16 Breathtaking Things To Do in Sequoia National Park

** Please note that due to the health concerns associated with COVID-19 some places on this list may be closed. You can check their current status at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (US National Park Service).

Sequoia National Park is not only home to the largest tree in the world, it also has beautiful sights and even some hidden caves for you to explore.  

This stunning 404,051-acre park offers a ton of attractions. Between Mount Whitney and giant sequoias, there are dozens of trails, and the vast wilderness offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

In this post, we’ll walk you through the top things to do at Sequoia National Park along with a few more adventurous options that will all leave you in awe. 

Popular Things to Do in Sequoia National Park

It’s really hard to understand just how big some of the trees in Sequoia are. It’s also hard to explain how beautiful some of the sights are. But, we’re going to try. 

Most of the things listed in this section can be experienced by almost everyone. So, here are the most popular things that you can do in Sequoia National Park.

Little Baldy Trail 

Little Baldy Trail Sequoia National Park
Credit: Larry Smith / CC BY

Little Baldy is a gigantic dome in Sequoia National Park. With an elevation of over 8,000 feet, once you reach the summit you’ll be left marveling at sweeping mountain views. 

Around you will be the picturesque Tenmile and Mosquito ranges, the Mount Silverheels on the west, and the Great Western Divide in the east.

The easiest way to get here is to take the one and a half-mile trail from Little Saddle. 

  • Location: If you’re coming from Dorst Campground, to get to the trailhead, drive for about 1.5 miles South. On the left side of the road, you will see a huge sign named “Little Baldy Trailhead.”
  • Total Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: The first part of the trail is a steady uphill climb. Thus, those with limited mobility might find it hard.

Tokopah Falls Trail 

Tokopah Falls Sequoia National Park
Credit: Jerrye and Roy Klotz, MD / CC BY / Cropped from original

Tokopah Falls is a 1,200 foot long waterfall recognized as the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park. 

This is one of the most popular hikes in Sequoia. The trail inclines gradually and you’ll also get to see a number of pine trees and creek crossings along the way. 

During the summer season, wildflowers bloom here as well. But the real deal here is the cascading waterfalls at the end of the hike.

  • Location: The trail begins at Lodgepole Campground. When in the campground, follow the signs that lead to the trailhead. 
  • Total Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: Challenging for people with limited mobility. It is slippery on steeper areas.

General Sherman Tree

General Sherman Tree Sequoia National Park

The General Sherman tree is the world’s largest by volume. 

This 2,200-year-old giant sequoia tree is one of the main attractions of the Giant Forest and stands 275 feet tall with a 36-foot-diameter base and weighs approximately 2.7 million pounds. 

In other words, it’s HUGE!

The General Sherman Tree Trail is an easy, paved trail that allows visitors to get a glimpse of the largest tree in the world from a few different angles. 

Since it’s one of the most popular spots in the area, expect there to be a large number of people here.

And if you somehow are able to get the entire tree to show up in your picture, two things:

  1. You have some amazing skills.
  2. Please share your skills with us so we can share it with the world (aka our readers aka just our moms).
  • Location: You can begin your hike just outside the Giant Forest grove which then gradually winds downward. Note that there are a few paved but short steps of stairs. 
  • Total Distance: 0.8 mile
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: Only portions of the trail are wheelchair accessible. For those with limited mobility, there’s handicap parking much closer to the tree.

Congress Trail

Congress Trail

Congress Trail is a 3 mile loop trail great for all skill levels. Although the trail going to the Sherman Tree is always packed, a lot of people go back as soon as they reach it. 

Don’t be like them. 

Just a couple of hundred yards from the Sherman tree you’ll come across the quieter Congress Trail. 

This is actually one of the most fascinating trails in the entire park and one of my favorites. You will encounter numerous gigantic sequoias, get to take some really great pictures, and learn about the sequoias in the process.

The cluster of trees here also includes the President and Lincoln trees which are the fourth and fifth largest giant sequoias, respectively.

