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Sequoia National Park Camping (Epic Guide) 8 Campgrounds, 16 Hikes and Attractions

Posted in: Where to Camp, Where to Hike

Thinking about a camping trip to Sequoia National Park? In this guide, you'll learn about Sequoia National Park camping, things to do, hiking, campgrounds, when to visit, weather, and more. Plus, lots of photos and videos of Sequoia National Park.

Sequoia National Park camping

Table of Contents

Sequoia National Park Camping Guide

8 Campgrounds in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range that stretches across California.

It's also close to Kings Canyon National Park, which lets you enjoy both parks during one visit. Some of the things you can do include hiking, seeing some of the world's most impressive sequoia trees, taking tours with rangers and seeing beautiful plants and wild animals.

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With this Sequoia camping guide, you can find out everything you need to know, including which campgrounds are the best and what attractions you should see.

Sequoia National Park sign

Entrance sign to Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park Map

Pick up a print copy of Sequoia National Park map.

4 Campgrounds Inside Sequoia National Park

1. Lodgepole Campground

  • Dates: April 17 – September 25 or later, weather permitting
  • Number of Sites: 214
  • Elevation: 6,700 feet
  • Reservation System: Yes, recommended during the busy season
  • Cost per night: $22
  • Features: Pay telephone, flush toilets, dump station, water station, small number of RV sites, pets permitted, generators allowed between 8 am and 11 am and 5 pm to 8 pm
  • Services: Food storage lockers, ranger programs in the summer, shuttle service, picnic tables, fire pits, grill grates
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 21 miles
  • More info: Lodgepole Campground

One of the top campgrounds for visitors to the park is the Lodgepole Campground. It has more than 200 spots that are open from the middle of April through the end of September or later. Some of these sites offer camping options up through the beginning of December.

The sequoias that surround each site give you the peace and quiet that you want. This campground has a convenient location near a deli and some shops in the park. It is a stop on the shuttle that runs through the park. You can hop on the shuttle and use it to get to some of your favorite attractions and locations.

Like cooking on an open fire? Here is the best camping cookware for hikers and campers.

2. Potwisha Campground

  • Dates: Open Year Round
  • Number of Sites: 42
  • Elevation: 2,100 feet
  • Reservation System: Yes, recommended from May 1 – September 25
  • Cost per night: $22
  • Features: Sites for trailers, tents and RVs, generators allowed between 9 am and 9 pm, pay telephone, dump station, flush toilets, pets permitted
  • Services: Close to Three Rivers, ranger programs available from July to September, restrooms, recycling boxes, food lockers, registration and payment kiosk, fire pits, cooking grates, picnic tables
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 4 miles
  • More info: Potwisha Campground

Open year-round, Potwisha is one of the more popular campgrounds in the park. It provides each guest with a dedicated locker for storing their food supplies away from bears and a fire pit with a cooking grate on top.

You'll also find boxes for recycling and a dump station for getting rid of your waste. The campground is suitable for most types of campers but cannot accommodate vehicles of more than 24 feet in length.

A kiosk near the front makes it easy for you to pay and register for the night, even if a ranger isn't on duty. Sites 39 and 40 are wheelchair accessible, and all sites are suitable for visitors bringing their pets.

Did you know that there are black bears in Sequoia National Park? Here's how to keep bears away while camping.

3. Crystal Springs Campground

  • Dates: May 1 – September 4
  • Number of Sites: 50
  • Elevation: 6,500 feet
  • Reservation System: Yes, recommended for the campground group sites
  • Cost per night: $18 for single sites, $40 for group sites
  • Features: Group and single sites, can accommodate some trailers and RVs, flush toilets, quite and peaceful
  • Services: Ranger programs available in the summer, food lockers, picnic tables, restrooms, water stations, recycling bins, ash dump stations
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 1 mile
  • More info: Crystal Springs Campground

Though the Crystal Springs Campground doesn't offer as many amenities as others in the park do, it offers all the peace and quiet that you need after dealing with the crowds.

This campground has both single sites for campers and families and group sites for large groups. Multiple ash removal stations make it easy to dump your ash at the end of your stay. That ash will build up inside your fire pit.

Your site also comes with a picnic table and gives you access to food storage lockers. Group site F is the only wheelchair accessible site in the campground.

The National Parks Service (NPS) recommends reserving any of the group sites online during the busy season.

