Sequoia National Park California

Sequoia National Park is an iconic National Park in the United States. It was first established as a national park in 1890. Over 1.5 million people visit this beautiful national park each year.

Sequoia National Park is one of the most famous national parks in America, and for a good reason. The enormous sequoia trees are iconic, and you should not miss them. Nestled in the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains, this park has something for everyone and is a great way to spend a vacation.

  • Location: Tulare County, California, United States
  • Entrance Fee: $35 per vehicle
  • Getting there: Driving: Ash Mountain Entrance, Flying: Fresno Yosemite International Airport
  • How Long To Stay: One to seven days
  • Best Time of Year: June-August
Sequoia National Park - Forest Boundary Sign
Sequoia National Park Forest Boundary Sign

Is it Worth Visiting Sequoia National Park?

Yes! This park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The giant sequoia trees are breathtaking, and there are many other things to see and do in the park.

It is the second oldest national park in the US for a good reason. It is home to some of the largest trees in the world, including the world-famous General Sherman. The massive sequoia trees only grow in select locations, and Sequoia National Park was created specifically to protect these gigantic trees.

Sequoia National Park Facts

Age: Established September 25, 1890: 131 years old

Size: 3,500 square kilometers

Named After: Sequoia National park is named after the giant sequoia trees that the park protects.

Weather: In spring, the weather is pleasant (30-50 degrees) with small amounts of precipitation. In summer, the temperature is hot (50-70 degrees), and there is almost no rain. In fall, the weather is cool (30-60 degrees), but there is little precipitation. In winter, there is significant snowfall, and the weather is cold (20-40 degrees).

Curly Road Leading Up To Sequoia National Park In California. - California View
Curly Road Leading Up To Sequoia National Park In California.

What To Do in Sequoia National Park

There are many incredible things to do in Sequoia National Park. You can check out all the incredible trees and nature, photograph the stunning landscape, and relax in the park.

Here are some of the most popular activities:

  • Visiting Sequoia Groves
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Climb Moro Rock

Explore Sequoia Groves

The biggest draw of Sequoia National Park is the sequoia groves protected by the park. Sequoia trees only grow in specific locations in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. The elevation must be between 4,000-8,000 feet.

There are over 40 different sequoia groves in Sequoia National Park. The smallest grove has only one giant sequoia, but the most extensive groves have thousands of these huge trees.

Some of the groves are accessible by car, but many of them require some hiking. General Grant and General Sherman Groves are two of the most popular groves.

Highlight: General Sherman is the world’s largest tree by volume.

Sequoia National Park Moro Rock
Sequoia National Park Moro Rock

Climb Moro Rock

Moro Rock is a massive granite dome seen throughout the park. It’s one of the most recognizable geographic features of the park. Moro Rock has a panoramic view of the park that you don’t want to miss.

To get to the top, you can climb a concrete and stone stairway to the top of Moro Rock. The climb is worth it. Handrails make it a relatively safe climb.

From the peak, you can observe the San Joaquin Valley to the west, the Great Western Divide’s peak, and deep into the wilderness of the Sequoia National Park. It’s a great way to get a sense of the scale of Sequoia National Park.

Highlight: You can see Moro Rock from the park entrance.

Camping

There are eight campgrounds in Sequoia National Park. Campgrounds fill up quickly during peak season (July-August), so make reservations in advance.

Highlight: Some of the most popular campgrounds are Lodgepole, Dorst Creek, and Sunset.

Visitor Centers

There are many visitor centers in the park. They provide an excellent opportunity to get more information about the park, talk to a park ranger, or grab a bite to eat.

Highlight: The Foothills Visitor center is the headquarters of Sequoia National Park.

Day Hiking

There are over 800 miles of hiking trails in Sequoia National Park, ranging from strolls to challenging hikes. Popular trails include the Tokopah Falls Trail, the Alta Peak Trail, and the Congress Trail leading to Giant Forest.

Highlight: Permits are not required for day hikes unless you’re summiting Mt. Whitney.

Sequoia National Park From Above Showing A Valley
Sequoia National Park From Above Showing A Valley

How To Spend a Day in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is a popular national park for a good reason! The park is home to some of the world’s most giant trees, stunning vistas, and diverse wildlife. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to Sequoia National Park.

Morning

To avoid the crowds, arrive at the park as early as possible. This also gives you a chance to catch the sunrise over the mountains, an experience you won’t miss!

The first thing you’ll want to do is visit the General Sherman tree. It’s the largest tree (measured by volume), and it’s something you won’t want to miss. You can take a shuttle to get there.

