View from below, looking up at giant Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park under blue sky

Sequoias to Redwoods: In Search of the Tallest Trees in the U.S.

View from below, looking up at giant Sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park under blue sky

Sequoias to Redwoods: In Search of the Tallest Trees in the U.S.

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.

Man stands at the foot of a giant Sequoia tree while camping at Sequoia National Park in California as sun shines through forest trees

Giant Sequoias

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.

Pathway lined by large redwood trees at Muir Grove near San Francisco, CA on sunny day

Muir Grove

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.

View of the Tokopah Falls at Sequoia National Park on a clear, sunny day shows the waterfall cascading off of a rocky cliff above a line of trees

Tokopah Falls

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.)

Trail for horseback riding among large redwood trees in King’s Canyon near sequoia national

Trail Rides

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.

Close up view of bark on Boole Tree, the 6th largest tree in the world, found in Sequoia National Forest system in California

Boole Tree

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.

Aerial view of King's Canyon Park mountains under partly cloudy sky near sequoia national park in California

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.

Base of General Sherman, the world's tallest sequoia tree in an area of King's Canyon and sequoia national park called giants grove

General Sherman

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.

Misty view of lush greenery surrounding an uprooted tree as it lays on its side in forest of Sequoia National Park

Camping

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.

Man stands under carved out base of giant sequoia tree; aka Sierra Redwood

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.

Yellow tent next to picnic table amidst tall trees on sunny day in Sequoia National Park

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.

Looking for more bucket list inspiration? Follow our Twitter account for insight on must-see hot spots nationwide.

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