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Exterior view of the Lodgepole Visitor Center in Sequoia National Park

Visitor centers and museums

Once you’re inside the gates of Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Park, make a visitor center your first stop. Both parks offer a variety of visitor centers, ranger stations, and wilderness permit stations. With information, maps, and interpretive displays, these hubs are a perfect introduction to the land of grandeur you’re about to explore — from the tall trees to the steep canyons and everything in between.

Sequoia National Park

The Giant Forest

In the heart of the park, shaded in towering sequoias and redwood groves, the Giant Forest is home to half the earth’s largest and longest-living trees. Named in 1875 by John Muir, many of the forest’s 8,000 colossal sequoia trees are still standing just as he found them. Thanks to his heroic conservation efforts, you have the chance to stand before a majestic, thousands-year old giant sequoia.

General Sherman: the Largest Tree on Earth

The undisputed king of the Giant Forest, the General Sherman Tree is not only the largest living tree in the world, but the largest living organism, by volume, on the planet. This giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) is approximately:

  • 2,100 years old
  • 2.7 million pounds
  • 275 feet tall
  • 36 feet in diameter at the base

The Giant Forest Museum

Located about an hour north of the park’s Ash Mountain entrance, this historic building served as Sequoia National Park’s original market. It was designed by renowned architect Gilbert Stanley Underwood and built in 1928. Numerous interpretive forest trails lead away from the museum.

Hours of operation (year-round): Open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. during the summer months. Winter hours: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Foothills Visitor Center

Learn about the Sierra foothills, the most biologically diverse area of these parks. The visitor center is located on the Generals Highway, one mile north of the Ash Mountain entrance. Purchase Crystal Cave tour tickets here.

Hours of operation (year-round): Open daily 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Lodgepole Visitor Center

Take Generals Highway 21 miles from the Ash Mountain entrance (2 miles north of the General Sherman Tree). Here, explore the natural and human history of the southern Sierra Nevada and view a short video, “Bears of the Sierra.” Purchase Crystal Cave tour tickets here.

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon offers a massive panorama of scenery that, like the big trees up the road, goes above and beyond. Find picnic tables, campgrounds, and national park lodging nestled in this national park treasure.

Grant Grove

A mixed conifer and sequoia forest surrounds the General Grant Tree Trail at Grant Grove. Explore the Gamlin Cabin and the Fallen Monarch along this 1/3-mile paved trail. For a closer look at the big trees, take the North Grove Loop: a lightly traveled, 1.5-mile trail that leads away from the pavement.

General Grant Tree

The focal point of Grant Grove, the General Grant Tree is the third-largest in the world at nearly 50,000 cubic feet and almost 300 feet tall. It has the largest base diameter of any tree in the world at more than 40 feet. Named in 1867 for General/President Ulysses S. Grant, proclaimed “the Nation’s Christmas Tree” in the 1920s by President Calvin Coolidge, and honored as a living national shrine in memory of lost American soldiers by President Dwight D. Eisenhower — the General Grant Tree is one celebrated sequoia!

Kings Canyon Visitor Center

In Grant Grove Village, three miles east from the Big Stump entrance on Highway 180, enjoy a compelling introduction to the trinity of treasures in Kings Canyon National Park: giant sequoia groves, the canyon lands, and the High Sierra. Find books, maps, gifts, and educational materials for sale.

Hours of operation (year-round): Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (summer). Winter hours usually begin in late October: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (may be reduced to 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at times).

Cedar Grove Visitor Center

Found on Highway 180, 30 miles east of Grant Grove, next to Sentinel Campground on the floor of Kings Canyon, this center is open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Get information on Cedar Grove area attractions, from guidebooks and maps to educational materials and first-aid treatment.

Hours of operation: Open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. (summer only). Closed in winter.

Exterior view of Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park under a dramatic sunset sky


A variety of places to stay inside the park keep you close to the majestic giant sequoia trees, deep canyons and soaring cliffs that make Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks famous.

Two guests at Wuksachi Lodge on the outdoor dining deck


Indulge in High Sierra dining options inside Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, from lodge dining to café counter service.