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4. Moraine Campground

  • Dates: Varies based on weather
  • Number of Sites: 121
  • Elevation: 4,600 feet
  • Reservation System: No
  • Cost per night: $18
  • Features: Flush toilets, close to Cedar Grove Village, pets permitted, generators permitted between 9 am and 9 pm, pay telephone, restrooms
  • Services: Ash dump stations, water stations, recycling bins, food lockers, extra food storage available, dumpsters, parking spots, summer ranger programs
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 6 miles
  • More info: Moraine Campground

Located on the main road that connects Grant Grove to Road's End, the Moraine Campground has a convenient kiosk at the entrance where you can pay for your stay. You should get there early because the campground does not accept reservations.

Once you check in and set up your site, you can leave and explore the park. Your site is close to Cedar Grove Village and the amenities available there. Pets are permitted as long as they remain quiet and leashed during your stay.

Ranger programs are available for free in the summer, and horseback riding is available for a small fee. The opening dates of this campground vary based on the weather.

General Sherman Sequoia National Park

General Sherman, Sequoia National Park

4 Campgrounds Outside of Sequoia National Park

1. Sequoia RV Ranch

  • Dates: Open Year Round
  • Number of Sites: 55
  • Elevation: Unknown
  • Reservation System: Yes, online
  • Cost per night: $32 for dry sites, $42 for basic sites, $53-67 for premium sites
  • Features: Full hookups, dry sites available, some premium sites located on the river, clubhouse, lighted roads, dump station, fishing area, pets permitted
  • Services: Lending library, biking and walking paths, swimming area, meeting rooms, showers, restrooms, picnic tables, grills, picnic areas
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 8 miles
  • More info: Sequoia RV Ranch

Located just eight miles from the park's entrance, the Sequoia RV Ranch makes it easy for you to choose the spot that you want.

Not only can you choose from basic sites that have water and electric hookups, but you can pick dry spots that have no hookups and premium sites that are right on the river.

An onsite lending library lets you donate the books you already read and pick up some new titles for your trip home.

This RV campground also has fishing and swimming holes as well as a clubhouse with meeting rooms. You can use the campground dump station and bring pets from home too.

If you're going to hit the bike trails, you should check out some of these mountain bike accessories.

2. Lindy's Landing RV Resort & Campground

  • Dates: Open Year Round
  • Number of Sites: 94
  • Elevation: Unknown
  • Reservation System: Yes, online
  • Cost per night: $20-40 during winter, $30-70 during summer
  • Features: Showers and restrooms, laundry facilities, full hookups, some lagoon sites, boat launch, two pets permitted per site, shady sites
  • Services: Swimming lagoon open in summer, free hot showers, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, fishing spots, general store, beach access
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 58 miles
  • More info: Lindy's Landing RV Resort and Campground

Though Lindy's Landing RV Resort & Campground is further away from the park than other campgrounds, it has a great location on the water.

It offers day passes for those who want to hit the beach, but overnight guests get free access to the beach and can both fish and swim.

The onsite general store sells some fun treats for visitors and the supplies you need when camping, including firewood and food.

You'll have no problem finding something to do thanks to the volleyball and basketball courts and horseshoe pits. This campground welcomes pets and allows guests to have two pets on the same site.

3. Sequoia National Park KOA

  • Dates: Open Year Round
  • Number of Sites: 71
  • Elevation: Unknown
  • Reservation System: Yes, online
  • Cost per night: $57 for RV campers, $35 for tent campers
  • Features: Playground, swimming pool, laundry facilities, dog walk, restrooms, showers, pets allowed, electric and water hookups, gravel pads for RVs, rentals available
  • Services: Dumpsters, daily activities, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, Kamp K9, service sinks, safe location
  • Distance from entrance: 42 miles
  • More info: Sequoia National Park KOA

Thanks to the Sequoia National Park KOA, you don't need a tent or an RV to camp near the park. This campground has cabins that you can rent for a night or longer. The cabins come with or without bathrooms, and some accept pets.

You can also choose a tent or RV site that comes with water and electric hookups or no hookups. An onsite swimming pool is open from May through October, and the campground's dark park is open year round.

You can rent the conference room for an upcoming event or use the exercise equipment to burn some calories. Other amenities available at this KOA include horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, gift shop, cable television and WiFi access.

4. Lemon Cove RV Park

  • Dates: Open Year Round
  • Number of Sites: 55
  • Elevation: Unknown
  • Reservation System: Yes, online
  • Cost per night: $40 – $60 for RV campers, $40 for tent campers, $125 for family and group sites
  • Features: Fenced dog park, dump station, pool with patio, shady spots, onsite manager, camp store, bathrooms, showers
  • Services: Park shuttle, community room, burn barrels available for additional fee, internet access, granite roads, garden areas
  • Accessible sites: Yes
  • Distance from entrance: 25 miles
  • More info: Lemon Cove RV Park

You don't need to stay in the park to experience the fun of the sequoias. Lemon Cove RV Park gives you convenient access to the park via a shuttle that stops here several times a day. That shuttle drops you at the park and gives you an easy way to get back to the campground later.

