Los Angeles to Sequoia: Recommended itinerary with stops along the way

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

When organizing a road trip to the USA, the most frequently asked question is "What is the best way to go between these two places?". Especially when it comes to states such as California, which is very rich in things to see and has a dense network of roads, doubts can arise about which itinerary is to be preferred to move between the different cities and natural parks.

Trafficking is certainly one of these cases Los Angeles – Sequoia National Park, 2 important destinations for a tour in California, which are often visited one after the other, when from the beauties of the Californian coast it turns towards those of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.


  • Recommended route, distance and travel times
  • What to see between Los Angeles and Sequoia
    • Pyramid Lake – Angeles National Forest
    • Fort Tejon Historic Site
    • Bakersfield
    • Wonderful Halos: a box of giant oranges
    • Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park
    • In vain House
    • John Muir Statue
    • Slick Rock Recreation Area
    • Abandoned kiosk in the shape of a cow
  • Where to sleep between Los Angeles and Sequoia

Recommended route, distance and travel times

The most direct route from Los Angeles to Sequoia and vice versa requires about 330 kilometers and it takes 3 and a half hours of driving. From Los Angeles, take I-5 north and continue on Wheeler Ridge Golden State Hwy (the CA-99). As soon as you pass Bakersfield, take the CA-65 on the right, which will take you almost to your destination: you will only have to do the last few kilometers on the CA-198.

This is the best way to go, both for travel times and because, objectively, the alternative roads do not offer particularly suggestive views or other reasons to lengthen the journey. Even if you can take the route without making stops, if you are not in a hurry or prefer some pit stops, I point out below something to see along the way.

They are not major attractions, but they can be considered if you want to take some breaks from driving. In this case, considering all the proposed stops and detours, you will have to add 40 kilometers for a total of approximately 370 kilometers and 4 hours and a quarter of driving. It goes without saying that travel times will increase depending on how long you stay in one or more of these places.

What to see between Los Angeles and Sequoia

I'll be honest: compared to other nearby itineraries, such as the one between Sequoia and Death Valley or the one between Los Angeles and Death Valley, l'Itinerario Los Angels - Sequoia it is not among the most exciting for those who love on the road stages. These are mainly small photographic spots, particular places, or curiosities suitable for short stops.

You want to stretch your legs for a few minutes during this route? Why not do it where there is also something curious to see? So here is a list of places that you will find along the way, or with small detours.

Pyramid Lake – Angeles National Forest

Pyramid Lake
Pyramid Lake da Slide Mountain Fire Lookout Tower

After less than an hour's drive from Los Angeles along I-5 you will find the Pyramid Lake within the Angeles National Forest. It's a cute lake in the mountains and can be a good place to have a picnic stop or just get off the highway to take a photo of the view. If you are looking for a longer stop, perhaps sleeping in the immediate surroundings, know that the Angeles national forest it is a beautiful park crossed by countless paths and nature lovers will certainly appreciate it.

If you want to dedicate time to a long hike you can take the Slide Mountain Trail, a path of over 17 km with 780 meters in altitude that will take you to a lookout tower (Slide Mountain Fire Lookout Tower) from which you can enjoy a splendid panorama (see photo above).

Fort Tejon Historic Site

Another twenty minutes drive on I-5, also a stone's throw from the highway, you have the opportunity to visit this historic site. Located in Grapevine Canyon, this fort had a dual purpose. On the one hand, he had to control the Indians who lived in Sebastian's reservation, on the other hand he had to protect both these Indians and the white settlers from the incursions of other groups of Indians from the desert regions to the southeast.

The fort was garrisoned for only ten years, from 1854 to 1864, but the restored buildings and museum show what army life was like inside and some details about local history. A stop here is interesting, as well as for historical reasons, also for naturalistic ones: the environment in which the fort is located is that of a large green area surrounded by a wood where centuries-old oaks live, which are over 400 years old. .


The only big city we encounter along the way is Bakersfield, often used during road trips as a stop for approaching other stages. In our Bakersfield guide you will find all the information on what to see in the city and some tips for staying overnight.

Wonderful Halos: a box of giant oranges

Difficult to call it an attraction, however I would like to point it out as a curiosity that you will find along the way if you decide to deviate the route to stop at the next stop. After Bakersfield, do not take CA-65, but stay on CA-99. Less than half an hour from the city you will notice a giant box of oranges on your right.

If the road sounds a bit dull, this colossal box of oranges, an advertisement for Wonderful Haloswill make your trip a bright orange. As I said, however, it is the next real attraction for which it makes sense to make the detour (nothing against giant oranges, eh! America is also this!).

Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park

At Delano take Exit 57 from Golden State Hwy and then turn left on Fremont St and left again on Cecil Ave. As you leave the built-up area, your road will end on CA-43: Take it to the right and you will soon find Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park (approximately 45 minutes from Bakersfield). What we face is the only city in California to have been entirely founded, financed and governed by African Americans. The name is taken from its founder: the colonel Allen Allensworth.

Born as a slave in Kentucky, he learned to read and write, despite the prohibition of education for slaves, and escaped becoming a sailor, then an army chaplain after converting and specializing in theology. In 1908 he founded this small agricultural community with a group of people, with the aim of improving the condition, both economic and social, of African Americans. It can be said that this town, now a historic site, was the demonstration of one of the possible achievements of the "American dream".

In vain House

Once past Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park, turn right on Avenue 56 and follow it until you return to CA-65, which you will take to the left. In three quarters of an hour you will arrive in the town of Porterville. If you skip the two previous attractions, you will still get there following the quick route.

Here you have the chance to see one of the few XNUMXth century houses that have never undergone any changes, the Zalud House. Today it is a small museum in which period furniture, tools and clothes are exhibited.

John Muir Statue

Take the CA-65 back to the intersection with CA-198, where you will turn right. At Lemon Cove, without detours, you will find a rest area where the great head carved in a trunk by the engineer, naturalist and writer John Muir stands out.

Slick Rock Recreation Area

A few minutes later the road begins to skirt the lago Kaweah. Also in this case, as for Pyramid Lake, there is the possibility to stretch your legs and, in summer, even to take a bath in the lake. No detours are necessary because the rest area is just a stone's throw from our road.

Abandoned kiosk in the shape of a cow

A little further along the road, at this point, you will find another rest area. Here there is an old food kiosk, in the shape of a cow. Another of the many oddities encountered along American roads.

Where to sleep between Los Angeles and Sequoia

As you will have understood by reading this article, if you travel from Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park or vice versa, probably the best choice is to not stop except for short stops and go to sleep directly at your destination. For this I recommend you to read our articles on where to sleep in Los Angeles and where to sleep at the Sequoia respectively.

But if you prefer to take it easy, you can also decide to  sleep halfway. Maybe after your visit to the natural park you want to get closer to Los Angeles, but you will arrive in the city too late. Or vice versa you want to enjoy the city of angels until late afternoon and get closer to the park that you will visit the next day, without however driving too many consecutive hours. Well, in that case take a look at our tips on where to sleep in Bakersfield: the ideal intermediate stage where to stop at for the night.

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