Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks Travel Guide
Everything you need to know about visiting Sequoia and King's Canyon
Have you ever seen a tree so big it puts some buildings to shame? Views so spectacular that you can see a whole mountain range in the background? Rivers and rocks that look so perfect you would think they were man-made? If you haven't, we suggest taking a trip to Sequoia National Park and King's Canyon National Parks.
Why visit Sequoia and King's Canyon? Because you can go from glacier-glossed cliffs, pristine rivers, and waterfalls to old-growth redwood forest in a matter of minutes. The amount of sights and attractions to stop and look at in these National Parks is insane. Trust me when I say do not drive past these national parks without stopping.
Planning and Preparing to Visit Sequoia and King's Canyon
Sequoia and King's Canyon is perfect for camping and you should definitely book a campground online ASAP. If there are no spots available, drive up on the day-of your trip for first come first serve spots. They fill up faster on the weekends than the weekdays. Be sure to get there very early!
There are a lot of campgrounds at this national park so you hopefully shouldn't have trouble reserving in advance. We stayed at Sunset Campground and had a blast.
There are also a lot of other lodging options nearby such as motels and bed and breakfasts.
Don't forget to check the weather before you leave!
How to get to Sequoia and King's Canyon
Sequoia and King's Canyon National Park is a reasonable drive from San Francisco (4 hours) or Los Angeles (3 1/2 hours). Once you're inside the park, it is a little easy to get lost, especially at night. Roads are easy to miss. Make sure you know exactly where you're headed and drive slowly!
What to do in Sequoia and King's Canyon
The best thing to do at Sequoia and King's Canyon is have fun. These two national parks are one giant playground. Whatever you're into, you're going to find it here. You can backpack for a few days, rock climb, have fun on Hume Lake, climb the highest summit in the contiguous United States, and so much more. Stop by the visitor's center to inquire about activities and hikes that fit your skill level.
When we visited we mostly auto-toured and saw the most popular attractions like Zumwalt Meadows and Roaring River Falls. We brought river tubes and had a lot of fun floating on Hume Lake. We also climbed Moro Rock and walked along the Sherman Tree Trail.
If it's not winter time, we really recommend driving to the end of highway 180. It's a very scenic drive. Drive all the way to the dead end and then on the way back stop at all the attractions.
Tips for Visiting Sequoia and King's Canyon
- If you like spelunking, reserve tickets for Crystal Caves
- Mt. Whitney, the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet, is located in Sequoia National Park. If you're an experienced backpacker, start planning for this exhilarating 2-day hike
- If the weather is warm, bring a SUP, kayak, canoe, or tubes and take a float in Hume Lake. There's rentals available at the lake
- Roads are closed in the winter, the best time to visit is Spring, Summer, and Fall
- This national park would be great for graduation, wedding, or engagement photos
Back to Reality
So on your way back home you realize how much fun you had and how you didn't want to leave. That's normal. These national parks are in my top favorites and I can't wait to go again.
I love everything about the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and will never get tired of it. Sometimes I wish I could pack my bags and go live in the mountains by myself but then I remember how lonely I would get.
Now's a great time to start planning your next National Park trip! King's Canyon is very similar to Yosemite, but Yosemite is definitely more beautiful. If you've been to King's Canyon but not to Yosemite, now is a great time to start planning a trip there.
If you loved the beastly trees of Sequoia NP and want to see more of big trees then I've got great news for you. California is full of national and state parks that feature giant trees. Look into taking a trip to Big Basin Redwoods State Park (Santa Cruz) or Redwoods National and State Parks (Humboldt).
Sequoia and King's Canyon Q&A
Question: Which campground is the best at Sequoia/Kings canyon?
Answer: Hello, thank you for your excellent question. We loved camping at Sequoia. We stayed at Sunset Campground and didn't have any issues there. Our site was in the middle of the forest and our neighbors weren't too close. Two other really popular campgrounds at this national park are Lodgepole Campground and Potwisha Campround. No matter where you stay we promise you're going to have a great time. Have a safe trip! -Exsplore