You can choose from spots designed for RVs or tents and reserve a group site for your next family reunion. This pet-friendly park has a fenced in dog run for four-legged guests.

It also has horseshoe pits, a large swimming pool attached to a covered patio and bathrooms and showers recently renovated by the campground's owners.

Tunnel Log Sequoia National Park

Tunnel Log, Sequoia National Park

8 Local Attractions in/near Sequoia National Park

1. Adventure Park

  • Type of attraction: Theme park
  • Distance from park entrance: 38 miles
  • Cost: Varies
  • Skill level: Easy
  • What you’ll see/do: Bumper boats, go karts, arcade, miniature golf course, batting cages, laser tag, laser maze
  • More info: Adventure Park

One of the top theme parks near Sequoia is Adventure Park in Visalia. You can get a wristband for $40 that provides unlimited access to the batting cages, laser maze and go karts for kids.

The park offers other prices based on when you visit and what you want to do. You can get bonus cash when you buy wristbands and load cash onto them. This park offers fun in the form of rides for kids and adults, including bumper boats and go-karts.

You can also play a game of laser tag and run through the laser maze before hitting the bumper boats and playing a round of miniature golf. Adventure Park also has an onsite restaurant.

2. Kaweah Oaks Preserve

  • Type of attraction: Nature preserve
  • Distance from park entrance: 28 miles
  • Cost: Free, donations requested
  • Skill level: Easy
  • What you’ll see/do: Plants, trees, animals, nature tours available
  • More info: Kaweah Oaks Preserve

Though you can tour the Kaweah Oaks Preserve for free, donations are highly recommended. You can place your donation in the box near the entrance.

The trustees recommend a donation of $3 for each adult and $1 for each child. Your donation also helps you get a nature tour with one of the guides volunteering at the preserve. Tours run daily until 4 pm or later.

You can bring your dog as long as you keep it on a leash and bring a poop scoop. The preserve is open from 8 am to 5 pm in the winter, 8 am to 7 pm in the spring and fall and 8 am to 6 pm in the summer.

3. Imagine U Children's Museum

  • Type of attraction: Museum
  • Distance from park entrance: 35 miles
  • Cost: $8 for adults, $10 for kids one and over, $6 for seniors, free for kids under one
  • Skill level: Easy
  • What you’ll see/do: Daily activities, special events, interactive displays and exhibits, play areas
  • More info: Imagine U Children's Museum

With nursing stations and family restrooms, Imagine U Children's Museum makes it easy for you to take care of the needs of every member of your family.

This museum offers an online calendar of events that help you see when local schools have field trips planned. You can use that information to plan your own Sequoia camping trip. The museum hosts daily activities that let kids learn more about robotics and other fun topics.

There are play areas where kids can have fun with other visitors. Special guests such as Rapunzel, Batman and other characters host meet and greets with kids too.

4. Mooney Grove Park

  • Type of attraction: Park
  • Distance from park entrance: 39 miles
  • Cost: $6 per vehicle
  • Skill level: Easy to moderate
  • What you’ll see/do: Baseball fields, picnic areas, End of the Trail statue, playground, historical buildings and village
  • More info: Mooney Grove Park

Operated by the Tulare County Department of Parks and Recreation, Mooney Grove Park is a great place to enjoy nature before or after visiting Sequoia.

The End of the Trail is a large sculpture dedicated to the memory of the Native Americans who were once in the cavalry. This sculpture is close to the Parry Championship Disc Golf Course where you can play with friends and other visitors.

The water that winds through the park is perfect for taking a non-motorized boat onto the water. You may want to play baseball or enjoy a picnic lunch.

You won't want to miss the historical buildings and the old village in the park either.

5. Riverway Sports Park

  • Type of attraction: Sports park
  • Distance from park entrance: 37 miles
  • Cost: Free
  • Skill level: Easy to hard
  • What you’ll see/do: Sports fields, picnic areas, promenade, playground, restrooms, splash pad
  • More info: Riverway Sports Park

One of the best places to cool off on a hot day is at the Riverway Sports Park, which you might pass on your trip to Sequoia. This park is home to several different sports fields and sees players heading to play games there nearly every day.

The splash pad at the park lets you enjoy the cool water as it splashes over you. An on-site playground called the 1,000 Hands Playground is perfect for kids who need to burn off some energy.

You'll also find clean restrooms and fun picnic areas. The park allows visitors to make reservations online to hold any of the picnic spots.