  • Location: The trail starts just beyond the General Sherman tree.
  • Total Distance: 3 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: Most parts of the trails are paved and accessible with a wheelchair. It’s interrupted only with the stairs back to the trailhead. There’s also handicapped parking available along Generals Highway.

Crystal Cave 

Crystal Cave Sequoia National Park
Credit: Vgane at English Wikipedia / CC BY

Crystal Cave is just one of the numerous marble caverns found in Sequoia National Park. 

The Crystal Cave is a constant 50°F and has a variety of chambers filled with exquisite but fragile geologic features, rare minerals, and wildlife. 

Due to it’s fragile nature, the caves can only be explored with the park’s friendly and knowledgeable guides. 

The tours are great for people of all ages but you should closely review the physical fitness and other guidelines when booking your tickets. 

Note: Many visitors have had trouble purchasing tickets at the Foothills or Lodgepole Visitor Centers. Advance reservations can be made online at here: Crystal Cave Tours

  • Location: Crystal Cave is located off the Generals Highway between the Ash Mountain entrance and Giant Forest. To reach the cave entrance, you need to hike for about half a mile. It’s a scenic but steep hike. 
  • Total Distance: 0.9 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes, but be sure to book the right tour. Some tours only allow older children.
  • Senior-friendly: Challenging for seniors. If you have respiratory or heart conditions, difficulty walking for long periods, or trouble with stairs, you should skip this.
  • Accessibility: Unfortunately the tours are not accessible.

Big Trees Trail

Big Tree Trail Sequoia National Park
Credit: Don Graham / CC BY

The Big Trees Trail certainly does live up to its name. Starting close to the Giant Forest Museum, it’s a great place to go see towering sequoias and admire their beauty. 

The trail will take you through stunning forest areas, and the boardwalk is accessible by wheelchair. 

There are a handful of benches around this trail so take a minute to sit and experience the calm and peacefulness this trail offers.

  • Location: To get to the trailhead, head to the Giant Forest Museum. You can park on the west side of the road across the museum. A short walk will lead you to the Big Trees Trail.
  • Total Distance: 1.3 mile loop trail
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes 
  • Accessibility: Handicapped guests can park at the lot near Round Meadow, and if their ability allows it, they can go for a 1-hour long wheelchair hike. 

Beetle Rock Trail 

Sunset at Beetle Rock Sequoia National Park
Credit: H Matthew Howarth / CC BY

If you’re looking for one of the easiest trails that offers amazing views, look no further than the Beetle Rock Trail.

Beetle Rock is a huge, flat granite dome that offers you breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada foothills. It’s also a great spot for a picnic and catching a beautiful sunset.

If the road by the Giant Forest Museum is open you can drive up to Beetle Rock. If not, it’s a short and manageable 5 minute walk from the parking lot.

  • Location: Proceed to the marked road south of the Giant Forest Museum parking lot. 
  • Total Distance: 0.25 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: The trail is paved and should be accessible for most.

Giant Forest Museum

Giant Forest Museum Sequoia National Park

The Giant Forest Museum is where many start their tour of the Giant Forest. 

Formerly known as the Giant Forest Market and Bar, it was renovated, and eventually re-opened as a museum in 2001.

The facility offers a wealth of information for visitors who want to know more about the world’s largest trees. It also features interactive displays and other helpful information.

Overall, a great starting point for anyone who wants to know the area and learn more about the fascinating life of a giant Sequoia tree.

The museum itself has no entrance fee. 

  • Location: The Giant Forest Museum is located on Generals Highway approximately 16 miles from the park entrance. 
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: Yes, and wheelchairs can be borrowed for free in the facility as well. 

Moro Rock Trail

Moro Rock

Moro Rock is a dome-shaped granite monolith that’s one of the most well-liked hikes in Sequoia National Park. 

However, it is challenging since you will need to climb about 400 steep rock steps to get to the top. There are a few places where you can stop and catch your breath, so don’t push yourself to do it all in one go if you aren’t able.