Afterward, make your way to Giant Forest. You’ll be able to see some of the largest trees in the world here. Be sure also to check out the General Grant Tree.

If you’re up for it, take a hike on one of the many trails in Sequoia National Park. There are trails of different levels, so you’re sure to find one perfect for you.

Lunch

Although there are options to buy food in the park, bringing a picnic lunch is a fantastic idea. There are plenty of park benches and picnic tables located throughout the park.

Bringing a lunch will allow you to maximize the time you spend exploring the park and will be much cheaper than buying food.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, head over to Kings Canyon National Park. It’s adjacent to Sequoia National Park, and it’s worth a visit. You can take a shuttle from the Giant Forest to get there.

Once in Kings Canyon National Park, take a hike on one of the many trails. There are trails of different levels, so you’re sure to find one perfect for you. If you have time, make your way to Crystal Cave. It’s a beautiful cave worth checking out and photographing.

Evening

In the evening, make your way back to the Visitor Center. You can take a shuttle from Kings Canyon National Park to get there.

At the Visitor Center, you can learn about the history of Sequoia National Park and get information about the different trails in the park. You can also buy souvenirs here. Afterward, make your way back to your hotel and relax for the rest of the evening.

Sequoia National Park In California - California View
Sequoia National Park In California

When Is Sequoia National Park Open?

Sequoia National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, portions of the park and some of the roads may close in the winter due to snow.

There have also been closures in the summer due to wildfires. Before planning your visit to the park, double-check the weather/conditions in the park.

  • Open 24/7
  • Wildfires and snow sometimes close sections of the park

Can You Drive to Sequoia National Park?

Yes! Sequoia National Park is located about a four-hour drive from Los Angeles. On the General’s Highway, you can drive through Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. This highway is open from spring to fall. It closes in winter due to snow.

Roads leading into the park include:

  • Generals Highway
  • Highway 198
  • Highway 180 and Route 53

Where To Stay in Sequoia National Park

When visiting Sequoia National Park in California, there are many different places to stay. You can find many hotels and motels in the city of Three Rivers, just outside the park. There are also campgrounds and RV parks inside the park.

Lodging

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, you can stay at one of the lodges inside Sequoia National Park. These lodges are unlike any hotel you have ever stayed in, and since you’re staying in the park, you can avoid the morning and evening rush to leave the park.

Here are some great accommodation options in the area:

  • Wuksachi Lodge
  • John Muir Lodge
  • Grant Grove Cabins

Hotels

Private buildings aren’t allowed to be built in National Parks. As a result, there are not many hotels near Sequoia National Park. However, some hotels are located outside the park near Three Rivers, Woodlake, and Visalia.

Here are some hotel options:

  • Rio Sierra Riverhouse
  • Sierra Nevada Mountain Retreat
  • Sierra Lodge Three Rivers

Camping

Camping is the best way to visit Sequoia National Park. Not only is it the most affordable, but many of the campgrounds in the park are stunning. You can wake up in the middle of nature.

Unfortunately, there is high demand for the campground, so you must make your reservations far in advance. You can make them six months before your trip on recreation.gov. There are a few first-come, first-served sites, but they fill up very quickly, sometimes by noon.

If you’re traveling in an RV, there are several places to stay inside the park. These spots also fill up quickly, so plan your trip and reserve your spot well in advance.

  • Potwisha campground
  • Lodgepole campground
  • Dorst Creek campground
Trees To The Sky In Sequoia National Park In California. - California View
Trees To The Sky In Sequoia National Park In California.

Sequoia National Park FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about Sequoia National Park.

What are the dangers in Sequoia National Park?

Sequoia National Park is a beautiful and popular destination for travelers, but there are some dangers. The most common risk in the park is wildlife. Bears are often seen in the park and can be dangerous if they feel threatened. Other animals, such as mountain lions, snakes, and spiders, can also be harmful.

Another danger in the park is from the environment itself. The terrain can be very rugged, so you should be prepared to hike on uneven ground. There are also areas of the park that are prone to wildfires.

Sequoia National Park is safe to visit and enjoy despite these few issues. Visitors should be aware of the risks and take precautions, but they shouldn’t let these dangers deter them from enjoying all the park offers.

Can you drive through Sequoia National Park?

Yes! You can drive through Sequoia National Park and enjoy the scenic views. The park has an extensive road system that allows you to explore the different areas of the park. Many hiking trails will enable you to get up close and personal with the sequoia trees.

Where do you fly into Sequoia National Park?

The closest airport to Sequoia National Park is Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT), located about 60 miles away.

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