Sequoia National Park is a land of giant Sequoia trees, diverse wildlife, rocky scrambles, waterfalls, and incredible hiking trails that attracts thousands of travelers every year. In this guide, we are going to break down the top things to do in Sequoia National Park, along with the best campgrounds, best time to visit, etc. Let’s get started!
|Park||Sequoia National Park|
|Best Time To Visit||Spring & Fall|
|Camping Location||8 Locations|
|Things To Do||Forest, Falls, Tunnel|
|Lodges Near||The Darling, Wuksachi|
Where Is Sequoia National Park?
Sequoia National Park is located in the Sequoia Southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia. If you are flying by air, then you can take a flight to Visalia Municipal Airport or Fresno Yosemite International Airport, which are the closest airports to the park. From there on, you can rent a car and drive to Sequoia National Park, which is the best way to explore the park and its natural beauty.
A Brief Intro to Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is the country’s second National Park.
The Park is famous for its giant Sequoia trees, including the Sherman tree, the largest tree on earth.
It is also home to Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States.
Sequoia National Park offers spectacular scenery, giant forest, scenic hikes, and a variety of recreational activities.
More than one million people visit Sequoia National Park every year to experience its unforgettable sights, majestic trees, scenic overlooks, and underground cave system.
History of Sequoia National Park
The area comprised of the park today was initially home to “Monachee” native Americans.
The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp who made several attempts to conserve the giant Sequoias but only met with limited success.
In the 1880s, white settlers founded the Kaweah Colony and started trading Sequoia timber, however soon they have discovered that Sequoia trees splinter so easily and were unsuitable for timber harvesting, leading towards the logging operations terminated in the giant forest.
In the 1890s, legislation to establish America’s second national park was signed by President Benjamin Harrison to protect a living organism “Sequoiadendron giganteum” from logging and Sequoia National Park came into being.
Soon after the Giant Forest was incorporated into Sequoia National Park and all the logging operations were fully ceased in the Giant Forest.
Things to Do in Sequoia National Park
Giant Forest is the world’s second-largest Sequoia groove and definitely a start attraction you shouldn’t miss.
You can begin the tour with the Giant Forest Museum which offers an overview of the giant Sequoias, its family, meadows, wildlife, and human history in the region.
The giant forest also offers a series of hikes ranging from one-hour short jaunts to day-long treks.
You can either take a guided tour or take off on your own on one of the park’s many trails.
At 12,00 feet tall, the sheer beauty of Tokopah falls, is sure to captivate any nature lover.
The falls cascade down into Tokopah Canyon and to get there you’ll have to take a 3.4-mile round hike starting from the marble fork trailhead in lodgepole campground.
Although Tokopah falls itself a sight to behold, the views along the trail are just as breathtaking.
While hiking visitors pass by the Kauai River and also get a chance to see marmot pikas and even a bear if they are lucky.
One of the most spectacular overlooks that you can witness in the Sequoia National Park is a view from the top of Moro Rock.
It is a giant granite dome that can be seen from thousands of feet above the highway as you enter the park.
The hike to the dome is safe and easy with 350 paved stair steps leading you all the way to the top.
You may require a few stops to catch your breath but you’ll be treated with mighty views of the Great Western Divide, San Joaquin Valley, and the eastern wilderness.
Situated at the Crescent Meadow Road in Giant Forest, a Tunnel log was cut through the trunk of a 2000-year-old Sequoia tree to create one of the top tourist attractions.
The trunk of the tunnel is 8 ft tall and 17 ft wide that smaller cars can easily drive through the opening. For larger vehicles, there’s a bypass road to get to the Giant Forest.
Tunnel Log is one of the prime attractions in Sequoia National Park among hikers, bikers, and cyclists alike.
Many tourists who come to Sequoia National Park are often surprised to visit that the park is also home to a famous Crystal Cave.
It is a stunning marble cavern comprised of multiple chambers and hundreds of stalagmites and stalactites to walk through.
The half-mile trail loop weaves through the cave, where you can embark on a 50-minute basic tour.
Crystal Cave tours are offered in the summer months from late May to November
Best Time to Visit
Sequoia National Park is a four-seasoned park and offers plenty of activities no matter when you choose to visit.
If you’re a first-time visitor, spring and fall are the best times to visit when lakes are melted, days are long, and hiking trails are open.
However, if you want to avoid the crowd and enjoy profound silence, winters are the ideal time to visit.
Despite the extreme cold, you can enjoy tons of activities such as cross-country skiing through the giant forest, and ranger-guided snowshoe hikes.
If you enjoy the safety of knowing where you are going, download the Sequoia National Park map and the brochure prior to your visit.
If you plan to hike, this illustrated trail map may come in handy as it illustrates hundreds of miles of trails in the park.
Hotel Near Sequoia National Park
If you want to stay close to the park for easy commuting, here are the top five hotels located near Sequoia National Park along with booking links:
There are 8 main camping locations in the Sequoia National Park are located in Giant Forest, Mineral King, and Foothills.
Park doesn’t offer any RV parking lots or hooks ups. All the Campgrounds can be booked online at Recreation.gov.
The weather in Sequoia National Park varies greatly in different parts and can change drastically.
With the elevation change, the temperature can vary from 20 to 30 degrees. It may be flowers blooming in the foothills and snowing in the Giant Forest simultaneously.
Check out the weather page of the park for more detailed information or click here to check the current weather conditions.
Reservation and Entry Fee
Sequoia National Park is open all year round. However, the campgrounds, visitor centers, and hiking treks may have varying hours and seasons of operation.
The entrance fee is $35 per vehicle, $30 per motorcycle, and the fee for individuals on foot or bicycle is $20. The entry pass is valid for 7-days.
You can either purchase the pass at the Park’s entrance or online.
Checklist for Sequoia National Park
Here are 10 things you must bring on your adventure to the Sequoia National Park:
- Layered Clothing
- Snacks & water
- Hiking Boots
- First-aid kit
- Rain Jacket
How Much time should I Allow for Sequoia National Park?
The itinerary for Sequoia National Park can go from a few hours to several days depending on how much you want to explore.
Which is the best month to visit Sequoia National Park?
June through August is recommended as the best month to visit the park because of the stable weather and more chances of encountering wildlife.
Can I Get a free entry to the Sequoia National Park?
Free entry is only permitted to the US Armed forces and their dependents, Gold Star Families, 4th graders, and US citizens with disabilities.
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