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Sequoia National Park

California's lush vegetation and moderate weather can be experienced throughout Sequoia. Great short and long hikes make this park fun for the entire family. This is an easy park to get around with either your vehicle or the trolley. Every campground has something beautiful to offer with either terrain, water or amenities.

Sequoia foot bridge on hike in the foothills picture


As with all the hikes in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon areas you can just keep going and going. Of course you would need a backcountry permit but I found the trails in this park to tempt me further and further. Many hikes connect to another and yet another so keep an eye out for signs pointing you back to your car.

We found the signage on our hikes to be placed well so you don't get lost. This is rairly the case in most parks though.

Picture taken on foothills hike in Sequoia

Picture taken at campground in Sequoia

Sequoia Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park hiking, camping and travel information. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park contains deep canyons, high peaks, and of course, big trees. Between the elevations and seasons the conditions of the two parks vary greatly, from the dry, low foothills to mid-elevation sequoia groves to spectacular mountain scenery. Before planning a visit to either Sequoia National Park or Kings Canyon National Park check out the season-specific information for the time of year you will be visiting.

sequoia bear box picture

There is no gas available within the national parks. However, there are three gas stations in the national forest areas. It is highly advisable to get fuel before entering the parks as one of the gas stations was closed when we were there in early June. I believe there is only one station that sells diesel. At three of the visitors centers there are small markets but the grocery prices at these national park markets might blow your mind. Coming prepared to be self-sufficient will save your pocket book. There is amble lodging and camping throughout both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Lodgepole is the only campground that accepts reservations during the busy months.

Sequoias main cause of death is toppling due to their shallow root system. Sequoias live hundreds to thousands of years because they are resistant to many insects, diseases, and can survive most fires. Sequoias get so large because they grow fast over a long lifetime.

sequoia general sherman tree picture

With all the pictures of bears breaking into cars, talk from park rangers, flyers, and bear boxes located at campgrounds and even at trailheads, storing food properly and promptly and picking up all trash is a must to keep the wild bears from destroying your car, cooler, and canned goods. We were even told to put away our antibacterial pump that we keep up front because these bears see anything as potential food. Although there are several hundred black bears in the park not everybody gets lucky enough to see one. One of the reason is that Bear Management tries to keep them away from the campgrounds by hazing them, which is shooting rubber bullets at them to make them see the campgrounds and roadways as a negative. There are also mountain lion warnings even though sightings or run-ins with one is highly uncommon.

Lake Isabella is part of the Kern Valley and Kern River in California about an hour from Bakersfield. It is practically surrounded by the Sequoia National Forest and is south of Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Park. In the area and at Lake Isabella itself there is camping, hiking, water sports, and fishing.

sequoia camp fire picture

Sequoia National Park Fooothills is in the Sierra's lower elevations, comprised of different kinds of plants and animals than the conifer forests or high country. One of the differences is the poison oak on foothills trails which also grows up to the 5000 foot elevation level. Check out the Be Safe! section of the Sequoia & Kings Canyon newspaper from the visitor centers to recognize this danger and others. Hiking of Paradise Creek Trail and Middle Fork Trail can be easily reach from Buckeye Campground.

Lodgepole Visitor Center and Village - Summer shuttle service runs only in the summer the visitor center and village campground to hikes such as the Giant Forest, General Sherman Trail and Crescent Meadow Trail. Keep an eye out for smaller critters such as rattlesnakes.

sequoia road biker picture

Kings Canyon National Park Grant Grove Visitor Center and Village in Kings Canyon National Park is 6600 feet in elevation. Originally named General Grant National Park, it was created to protect sequoias from logging. Azalea campground right next to hike the General Grant Tree Trail and North Grove Loop, as well as the North Boundary Trail leading to Panoramic Point.

Kings Canyon National Park - Cedar Grove Visitor Center and Village sits glaciated between a valley of granite cliffs, waterfalls, and the Kings River. The Sentinel campground is right next to the small visitor center and just a short walk across the river to the market and showers. Drive to Road's End checking out Roaring River Falls and Zumwalt Meadow Trail. The road to Hume Lake goes through the Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. While driving Hume Lake Road some people found that there is more trouble than just hitting a tree if you lose control of your car. Check out the picture of unfortunate event when you drive downhill too fast on the winding roads. Thankfully, no one was hurt.

zumwalt meadow kings canyon picture

Jason's thoughts - Poor planning of food/water supply ended up costing me an additional $80 or so over what I would have spent at Wal-Mart over the course of 5-6 days. All stores are VERY expensive, as is fuel and even firewood, which you can gather from the ground if you take the time. Showers cost extra. We hit this campground in our new class b camper van (Vanabode) rather than the larger 34 foot Class A and this was a good decision as many twisting roads, sharp turns, steep downgrades, and limited spots for larger rv's are found in these parks & forests.

Kelly's thoughts - The weather in late Spring was cool and pleasant, day and night, which makes for a more pleasant trip for hiking and sleeping. I especially like the fact that the shady forests of pines and Sequoias did not have a lot of underbrush so the visibility through the forest was pretty deep. And even though we didn't see a black bear we did see other elusive critters and that was exciting.

Picture taken from hiking trail in Sequoia National Park

Travel Info - During our visit in early June the signs that mentioned snow tires okay were turned away from road view but not altogether removed. That is a reason in itself to plan your visit to these parks wisely. The two main roads through the parks, Generals Highway and Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, go through extreme elevation ranges are steep and constantly curvy. Frequent braking causes overheating and brake failure. Do not take your eyes off the road to fuss with the kids, look at your cell phone or play around the with your music. With no shoulder you need to pay constant attention for oncoming traffic as well as the many road cyclists, especially on the weekends.

No RV hook ups are available in Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks. Trailers are permitted in all but four park campgrounds. Not too many sites are suitable for RVs or trailers and vehicles over 30 feet long can fit in a very small number of sites. There is a vehicle length limit of 22 feet on Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park from the Potwisha campground to Giant Forest Museum. Most RVers camp at the neighboring towns of Three Rivers, Lemon Cove, and Squaw Valley and then drive into the park. Check for other road conditions for Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park. Location of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Click for camping and hiking information for Kings Canyon National Park Grant Grove area and the area for Kings Canyon Cedar Grove

Travel 202 miles northeast from Los Angles to visit Sequoia National Park.

American Road Trips - reviews & pictures of places we visited on $20 a day - food, gas and lodging.


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