Sequoia National Park is located in central California, just northeast of Bakersfield. The entrance to the park is located in Three Rivers, California, a small and quiet town. It is a unique national park with natural beauty and incredible scenic views.
This park is home to some of the largest trees in the world, and it’s easy to see why so many people visit this park every year. We visited the park in March and are excited to share our top recommendations and tips for visiting Sequoia National Park.
- Fun Things to Do In Sequoia National Park
- 1. See The Giant Forest
- 2. Visit The General Sherman Tree
- 3. Stop By Moro Rock
- 4. Buy Souvenirs In The Lodgepole Visitor Center
- 5. Learn From The Giant Forest Museum
- 6. Get Fit On The Sequoia National Park Hiking Trail
- 7. Stargazing
- 8. Take A Dive At The Tokopah Falls
- 9. Be One With Nature Crescent Meadow
- 10. Explore The Crystal Cave
- Top Tips for Visiting Sequoia National Park
- 1. Visit Each Park When You Can
- 2. Plan For Snow (especially if you’re traveling during Winter)
- 3. Get Information On Road Conditions
- 4. Bring Appropriate Gear
- 5. Eat Early
- 6. Pick Up Some Produce On Your Drive Out
- 7. Buy An Annual Pass
- 8. Pack Snacks When Traveling Into The Park
- 9. Find Good Accommodation
- 10. Visit Scenic stops
Fun Things to Do In Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park is one of California’s most popular national parks, and for a good reason. It’s home to some of the largest trees on Earth, including the General Sherman tree, which is estimated to be over 2,000 years old. Whether you’re looking for an easy hike or something more challenging, there are plenty of things to do in Sequoia National Park. Here are ten fun things to do in Sequoia National Park:
1. See The Giant Forest
The Giant Forest is the most famous part of Sequoia National Park. It’s home to some of the largest sequoias in the world, including the General Sherman Tree, among the largest living things in existence.
The Giant Forest is a must-see when visiting Sequoia National Park. The trees here are huge and have existed for thousands of years. It’s truly a humbling experience to hike among them.
2. Visit The General Sherman Tree
Sequoia National Park is home to some of the oldest trees in the world. It’s also home to some of the most beautiful. One of the most popular things to do in Sequoia National Park is to see General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on Earth.
The General Sherman Tree is the largest living tree in the world and is worth stopping by to see. It’s less than a quarter-mile hike from the parking lot to the tree.
3. Stop By Moro Rock
This is also a must-see on my list. Moro Rock is located in the Giant Forest and is a quick 300-400 steps up to the top. We visited in March while the area was covered in snow. It’s approximately 2 miles through the Giant Forest to Moro Rock. Once there, it’s a quick hike to the top, where you can see incredible views.
Beware of snow conditions: When we visited Moro Rock, portions of the stairs and walkways were covered in snow. Most people could get through it, but it helped to have the right gear. We carried stabilizers and basic snow/ice cleats to place on your shoes and boots. They helped me get through the snow … though I did fall while filming at one point.
4. Buy Souvenirs In The Lodgepole Visitor Center
Lodgepole Visitor Center is one of the best places to start your trip in Sequoia National Park. The center has an excellent bookstore and information about the park’s main attractions.
Some exhibits highlight different elements of the park’s natural history and culture before it became what it is today.
After visiting Lodgepole Visitor Center, you might want to hike up Moro Rock Trail or get a picnic lunch at Grant Grove Village before heading into Giant Forest to explore more of the park’s beauty.
5. Learn From The Giant Forest Museum
Giant Forest Museum is a great place to learn about the giant sequoias and the history of their discovery. The museum also has plants, animals, and geology exhibits in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, which includes parts of Sequoia National Park.
Visitors can learn about the history and biology of these trees and get an up-close look at some of them from an observation deck.
6. Get Fit On The Sequoia National Park Hiking Trail
The hiking trails in Sequoia National Park are most popular with locals and visitors. The trail network covers over 800 miles and offers a variety of terrain, elevation changes, and scenery. Some trails are short and easy, while others are long and strenuous.
One popular hiking trail in this area is the Crescent Meadow Loop Trail which is an easy 1.8-mile loop that takes about two hours round trip if you walk at a leisurely pace along the paved path or dirt road most of the way with only an hour
The lack of light pollution allows you to see more stars than in a city. The Milky Way galaxy is one of the most beautiful sights on Earth, and Sequoia National Park is one of the best places to see it.
The park’s high elevation (8,000 feet) and proximity to Mt. Whitney make it a prime location for stargazing. You can watch the night sky change color as the sun sets and rises again.
