Sequoia National Park
East of Fresno, near the little town of Three Rivers, CA you’ll find the amazing Sequoia National Park. This park is home to the world’s largest trees (by volume): the giant sequoias, which sit near the chilly tops of the majestic mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
Because of its mountainous terrain, Sequoia is full of breathtaking views, gorgeous green valleys, and lovely, snowy white peaks. It’s also located just south of Kings Canyon National Park, making it easy to hit two incredible parks in one trip.
The weather in Sequoia National Park varies a lot by season and elevation, the latter of which changes dramatically throughout the park. The lower parts of the park are dry and hot in summer and mild in winter. Meanwhile, summers at high elevations are generally a lot cooler, with average high temperatures of around 75 degrees (F). In winter, the mid- and high-elevation areas are quite cold and receive a lot of snowfall, often causing certain areas of the park to be closed. These snows can actually happen well into March and sometimes even April.
There are plenty of scenic stops, gift shops, and small stores for essentials throughout the park. You’ll also find campgrounds and even some lodges and cabins scattered throughout the area. As far as visitor centers go, the park is home to a number of fabulous and educational stops that can really enhance the experience.
Those looking for in-park activities will be happy to learn that there is plenty to do in Sequoia National Park. As is the case with most national parks, hiking is probably the most popular activity. However, visitors can also choose to take part in skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, or horseback riding.
Scheduled hikes and talks with rangers are often on the schedule during the warmer months, and special events and festivals are held occasionally throughout the year. Finally, many also enjoy exploring the awesome Crystal Cave, which is open for tours from late May through late September.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of lodging options for those who are planning a visit to Sequoia National Park. Whether you prefer to stay in the park itself or in the surrounding areas, there is something for you.
It is important to note that many of the campgrounds in the park cannot accommodate RVs. Additionally, not all of the Sequoia National Park campgrounds are open year-round, and none have full hookups.
Therefore, those who prefer to have water, electric, and sewer will need to look at private campgrounds outside of the park.
Public Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park
Public Campgrounds in Kings Canyon National Park
Public Campgrounds in Sequoia National Forest
RV Rentals Near Sequoia National Park
Nearby RV Rentals
Hit the Trails
There are over 800 miles of hiking trails in Sequoia National Park. That’s a lot of walking! Of course, with that many miles to hike, there are plenty of scenery/terrain options to choose from. Additionally, it means you’ll easily be able to find a trail that suits your skill level just fine.
Since there are so many trails in this park, we decided to point out a few of our favorites for you below. (Want even more choices? Click here.)
Giant Forest and Lodgepole Area Trails
General Sherman Tree
Distance: 0.7 miles round-trip
Terrain: Paved; easy hike; view of world’s largest tree
Distance: 0.5 miles round-trip
Terrain: Paved, steep staircase; incredible view
Distance: 3.7 miles round-trip
Terrain: Well-defined dirt trail with some rocks and boulders; moderately steep uphill going in and downhill going out; plenty of animals and flowers; nice view of the falls
Distance: 3.2 miles round-trip
Terrain: Paved with gentle inclines; through a grove of large trees
Grant Grove Area Trails
General Grant Tree
Distance: 0.5 miles round-trip
Terrain: Paved; easy walk near many large trees
Big Baldy Ridge
Distance: 4.4 miles round-trip
Terrain: Rocky with some loose rocks; slight incline; amazing panoramic view; lots of wildlife
Foothills Area Trails
Distance: 7.4 miles one-way
Terrain: Some rocky, some sandy, some watery; uphill; lots of wildlife; pretty waterfalls
What to Do
There’s no denying the fact that Sequoia National Park has a lot to do and see. That said, sometimes it’s nice to head back into town and enjoy a day of shopping or dining. You may even want to squeeze in a museum or some other sort of attraction.
Wondering where to go for such things? Below are some of our favorite things to do in the areas surrounding Sequoia National Park.
No matter where you roam, it’s always nice to have a delicious meal made for you. If you’re looking for a great place to grab a bite near Sequoia National Park, you’re in luck! There are lots of awesome food joints in this area. Try one of the ones listed below or do some searching to find something completely different.
Type: Comfort Food
Location: Three Rivers
Location: Squaw Valley
Shopping is a great way to spend an enjoyable afternoon. Luckily, there are plenty of great opportunities to shop in the area. Check out these awesome shops during your visit.
