Sequoia & Kings Canyon Travel Planning: Camping, Lodging, and Activities
Plan your getaway with our Sequoia & Kings Canyon national park travel planning section.
Whether you are here for a week or only for a few hours, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks offers a multitude of activities for you to enjoy. Read on for a few sample ideas keyed to the anticipated length of your stay and designed to help you get the most from a visit to our “backyard” of giant sequoias, steep canyons and scenic rivers.
For the very adventurous, explore the unrivaled beauty of Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks, in as little as 3 days! Try the Majestic Mountain Loop itinerary for a high sierra vacation full of all the adventure you can imagine. Trek to the largest living tree, explore underground caves, hike to stunning waterfalls, and discover the best vistas in all three parks.
The 2014 Spring Sequoia and Kings Canyon Spring Visitor's Guide is now available.
Check for Park Alerts & Road Conditions
If you are planning a visit to the parks, the first thing you'll want to do is the National Park Service website at https://www.nps.gov/seki/learn/news/index.htm. You will find the latest information about weather and opening and closing of roads and facilities within the park.
If you have a day or less, make sure your Sequoia & Kings Canyon travel experience includes:
Sequoia Summer Travel
- Check out the Giant Forest Museum for a close look at one of nature's most supersized miracles, the “Sequoiadendron giganteum.”
- Visit the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on Earth. This gargantuan sequoia tree is only a couple of miles from the Giant Forest Museum.
- Climb Moro Rock.
- Also located in the Giant Forest area, climb 400 steps to the top of the massive granite dome for inspiring views of the High Sierra and the Great Western Divide. Drive through Tunnel Log, located just a minute or two further down the road.
- Stop at either the Foothills Visitor Center in Ash Mountain or the Lodgepole Visitor Center and purchase a ticket for the Crystal Cave Tour.
- Hike one of our shorter hiking trails, like the Hazelwood Nature Trail or the Big Trees Trail.
Kings Canyon Summer Travel
- Start your day at the Kings Canyon Park Visitor Center at Grant Grove Village, learn about the park’s diverse and dynamic attractions
- Visit the General Grant Grove and take the 1/3 mile paved trail to behold the General Grant Tree, one of the world’s three largest trees.
- Take the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway into Kings Canyon, where several vista point turnouts reveal the grand and dramatic scale of North America’s deepest canyon.
Winter at Sequoia National Park
- Check out the Giant Forest Museum, open year round!
- Visit the General Sherman tree, the largest living thing on Earth. This gigantic sequoia tree is only a couple of miles from the Giant Forest Museum.
- Enjoy a day of sledding, cross-country skiing, or snow play at Wolverton Meadow (equipment rental is available at the Wuksachi Lodge®).
- Strap on snowshoes and go on a national park ranger-guided hike through a sequoia grove.
Winter at Kings Canyon National Park
- Giant sequoias strike a dramatic pose with a blanket of snow at their feet, and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails weave through Grant Grove and along Panoramic Point Road (closed to motor vehicles during the winter).
- Cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals are available at Grant Grove Village, and national park rangers lead two-hour snowshoe walks at Grant Grove.
We’re Here For The Weekend
If you are staying in the park for 2-3 days, make sure your Sequoia & Kings Canyon travel experience includes:
- In addition to the summer activities listed above, hike some of the popular longer trails at Sequoia National Park, such as the Congress Tail, Tokopah Falls Trail, Big Baldy Trail, and the Crescent Meadow Loop.
- Participate in a ranger program such as a campfire program or ranger-led nature walk.
- Generals Highway unites these two vast parks and joins two significant stands of giant sequoias, the Giant Forest (General Sherman Tree) and Grant Grove (General Grant Tree).
- Venture along Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to the Cedar Grove Village. Don’t miss the turnout and short walk to Roaring River Falls.
- Drive to Roads End, and stand upon Muir Rock. If the river conditions are safe for swimming (check with park ranger), jump into the Kings River for instant refreshment.
- Explore Boyden Cavern, and take the entertaining and informative cave tour, offered hourly during the summer season.
- In addition to the winter activities listed above, rent snowshoes or cross-country skis and explore some of the trails in Giant Forest.
- Hike one of the Sequoia National Park trails in the foothills near Ash Mountain.
- Make time in your Sequoia travel planning to spend one night at a winter campsite at Lodgepole.
We’re Here All Week!
If you are fortunate enough to have a week or more, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks will fill your days with wonders:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon Travel in the Summer
National park lodges are located at or near three of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks’ “greatest hits:” The John Muir Lodge at Grant Grove, the Wuksachi Lodge near the Lodgepole Visitor Center and Giant Forest Museum; and Cedar Grove Lodge at the base of Kings Canyon, near Roads End and the Kings River. Plan your week with overnights at one or all of these signature retreats.
- From Cedar Grove, take the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail, an extremely scenic and mostly flat loop around the iconic meadow. The 1.5-mile amble is at its best in the early morning hours.
- Also from the Roads End trailhead is the Mist Falls Trail, a moderately difficult, 8-mile trek along the Kings River and up a natural granite staircase.
- Pick up a wilderness permit at one of the visitor centers and hike to Bearpaw High Sierra Camp®. A number of popular day hikes are available from the camp.
- Go backpacking in Mineral King and enjoy some of the more remote areas of the park.
Winter at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
- Rent cross country skis or snowshoes and journey to the Pear Lake Ski Hut.
- Experienced winter adventurers can pick up a wilderness permit at one of the visitor centers and explore some of the most spectacular winter landscapes Sequoia National Park has to offer.
- Plan your trip around our Holiday Events and join us for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's! Both the John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon and Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia offer memorable holiday events and celebrations.