6. Tulare Historical Museum

  • Type of attraction: Museum
  • Distance from park entrance: 50 miles
  • Cost: Free for kids 3 and under, $3 for students, $4 for seniors, $6 for adults
  • Skill level: Easy
  • What you’ll see/do: Art gallery, gift shop, displays and exhibits relating to the history of the county and city
  • More info: Tulare Historical Museum

The Tulare Historical Museum is the only museum in the area dedicated to the history of the people who once lived there. It is open from 10 am to 4 pm every Thursday through Saturday.

You can also visit on the third Saturday of each month when the museum does not charge an admission fee. Admission to the museum gives you full access to the Heritage Art Gallery, which boasts a large collection of artwork.

The museum itself offers exhibits and displays that show the history of the Native American tribes who once lived in the area and the soldiers who fought in different battles over the years.

7. Island Waterpark

  • Type of attraction: Waterpark
  • Distance from park entrance: 85 miles
  • Cost: $23.99 for visitors under 48 inches, $32.99 for all other visitor
  • Skill level: Easy to moderate
  • What you’ll see/do: Wave pool, water rides, water slides, splash area, shops, restaurants
  • More info: Island Waterpark

If your Sequoia camping trip takes you through Fresno, you might consider spending a day in the Island Waterpark.

As one of the top water parks in California, it offers rides and attractions for both kids and kids at heart. Some of the rides limit access based on height, but you can view all those attractions online before your visit. ‘Ohana Bay is a splash area with small sides that are perfect for the smallest kids in your family.

Over at the wave pool, you can enjoy the feeling of the waves as they crash into you. The park also has cabanas that you can rent for the day.

8. Fresno Chaffee Zoo

  • Type of attraction: Zoo
  • Distance from park entrance: 79 miles
  • Cost: $7.95 for seniors and children, $12.95 for adults
  • Skill level: Easy
  • What you’ll see/do: Zoo camp for kids, lunches available with keepers, tigers and other wild animals that live in habitats that look like their real homes
  • More info: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo ranks as one of the top zoos in California. Hopefully, you'll see some wild animals in Sequoia, but if not you'll see some of your furry friends here for sure.

It has eight different exhibits and areas, including Wilderness Falls and African Adventure. Each exhibit features rocks and plants that mimic the areas where those animals live in the wild.

You can sign up for special events that take place during your trip, including the Zoo Camp available for kids in the summer and lunches with the zoo's keepers.

Depending on when you visit, you may see some of the recently born baby animals too.

Sequoia National Park hiking

8 Best Sequoia Hikes

1. Hazelwood Nature Trail

  • Distance: 1 mile
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Features: Loop design, rises to an elevation of 50 feet, trailhead close to the Giant Forest Museum, follows a loop pattern
  • What you’ll see: Exhibits on the sides of the trail, loads of nature

The Hazelwood Nature Trail is one of the easiest trails that anyone visiting Sequoia can accomplish. It uses a loop layout.

You can pick up the trail at the head that is close to the Giant Forest Museum and follow along the trail as it loops back around to the start.

In addition to all the nature that you'll see, you can also stop and read the plaques and exhibits along the trail. Those exhibits offer an impressive history of the Native Americans who lived here.

Explore with peace of mind: 12 Must Have Survival Gear for Hikers

2. White Chief Trail

  • Distance: 2.9 miles
  • Skill level: Moderate
  • Features: Steep grades, high elevations, rocky areas, connects to the Eagle/Mosquito Lakes Trail
  • What you’ll see: Remains of the Crabtree Cabin, meadows, iconic and panoramic views

At nearly three-miles long, the White Chief Trail is a little more challenging for hikers with less experience. It becomes even more challenging when you factor in the steep grade changes and high elevation.

James Crabtree moved here in 1873 and helped settle the Mineral King area. The remains of his old cabin are just one of the things you'll see on this trail.

The top of the trail offers panoramic and iconic views of Mineral King and may make you feel as though you're on top of the world. It gives you one of the best views of the Mineral King Valley.

Shoot your trip (and pack a lunch) with these GoPro backpacks.

3. Mist Falls Trail

  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Skill level: Moderate to hard
  • Features: Sandy spaces, elevation gain of 600 feet, takes up to five hours or longer to complete
  • What you’ll see: Waterfalls, parts of Kings Canyon National Park, wooded areas, rapids

The Mist Falls Trail is one of the more challenging trails found in Sequoia, but those who followed it claim that it's one of the park's most beautiful trails.

Instead of featuring a packed path as other trails do, this one is a sandy trail that you can easily slip off of when distracted. The trail becomes even more challenging thanks to the currents and rapids just off to the side. The trail takes you through South Fork Canyon and eventually reaches one of the park's best waterfalls.