The hike is worth the climb though. From the top you get sweeping views of the Great Western Divide, Kaweah Canyon, and San Joaquin Valley. 

Note: The stairs have a sturdy handrail but there are a few places with steep drop offs. Throughout the hike there’s a few areas wide enough for only a single person to pass.

We highly recommend going early in the day to avoid crowded passageways.

  • Location: Head east to the Crescent Meadow Road. After 1.5 miles, turn right, and go to the parking area under Moro Rock.
  • Total Distance: 0.4 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Hard
  • Kid-friendly: Yes, but if your kids are afraid of heights, you should skip this one. 
  • Accessibility: Not wheelchair accessible, and not recommended for those with limited mobility because of the 400 steps.

Tunnel Log 

Tunnel Log Sequoia National Park
Credit: Ming-yen Hsu / CC BY

The Tunnel Log is one the most unique and popular attractions in the park today. 

This giant sequoia fell over in 1937 and was already dead when the 8×17 foot hole was cut. It was almost an immediate sensation and visitors to this day enjoy driving through. 

If you’re in a bigger vehicle you can still visit the log as there’s plenty of space to the side of the tree. Shuttles will also often pull over for visitors to take pictures.

  • Location: This is found on the Crescent Meadow Road in the Giant Forest. 
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes 
  • Accessibility:  This attraction is easily visible and can be enjoyed while driving.

Crescent Meadow Loop

Crescent Meadow

Crescent Meadow is nestled about 1.5 miles east of Moro Rock’s parking area. It’s a 1.8 mile loop trail that offers gorgeous scenery. 

To fully experience its beauty, stroll through meadows and along the pine forests of Sequoia. 

Hiking through this loop will also bring you across the Sierra pine woodlands, Tharp’s Log, and the Giant Forest.

Since there isn’t much elevation, this is a nice, quick hike that’s perfect for beginners. 

  • Location: The Crescent Meadow Trailhead is also the primary starting point of the High Sierra Trail, which leads from Sequoia to Mt. Whitney.
  • Total Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Senior-friendly: Yes 
  • Accessibility:  Some areas are a bit swamp-like which can be challenging for people with limited mobility. 

Giant Forest Trail

Giant Forest Trail

The Giant Forest trail is a 7.5 mile loop trail that takes you across four separate trails.

The hike encompasses almost 2,000 acres and can be started from the General Sherman parking lot. 

From here it takes you across the General Sherman tree, Circle Meadow Trail, Crescent Meadow, Trail Of The Sequoias, and Congress Trail before bringing you back to the parking lot.

If you’ve got the time and looking to get away from the crowds this is a great way to explore and experience what the park has to offer.

  • Location: You can find the trailhead at the General Sherman Tree parking lot, 5 minutes from Lodgepole Visitor Center. 
  • Total Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Kid-friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility:  The beginning and end of the trail is a paved path, but there are some areas of the trail where it’s steep.

More Adventurous Options

Are you an adventurous soul looking to create new adventures and a lifetime of unforgettable experiences? If so, there’s a handful of options that Sequoia National Park has to offer. 

Let’s have a look at some of the top-rated adventures. 

Crystal Cave – Wild Cave Tour 

Crystal Cave Sequoia National Park
Credit: King of Hearts / CC BY

Compared to the easier tours listed above that almost anyone can enjoy, the Wild Cave Tour is for those who aren’t afraid of tiny spaces and the dark. 

This tour will have you crawling on your stomach and all fours a few times. You’ll also be climbing over and around rocks, and encounter a few steep drop-offs. 

Then when you think you’ve had enough, you’ll be asked to turn off all lights and will be left standing in pitch black silence.

Now, that’s a pretty cool adventure.

Keep in mind that Crystal Cave is a constant 50°F so bring a light jacket. This guided tour is 4-5 hours long so make sure to bring a water bottle.

Please review all fitness requirements when booking your tickets. For your safety and others, these requirements are taken seriously.

