The Best Things to do in Sequoia National Park
Share with your friends:
Vaccinations and summer vacation are on their way, so we’re going to tell you some of the best things to do in Sequoia National Park. From trails accessible to just about everyone to difficult hikes with stunning views, there’ll be something for you and your travel buddies here. And just a heads up, there are some closures in this park due to wildfires earlier this year, so be sure to make sure you know what areas are closed and to avoid them.
Moro Rock Trail
Distance: .5 miles
Elevation Gain: 177 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
When you first drive into the park, you won’t be able to miss the rock high above you. This hike isn’t for the faint of heart, as it takes you up a narrow, steep staircase, but will give you great, wide views of the surrounding park. It’s a heavily trafficked trail, so try to go early or on a weekday to avoid the worst of the crowds.
Visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon can drive through Sequoia Park's fallen Tunnel Log, which is located along the Crescent Meadow Road in Giant Forest. After an unnamed giant sequoia fell across the Crescent Meadow Road in late 193, a tunnel was cut through the fallen log for visitors. It’s 17 feet wide and 8 feet high, and a fun attraction in the park.
Hanging Rock Trail
Distance: .5 miles
Elevation Gain: 111 feet
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Avoid most of the crowds and still get to see Moro Rock from this hike. You’ll have beautiful views of the surrounding area and will love seeing the layers of hills off in the distance! There’s a steep drop-off at the top, so it may not be the best for people with a fear of heights.
General Sherman Tree Trail
Distance: 1.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 196 feet
A short hike will take you to the largest tree in the world, also known as General Sherman. This giant sequoia trail is kid-friendly and is perfect to stretch your legs. Both kids and adults alike will be awestruck by the size of this ancient tree. There are two ways to get to General Sherman, both have steep sections, but one is wheelchair and stroller friendly.
There’s a secret world that lives beneath Sequoia National Park. The Crystal Cave is one of more than 200 marble caverns found within the area. The mineralogical features are fragile, so you can only access the cave via guided tour.
There’s a standard 50-minute tour that’s a great choice for the mildly curious and families with young children. You can also sign up for the summer evening “Explorer’s Lantern Tour,” where the lights are turned off and you carry candle lanterns. Or, for more adventure, try the Saturday-only “Adventure Tour,” a 4 to 6-hour belly-crawling trek. Headlamps, knee pads, and elbow pads are provided, and you should be prepared to get dirty as you climb through off-trail passageways.
Distance: 3 miles
Elevation Gain: 495 feet
Hike to General Sherman before heading further into the forest to see clusters of large sequoias on this easy hike. The surrounding forest will delight any kids with you, and it’s a great hike for winter snowshoeing.
Tokopah Falls via Tokopah Valley Trail
Distance: 4 miles
Elevation Gain: 639 feet
Pass by forests, rocky terrain, rushing streams, and waterfalls on this scenic hike. The Tokopah Valley was formed by glaciers and now provides a great hike to see more of the Sequoia National Park from. It’s a great hike to get out and explore if you’ve only got part of the day to devote to it!
Marble Falls Trail
Distance: 7.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,627 feet
Hike through a deep canyon and see diverse flora on this beautiful hike. You’ll reach a waterfall cascading over marble rock at the top of this hike. If you go in spring, you may see the wildflowers bloom alongside the trail. The waterfall makes the elevation gain worth it!
Heather Lake, Emerald Lake, and Pear Lake
Distance: 12.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,936 feet
Hike to three alpine lakes on this challenging hike and reward yourself with a swim in one of them. While this is a difficult hike, it’s also one of the park’s most popular, and for good reason! Go in the winter and experience a winter wonderland, go in summer to sunbathe next to the shore and enjoy a refreshing dip. Overnight camping is allowed with permits.
Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail
Distance: 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,214 feet
One of the Harder Sequoia National Park trails on this list, you’ll hike a short and steep trail from Mineral King to Eagle Lake. There’s a good amount of shade as you pass between forests and clearings on your way. Pause for breaks and take in the stunning surrounding mountain views before you relax on the lake shore. Heads up, roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closures.
Distance: 23 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,688 feet
Not for the faint of heart, this 23-mile hike gives you beautiful views but a difficult journey. It’s the ninth highest peak in California and the United States’ most southernmost 14er. While this can be a day hike for experienced hikers, you’ll have more time to relax if you backpack it.
No matter what Sequoia National Park hikes you choose to go on, it’s going to be a great adventure that will create loads of great memories. Be sure to check out our Sequoia Getaway if you want someone else to personally design your itinerary and book your accommodations for you. Then, once you’re out there, be sure to tag us so we can also see your epic adventures and live vicariously through you!