Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

#2 in Best Things To Do in Sequoia National Park
Kings Canyon Scenic Byway picture
J. Nunag/Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
5.0scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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.

Visitors call it "breathtaking" and "beautiful," but also caution that drivers prepare for the route's many curves, and allow plenty of time to stop for photo ops. The route begins in the foothills outside of Fresno, California, enters the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, then descends through the Sequoia National Forest, finally ending at the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. Along the way, highlights include hiking to the General Grant Tree, touring Boyden Cave (in the summer) and visiting the gorgeous Grizzly Falls.

Access to the scenic byway is included in park admission. The byway does experience seasonal closures, so check the NPS website for the most up-to-date information.

See all Hotels in Sequoia National Park »

More Best Things To Do in Sequoia National Park

Giant Forest
General Sherman Tree
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 6
#1 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.

Start your visit at the Giant Forest Museum, which offers an overview of the giant sequoias, meadows and human history in the region. The museum is housed in the historic Giant Forest market building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are a series of hikes in the Giant Forest, ranging from short one-hour jaunts to daylong treks; the National Park service lists a few on its website. Visitors recommend longer hikes, such as the Alta Trail or the High Sierra Trail, to escape the crowds, especially in the summer. The Redwood Canyon and Muir Grove also great places for longer treks. The Giant Forest is also home to the famous General Sherman Tree, the largest living sequoia in the world.

Read more
Elena Pueyo/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Sequoia National Park »

Explore More of Sequoia National Park

Recommended

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019

The 16 Best Seattle Tours

Explore the Emerald City's natural beauty and urban offerings with these guided excursions.

Lyn MettlerJune 12, 2019

The 24 Best London Tours

Whether it's your first time in London or you're a repeat visitor, you'll experience a side of the city you've never seen with these tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJune 6, 2019

The 21 Best Paris Tours

Enhance your visit to the City of Love with one of these top tours.

Claire LawtonJune 5, 2019

The 20 Best New York City Tours

These guided tours help make the most of your time in the Big Apple.

John RodwanJune 4, 2019

The 24 Best Rome Tours

Enjoy the efficiency of an organized tour led by experts who bring Rome's history to life.

Kyle McCarthyMay 31, 2019