Sequoia & Kings National Park

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Lluis Enric Mayans
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Index

  • What to see in Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • What to do in Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • Where to eat at Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • Where to sleep nearby
  • Le temperature al Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • When to go to Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • How long for the visit?
  • Cost of entry to Sequoia & Kings National Park
  • Park pass
  • Sequoia & Kings National Park opening times
  • Come arrivare al Sequoia & Kings National Park

Il Sequoia & Kings National Park are two National Parks, one adjacent to the other, which are located in the south of the mountain range of Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin valley, in the State of California.



Il Sequoia national park it is the second American national park in order of constitution since it was established 25 September 1890.

Il Kings Canyon National Park it was established instead in 1940, and incorporated the existing General Grant National Park which had been established in 1890.

From 1943 il Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are jointly managed under the name of Sequoia & Kings National Park.

Inside the two parks, visitors can admire huge mountains, rocky hills, very deep canyons, caves and of course the giant sequoias, the largest trees in the world.

Certainly in this natural paradise it is easy to meet many species of animals, because the different altitudes of the various areas of the Parks (ranging from 400 meters from the low hills to the peaks of 4400 meters of the Sierra Nevada) offer the habitat for a great variety of animals.


National parks host 72 species of mammals, including squirrels, marmots, deer, mules, short-tailed weasels, mountain lions and black bears. In the two parks we also find over 1.200 species of plants and in addition to the famous ones giant sequoia woods there are also vast tracts of montane forests, spectacular alpine habitats and oak forests.


Within these parks it is possible to move around using the private means or by taking advantage of the Free Shuttle which are usually in service from the end of May until the middle of September.

Free shuttles may also be available in the Giant Forest area during the winter holidays, such as at the end of November on Thanksgiving and at the end of December for the Christmas holidays.

Free summer and winter shuttles operate exclusively within Sequoia National Park, while there are no shuttle services in Kings Canyon National Park.

Both parks are very beautiful even in winter, but before venturing inside you need to be very prepared because you will have to travel along mountain roads that are often snowy or icy due to low temperatures.

What to see in Sequoia & Kings National Park

Generale Sherman

General Sherman is one of the examples of sequoia giant  tallest in the world, and is arguably the most famous tree in the world Sequoia national park. The tree has a height of over 84 meters and at the base it has a circumference of about 31 meters and a diameter of 11 meters.


This giant sequoia owes its name to William Tecumseh Sherman, an American Civil War general. According to the latest studies, General Sherman is over 2300 years old.

General Grant

The General Grant Tree is a giant sequoia found in Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. It is the second tallest sequoia in the Sequoia & Kings National Park  after General Sherman.

The tree has a height of over 81 meters and at the base it has a circumference of about 31 meters. This giant sequoia owes its name to Ulysses Grant, an American Civil War general after whom the 1867 plant was named.


On April 28, 1926, US President Calvin Coolidge designated the General Grant Tree as theUnited States Christmas tree and since then every year an annual ceremony has been held over the Christmas period.

Monte Whitney

Mount Whitney  it is the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and at the top it reaches 4.421 meters above sea level.

From Mount Whitney you can enjoy spectacular views of the highest peaks of the surrounding mountains as well as the pale desert plains to the east (including Death Valley).

Moorish Rock

La Moro Rock is a large granite dome located at the edge of the Giant Forest (the Giant Forest) in Sequoia national park. Its formation, which dates back to over 100 million years ago, is due to volcanic activity. To reach the top of the Moro Rock you have to climb a series of ramps and stairs and a total of 400 steps for a vertical drop of 91 meters.


Giant Forest

The Giant Forest, is an area of ​​the Sequoia & Kings National Park  in which you can admire over 8.000 giant sequoias including General Sherman.

Crystal Cave

The Crystal Cave is a cave located under the Naica mine and which was discovered on April 28, 1918 by Alex Medley and Cassius Webste. It is just one of over 200 caves found within the National Parks and holds a number of large selenite crystals. It is possible to visit the cave exclusively through guided tours that take place from spring to autumn.

Giant Forest Museum

The Giant Forest Museum is open every day of the year (opening hours change depending on the season). It is a museum that provides a basic introduction to the primary characteristics of the Giant Forest and offers the opportunity to learn about the history of the forest and the plants that populate it.


What to do in Sequoia & Kings National Park


There are many things that can be done in these two National Parks, which offer a wide range of activities depending on the area of ​​visit in every season of the year. Let's see which are the most interesting:

Excursions

Hikers have at their disposal many itineraries, both for beginners and for experts, along which they can admire the natural beauties of these two National Parks.

