From trail rides on horseback to camping under some of the world’s tallest trees, exploring Sequoia National Park is near the top of many bucket lists. If you’re planning to visit Sequoia National Forest, check out our list of things to do and sites to see while you’re there.
There’s something magical about a tree that towers over everyone and everything, and the ancient giants in our national parks are just waiting to be explored. If you want to get the most out of your visit to see some of the tallest trees in the world at Sequoia National Forest, check out these can’t-miss sights and helpful tips for your trip.
California is home to the majestic, gigantic sequoia tree, the namesake of Sequoia National Forest. This amazing species can grow to heights of 300 feet or more, and some of the most impressive trees in the family are more than 2,000 years old.
Looking for a day of solitude and exercise? Make the trek to Muir Grove, a mid-sized grove with less foot traffic than the more popular groves. Enjoy a unique view that spans the creek gorge and covers a dense span of some of the tallest trees for miles.
The view from near Tokopah Falls is impressive. Take a walk beyond Marble Fork Bridge in Lodgepole Campground to get there in less than two miles. Your reward includes granite cliffs and a crystal-clear waterfall. (Be sure to keep small children away from the edge.)
For a more rustic experience, try taking a horse, mule, or llama to the most popular park spots. Sequoia National Park not only allows you to bring your own ride (with a permit), but the park also offers guided trail rides, complete with horses accustomed to navigating the trails through the large trees.
The Boole Tree, which measures 113 feet across, is more than 168 feet tall and is the sixth largest tree in the world. The tree was thought to be the tallest when it was named by a Fresno doctor in 1895. It’s located in what is now the separately maintained Sequoia National Forest system.
King’s Canyon Park
If seeing many trees at once is your desire, a quick jaunt to King’s Canyon Park is ideal. The sequoia grove there has a higher concentration of older, larger trees than other parks. The amazing view from Grant Grove allows visitors to photograph the 90-acre stretch with ease.
King’s Canyon is also home to the world’s tallest sequoia — General Sherman. It lives among five of the 10 largest trees worldwide in an area called Giants Grove. Shared by King’s Canyon Park and Sequoia National Park, the grove is maintained by the National Park Service.
Tent, cabin, and RV camping are a popular way to experience these giants, but it’s important to take precautions to ensure everyone is safe. Always examine your surroundings (including branches overhead) to avoid injury from dead trees or hanging branches falling. Any dangerous conditions should be reported to a park ranger.
Sequoia vs. Redwood
It’s common to confuse the Giant Sequoia — also known as Sierra Redwood — with a true California Redwood. The tree names, used interchangeably by many, are actually names for two distinct species. Sequoias are faster growing and are only found on the west slope of the Sierra Nevada range. Redwoods can grow taller.
Bucket List Destination
If your lifetime list of achievements doesn’t include a day of gazing up at some of the most breathtaking trees America’s national parks have to offer, consider adding this destination to your bucket list. More than a million outdoor lovers make the trip each year.
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