13 Places to Visit in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is one of California’s most beautiful national parks. Over 631 square miles of mountain peaks, old-growth forests, and meadows make up the park. The park has over 1,000 miles of trails, making it a hiker’s paradise with breath taking mountain views. Here are the top places to visit in Sequoia National Park.

Giant Forest

The park’s most popular attraction is the Giant Forest. It is regarded as the heart of Sequoia National Park. The world’s largest trees, including General Sherman, can be found in Giant Forest, which draws the majority of visitors. General Sherman holds the world record for the largest living thing. It stands 275 feet tall and has a base diameter of more than 36 feet.
The Giant Forest Museum is a good place to start your tour because it provides an overview of the giant sequoias, meadows, and local history. The historic Giant Forest market building, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places, serves as the museum’s home. The National Park Service has a few hikes listed on its website that range in length from one-hour jaunts to day-long treks in the Giant Forest. In order to avoid the crowds, especially in the summer, visitors advise taking longer hikes like the High Sierra Trail or the Alta Trail. For longer hikes, check out Muir Grove and the Redwood Canyon. The General Sherman Tree, the biggest living sequoia in the world, is also located in the Giant Forest.

General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree, which is the largest tree in the world in terms of volume, is 275 feet tall and has a base diameter of more than 36 feet. Visitors praise the tree for being magnificent and heart breaking, but they strongly advise that there may be a wait to take pictures by it. Many advise being patient and arriving early. Two trails lead visitors to the tree. The tree is reachable via the Main Trail, which can be reached from a parking lot off Wolverton Road, after a half-mile descent. You’ll pass through the Giant Forest and encounter displays detailing the background of giant sequoias along the way. After taking pictures under the General Sherman Tree, you’ll have to climb a hill to return. Despite being paved, there are a few steps on this trail. You can continue downhill to the shuttle stop along Generals Highway if you’d prefer to avoid the uphill walk. You’ll be taken back to the parking lot by the shuttle. There is a wheelchair-friendly trail that can be accessed from a parking area by Generals Highway. The journey to the tree is short from there. Another hiking route that provides additional views is the 2-mile Congress Trail, a paved loop that starts close to the General Sherman Tree. It’s not a difficult hike, and visitors claim it’s well worth it.

Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, also known as Highway 180, is the only route that allows cars to access Kings Canyon. The 50-mile route, which is full of turns and twists, leads tourists into one of North America’s deepest canyons.

Visitors praise it for being breathtaking and stunning, but they also advise drivers to be prepared for the numerous curves on the route and to allow plenty of time to stop for pictures. The route starts at the Hume Lake Ranger Station in the foothills outside of Fresno, California, enters the Grant Grove region of Kings Canyon National Park, descends through the Sequoia National Forest, and ends at the Cedar Grove region of the same park.

Sequoia National Park Hiking

In Sequoia National Park, there are hundreds of miles of trails suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. Visitors laud the Congress Trail in the Giant Forest as a stunning, manageable walk. It is a paved 2-mile loop that starts close to the General Sherman Tree. The Big Trees Trail, a shorter hike in Giant Forest, is a mile-long loop that circles a meadow and has interpretive displays about the natural history of giant sequoias along the way. Longer hikes to picturesque locations like Mist Falls include an 8-mile roundtrip journey through forest and chaparral, past rapids and cascades, before rewarding hikers with views of one of the park’s biggest waterfalls. 

Grant Grove Village

Grant Grove Village, which is a part of the nearby Kings Canyon National Park, has a visitor centre, an ATM, cabins, a lodge, the Grant Grove Restaurant, a grocery store (with beer and wine), a gift shop with Native American crafts, and perhaps most significantly the General Grant Tree.

The enormous tree, officially named after Ulysses S. Grant in 1867 and given the nickname “Nation’s Christmas Tree” by President Calvin Coolidge, is the second-largest sequoia tree in the world (behind General Sherman) and the third-largest tree in the world overall. It stands roughly 270 feet tall, with a massive 107-foot trunk circumference. Its trunk is thought to weigh 565 tonnes, and experts estimate that it is between 3,000 and 4,000 years old.

