Table of Contents Show
- Drive Generals Highway
- Wonder at the Big Trees in Giant Forest
- Drive the Steep Winding Road to Mineral King
- Tour Crystal Cave
- See the Largest Tree on Earth
- Hike Congress Trail
- Climb Moro Rock for a Unique View
- Learn Native American History at Hospital Rock
- Visit the Foothills Visitor Center
- Hike Eagle Lake Trail
There are a myriad of things to do in Sequoia National Park! From hiking in the giant forest and seeing the stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada to exploring underground caves and historic communities of the area. We know you can’t get to it all in one trip, so we’ve listed 10 incredible things you must see in Sequoia National Park here. Let’s get into it!
A quick tip: Check for warnings when it comes to taking your rig off the main roads. Many have restrictions or are not suitable for larger trailers or motorhomes. Whenever possible, get out and explore. So many things are right off the main highway just out of view!
Drive Generals Highway
Generals Highway connects Sequoia National Park at State Route 198 to King Canyon National Park at State Highway 180. Named after two of the largest Sequoias, there are many things to see while traveling this route. It would be best to take your toad vehicle on this stretch as there are numerous switchbacks. Legally, vehicles are restricted to 40 feet in length and under.
Wonder at the Big Trees in Giant Forest
One of the reasons most people stop at this park is to explore 8,000 of the largest and longest-living trees. These enormous trees were named by environmentalist John Muir in 1875. The best hike to see many of the giants is Big Trees Trail. This is an easy, paved, and educational hike that is only 0.8 miles through the giant sequoias. There is also a parking lot for handicapped cars with a 1-mile paved path suitable for wheelchairs. Don’t miss the tunnel log in the Giant Forest area for a great photo op!
Drive the Steep Winding Road to Mineral King
Mineral King is a glacial valley seven and a half miles long by one mile wide. It is located in the southern part of Sequoia National Park. The name came from the silver mining camps located there, which you can see remnants of as you drive down the 7,400 feet of elevation.
Tip: This road is not recommended for RV and trailers. It is open from Memorial Day through October, weather permitting.
Tour Crystal Cave
During the summer months, check out the subterranean part of the park. With smooth stalagmites and stalactites, Crystal Cave has five different tour options. The cave is just off Generals Highway. You must purchase tickets at one of the visitor centers before arriving at the cave.
See the Largest Tree on Earth
The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree in the world, by volume. The Sherman Tree weighs an estimated 2.7 million pounds! The 2,100-year-old tree is 275 feet tall and over 36 feet in diameter, which means 100 feet around. There is a paved half-mile trail to the tree we recommend taking.
Not done with big trees? We understand.
The largest tree in the Kings Canyon National Park is the General Grant Tree, also called “The Nation’s Christmas Tree”. It is also accessible by a 0.8-mile trail.
Hike Congress Trail
This busy, paved, 3-mile hike starts at the General Sherman Tree and is good for all skill levels. The magic of the giant sequoias is present in each step of the trail. This trail is a great way to escape the crowds on the shorter trails and get some nature to yourself.
Climb Moro Rock for a Unique View
At the entrance of Sequoia National Park, Moro Rock’s granite dome looms large. It’s a short distance from the parking lot to the start of the trail, and the sweeping views are worth the 350 rock steps used to get to the top. Be aware that the thinner air at this elevation can make the hike challenging though! In the summer, shuttles must be used on the weekends to reach the hike.
Learn Native American History at Hospital Rock
Just off Generals Highway, Hospital Rock is a large quartzite rock, which was once home to 500 Potwisha Native Americans. The settlement was first used in 1350. There are pictographs and bedrock mortar sites to explore. Be sure to read the informational plaque to learn more about the Native Americans that lived here.
Visit the Foothills Visitor Center
The Foothills Visitor Center is open year-round just off the Generals Highway. Visitor centers are a great place to get information on the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Don’t forget to check out the free exhibits. From hiking and trip planning to maps, books, and gifts, the visitor’s center is one stop not to miss.
Hike Eagle Lake Trail
The dog-friendly Eagle Lake Trail is a busy 1.8 mile, out and back hike rated as moderate. With an elevation gain of 433 feet, the trail takes you to Eagle Lake where you can swim in the crisp water and see waterfalls along the path. And if waterfalls are your thing, don’t pass up Roaring River Falls.
When visiting California and the Sierra Nevada mountains, we highly encourage you to take time to explore these gentle giants and learn about the history of the area from silver mining to Native Americas.
Once you’re done exploring Sequoia National Park, check out the 10 Things You Must See In Kings Canyon National Park With your RV.
I really like your idea on the California National parks guide book. I’ll buy one! My wife and I live in Central Cali just outside of Sacramento and we want to visit all the National Parks in Cali once we get our RV later this year or early next, when the dealers want to move their inventory to make room for the next year models!! 😉
We did visit that area 6 years ago when we had a P/U camper.
It was a great trip that we plan to repeat with much more time and with our 5th wheel. It will be a much different trip with the 5th wheel, but we are trying to figure out the logistics of a different living arrangement…
I have had to change a lot of my planning methods with a larger arrangement…
Great suggestions to do in the Park. This one of many we still have on our list to visit. Cancer and Covid have combined to hamper our travels this year, but we plan to be back on the road next year. We have followed the Atlantic coast from Cocoa, FL to Cape Breton, NS; and then headed northwest to Alaska, visiting as many National Parks, Forests and Monuments as we could find – both US and Canadian. The West Coast is another target, with stops and visits to the many sights between here and there. We have lots of ideas and suggestions for you as well. Let us know where you’re headed, and we’ll see what we can do.
Pat & Cindi (and Snickers) in NoMo (No mo’ Mondays!!)
Nice post! Love Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. We’ve visited those incredible giant trees several times since childhood and one never tires of their beauty. However you mention other places to explore there and I admit we have not done Crystal Cave yet! We’re getting an Airstream later this year so I expect we’ll be heading that way again soon. Thank you!