After the overwhelming nature Yosemite Valley National Park we drove on to Sequoia national park. Beforehand, our image of the park was actually only determined by the large trees. We were surprised by what else the park has to offer; the beautiful surroundings of – and the wild animals in this park. Among other things, we had an incredible moment with a black bear that climbed a tree right in front of us and risked its own life to destroy a bee's nest for the honey.
In this article read and see everything about the experience with the bears. Naturally supplemented with all the sights, what to do and practical tips for visiting Sequoia national park.
Table of contents
The ultimate tour of North America
This article is part of a large one-year tour the United States en Canada in 2022, with a Dutch 4×4 camper that we shipped ourselves… It is a bucket list worthy and a once in a lifetime experience that will never be forgotten.
We wrote almost 100 articles about this ultimate tour. Below is a handy overview in 5 expandable categories.
2. Highlights & Itineraries
3. Cities & places of interest (AZ)
- Tour America | Amelia City
- Tour America | Amelia Island
- Tour America | Annapolis
- Tour America | Ice Lake Trail
- Tour America | Kennedy Space Centre
- Tour America | KeyWest
- Tour America | Miami
- Tour America | New York City
- Tour America | Ouray
- Tour America | Salt Lake City
- Tour America | Savannah
- Tour America | Seattle
- Tour America | Silverton
- Tour America | St Augustine
- Tour America | Starbase SpaceX complex in Texas
- Tour America | Washington DC
- Tour America | Wynwood
4. National Parks & Monuments (AZ)
- Tour America | All National Parks (list)
- Tour America | Black Canyon of the Gunnison
- Tour America | Death Valley
- Tour America | Dinosaur
- Tour America | Everglades
- Tour America | Glacier
- Tour America | Grand Canyon (helicopter tour)
- Tour America | Grand Teton
- Tour America | Great Sand Dunes
- Tour America | Mesa Verde
- Tour America | Rock Mountain
- Tour America | Yellowstone
- Tour America | Yosemite
5. Plan your vacation to America here
- Itineraries compare | TUI, Americaplus, sawadee en Djoser.
- Motorhome rental companies compare | WorldWideCampers.com
- Fly & drives compare | Americaplus.
- Cruises and city trips compare | Travel deal.
- Flight tickets compare | Skyscanner, TUI, KLM. as KAYAK.
- Rental cars compare | Sunnycars, Alamo en rental cars.
- Tours and Activities compare | GetYourGuide.
- Campsites reservation| RECREATION.gov
- Hotels & Resorts reservation | Booking.com.
- SIM cards order | USAsim en International sim.
- Parking at airport | Parkos, Central parking of park care.
- travel items (suitcases, world plugs, etc.) | Bol.com.
About Sequoia National Park
In Sequoia national park you will find the trees of the same name, the largest trees in the world in terms of volume. These are located on a mountainous landscape with deep ravines. It Kings Canyon National Park is next to Sequoia and these are often also mentioned together. Also, the two parks share several entrances and exits.
1.Giant Forest Grove
The largest and most famous tree in Sequoia is the General Sherman Tree. This is the largest tree in the world by content / volume. It is 83 meters high and has a diameter of 11 meters at the ground. There is an easy walking trail in the park, less than a mile long, that will take you to the General Sherman. There are many other giant Sequoias around it.
Did you know… The General Sherman is the largest tree by volume / volume, but that the tallest trees in the world are in the Redwoods? You can read all about it in the West Coast – Highway 1 blog from Chris.
Crystal Cave (Location here ) is a marble cave. A 0.8 km path leads through the cave. You can only visit the cave through a guided tour. The tour lasts 50 minutes. Keep in mind that you still have to walk from the parking lot to the cave. There is also a steep 0.8km walk from and from the cave car park to the entrance.
The tours are very popular and it is advisable to book at least two months before your visit online tickets to buy on the official website. These are not available at the cave. It is also wise to keep an eye on other and current information about the cave. Crystal Cave was closed in 2022 due to wildfires.
3. Moro Rock
Moorish Rock (Location here ) is a granite dome. The top of the rock is 2050 meters above sea level and rises 75 meters above the surrounding area, so you have a beautiful view. You can find more about the walk in the chapter on walking and Moro Rock Trail.
Once a tree fell on the road that was too big to remove. To unblock the road, they made a hole in the tree. This tunnel is now known as TunnelLog (Location here ). You can drive through it with a normal car. If your vehicle is higher than 2,4 meters, you will have to make a detour.
What to do
No hike is the same in Sequoia and it's not just the giant trees you can see there. You can also walk along rivers and on large granite domes. Below are some popular hikes in Sequoia.
General Sherman Tree and Congress Trail
You guessed it, this route (location here ) takes you to the most famous tree in the park, the General Sherman. There is a tarmac walkway down that also leads you past some other trees. It takes about half an hour. The way there is easy. The way back is a bit more challenging, because you naturally walk back up.
Downstairs you can extend your walk with the Congress Trail (Location here ) of 4,7 kilometers. This route takes you past even more whoppers of trees.
Moro Rock Trail
This is a walking route (location here ) that you. by a stone staircase with 350 steps, to the top of Moorish Rock brings. The peaks of the Great Western Divide are already visible from the car park. As you climb, your view gets better and better. You see the San Joaquin Valley in the west and the wilderness in the east. The stairs make the walk quite challenging, but it won't take you long. It is only 0.8 kilometers there and back.