It usually takes hikers between four to five hours to complete the trail, though it can take longer depending on how often you stop.

Spot wildlife and distant falls with a pair of compact binoculars.

4. Big Trees Trail

  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Features: Elevation gain of 60 feet, trailhead near the parking lot of the Giant Forest Museum, fairly accessible
  • What you’ll see: Round Meadow, exhibits on the sides of the trail, wildflowers, trees

The Big Trees Trail is a self-guided trail that is fairly accessible. Though it runs for more than a mile, kids and many elderly people have no problem following the trail's loop.

The loop takes you back to the parking lot of the Giant Forest Museum and makes it easy for you to reach other areas of the park by car or on foot. If you have an interest in ecology, you'll want to stop to view the wildflowers blooming along the trail and the exhibits located nearby.

The exhibits give an overview of the region's ecology and help you learn about the sequoias and other plants in the park.

5. Redwood Creek Loop

  • Distance: 7.3 – 9.6 miles
  • Skill level: Hard
  • Features: Backcountry camping available, elevation gain of more than 900 feet, connects to the Sugar Bowl Trail
  • What you’ll see: Sequoias, wild animals, plants, cabin pass, Big Baldy

Those planning Sequoia hiking and camping trips may want to consider hiking the Redwood Creek Loop. It offers backcountry sites that let you spend two nights in the area with up to 10 people.

The standard trail runs for 7.3 miles, but you can connect the loop to the Sugar Bowl Trail and extend your hike to 9.6 miles. This trail takes you through several areas such as Barton Creek and Big Baldy.

You'll also have the chance to see the remains of a former logging camp and Redwood Mountain itself. Hart Tree, which is one of the 30 tallest sequoias in the park is on the trail too.

6. General Grant Tree Trail

  • Distance: 0.8 miles
  • Skill level: Easy
  • Features: Paved trail, connects to other trails for those who want to keep hiking, adjacent to a parking lot, shady areas, accessible
  • What you’ll see: General Grant Tree, Lincoln Tree, Michigan Log, Vermont Log, Gamlin Cabin

History buffs love the General Grant Tree Trail because it takes them directly to the sequoia of the same name. Named after General Grant, this tree serves as a tribute to the soldiers who died in American wars.

As you follow the trail, you'll come across a felled tree that now functions as a shady spot that you can walk through. The trail itself is paved, which makes it accessible for those in wheelchairs and visitors who use other devices.

You can follow the basic trail to reach other attractions, including the Gamlin Cabin and the Lincoln Tree named after President Abraham Lincoln.

7. Moro Rock Trail

  • Distance: 0.25 miles
  • Skill level: Easy to moderate
  • Features: 350 steps leading up to the peak, elevation of more than 6,200 feet, ledges, can accommodate one hiker at a time
  • What you’ll see: Hanging Rock, Moro Rock, Generals Highway, Mount Whitney, other panoramic views

Though the Moro Rock Trail isn't as challenging as others in the park, it's quite the experience for those who are afraid of heights.

It is only wide enough to accommodate one hiker at a time and lacks guardrails in most areas. You can look over the side and see the ground more than 6,000 feet below you. This trail climbs to the top of Moro Rock, which is one of the highest elevations in the park.

It lets you see Mount Whitney and other parts of the surrounding mountains. The experiences you have on this trail are ones you'll never forget.

8. Tokopah Falls Trail

  • Distance: 3.4 miles
  • Skill level: Easy to moderate
  • Features: Trailhead located in the parking lot adjacent to the Lodgepole Campground, 500 foot elevation gain, takes around three hours to finish, connects to the Marble Fork
  • What you’ll see: Tokopah Falls, Kaweah River, Watchtower, valleys, canyons

At more than three miles long, the Tokopah Falls Trail requires some hiking skills. It features a number of rocky areas that you'll need to cross, which is why experts recommend that you wear hiking boots.

This trail helps you get close to Tokopah Falls, which are among the most famous and largest of the waterfalls in Sequoia. You can pick up the trail at the Lodgepole Campground and at the General Store nearby. It moves through landmarks such as the Watchtower and the Kaweah River.

If you want to extend your hike, you can split off from the trail at the Marble Fork and visit Marble Falls.

Sequoia National Park weather

Sequoia Weather: Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit

One of the unique things you'll notice about Sequoia National Park is that the temperature can vary quite a bit in the same day based simply on where you go in the park.

The temperature closer to the ground can be warm enough that you can wear shorts and a tee shirt. When you climb to Moro Rock or to the top of another mountain, you may need a jacket and long pants.

As the temperature varies so much, there really isn't a bad time to visit. The park is open year round but limits the number of activities that are available in the winter.

