An Informative Guide To Explore Sequoia National Park

6 mins read
Sequoia national park
by Gnaphron/flickr Copyright 2012

Sequoia National Park, known as the Land of Giants, is an American national park located in Tulare County, California. The national park is in the southern Sierra Nevada east of Visalia, California.

The Sequoia National Park was established in 1980 to protect 404,o64 acres of mountains and forest land. Spread across a large area, the Sequoia National Park contains the highest point 0f the contiguous United States, the summit of Mount Whitney.

Home to giant sequoia trees, the Sequoia National Forest found in Southern California makes a perfect wilderness retreat. Adventure awaits here, as it offers a wide range of recreational activities like hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and horseback riding, as well as lush vegetation and wildlife to explore. With 52 develop campgrounds, visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy their trip thoroughly.

Sequoia National Park is located south of and is contiguous with the Kings Canyon National Park, and together they constitute Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. They contain many beautiful parks within them, including Grant Grove.

Front And Back Country Of Sequoia National Park

Front Country

Many prefer to enter the Sequoia National Park through its southern entrance, located in Ash Mountain, near Three Rivers. The rugged foothills of Ash Mountain shelter a rich variety of flora and fauna, consisting of several shrubs, yucca plants and lodgepole pines.

The Park is home to animals such as bobcats, mountain lions, mule deer, rattlesnakes, foxes, and many others, that are looked after by the National Park Service.

Sequoia national park
by Peter and Michelle S/flickr Copyright 2016

The California Black Oak that grows here marks the modification in tree species from the chaparral to the higher elevation coniferous growth.

A course through this region will lead one around the numerous coniferous trees. These giant, magnificent trees are certainly soothing to the eyes and the spirit. Weather varies in this region, changing the landscape all year round.

Back Country

Attention trekkers, adventure awaits! This region is the trekker’s dream, as it is a maze of river valleys and huge mountains. Kern Canyon hot springs are at the trekker’s disposal to rest and reload before resuming the trek.

Most of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks are designated as wilderness, so while the front of the Sequoia national park covers the foothills, the back has to offer a large piece patch of alpine growth.

Take a break from your trip to camp here, as the Bearpaw Meadow High Sierra Camp lets you lodge and explore the park slowly. These parts of the parks lie on the higher pass of Sierra Nevada and happen to be very close to the Great Western Divide.

Park visitors are sure to enjoy the mountain pass of Kaweah Gap upon the visit. Deep canyons at this natural paradise call for hiking, which takes one around the Kings Canyon National Park. It is here that the High Sierra trail meets with the John Muir Trail, as well as the Pacific West Trail that later on extends to the back of Kings Canyon National Park.

Giant sequoias

The giant trees, including the General Sherman Tree of the Sequoia National Park, are bound to amaze all visitors. This fascinating tree that is the sequoia, also known as the coast redwood, is the largest in the world.

The ones in Sequoia National Park are of many types-firs, red and white, incense cedars, and pines. Some of the oldest trees inhabiting this dramatic landscape have lived for nearly two thousand years now.

Sequoia national park
by Pedro Szekely/Flickr Copyright 2018

Hot droughts have often taken a toll on trees other than sequoia trees, but giant sequoia trees themselves have survived these extreme conditions.

The sight of these largest of nature’s size tress is sure to astonish visitors, as their unique bark survives fires and lightning storms, carrying scars from as long as two thousand years back.

The giant Sequoia grove is a must-visit to bless one’s eyes with General Sherman and the General Grant trees. Though sequoias are found in other places, giant sequoias (the world’s largest trees)aren’t found anywhere else but in this national park.

With heights ranging from four thousand to eight thousand feet high, the giant sequoias are a majestic sight.

The giant sequoias are located on the western slopes of the southern Sierra Nevada. It is among these great trees that General Sherman is found.

In contrast, the giant forest of sequoia groves is found on a meadow in the Sequoia national park. And if the view of this giant forest from the Moro Rock or scattered meadows isn’t enough, a short hike to explore the forest is sure to capture one’s senses.

The Giant Forest Museum is located in the grove and can be accessed by a shuttle bus or using one’s own, like a car or by foot.

Grant Grove

Grant Grove is located in Kings Canyon National Parks and houses the General Grant tree, one of the world’s largest trees, and named so by President Coolidge and many other named trees like the Fallen Monarch, the Gamblin Cabin the Centennial Stump.

Located just a little off Kings Canyon National Parks, this grove proudly exhibits the large, greater diameter yielding trees. The General Grant tree is so important that it is celebrated as the Christmas tree each year.

sequoia national park
by Ken Lund/Flickr Copyright 2017

A little south of the Grant Grove village in the Kings Canyon National Park stands proudly, one of the largest sequoia groves, the Redwood Canyon. The canyon is nothing short of inviting with its mixed coniferous trees, shrublands, and meadows.

An old lodging site is found here, and along the Redwood Canyon trail are the wonderous treasures of Lovely Hart Meadow, Tunnel Tree (for it is hollowed out), Hart Tree, Fallen Goliath, and the Sugar Bowl Loop.

A trail along this grove welcomes short walks and hikes along with it to find peace and solace in this piece of nature’s spectacle. The trees scarred with fire represent the long-standing relationship between sequoias and fire.

One more park in this gigantic park is the Big Baldy Ridge which is just as charming in appeal and has many spectacular views as the other smaller parks within the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The park road is connected to the General’s Highway too. Pets are not welcome here.

National Forest Area Converse Basin is an awe-striking section of the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, with a sad history of logging, of which the Boole tree was spared. An interesting feature found in this part of the national park is the recreation of the history of the lost trees and the surviving ones.

Among these is the Stump Meadow that contains the Big Stump Trail, which exhibits recreated stumps of felled trees for visitors to visualize the cut-down trees of this region.

The Boole Tree Trail is a short one and provides fine views of the high points of Kings Canyon. Pass through the Chicago Stump Trail that contains a single remaining stump, known as the Chicago Stump.

Moro Rock

Moro Rock is a giant granite dome hooding over the General’s Highway in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. There is a stairway here that leads one up 350 stone steps to get a majestic view of the Great Western Divide and the glorious San Joaquin Valley towards the west.

Little Baldy and Big Baldy are granite domes along the Moro rocks. Beetle Rock and Sunset Rock are two granite domes found in the Giant forest. The former provides a good view of the park’s foothills, east of California; the latter can be viewed from the Redwood Canyon it lies at a lower elevation.

Rock climbing is an option here, although for experienced climbers only.

If the parks, rocks, trails, and canyons do not suffice, the water body is at your disposal just as well.

The Tokopah Falls, which is also referred to as Tokopah Valley Falls can also serve as an adventurous experience for visitors. The trail leading up to this location is only a little after Lodgepole Campground. So dip into the cool waters of the Tokopah falls and enjoy a well-earned break from hiking.

Crystal Cave is one more beautiful phenomenon at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National park. It has vast caverns of marble, offers a short half-mile walk inside it. A guided tour allows one to appreciate the fragile formations of the caves.

Add to this a glorious hike about the Mineral King in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon national parks. Embedded with many lakes and fantastic trails, this hike itself may take up all your day. Crystal lake, Monarch lake, Franklin Lakes, Eagle and Mosquito lakes, Timber Gap, and the White Chief Gap are found here.

The places to visit and things to do in the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park are numerous. Visitors may find themselves boggled with all the activities and sights presented to them, which is why this forest offers great camping sites and fine restaurants for visitors to stay long enough to take it all in.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are open year-round, 24/7, but the best time to visit is June through August. Find up-to-date information on the Sequoia National Park‘s official website.

Plan your visit to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park right away!

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