Tulare Outlets is a super nice outlet mall with lots of great options.
This is an adorable candy and gift shop that will take care of all your souvenir needs.
Location: Three Rivers
If you’re looking for a blast from the past this is your shopping stop.
Location: Three Rivers
Delicious locally grown foods line the shelves of this gourmet grocery store.
Museums are a great option for those days you can’t spend outside due to weather, or when you just want to do something a bit different. Head to one of these great museums for a nice inside day during your trip to Sequoia National Park.
Located inside of Sequoia National Park, this awesome little museum teaches guests about the history of the forest, the life of the great sequoia tree, and more. It’s a great addition to any visit to the park and really helps visitors better appreciate the majesty of these amazing trees.
Three Rivers Historical Museum is a small but cute history museum with a surprising amount of information packed inside. It’s the perfect place to learn about the history of the area and features lots of cool artifacts. This museum also plays host to a number of great events throughout the year.
Have kids in tow? ImagineU Interactive Children’s Museum is just the place to keep those little minds and hands busy. The museum offers plenty of opportunities for imaginative play, as well as some chances to burn off excess energy. Parents will appreciate a chance to relax and watch their kids have a great time.
For a slightly bigger history museum experience, drive a bit further into the town of Tulare. Here you’ll find the Tulare County museum which goes into even deeper detail about the history of the area. The exhibits here are quite well done, making for an enjoyable visit for all.
If weather isn’t an issue and you don’t mind a slightly longer drive, Fresno Chaffee Zoo is an excellent choice. This zoo is packed full of awesome creatures to see and great paths to explore. You can easily spend an entire day here.
Another one located in Fresno, the Forestiere Underground Gardens provide a unique experience you won’t want to miss. This open-air museum features a number of exhibits, but the true attraction is a series of fruit trees planted several feet underground, making picking the fruit as easy as bending down slightly.
It’s no secret that Sequoia National Park is full of breathtaking views. However, there are still plenty of awesome sights to see outside of the park. Here are some of our favorites.
Pixley Wildlife Refuge is a great place to do some bird watching. One of the most interesting birds found here is the sandhill crane. Be sure to keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures.
A great way to explore history through a series of reconstructed buildings, Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park is an awesome sight to see. Be sure to bring a bike because this a bicycle-friendly park, and enjoy an afternoon learning about history and soaking up some sunshine.
Located directly north of Sequoia National Park and featuring a number of awesome sights, Kings Canyon National Park is definitely worth a visit. This is especially true considering entry to the park is included in your Sequoia National Park entry fee.
Want to soak up even more mountain views while surrounded by sequoia trees? Sequoia National Forest includes these things and is a natural extension of any visit to Sequoia National Park.
How to Get There
There’s only one entrance to Sequoia National Park. Luckily, getting to it is fairly straightforward, meaning you should have no trouble at all getting into the park. No matter where you’re coming from, you’ll want to make your way to CA-198 E. For most, this will mean first hopping onto CA-99 and taking exit 96. Once on CA-198 E, sit back and enjoy the drive. This road will lead you directly to the park gate to begin your adventure.
For those who must fly in, the Fresno Yosemite International Airport is usually the best bet. That said, Visalia Municipal Airport is actually closer, so depending on ticket prices and where you’re coming from, this airport could also make sense. It is also good to note that there are many other airports within a few hours’ drive of Sequoia National Park.
Of course, one of the best ways to visit Sequoia National Park is in an RV. Choosing this method of travel means seeing all the sights along the way and traveling at a much more leisurely pace. Additionally, it makes staying in the park easier and much more comfortable. Don’t have an RV of your own? You can always rent one. RV rentals are available all over the country, meaning finding one shouldn’t be difficult at all.
All that said, when planning, you will want to keep in mind that while this park does allow RVs, many of the in-park campgrounds restrict RVs to a certain length. Additionally, there are some areas of the park that are not RV-friendly, especially during the snowy winter months.View RV Rentals
Entering the Park
Private Vehicle : $35
Private, non-commercial vehicles (15-passenger capacity or less) and all occupants.
Motorcycle : $30
One or two passengers on a private, non-commercial motorcycle.
Per Person : $20
One individual with no car (bicyclist, hiker, pedestrian). Youths 15 and under are admitted for free.
By now you probably can’t wait for your visit to Sequoia National Park! Camping in or near a National Park is an excellent way get outdoors with friends and family and take advantage of all nature has to offer.
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