Early spring is a good time to visit, but many guests also like visiting Sequoia in the summer.

Winter can bring temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius). The temperatures in the summer can range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 26 degrees Celsius).

Avoid the crowds in Sequoia

Though Sequoia is not the most popular national park in the country, it's popular enough that you may dislike the crowds you see during your trip.

The best times to visit the park and avoid those crowds is in the late spring and then again in the late summer. Early fall is also a good time to escape the crowds. This lets you enjoy Sequoia without the crowds and before the snow falls.

Best weather in Sequoia National Park

Those who love warm weather and want to hike through the wilderness know that the best time to visit Sequoia is in the summer.

Though temps can easily climb to 90 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) or higher, you'll find much cooler temperatures when you climb high into the mountains. The temperatures there can hit 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) or even lower.

Sequoia gets quite a bit of rain in the spring and experiences a high level of snow in the winter. Visiting in the early summer through autumn can help you take advantage of the nice weather in the park.

When to see wildlife in Sequoia

Though some of the animals found in the park are potentially dangerous, others are much safer. You may see deer frolicking in the meadows and see beavers scurrying through the woods with logs they use in the water.

If you want to visit Sequoia and see some of those animals, you should plan a spring trip. Many of these animals hibernate during the winter and begin waking up in April or earlier.

Spring visits also let you see the gorgeous wildflowers that bloom in the park.

Most trails open in Sequoia

Snowshoeing enthusiasts know that Sequoia offers trails that they can easily access on their adventure trips. Those winter trails are also open to cross country skiers.

If you want to check out some of the park's classic trails that take you to General Sherman and other attractions, you'll want to visit anytime between April and October. Most trails open in April and close around the middle or near the end of October.

Weather conditions and other hazards can delay the openings of the trails and/or cause the trails to close earlier in the year.

Winter camping at Sequoia

At least three of the park's campgrounds are open in the winter. You can also go online and make a reservation to spend a night or more in the Pear Lake Winter Hut.

This cabin is close to trails for cross country skiers and those using snowshoes. It features 10 beds, cooking supplies, a compostable toilet and a stove that runs on wood pellets. Sequoia offers campgrounds that accept reservations and those that are first come, first serve.

You may want to stay in a lodge that is open during the winter for at least one night too.

Thinking about winter camping? Check out our Sub-Zero Winter Camping Guide. And here are some winter camping tips for a safe, warm adventure. And here's how to choose the best cold weather tent.

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Sequoia National Park FAQ

Is Sequoia a national park?

Yes. The Sierra Nevada region of California is home to Sequoia National Park. More than 1.2 million people visit the park each year. The park is home to landmarks such as Moro Rock and the Sherman Trail.

It offers campgrounds for visitors who want to stay one or more nights too.

Why do they call it Sequoia?

Sequoia National Park gets its name from the large redwoods found in and around the park.

A botanist from Austria named the trees after a Cherokee man with a similar name who turned that tribe's language into a type of writing. It wasn't until the 1830s that the first white settlers encountered the trees and the 1850s before scientists studied the trees.

What is Sequoia National Park known for?

Moro Rock is one of the more famous landmarks located within the park. This granite dome is far from the only attraction though.

Guests also enjoy visiting the Giant Forest Museum, Crescent Meadow, and General Sherman (Sequoia's most famous tree). You may want to check out the Tunnel Log, which you can drive through and Tokopah Falls too.

Things to do in Sequoia National Park

Tunnel Log in Sequoia National Park

Are Sequoia and Kings Canyon the same park?

No.

People sometimes think that Sequoia and Kings Canyon are the same park because they share a common border. Even the NPS administers the two parks together.

There is a border between the two parks though. When planning your trip and looking at things to do, you should focus on the attractions and activities specifically located in Sequoia National Park.

What is the tallest mountain in the lower 48?

The tallest mountain in the lower 48 is Mount Whitney in California. Mount Whitney is part of the Sierra Nevada range that stretches across Sequoia.

Though a portion of this mountain range is in Utah, it's primarily found in California. Mount Whitney is nearly 14,500 feet tall at its highest peak.

What is General Sherman?

General Sherman is the name given to a tree in the park that is the biggest tree in the world in terms of volume.

A small plaque tells you the name of the tree, which is 275 feet tall.

This tree also has a diameter of 36 feet as its base. The diameter is more than 17 feet at the thinner portion of the tree higher in the sky.

Sequoia National Park attractions

General Sherman, Sequoia National Park

How long can sequoias live?

Sequoias live an average of 3,000 years, though the trees can live longer. The oldest sequoia tree in the world survived to an age of 3,500 years.