Among the easier routes are those that cross the Giant Forest, such as the Big Trees Trail and the General Sherman Tree Trail. The path that leads to the Moro Rock is definitely more challenging.

Climb

Climbing lovers will find something for their teeth in these two National Parks. The most interesting is certainly the climbing of the Monte Whitney, a mountain located on the border between Sequoia National Park and the Inyo National Forest.

Most people who climb Mount Whitney start from the east side of the Sierra. Being the busiest peak in the Sierra Nevada, there is a permit system to access Mount Whitney climbing and minimize the environmental impact of hikers.

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

From December to April it is possible to rent cross-country skis, snowshoes and winter equipment to tackle excursions in the snow.

The walks with snowshoes are guided by rangers and are moderately strenuous, but allow you to admire the beautiful giant sequoias whitened by the fresh snow. In winter, if there is enough snow, many areas of the park can also be reached on cross-country skis.

Horse riding

Within the two parks you can enjoy guided horseback riding which in summer are organized by two riding stables, the Grant Grove Stables and the Cedar Grove Pack Station, which are both located in the Kings National Park.

The annual opening and closing dates of the riding schools depend on the weather conditions.

Kayak

Navigating the rivers of these areas is extremely dangerous, but the practice of kayak it is very popular on some rivers that are found within the Parks, but it carries a high risk and requires advanced skills.

Fishing

Fishing is allowed within the Parks during all seasons, but a California fishing license is required.

Where to eat at Sequoia & Kings National Park

The Peaks Restaurant

The Peaks restaurant is located in the heart of Sequoia National Park. Here customers can enjoy numerous dishes such as the tasty pan-seared red trout, the perfect pound of pure beef.

The restaurant's culinary team is renowned for creating menus that highlight the Californian bounty of fresh seasonal cuisine. The Peaks is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year.

Grant Grove Restaurant

Grant Grove is an eco-friendly restaurant where diners can enjoy an elevated dining experience, with a sophisticated menu that focuses on locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients.

The restaurant also offers a great view of the picturesque surrounding scenery, with the majestic giant sequoia trees surrounding the property. The indoor area seats 104, while the outdoor terrace overlooking Bradley Meadow seats 46.

Cedar Grove Snack Bar

This restaurant, located in the interior of Kings Canyon, is open seasonally for breakfast, lunch and dinner from mid to late May to mid October. It serves light meals and snacks and offers guests both indoor and outdoor seating on a balcony overlooking the River Kings.

Sequoia Cider Mill Restaurant

The restaurant is located in Three Rivers, just a few miles away from the entrance to Sequoia National Park. The restaurant is spartan and offers typical American dishes with generous portions, fast service and reasonable prices.

Where to sleep nearby

Sequoia Resort

Just 20 km from Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, this 150-hectare resort is located in the Sierra Mountains and boasts fully-equipped accommodations.

Check availability

Lazy J Ranch Motel

The Lazy J Ranch Motel is located in the Three Rivers resort. Featuring an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, it is 21 km from Sequoia National Park.

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The Kern Lodge

This rustic lodge is located in Kernville, in the middle of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and within easy reach of Sequoia National Park.

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Comfort Inn & Suites Sequoia Kings Canyon

In the town of Three Rivers, less than 8 miles from Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, you will find this small hotel with 24 rooms, very convenient for reaching the two Parks.

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Sequoia Motel

This small Motel is located in the town of Three Rivers, less than 7 km from Sequoia National Park. In this structure, customers can choose to stay in a room or in a cottage.

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The Gateway Restaurant & Lodge

This lodge, located just 5 minutes' walk from Sequoia National Park, has large rooms and cottages. The property boasts picturesque views of the Kaweah River.

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Le temperature al Sequoia & Kings National Park

The weather can be very different between different areas of the Park and can change rapidly. At any time of the year, it is therefore advisable to follow the forecasts before traveling.

The hilly areas at the lowest altitudes are characterized by mild and humid winters and by hot and dry summers and the average temperatures range from 2 ° C to 36 ° c depending on the season. Precipitation usually occurs from January to mid-May, while in summer it is difficult for it to rain.

In the Grant Grove, Lodgepole and Giant Forest parks there are warm days and cool evenings in summer, while in winter it is very cold and the landscape is whitened by snow. Average temperatures range from -4 ° C in winter to 24 ° C in summer.

