Top things to do in Sequoia National Park

Here is some tips on things to do in Sequoia National Park.

Sequoia National Park is located in California, just four hours northeast of Los Angeles. Established in 1890 to protect over 400,000 acres of forested mountainous terrain, the park is notable for its giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman Tree – the largest tree on earth by volume.

Visitors to the park can experience stunning views and awe-inspiring landscapes, with a few choice attractions making the trip well worth your while. Therefore, if you’re renting an RV in Los Angeles, take a look at the top things to do in Sequoia National Park.

Giant forest

The Giant Forest is a large sequoia grove that’s located between the Middle and Marble Forks of the Kaweah River. It houses more than 8,000 sequoias making it the largest grove in the Sequoia National Park.

We recommend you begin your journey at the Giant Forest Museum. The museum gives visitors an overview of the giant sequoias, meadows, and history of the region. Located in the historic Giant Forest market building, it’s earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Giant Forest is home to a series of hikes ranging from easy, one-hour walks to day-long hikes. We recommend the more challenging hikes, such as the High Sierra Trail or the Alta Trail to escape the summer crowds. The Muir Grove and Redwood Canyon are also excellent locations for longer hikes.

General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree is the world’s biggest tree by volume. It measures more than 36 feet in diameter at its base and stands 275 feet tall. This magnificent sight is awe-inspiring and humbling but be warned – lines to take photos by this beauty can be long. We advise you arrive as early as possible and be ready for a wait.

Visitors can approach the tree on two trails: the Main Trail and the Congress Trail.

You can access the Main Trail from a parking lot off of Wolverton Road. From there it’s a half-mile walk until you reach the tree proper. On the way, you’ll pass through the Giant Forest and can experience different exhibits that explain the history of giant sequoias.

The Congress Trail is a 2-mile-long paved loop that starts by the General Sherman Tree. It offers some spectacular views and is a moderate hike for those so inclined.

Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

If you want to visit Kings Canyon on four wheels, the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is the only option. This 50-mile route will take you into one of the biggest canyons in North America, twisting and turning along the way.

The route itself is beautiful and breathtaking but drivers ought to be prepared for the road’s many curves. You should also allow ample time to stop for photos.

The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway starts in the foothills outside of Fresno at the Hume Lake Ranger Station, entering the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park before descending into the Sequoia National Forest. From there it finishes at the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park.

Highlights of the route include hiking to the General Sherman Tree, visiting the Grizzly Falls, and touring Boyden Cave.

Tunnel log

The Tunnel Log is situated along the Crescent Meadow Road in the Giant Forest. The enormous tree fell across the road in 1937 – measuring 275 feet tall when it collapsed. The following year saw a tunnel cut through the trunk of the fallen tree, making for a quirky, novel photo opportunity for visitors of the area.

This 2,000-year-old tree makes for a great sightseeing opportunity. We recommend visiting early to avoid the crowds and be mindful that only vehicles shorter than 8 feet tall can drive through the tunnel itself. Larger vehicles will have to go around the tree on a bypass lane.

Tokopah Falls

Tokopah Falls is the largest waterfall in Sequoia National Park, with a total length of about 1,200 feet. That alone would make it worth a visit, but it’s also one of the most unique sights in the park – rather than dropping straight down, the waterfall twists and turns its way over crags and rocks, resulting in a dynamic sight that can be enjoyed from multiple angles.

There’s a 4-mile hiking trail up to the falls, which is reportedly easy enough for small children and beginner hikers. For the best experience, try visiting during spring or early summer – this is when the winter’s snow is melting and the falls are at their best.

Crescent meadow

Crescent Meadow is a massive green space surrounded by giant sequoia trees. The perfect sport to take in the peaceful sounds and sights of the area, visitors can access the meadow by driving to the end of Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road, trekking through the Crescent Meadow parking lot, and making their way around the 1.5-mile loop that surrounds the grassy field.

The summer months see colorful wildflowers bloom here and various wildlife can be seen from the trail. The Crescent Meadow trail is an easy walk, perfect for children or beginners. Visitors of all fitness levels can stroll the path at their own pace, stopping to take photos of the trees, field, and wildlife.

It should be noted that the car park at the trailhead is relatively small so you should get in early to secure yourself a spot.

Visit the Sequoia National Park

The Sequoia National Park is often overlooked but ought not to be underestimated. As national parks go, it’s one of the best in the area with some of the most stunning views and a fascinating history.

Entrance to the park is $35 per vehicle or $20 per person for pedestrians or cyclists. This covers your access to the park for seven days.

Now you have a list of some of the top things to do in Sequoia National Park. For more tips on the best things to do when RVing in California, check out our articles about Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Parks.

About the Autor

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Marie Ducharne