General Sherman is currently the oldest sequoia in the world and is 2,000 years old. Any damage done to the soil around the base of the trees and the surrounding environment can damage them.

How tall can sequoias grow?

At 275-feet tall, General Sherman is one of the tallest trees in the world. Sequoia trees often reach heights of 250 feet or more. Most of these trees only have branches on their upper halves.

The lower halves of the trees have a wide and somewhat plain looking base. The Sequoia is also one of the world's fastest growing trees.

How large is Sequoia National Park?

Sequoia National Park measures 631 square miles in size. When you factor in Kings Canyon, the two parks have a combined total of more than 200,000 acres of space.

All the areas inside the park are open to the public and allow you to explore as much as you want. Park officials do encourage guests to use caution when they head off the beaten track. You can encounter wild animals, including snakes and cougars.

What animals are in Sequoia?

Cougars and badgers are among the wildest and scariest of the animals found in Sequoia. The park is also home to beavers, wolverines, opossums, black bears, coyote and deer.

Though the animals tend to stay close to their homes, you may stumble across one in the wild. It's important that you know how to react to escape safely.

Does Sequoia have bears?

The most common type of bear found in Sequoia is the black bear. Black bears do not always have black hair though.

Some of the bears can have light to dark brown fur and fur that is much lighter in color.

You should never feed any of the bears or other wild animals that you see in the park.

Can you go to Sequoia at night?

Yes, you can go to Sequoia at night. The park lets you arrive during the day and stay for the astronomy and other special programs offered after the sun goes down.

You also have the option of visiting later in the day and sticking around for those programs. Night hikes and tours are some of the more popular activities in Sequoia.

What time does Sequoia park close?

Sequoia National Park never closes.

It is open 24/7 and every day of the year. You should check the roads that lead to the park though.

During the cold season, snow and ice can build up and force those roads to close. It can take several days or more for park officials to clear and open those roads.

What is the closest airport to Sequoia?

The closest airport to Sequoia is the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, which many use when traveling to Yosemite National Park.

Visalia Municipal Airport is also close to the park. It takes roughly 105 minutes to reach the park when coming from Fresno Yosemite and around an hour when traveling from Visalia.

The Visalia Transit Center offers a shuttle that takes guests right to the park.

Where do I enter Sequoia?

You can enter the park through any of the three entrances.

If you come from the north or the east, you may come through one of the entrances at Kings Canyon. Those traveling from the west and south will use roads such as 198 and 99. All the major roads in California have signs that point you in the direction of the park.

How many entrances does Sequoia National Park have?

Sequoia has three entrances.

  1. The Ash Mountain Entrance is close to Three Springs but is not suitable for those in longer RVs.
  2. Highway 180 leads visitors to the Big Stump Entrance, which lets you enter both Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
  3. Guests can also use the Lookout Point Entrance, which usually closes in late October every year.

Which Sequoia entrance is best?

The best entrance to Sequoia is the Ash Mountain Entrance, which is also the only entrance dedicated specifically to the park.

It leads you by Three Rivers and lets you pick up supplies that you need for the trip. This entrance also provides you with convenient access to most of the park's campgrounds and other attractions.

What should I bring to Sequoia?

Some of the things you should bring with you to Sequoia include sunscreen and layers of clothing.

Temperatures during your visit can range from chilly to hotter than you expected. You can remove and add more layers as needed to compensate for the weather. Visitors also find it helpful to bring or wear comfortable hiking boots or shoes.

Is there cell service in Sequoia?

The best place to get cell phone service in the park is in Wuksachi Lodge, though some guests also have coverage in the John Muir Lodge.

Most visitors find that they have no coverage or very limited coverage though. If you need to make sure that friends and family can contact you, you can pass along the hotel's phone number.

The hotel will take messages and pass them to guests later. You can use the hotel, even if you camp in the park.

Can you drive through Sequoia National Park?

One of the top ways to see Sequoia National Park is with a drive through the park.

It usually takes around 90 minutes to get from Sequoia to the heart of Kings Canyon. If you want to see Yosemite, you'll find that it takes around three hours to drive between those parks.

To see some of the top attractions in Sequoia, you will need to park your car and follow some of the marked trails.

Where can you see Sequoias?

You can see sequoias almost anywhere inside the park.

When you follow the posted signs, you can head to General Sherman and see this impressive tree in person. Other signs direct you to the Tunnel Log, which lets you drive your car through a large felled tree.

You can reach groves and other parts of the park via some of the hiking trails.

What can you do in Sequoia National Park?

Ranger programs give you a fun way to learn more about the park. These programs take place during the busy season and include night hikes and other activities that are suitable for adults and children.