Marble Falls Trail
Do you want more challenge, more views and more water? Then you can choose to use the Marble Falls Trail to walk of 12,6 kilometers. It is a fairly challenging route and will take you about three and a half hours to complete.
The hike takes you through a deep canyon in the Foothills region of the park. You will the Kaweah River hear flowing, especially near the falls. Bee Marble Falls you will see crystal clear water flowing over polished marble.
2. Spot wildlife
The park is home to mule deer, black bears, whistling hares/pikas, birds, snakes, lizards, turtles, fish, bats, cougars and many more animals. With any luck you can spot these animals. With the exception of the cougar, because that chance is very small.
We were very lucky to see bears when we hiked on the General Sherman Tree Trail. At first we saw one bear in the distance. While we were quietly contemplating the beast, she walked more towards us and we saw a cub walking behind her.
The rangers at the park did their best to scare the bears off, but it seemed that mama bear had a goal in mind. A little later it turned out to be a honeycomb hanging high in a tree. She was not deterred by the thousands of bees attacking her and the dozens of people standing around to admire them. The video footage isn't perfect, but if you look closely, you can see mama bear attacking the bee's nest.
When part of the honeycomb fell to the ground, the bears climbed down again to feast on it. As seen in the photos below.
3. Driving and viewpoints
This ride starts at the park entrance, near Big Stump (Location here ) and ends Lodgepole. It takes about an hour, through the Sequoia woods and over a lot of curves. For part of the road it is not recommended to drive with vehicles longer than seven meters.
You will pass several viewpoints, where you can make a stop.
- Amphitheater point viewpoint (Location here ) provides a side view of Moorish Rock and several mountain peaks.
- In our Eleven Range Overlook (Location here ) on clear days you can have views that stretch to the California's Coast Range on the other side of the San Joaquin Valley.
- Beetlerock (Location here ), which you can access from the Giant Forest museum, is a granite plain with a view.
4. Visit the Visitor Center and Museum
The Foothills Visitor Center (Location here ) is a mile past the entry station Ash Mountain along the General's Highway. Stop here for information, maps, books, gifts and toilets. Browse exhibits about the ecology and human history of the foothills and join a free ranger-led program.
The Giant Forest Museum (Location here ) is in it Giant Forest Sequoia Grove at 1.980 altitude. There are exhibits about redwoods and you can discover why this landscape is home to the largest of all great trees.
Practical information and tips
You can visit the park in a few hours, but you can also take the time to take in the surroundings. The park has campsites, lodges and huts (cabins) to stay.
Check in advance the official National Park Service website for availability and other important information about the park. When we were there, the park was accessible. However, the visitor center was closed due to (the danger of) forest fires. It was therefore not possible to visit the Visitor Center and to stay at the campsite in the park.
Camping in and around Sequoia
On the website Recreation.gov you can view the availability of the campsites and the presence of facilities at the campsites. You can also view the prices and reserve places. Below I provide more information about the two campsites located in the park. On the website you can also find more information about other campsites in the vicinity of the park. These are not private campgrounds, but state campgrounds.
Lodgepole Campground is located in the national park (location here ). You can stay here with a tent, caravan or camper. Toilets and drinking water are available. A shop is a short distance away. Normally there are showers and a launderette, but in 2023 these will be closed.
Lodgepole is located on the banks of the scenic and elongated Marble Fork of Kaweah River, at an altitude of 923 meters. The inspiring Giant Forest Grove and the mighty General Sherman Tree are only three kilometers from the campsite.
Buckeye Flat campground
Buckeye Flat campground is located in Sequoia National Park (location here ), in the heart of the Sierra Forhills. You can only stay here with a tent. Toilets and drinking water are available. The campsite is located at an altitude of 853 meters, high above the Middle Fork of Kaweah River and in the shade of a group of large oak trees.
Staying in the area
It is possible to stay reasonably close to the park. Three rivers (Location here ) is a cozy place. Here you will find restaurants, shops, campsites, hotels and motels. Below are three recommendations for accommodations:
- The Buckeye Tree Lodge. Click for prices and availability here .
- Rio Sierra Riverhouse. Click for prices and availability here .
- Lazy J Rach Motel. Click for prices and availability here .
If you pass by Three rivers driving or visiting the place during your roadtrip, don't forget to Slick Rock Recreation Area (Location here ) to visit. From the road it doesn't look very special, but from the water we thought differently. It was the perfect time to recover from all the beauty we had seen in the park!
Unfortunately, due to the recent forest fires, we were unable to see and do everything the park has to offer. So we have only been able to catch a glimpse of the splendor and grandeur of the park.
So if you look at it positively, we have another reason to return to this part of Californië!
On the other hand, the surroundings of the park really surprised us, the southern part of the Sierra Nevada. We drove through beautiful and ever-changing landscapes!
Plan your vacation to America here
- Itineraries : TUI, Americaplus, sawadee en Djoser.
- Motorhome rental companies : WorldWideCampers.com
- Fly & drives : Americaplus en Travelworld.
- Cruises and city trips for America you book with Travel deal.
- Flight tickets for America you book with TUI, KLM, KAYAK en Skyscanner.
- Rental cars : Sunnycars, Alamo en rental cars.
- Tours and Activities in America you book via GetYourGuide.
- Campsites in National Parks you book on RECREATION.gov
- Hotels & Resorts in America you book with Booking.com.
- SIM cards : USAsim en International sim.
- Parking at the airport you can arrange via Parkos, park care of iParking.
- travel items (suitcases, bags, world plugs, etc. can be ordered at Bol.com.
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!