There is a wide variety of wildlife within the park's boundaries including: coyote, badger, black bear, sheep, deer, fox, cougar, woodpecker, turtles, owls, opossum, various species of snake, wolverine, roadrunner, beaver, frogs, and muskrat.
Location: Sequoia National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains about six miles east of the town of Three Rivers.
Cost: $30/vehicle, $20/motorscycle or $15/individual for a week-long pass which is also good for Kings Canyon; free entry with the America the Beautiful National Parks Pass.
Tickets to Crystal Cave are $16/adult, $8/youth (6-12), and $5/child (0-5).
Time: Sequoia and Kings Canyon are open 24 hours/day, 365 days/year weather permitting. Plan on spending between 2-7 days exploring the parks.
Description: The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park is arguably the best sequoia grove on Earth. It is home to 5 of the 10 largest trees on Earth, including the General Sherman - the largest living tree on the planet. The Big Trees Trail is designed to be an easy hike for families and is wheelchair accessible.
The Moro Rock to Crescent Meadow Road leads to several key attractions including Moro Rock, Tunnel Log, and the High Sierra Trail.
Cedar Grove lies in one of the deepest canyons in the country. This grove is generally warmer, and thus doesn't have any giant sequoias; but it is the starting point for many backcountry trails. A rustic Visitor Center issues wilderness permits to visit these remote areas.
|Hiking in the back country|
Mineral King Valley is the highest place accessible to park visitors and is reached via a steep, windy road that leads to high elevation wilderness areas. Be prepared because there is no gasoline or electricity in the valley. It is only open from late May to October.
Crystal Cave is run by the Sequoia Parks Conservancy. It offers several tours including: The Family Tour, Early Bird Tour, Discovery Tour, Wild Cave Tour, Junior Caver Tour, and Halloween at Crystal Cave.
The Generals Highway connects Sequoia NP with Kings Canyon NP. The Grant Tree Trail in Grant Grove in Kings Canyon NP leads to the General Grant, the second largest tree in the world, as well as many other beautiful giants. It also offers gorgeous vistas deep into the park's wilderness area.
|Nothing like a cold, refreshing swim after hiking all day|
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
Things You Should Know: - There is a difference between Sequoia National Forest and Sequoia National Park. Although both are beautiful, most visitors are looking for Sequoia NP, so plan accordingly.
- Over 80% of the parks is designated as wilderness area. You must obtain a wilderness permit if you stay overnight in these areas, which are only accessible on foot or horseback.
- Shuttles are a great way to explore the park while cutting down the pollution that is affecting these gentle giants. The Sequoia Shuttle can be accessed from Visalia or Three Rivers, and runs from May - September for $15/person (which includes park admission). There is also a free in park shuttle from Giant Forest Museum to Dorst Campground, and within the Lodgepole and Giant Forest areas.
- There are several Visitor Centers throughout the park that can help you make the most of your visit.
- There are plenty of camping, lodging, and restaurants in or around both national parks. However, campsites are difficult to get on summer and holiday weekends.
- Snow and ice are common on national park roads from early fall until late spring, so be prepared with tire chains if you are visiting during this period.
- Crystal Cave opens annually in May. Tickets must be purchased online and are not available at the cave entrance.
- Bears are active year-round in the park. You will need to store food and scented items in bear boxes so that they can't break in and get them.
Nearby: Mount Whitney, Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park