Tunnel Log

Visitors to the park can take amusing pictures at the Tunnel Log, which is situated along the Crescent Meadow Road in the Giant Forest. This massive tree was 275 feet tall and 21 feet at the base when it collapsed in 1937, blocking the road. The following year, the tunnel was cut through the tree, and ever since, people have been attracted to it by its novelty. The tree is believed to be at least 2,000 years old by the National Park Service.

To avoid the crowds of people posing in front of, below, and even on top of the Tunnel Log, recent visitors advised going early in the day. The 17-foot-wide tunnel can only be driven through by cars that are no taller than 8 feet. You have access to the Tunnel Log in park admission.

Sequoia National Park Camping

Consider setting up a tent and spending the night there to get the full Sequoia National Park experience. Lodgepole, Dorst Creek, Buckeye Flat, Potwisha, South Fork, Atwell Mill, and Cold Springs are the seven campgrounds that are located inside Sequoia. Remember that the last two campgrounds are only accessible during the summer and are not connected to the park’s main road. The nearby Kings Canyon National Park and the surrounding forest land both have additional camping areas.

Tokopah Falls

Tokopah Falls, which spans a distance of about 1,200 feet, is the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park. However, the waterfall curves around craggy rocks rather than making a long, straight drop, offering a variety of vantage points from which to view the falls. The majority of recent visitors said the 4-mile trail is mostly flat and easy enough for beginners and young children to hike, and they enjoyed hiking it. 

Crescent Meadow

Crescent Meadow, a sizable green space bordered by enormous sequoia trees, is a great place to enjoy the tranquil sights and sounds of nature. By going to the terminus of Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road, entering the Crescent Meadow parking area, and then continuing on the 1.5-mile loop that encircles the grassy field, visitors can access the meadow. In the summer, vibrant wildflowers bloom in this area, and hikers occasionally see deer, marmots (a type of ground squirrel), and even bears.

Moro Rock

One of Sequoia National Park’s most well-known hikes is the Moro Rock trail. A granite monolith in the shape of a dome can be found at the Giant Forest’s edge. Molten rock rose to the top and solidified into granite to create Moro Rock 100 million years ago. When approaching Sequoia National Park from the south, take the Generals Highway north and look for it. Almost 6,725 feet are gained by the Moro Rock above sea level. Only the final 300 feet of ascent are necessary to reach the viewpoint. Over 350 steps, or a quarter-mile climb, make up the trail. The trail is 0.5 miles long in total. Stunning views are the trail’s reward.

Crystal Cave

You can discover the underground world of Sequoia by visiting Crystal Cave. You can access Crystal Cave’s magnificent chambers and formations through these caves. The cave is accessible from May to November and requires a tour guide to explore. Tickets for the park’s tours must be purchased online at least 36 hours in advance.

You must traverse a half-mile loop trail that goes through the cave to get to the cave. The half-mile walk to and from the cave parking area is also quite steep. There is no age restriction for this. The tour is finished in about 50 minutes. You can only visit the cave on a guided tour due to the cave’s delicate formations.

Mount Whitney

Look no further than Mount Whitney for a genuine adventure that will send your heart racing. Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, is located on the dividing line between Sequoia and Inyo National Parks. The mountain’s 14,494-foot summit is located there. Because of this, it is best to leave scaling Mount Whitney to experienced climbers, though there are a few trails that will be interesting to a slightly wider range of hikers. The 10.7-mile-long, eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, Whitney Portal serves as the starting point for the shortest hiking trail that visitors can take.

Congress Trail

The 2.7 mile roundtrip Congress Trail is a well-maintained trail. The General Sherman Tree is nearby where the trail starts. You can see mature sequoias along the path as you hike, including the House and Senate groups and the President Tree.

The park’s most well-traveled trail is also one that is simple to follow. The loop can be completed in about an hour. A small parking space can be found two miles north of the Giant Forest Museum along Generals Highway.

Scroll to Top