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Sequoia National Park Travel Guide

USA

#9 in Best California Vacations

Free Things To Do in Sequoia National Park

If you have extra time, General Sherman Tree is worthwhile.

#1

#1 in Sequoia National Park

Free
Visitors to the Giant Forest use a lot of the same words to describe it, including "awe-inspiring," "amazing" and a "must-see." The large sequoia grove is located between the Marble and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River and is home to more than 8,000 sequoias – the most of any other grove in the park.
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Natural Wonders Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Giant Forest
Visitors to the Giant Forest use a lot of the same words to describe it, including "awe-inspiring," "amazing" and a "must-see." The large sequoia grove is located between the Marble and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River and is home to more than 8,000 sequoias – the most of any other grove in the park.
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#2

#2 in Sequoia National Park

Free
To visit Kings Canyon by car, the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (otherwise known as Highway 180) is the only option for vehicles. The 50-mile route, which is full of twists and turns, takes visitors to one of the deepest canyons in North America.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Kings Canyon Scenic Byway
To visit Kings Canyon by car, the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (otherwise known as Highway 180) is the only option for vehicles. The 50-mile route, which is full of twists and turns, takes visitors to one of the deepest canyons in North America.
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#3

#3 in Sequoia National Park

Free
The General Sherman Tree – the world's largest tree by volume – stands 275 feet tall and measures more than 36 feet in diameter at its base. Visitors call the tree magnificent and humbling, but warn that lines can be long to take photos by the tree. Many advise arriving early and having patience.
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Hiking Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
General Sherman Tree
The General Sherman Tree – the world's largest tree by volume – stands 275 feet tall and measures more than 36 feet in diameter at its base. Visitors call the tree magnificent and humbling, but warn that lines can be long to take photos by the tree. Many advise arriving early and having patience.
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#4
Hiking Free

#4 in Sequoia National Park

Free
There are any number of trails in Sequoia National Park for all abilities and ages. In the Giant Forest, the Congress Trail, a paved 2-mile loop that begins near the General Sherman Tree, is a big hit with visitors, who call it a beautiful, relatively easy walk. A shorter hike, the Big Trees Trail, is a 1-mile loop that goes around a meadow and features interpretive exhibits about the natural history of giant sequoias along the way. Make sure you have a map in hand (cell service is spotty in the park), plenty of water and stay alert for bears. While encounters are rare, hikers should always be aware of their surroundings. Also, plan for the weather, with the proper gear in hand.
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Hiking Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Hiking
There are any number of trails in Sequoia National Park for all abilities and ages. In the Giant Forest, the Congress Trail, a paved 2-mile loop that begins near the General Sherman Tree, is a big hit with visitors, who call it a beautiful, relatively easy walk. A shorter hike, the Big Trees Trail, is a 1-mile loop that goes around a meadow and features interpretive exhibits about the natural history of giant sequoias along the way. Make sure you have a map in hand (cell service is spotty in the park), plenty of water and stay alert for bears. While encounters are rare, hikers should always be aware of their surroundings. Also, plan for the weather, with the proper gear in hand.
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#5

#5 in Sequoia National Park

Free
This granite dome rewards hikers with a breathtaking view of the Great Western Divide and the western half of Sequoia National Park. Though there are about 400 steps that lead 300 feet up to the top, visitors declare it completely worth the workout to enjoy the amazing views at the summit.  The hike can be a little strenuous, especially for anyone not used to the higher elevation. Handrails should be used and adults should keep an eye on children, as there are steep drop-offs. Make sure to bring water and take breaks when you need to.
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Hiking Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Moro Rock
This granite dome rewards hikers with a breathtaking view of the Great Western Divide and the western half of Sequoia National Park. Though there are about 400 steps that lead 300 feet up to the top, visitors declare it completely worth the workout to enjoy the amazing views at the summit.  The hike can be a little strenuous, especially for anyone not used to the higher elevation. Handrails should be used and adults should keep an eye on children, as there are steep drop-offs. Make sure to bring water and take breaks when you need to.
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#7

#7 in Sequoia National Park

Free
The Tunnel Log, located along the Crescent Meadow Road in the Giant Forest, offers a fun photo op for park visitors. This enormous tree, which fell across the road in 1937, was 275 feet tall and 21 feet at the base when it collapsed. The tunnel was cut through the tree the following year and ever since, visitors have been drawn to the novelty of it. The park service believes the tree is at least 2,000 years old.
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Natural Wonders Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Tunnel Log
The Tunnel Log, located along the Crescent Meadow Road in the Giant Forest, offers a fun photo op for park visitors. This enormous tree, which fell across the road in 1937, was 275 feet tall and 21 feet at the base when it collapsed. The tunnel was cut through the tree the following year and ever since, visitors have been drawn to the novelty of it. The park service believes the tree is at least 2,000 years old.
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