The 10 must-see attractions in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
You'll never feel smaller than in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.
Walking amongst the tallest trees on the planet, you'll feel like you're in a world of giants.
If you're not convinced you should add this legendary destination to your next California road trip, here are 10 good reasons to do so:
Sequoia National Park
#1- General Sherman Tree
Standing 84 metres tall and 31 metres in circumference, this giant tree is the largest living organism on the planet and is more than 2,200 years old. Fascinating, isn't it?
An easy 0.8 km (round trip) forest trail leads from the parking lot to the General Sherman Tree. Allow about 45 minutes to get there and back.
#2- Congress Trail
It's true that the General Sherman Tree is an imposing sight and should not be missed. However, it would be a shame to stop there.
The Congress Trail begins near the General Sherman Tree and leads into the heart of this spectacular forest.
During this hike, you will certainly feel very small surrounded by all these incredible natural giants!
The trail is an easy 3.2-km loop. Allow about 1 hour for this hike.
#3- Giant Forest Museum
If you'd like to learn more about giant Sequoias, you simply must pay a visit to this small museum.
You'll also find a wealth of tourist information about the park and the region.
#4- Big Trees Trail
This easy 2.4-km hike (1-hour loop) begins at Giant Forest Museum.
In fact, it's like an extension of the museum with its many interpretive exhibits about the natural history of giant sequoias.
#5- Moro Rock
Climb the 400 steps to the top of this bald granite dome for spectacular mountain views.
It's a great vantage point for viewing the Sierra Nevada as it grazes the sky with its 4,000-metre peaks.
Visibility is best if you climb Moro Rock early in the morning or on a cooler day.
Allow about 30 minutes for this scenic hike.
#6- Tunnel Log
This giant sequoia, which fell across the road, has been carved to allow cars to drive through it.
You get a very good idea of the sheer size of these trees!
It's an interesting curiosity that makes for original photos.
#7- Crescent Meadow
This easy 3.2-km trail (1-hour loop) winds through an alpine meadow surrounded by sequoias.
You'll find 2 curiosities along the trail.
First, you'll come across Tharp’s Log, a beautiful little cabin built right into the trunk of a fallen tree, and the oldest cabin in the park.
Second, take the short detour to Chimney Tree and sit down inside the tree for a little meditation. Another lovely spot for some great photos!
#8- Crystal Cave
This marble cavern is one of the best-kept secrets in Sequoia National Park.
45-minute guided tours are available, but tickets can't be purchased at the cave entrance. Remember to purchase your tickets in advance at Lodgepole Visitor Center or Foothills Visitor Center.
This tour is suitable for the general public and families with young children.
For the more adventurous, there are other guided tours that venture further into the dark and narrow recesses of the cave.
PS - Don't forget your jacket, as the temperature in the cave never goes above 10 degrees Celsius.
That's it for Sequoia National Park, one of the forgotten parks in the American West, which it really ought not to be!
#9- General Grant Tree Trail
This easy 800-metre trail (30-minute loop) leads to the General Grant Tree, one of the 5 largest trees in the world.
Along the trail, you'll pass the Fallen Monarch Tree, a fallen sequoia that you can walk through.
#10- Kings Canyon Scenic Byway
If you love the beautiful landscapes of the American West, this 80-kilometre scenic route along dramatic granite cliffs and the wild and scenic Kings River to Cedar Grove is for you.
It will take about 3 hours to drive the length of this beautiful road and back (160 km).
Locate the must-sees of Sequoi and Kings Canyon
And there you go!
Do you think we've missed any of the must-see attractions in these 2 California parks?
If you have questions and/or suggestions, don't hesitate to share them in the comments below.