When to go to Sequoia & Kings National Park

Il Sequoia & Kings National Park it is open every day of the year, but the best months to visit are from April to October, when the temperatures allow you to make many excursions throughout the park area.

During the summer season the number of people visiting the Park is usually higher than in the other seasons, because the climate is friendly and the temperatures in the redwood woods are favorable.

In winter, when temperatures drop sharply, excursions are more difficult and in some cases they are not possible. In fact, the most beautiful places need at least a small hike, because Sequoia & Kings National Park is not a "drive through" park, where you can see a lot of things just by driving.

How long for the visit?

There is no predefined time to visit the Sequoia & Kings National Park, because a lot depends on the number and type of activities that you intend to carry out within this beautiful National Park.

For those who do not intend to make particular excursions, even a couple of days may be enough, while for those who do not want to miss the possibility of experiencing intense emotions, at least 4-5 days are necessary.

Cost of entry to Sequoia & Kings National Park

The cost of admission to the Sequoia & Kings National Park it depends both on the duration and on the type of vehicle with which you want to access the Park. Tickets are usually valid for 7 days, but you can also purchase the Annual Pass which is valid for 12 months.

• Private vehicle: $ 30,00 (valid for 7 days) - This type of access allows you to enter the Park area with a private vehicle and all occupants are included.

• Moto: 25,00$ (valid for 7 days) - This type of access allows you to access the Park with a motorcycle for private use.

• Per person: $15,00 (valid for 7 days) - This type of access is personal and allows a single individual traveling on foot or by bicycle to access the National Park.

• Private organized groups: 15,00$ (valid for 7 days) - Private organized groups entering the Park with non-commercial vehicles with a capacity of 16 or more people are required to pay a fee of $ 15,00 per person. Young people under the age of 15 and bus drivers can enter the National Park for free. Individuals and families in possession of any Annual Pass or a Lifetime Subscription can use the pass for their entry to the Park.

• Commercial organized groups of 1 to 6 passengers: $ 25,00 - Organized commercial groups that enter the Park in a vehicle that can carry a maximum of 6 passengers are charged $ 25,00 plus a fee of $ 10,00 per person. In this case the age of the passengers and any entry passes do not affect the price.

• Commercial organized groups of 7 to 15 passengers: $ 75,00 - Organized commercial groups that enter the park in a vehicle that can carry a maximum of 15 passengers are charged $ 75,00.

• Commercial organized groups of 16 to 25 passengers: $ 100,00 - Organized commercial groups that enter the park in a vehicle that can carry a maximum of 25 passengers are charged $ 100,00.

• Commercial Organized Groups of 25+ Passengers: $ 200,00 - Organized commercial groups that enter the Park in a vehicle that can carry more than 25 passengers are charged $ 200,00.

• Sequoia & Kings Canyon Annual Pass: 50,00$ (valid for 12 months from the date of purchase) - This type of access admits the pass holder and any passengers of the private vehicle with which you enter the Sequoia & Kings National Park inside the Park.

Park pass

For those who intend to visit more than one National Park it is advisable to purchase the National Park Pass, or the annual card (valid for 12 months) which allows entry to all National Parks of the United States with the exception of the Indian Reserves parks, such as Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon, as these parks are run by the Indians.

The card, known by the name of America the Beautiful Passes, can be purchased for the price of $80,00 in any of the US National Parks and allows access to the parks for a car and all its passengers

Sequoia & Kings National Park opening times

The park is open 24 hours a day every day of the year. Rarely, due to extreme weather conditions, some roads in the Park may be closed.

Come arrivare al Sequoia & Kings National Park

The entrance to the Sequoia national park takes place via Highway 198 which, after passing the town of Three Rivers, will take you to Sequoia National Park Ash Mountain Entrance Station. Once past the entrance station the road becomes narrow and winding and in some places access is not allowed for vehicles longer than 22 feet (6,7 meters).

The city of Visalia is 58 km from the park entrance and it takes 45 minutes by car to reach it. Starting from the metropolitan area of ​​Los Angeles you have to travel about 360 km and it takes 4 hours to travel.

Entrance to the Kings Canyon National Park takes place via Highway 180 which, after passing the city of Fresno, will take you to Big Stump Entrance Station, which gives access to the National Park from the west.

The city of Fresno is about 97 km from the entrance to the Park and it takes about 75 minutes to reach it. San Francisco, on the other hand, is 400 km from the entrance to the Park and it takes almost 5 hours to travel.

On the eastern side of the parks runs Highway 395, from which, however, there are no access roads.


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