Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

“The sequoias belong to the silences of the milleniums. Many of them have seen a hundred human generations rise, give off their little clamors and perish. They seem indeed to be forms of immortality standing here amoing the transitory shapes of time.”

― Edwin Markham, American Poet.

Home to the largest tree in the world, Sequoia National Park is definitely worth a visit if you are in California. Although it is a spectacular place, it still doesn’t get as much love as Yosemite, the big brother nearby and the most visited park in the USA.

In the previous post, I wrote about the tallest trees in the world at the Redwood national park. Sequoia has Redwood trees too but they are largest in size not tallest. This breed is called the Giant Sequoias.

The park doesn’t have only the largest trees in the world but also home to the highest peak in the contiguous United States, Mt. Whitney, and one of the deepest–canyons in the U.S., Kings Canyon, deeper than even the Grand Canyon.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are next to each other and are managed as one park. 97% of the two parks land is designated as wilderness, a heaven for backpackers!

Top 5 Attractions

1. General Sherman grove

This 2,100-year-old giant sequoia is the largest tree on Earth, weighing in at an estimated 1,385 tons, equivalent to the weight of about 17000 men or 1000 medium sized cars.

Sherman, the largest living tree in the world. Photo credit: Robs Wavery.
2. Grant Grove

General Grant Tree is the official USA’s Christmas Tree. It doesn’t get decorated much though as it is a whopping 25 stories tall, and longer than a basketball field in circumference. Grant grove has many giant trees and easily accessible and walkable on a 2-mile loop Trail.

General Grant Sequoia tree.
3. Scenic drive to Kings Canyon Cedar grove

From General Grant area one can drive on highway 180 through the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway for 50 spectacular miles leading to Roads End. The road passes through Sequoia National Forest, and Cedar Grove. Scattered along the way are many great attractions from hiking trails, campgrounds, rivers, and canyons.

Kings Canyon Scenic road.
4. Cedar Grant and Roads End

Once at the Roads Ends of the scenic drive, one can go for a hike to the Mist falls (4 miles), or the impressive Grizzly Falls. Also nearby, Zumwalt Meadow is a great spot with its easy trails.

Mist falls near Cedar grant Roads ends.

5. Mineral King

This is an amazing valley to hike although it is best for overnight hikes. It is worth the visit to see its granite mountains, green meadows, glacier carved valleys, and alpine lakes. The hike is challenging (12 miles) but the views are spectacular.

Mineral King Valley. Photo credit.

More Attractions

  1. Crystal cave.
  2. Whitney Mountain.
  3. Big Stumps trail
  4. Sequoia National forest and Hume lake.
  5. Moro rock and Tunnel log.

More Pictures

Hiking to Paradise Valley.
Standing on a Giant Sequoia Stump.
A local resident.