Note: Many visitors have had trouble purchasing tickets at the Foothills or Lodgepole Visitor Centers. Advance reservations can be made online at here: Crystal Cave Tours 

  • Location: Crystal Cave is located off the Generals Highway between the Ash Mountain entrance and Giant Forest. To reach the cave entrance, you need to hike for about half a mile. It’s a scenic but steep hike. 
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Kid-friendly: Kids ages 10 and up are allowed on the Family version of this tour. Those 16 or older can go on the Adult tour.
  • Senior-friendly: Older adults that experience certain health conditions like cardiovascular or respiratory problems, walking difficulties, or have had recent surgery are recommended to avoid taking this tour. 
  • Accessibility:  Not accessible.

Mineral King Valley 

Mineral King Valley Sequoia National Park.
Credit: King of Hearts / CC BY

Mineral King Valley is a subalpine glacial valley carved at the west slope of the Sierra Nevada. 

The valley is also home to three major trailheads, and several other minor trails, a summer ranger station, and two campgrounds. 

The Eagle-Mosquito Trailhead, Sawtooth Trailhead, and Franklin Trailhead offer trails that lead up steep grades into a lake-rich, and peak-studded alpine.

Multi-day hikes are also possible via Glacier Pass, Franklin Pass, and Sawtooth Pass. 

  • Location: When you pass on the town of Three Rivers, turn right on Mineral King Road. Then, further along, you will pass Mineral King Ranger Station on the left, continuing straight. After 0.8 miles, you can park at Sawtooth Trailhead, or go for another 0.2 miles for the Eagle-Mosquito and Franklin Trailheads. 
  • Total Distance: Depends on which trail you choose. The Mineral King Loop is 37.5 miles.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to Hard
  • Kid-friendly: Due to distance and difficulty, most of these trails are not kid-friendly.
  • Senior-friendly: Many sections of the trails are steep and might be difficult for seniors.
  • Accessibility:  Not advisable with those that have walking difficulties, or limited mobility.

Alta Peak Trail 

Sequoia National Park
Credit: Anna Irene / CC BY

The hike to the summit of Alta Peak will leave you staring out over an absolutely stunning and panoramic view at 11,204 feet!

Reaching this breathtaking summit involves a long, arduous climb. But, you will start seeing amazing views at about 2.8 miles of your hike as you follow along the Middle Fork Kaweah Valley’s north wall. 

More advanced hikers can reach the summit in just a day. Meanwhile, beginner and intermediate hikers have the option to set up camp and spend the night at Alta Meadow. 

  • Location: From Wolverton parking lot begin the hike and follow the Lakes Trail. The trail going to Alta Peak is similar to Lakes Trail for the first 1.8 miles. 
  • Total Distance: 14.9 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Hard
  • Kid-friendly: No
  • Senior-friendly: No
  • Accessibility: No

High Sierra Trail

Credit: Petr Meissner / CC BY

There’s no doubt that the High Sierra Trail is one of the highlights of Sequoia National Park. Between the stunningly beautiful lakes, basins, and valleys found on this majestic trail, it’s not hard to see why.

This trail has two great climbs. 

The first on the Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the other on the Eastern Sierra and Mt. Whitney’s Trail Crest. 

To reach it’s highest summit (Mt. Whitney) set aside 7- 9 days to complete the hike while soaking in all the views. 

  • Location: The trail begins at the Crescent Meadow or starts from the trailhead located in Wolverton. 
  • Total Distance: 72 miles
  • Difficulty Level: Strenuous
  • Kid-friendly: No
  • Senior-friendly: No
  • Accessibility: No

Over to You

So, there you have it. These attractions are some of the best that Sequoia National Park has to offer.

If you’re short on time, even choosing a few of these trails will make for a memorable trip.

So, what’s on your itinerary? What do you look forward to visiting the most? Let us know in the comments!

If you’ve already been to Sequoia, share with us what you enjoyed the most.

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