Known as the “land of giants,” Sequoia National Park is home to towering old-growth redwood trees known as sequoias—the world’s largest trees, some of which can reach heights of 275 feet (83 meters). The park’s dramatic landscape showcases thick forest, mountains, rugged foothills, canyons, and vast caverns.
Located in Central California, Sequoia National Park (and the adjacent Kings Canyon National Park) is an ideal wilderness escape from San Francisco or Los Angeles. Wander through the giant sequoia groves on a day hike, backpack through the dense forest, explore the deep caverns of Crystal Cave, and climb the granite dome of Moro Rock. Rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, and rock climbing are also popular activities in the park.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Sequoia National Park is a must-see for nature lovers.
- Remember to bring sun protection, comfortable hiking shoes, and plenty of water.
- When camping, all food, trash, and scented items must be stored in bear canisters or designated food-storage boxes.
- Reservations are required to stay at designated campgrounds, and wilderness permits are required if you plan to camp outside of these areas.
- The rivers in Sequoia can be dangerous and require advanced skill to navigate via kayak.
How to Get There
Sequoia National Park is located roughly 4.5 hours from San Francisco and four hours from Los Angeles by road. The visitor center is accessible via highway 198. A free shuttle provides transportation within the park.
When to Get There
The park is busiest in summer, when the weather tends to be hot and sunny. During this time, opt for an early-morning or weekday visit to avoid crowds. With fewer crowds and mild temperatures, mid-September and October are the best times to visit. Portions of the park are closed during winter, but some areas are open for activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Must-See Trees in Sequoia National Park
It’s the giant sequoias that draw many visitors to Sequoia National Park. The General Sherman tree at the north end of Giant Forest is a definite highlight—it’s the largest living single-trunked tree on earth. The General Grant Tree is another notable giant, located in the Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.