National Parks

Why You Should Visit Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

September 20, 2017

No matter how many other national parks I explore, it’s Sequoia that holds a special place in my heart. Sequoia National Park is a magnificent place that is much more than the giant redwoods of its name. And, I’m always surprised to hear from life-long Californians that they’ve never been. Which is crazy as you essentially get two national parks in one place – the Generals Highway through Sequoia connects to Kings Canyon National Park, which is an equally stunning place to explore.

In hopes of adding Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to your bucket list, here are 20 photos to inspire you to visit highlighting the various things one can do in these parks.

Sequoia National Park

Moro Rock

Sequoia National Park Things to Do

The climb to the top of Moro Rock

Every trip to Sequoia, for me, begins with a visit to Moro Rock. Driving up from the south entrance, Moro Rock is seen high above. Nothing compares to taking in sunrise from this viewpoint. And the added bonus – at that time, you typically have the place to yourself. I love the peace I feel when I’m up there.

Sequoia National Park

Moro Rock – on the way up

Sequoia National Park

Sometimes you’re above the clouds atop Moro Rock

Tunnel Log

Sequoia National Park

No visit is complete without taking a drive through a Sequoia

There are very few places in the world where you can drive through a tree. One of those places is in Sequoia. How can you resist?

Congress Trail

Sequoia National Park things to do

On the Congress Trail through the giants

This is the go-to-spot for walking among the forest giants. Not to mention, you’ll also encounter the world’s largest tree by volume – the Sherman Tree. You can’t help but feel small below these towering sequoias.

Sequoia National Park

The Sherman Tree – Do you feel small yet?

Many of the trees have scars from forest fires, some seem to be completely hollowed out. Yet, the trees are still thriving. No matter how many times I’ve walked this trail, I still find myself in complete awe.

Sequoia National Park

The national parks are full of wildlife including black bears and deer

Tokopah Falls

Sequoia National Park

The cascading Tokopah Falls

An easy hike along the Kaweah River leads to Tokopah Falls in the Lodgepole area. The massive boulders at the foot of the falls provide the perfect location to enjoy a picnic while marveling at the Watch Tower.

Sequoia National Park

The Watch Tower guards Tokopah Falls

This area is one of my favorites in the park. For a different view, the more difficult Lakes Trail (trail head from Wolverton), offers a bird’s eye view of the Lodgepole area. It’s an incredible view!

Seqouia National Park

Endless views from the Lakes Trail in Sequoia

Generals Highway

Sequoia National Park

There’s incredible scenery all along the Generals Highway

The drive through Sequoia from the South Entrance of the park from Three Rivers is one of the most fun roads in any national park to drive. There are A LOT of switchbacks!

Sequoia National Park

Views of Sequoia and Kings Canyon in the distance from Buena Vista Trail

Kings Canyon National Park

Grant Grove

Kings Canyon Sequoia National Park

The sequoias dwarf everything at Grant Grove

Home to the third largest tree on the planet in volume, Grant Grove has some massively impressive sequoias including the Grant Tree and the twin sisters. It even has my favorite grouping of sequoias in the entire place.

Zumwalt Meadow

Sequoia Kings Canyon

The serene landscape of Zumwalt Meadow

The serene Zumwalt Meadow is a must visit. A short trail leads around the meadow. But, it’s that first view that captures your attention. I always stop by there as it is just so ideal. The river. The green. The mountains. It’s perfect.

Roaring River Falls

Kings Canyon National Park

Roaring River Falls in Kings Canyon

Though the falls is small, it is quite powerful, which, in its confined area, can be loud. It’s easy to pass some time sitting on one of the surrounding boulders just watching the plummeting water.

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon National Park

Sunset views along the 180 descending into Kings Canyon

Driving down into the canyon, you have epic views around every bend. And once you are in the canyon, the best place to take it in is on the Copper Creek Trail. Hike up several of the switchbacks and you’ll be rewarded with an astounding view.

Sequoia Kings Canyon

The overlook of Kings Canyon from Copper Creek Trail is incredible

If you are really adventurous, continue on the trail for 6 miles and you are doubly rewarded for your efforts. It certainly filled me with joy while making me feel small and insignificant. But both Sequoia and Kings Canyon leaves you with that feeling no matter where you find yourself in these parks. The grandeur of nature is on full display here.

Kings Canyon National Park

The view from 9,000ft in Kings Canyon on the Copper Creek Trail

Kings Canyon National Park

Morning light filters into the canyon

Sequoia will always be my number one national park. When you go and discover all that Sequoia has to offer (which is even more than above), I know you’ll understand why. And, perhaps, it will also become your favorite park, too.

Sequoia National Park

Many sequoias bear scars from fires, which are essential to the growth of the trees

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  • terra September 22, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Beautiful photos! Both parks are on my list to visit maybe in 2018, and I can’t wait. I visited Redwoods a few years ago and it was incredible to stand beside the massive trees and I can’t wait to experience that again.

    • April September 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      Thanks! Hopefully you do get to visit both parks next year. I’ve been to both several times now and they do not get old. In fact, I’m always finding something new to love about both.

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