The Dark Sky Festival is another popular way to see the park in a new light.

Some of the other things that you can do in Sequoia include hiking, swimming, birdwatching, rock climbing, horseback riding and signing your kids up for Junior Ranger Day.

What should you not miss in Sequoia?

The two things you should not miss include General Sherman and Moro Rock.

  1. General Sherman is so popular that people come from around the world just to see the tree.
  2. Moro Rock features a stone walkway with rails that keep you safe. This walkway leads you up and onto the rock, which offers some of the best panoramic views of the park.

Where can I hike in Sequoia?

If you love hiking, make sure that you stop by the visitors center to pick up a trail map.

Some of the top hikes in Sequoia help you get from the lodges to other spots in the park. Most of the hikes take a day or less to complete, which gives you more time to visit other attractions.

Some of the best hikes are in the Cedar Grove and Giant Forest areas.

Do I need hiking boots for Sequoia?

You don't need hiking boots to visit Sequoia, but comfortable shoes are definitely a must-have.

Hiking boots are necessary for those who want to go into the backcountry and those who plan on checking out some of the harder trails. The boots provide the traction that you need in the winter too as you encounter snowy and icy trails.

How many miles of trails in Sequoia?

Between Sequoia and Kings Canyon, there are more than 1,000 miles of trails for hikers. Sequoia itself has more than 300 miles of trails.

Some of the trails have a lower elevation and are close to water sources. Others trails have a higher elevation and require more skills. You can view the rating of each trail on your map.

How long is the Moro Rock hike?

The entire hike is 0.25 miles long and suitable for different types of hikers and different skill levels.

One of the more popular hikes is the one that leads to Moro Rock.

It offers some of the most beautiful views of the trees and mountains and allows you to get close to geological formations that are more than 100 million years old.

Moro Rock Sequoia National Park

Descending Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park

How many steps is Moro Rock?

There are a total of 350 steps leading to Moro Rock. You need to use caution when following the trail because many spots lack any guardrails or protective features.

You can only move along the trail one at a time too. Moro Rock has an elevation of 6,719 feet and offers 360-degree views of the area below.

when to visit sequoia national park

Camping at Sequoia National Park

Can you camp at Sequoia?

You can camp at Sequoia because there are several campgrounds in the park.

Some of these campgrounds offer amenities for those traveling in an RV, but others do not have many amenities and are better for those who want to camp under the stars or in tents. Group sites are also available for groups of up to 50 people.

How much does it cost to camp at Sequoia?

It costs roughly $22 per night to camp at Sequoia, though the price can vary between campgrounds. Your nightly fee allows you to pick a site and use all the available amenities for the night.

Sequoia requires that visitors make online reservations to secure their spots. The online system will show you when the campgrounds are closed for the season or if any campgrounds shut down due to weather conditions.

What is the best Sequoia campground?

The best campground in Sequoia might be the Crystal Springs Campground. It has 36 sites for tent campers and several group sites that you can reserve online.

The campground is only five minutes away from a grove that is home to the second biggest tree in the park. Crystal Springs is also close to hiking trails that let you explore the sequoia groves.

Do you need a permit to camp in Sequoia?

You only need a permit to camp in certain parts of the park. Sequoia offers wilderness permits for those staying overnight in any of the park's wilderness areas. It holds a lottery and hands out a set number of permits during the season.

If you visit outside of the quota season, you do not need a permit to camp. The park does not require permits of those hiking in the wilderness areas.

Does Sequoia allow dogs?

This is one of the only national parks to allow dogs, but the park has rules on where your pets can go.

Dogs are not allowed on any of the trails in the park. You can bring your dog to many of the park's campgrounds, though you must keep your pet on a leash that is no more than six-feet long.

Does Sequoia have water?

Sequoia National Park is home to more than 10 systems that provide clean drinking water for guests.

Various fill stations let you fill any water bottles you have, and you'll find drinking fountains too. Depending on where you camp, you may need to boil the water for up to three minutes before drinking it.

Or you can bring a little gear to filter it on the spot.

What is the best time to go to Sequoia?

The early to late fall is the best time to go to Sequoia. While the days are warm enough to swim and hike, the nights are a little cooler and help you relax.

Sequoia doesn't get as many visitors during this season either. You may want to visit in the winter, though you'll find that the park limits what you can do until it fully reopens again in April.

Camping at Sequoia National Park

Hungry for more? Check out our guide to the best places to camp in the United States.

Your Turn

Which Sequoia National Park campground are you planning to visit? Have a question about your upcoming trip? Join me in the comments!

Meet the Author

Bryan Haines

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GudGear - and is working to make it the best resource for outside gear. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with Bryan and Dena.

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