Sequoia National Park is a great place to enjoy the starlight.
8. Take A Dive At The Tokopah Falls
Tokopah Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. Visitors can swim in its pools or take a dip under them. It’s also one of the few places to get married in Sequoia National Park.
Tokopah Falls is accessible by a hiking trail and not too far from Lodgepole Village, the main hub for tourists visiting Sequoia National Park.
The hike is not difficult, but you should be prepared with good hiking shoes and plenty of water! The best time to visit Tokopah Falls is during spring or early summer when there are fewer crowds.
9. Be One With Nature Crescent Meadow
Crescent Meadow is another popular spot in Sequoia National Park and a great place to see wildlife and enjoy a picnic. It is known for its beautiful wildflowers and meandering trails.
Sequoia National Park is a vast wilderness of towering redwoods, crystal-clear streams, and snow-capped mountains. It also has some of the world’s most challenging trails and breathtaking views.
The biggest draw is the giant sequoia trees, some of the oldest living things on Earth.
10. Explore The Crystal Cave
The Crystal Cave is an amazing place to visit. You will see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites and learn how they formed millions of years ago. There are guided tours that last about an hour, but you can also explore on your own if you want to take your time and take as many pictures as possible.
The Crystal Cave is located just outside Sequoia National Park and offers guided tours with naturalist guides.
Top Tips for Visiting Sequoia National Park
One of the best things about Sequoia National Park is how much activity there is. There are several ranger-led programs throughout the day and evening, including guided hikes and campfire talks.
If you are going to Sequoia park for a good time, here are some things we did that made us enjoy our time there.
1. Visit Each Park When You Can
We made the mistake of looking at the map and thinking Moro Rock was close to the entrance. In reality, it’s a 45-minute to one-hour drive from the entrance to the Moro Rock and the Giant Forest. The roads are windy so you won’t drive fast through the park.
2. Plan For Snow (especially if you’re traveling during Winter)
We visited the park two weeks after a major storm had passed. Before going, we checked the weather in Three Rivers, which looked warm. However, I didn’t account for the park’s high elevation, especially when you get to the Giant Forest. You don’t want to be hiking through snow in shorts!
3. Get Information On Road Conditions
Snow chains are recommended for the winter season. However, it’s best to ask what roads require them. You might not need them often, especially if the Rangers have closed down certain roads. A quick stop at the Visitor Center will be able to give you the guidance that you need.
4. Bring Appropriate Gear
We bought a pair of ice cleats, which helped with hiking the snowy trails and climbing Moro Rock. I don’t know if I would have tried to go up the rock if we weren’t wearing the right shoes. Remember that you can rent gear like snowshoes, skis, and sleds at the Lodgepole Visitor Center.
5. Eat Early
Many restaurants in the area close early due to the lack of tourists during winter, so it’s best to eat early if possible. You may also want to bring food because some restaurants only offer breakfast at night, while some of the best eateries close early.
6. Pick Up Some Produce On Your Drive Out
We stopped at one of the orange fruit stands on the drive out and bought a bag of oranges for only $3. They were some of the most delicious and sweet oranges I have ever tasted.
7. Buy An Annual Pass
If you plan to visit other national parks, buying the annual pass is worth it. It costs $80 and can be associated with two people (which is useful if you want to share it with a visiting family member or friend). Also, it gives you admission to a ton of national parks and areas, including those managed by:
- National Park Service
- S. Forest Service
- S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- S. Army Corps of Engineers
8. Pack Snacks When Traveling Into The Park
Food is sold at the Lodgepole Visitor Center, but it’s a long drive, and the food choices are limited. The coffee wasn’t great, either. Just a reminder that we did visit during the winter when many of the facilities were closed or limited.
Have you visited Sequoia National Park? Share your top tips and favorite places in our comments section below.
9. Find Good Accommodation
You can stay in the park, but we opted to stay outside the entrance. Specifically, we stayed at the Sequoia Village Inn, with several cabins owned by the Buckeye Tree Lodge. Each has its unique personality and configuration and can be viewed and booked online. The Buckeye Tree Lodge is a small hotel overlooking the scenic Kaweah River.
10. Visit Scenic stops
As you drive up the mountain from the entrance towards the Giant Forest, several scenic stops are along the way. These are great places to stop and take photographs, especially if you happen to be driving around sunset.
Rounding up, Sequoia National Park is a huge national park with a lot of activities. There are many trails, lakes, and other areas to explore. If you have time, I recommend staying for at least two nights in the park.