 40 feet in length and has the facility of flush toilets. Lodgepole Village is located nearby which also provides access to coin-operated showers.
With 222 sites (12 tent-only and 33 RV-only), Dorst Creek Campground offers flush toilets, but no showers exist. There is a shuttle stop here, so you can easily visit the Giant Forest area and General Sherman Tree.
Potwisha Campground is the most accessible campground in the park. Due to the lower elevation, the area stays snow-free in winter. There are 50 sites amongst the oak trees, including flush toilets.
While the national park has quite a few campgrounds, other alternatives exist. Some nearby campgrounds include Upper Stony Creek Campground and Sequoia RV Ranch. While Upper Stony Creek Campground has water and vault toilets, Sequoia RV Ranch includes hookups and restrooms, with the village of Three Rivers nearby.
This deeply carved marble cavern is located at the heart of the park and makes for a very interesting visit. Tourists can explore the cave by signing up for a tour where they get to hike across the winding cave passages. After passing the Spider Web Gate, you will get to experience the cave in pitch-black darkness. It can get steep inside the cave, so be careful and wear proper boots for the tour!
Located in the Foothills, Marble Falls is one of the less popular spots in Sequoia. Getting to the waterfall is slightly tricky as you have to traverse through deep canyons and hike more than 450 meters of elevation. Nevertheless, this spot feels refreshing when you want to cool off or have a small picnic after a hectic hike. Moreover, you can also have a quick swim in the pristine water!
The Halstead Meadow in Sequoia National Park has undergone restoration over the past several years. As a result, Halstead is one of those rare naturally occurring meadows that provides an aesthetically pleasing view
and hopefully a spotting of wildlife.
This flat granite boulder is one of the first roadside stops in the park. Located along the General’s Highway in the Foothills of the national park, the giant rock always did not look this way, as a tunnel was dug under it in the 1930s for traffic. Today, the giant boulder is a favorite spot for photo ops, and people mainly come here for a quick stroll under it.
Click on the button to explore the state and travel guides for the area.
Getting to the Park
The closest airports to Sequoia National Park in California are Fresno Yosemite International Airport (75 minutes from park entrance) and Visalia Municipal Airport (90 minutes from park entrance). There is a park shuttle bus that connects with Kings Canyon National Park, but a rental car or diving is likely the best option.
Explore another National Park in the USA
We’ve visited 51 of the 63 parks. Check out our other guides.