Bucket List Adventures: Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
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- The Wonder
Nature's skyscrapers, including the world's largest: General Sherman. Some of the ancient, conifer sentinels here might be 2,700 years old.
- The Adventures
Hiking, camping, backpacking, horseback riding, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, ranger programs, Giant Forest, Crystal Cave
- One for the Bucket List
Salute the General of Sequoia National Park. Although there are numerous trails within the parks, the short 1/2-mile hike through the Giant Forest to see the king of nearly all livings things, the General Sherman sequoia, is a humbling experience. General Sherman (pictured lower) is the largest tree on the planet -- 36.5 ft. wide at its trunk and approximately 275 ft. tall. If General Sherman was rooted on Liberty Island in New York City, its top branches would rise about as high as the tip of the Statue of Liberty's crown.
- Seasons and Hours
Sequoia's Foothills Visitor Center (on the main park road 1 mile from the Highway 198 entrance) and Kings Canyon Visitor Center (closer to the Highway 180 entrance) are open all year, but the parks' other visitor centers and stations, including the Giant Forest Museum, are only open from mid-May to September (note that snow can cover the sequoia groves as late as mid-May).
A number of campgrounds are open all year-round, with July and August being the most popular months for campers. The majority of the parks' 14 campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
- Getting There
Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are twin parks bordering each other. Sequoia occupies the southern half, with a main entrance off of Highway 198 near Three Rivers, CA, and Kings Canyon takes up the northern half, with a main entrance off Higway 180. There are no entrances on the eastern side of the parks. See map.
Sequoia Shuttle: From late May to late September, you can board the Sequoia Shuttle, which runs from Visalia, through Three Rivers and up to the Giant Forest Museum and other areas within Sequoia National Park. In the summer the Sequoia Shuttle also offers free bus routes within the park.
Average Temps (ºF) High/Low
January - 32/10
April - 53/32
July - 80/57
October - 58/38
Approximate Distance From...
Fresno, CA - 70 miles
Yosemite National Park - 130 miles
Los Angeles, CA - 200 miles
San Francisco, CA - 250 miles
Las Vegas, NV - 370 miles
Fill Your Bucket List With Bewilderness
America the beautiful. You got that right. From the skytops of the world's tallest trees to the underwater color-play of tropical reefs, the National Park Service (NPS) oversees hundreds of parks and areas to conserve many of our country's most precious natural wonders.
Fewer than half of the national parks charge entrance fees, which usually range from $5 to $25 (often just per vehicle). Children 16 and under are always admitted for free. Daily fees for camping usually range between $10 and $20 per party.
If you're planning on visiting multiple parks, the NPS also offers America the Beautiful Passes that cover entrance fees at any national park.
- More National Park Adventures
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Dry Tortugas »
Grand Canyon »
Hawai'i Volcanoes »
Joshua Tree »
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore »
Sequoia and Kings Canyon »