Guide to Sequoia National Park and General Sherman (the tallest living tree on earth)


Near Fresno, California, in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is a national park teeming with magnificent and gigantic trees. Established in the late 1800s, Sequoia National Park is the second official national park in the United States, consistently rated one of the world’s most beloved parks. It is a perfect place for those who wish to discover the great outdoors.

There is a lot to do in Sequoia National Park, like hiking, exploring caves, and face to face with the General Sherman tree. Visitors can take in a healthy dose of fresh air while seeing some of the most magnificent trees on Earth. A trip to Sequoia National Park is a great destination for nature lovers of all ages!

Hiking trails

Interested in hiking? Sequoia National Park offers several hundred miles of interesting trails, ranging from the easier trails suitable for beginners to more difficult hikes best reserved for experienced hikers.

Travelers can admire fantastic waterfalls, magnificent panoramic viewpoints and, of course, gigantic sequoias.

Moro Rock Trail

Discover the Moro Rock Trail, an easy half-mile walk perfect for families with children. Featuring a rocky staircase up to outstanding panoramic views, this trail is a great opportunity to view the beautiful park from above.

General Sherman Tree Trail

Another comfortable trail is the General Sherman Tree Trail, lasting about a mile. On this trail, hikers can see a large assortment of redwoods, as well as the famous General Sherman tree.

Tokopah Valley Trail

The Tokopah Valley Trail is a longer and slightly more difficult four-mile course, but it offers visitors the chance to see Tokpah Falls, peaceful and serene waterfalls against the backdrop of rocky cliffs and boulders.

Marble Falls Trail

The Marble Falls trail is seven miles, but still worth checking out as hiking on longer tails can give guests the best chance to see some awesome sites! Marble Falls features more magnificent waterfalls, small natural pools, and pockets of shade sheltered from the trees.

The congress trail

If guests want to see the General Sherman Tree, the Convention Trail, which begins and ends near the famous tree, is a flat, easy walking trail that winds in a two-mile loop. This is perfect for those who want to see the tree in all its glory and also get a bit of exercise, while enjoying a breathtaking view of the giant forest itself.

Either way, all of these trails provide spectacular views and fantastic opportunities for that next big Instagram post.

  • To note: Bring a physical card, as cell service is unreliable.

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The different attractive places to visit

Whether visitors take the various trails to get to these places on foot or simply by car, the General Sherman Tree and the Crystal Cave are must-see destinations in Sequoia National Park!

General Sherman Tree

Don’t miss the General Sherman Tree! At 275 feet tall and over two thousand years old, this behemoth is the largest known living tree on the planet. Named after Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman, General Sherman Tree has survived storms, wars and earthquakes. When it first sprouted, the very first Olympics were taking place, along with the first use of metallic silver and cast iron artifacts. This tree has certainly seen a lot, making it one of the must-see destinations not only in the state of California but around the world!

Don’t forget to stop at the Giant Forest Museum, which will educate guests on the natural and cultural history of the area. There are plenty of trails departing from the museum for travelers, along with leaflets, brochures, and friendly staff to answer any questions.

Crystal cave

Located on Crystal Cave Road near the Giant Forest, Crystal Cave is an exciting and challenging adventure. Cave experts guide visitors along the half-mile trail, where visitors can learn about stalagmites and stalactites and the various colorful mineral deposits.

  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Cost: $ 16 for adults, $ 8 for children 5 to 12, $ 5 for children under 5, $ 15 for seniors (65 and over)
  • To note: Tickets cannot be purchased in person; reservations must be secured in advance (usually two to three months in advance).

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Hours and fees for visits

There are two different tours: the family tour and the “wild caves tour”. The two tours offer a different experience and come with different prices.

Family Tour: This tour is very easy and accessible to all ages, lasting approximately one hour.

  • Cost: $ 17 for adults, $ 9 for children, $ 6 for the youngest (4 years old and under)

Wild Cave Tour: This tour allows cave enthusiasts to crawl into narrower places and off the beaten path not included in the base tour. It is run by professionals.

Visit schedule:

  • 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Every day of the week except Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • To note: Bring a sweater or jacket. Temperatures in the cave can reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit and below!

Kings Canyon Scenic Drive

Otherwise known as Highway 180, Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is the best chance for road travelers to see one of the deepest canyons in the United States. From the comfort of a vehicle, guests can take the winding fifty mile road and take in all the views of the park from above. Be prepared to set aside at least two hours for this magnificent ride, and an extra hour for all the amazing photo opportunities!

General informations

  • The park is open all day, every day of the year.
  • It’s $ 35 for a day of parking, and a pass for visitors without a car is $ 20.
  • On certain holidays, entry to the park is free!
  • Always pack water and lots of snacks.
  • Be careful when swimming as the waters can be rough in some places.
  • Watch out for black bears! Although they are generally not aggressive, always keep a respectful distance and hide all food while camping.
  • Take a look at the park’s website for more information on safety, potential park closures, and other important information before you visit.

Open every day of the year, Sequoia National Park offers so many splendid sights and sounds. Nature lovers will have fun hiking the trails, visiting Crystal Cave, driving Kings Canyon Byway, and seeing the beautiful redwoods of Sequoia National Park in California. It’s always wonderful when a park can combine stunning natural landscapes with intriguing historical sites, like the General Sherman Tree. Sequoia National Park should be on every nature lover’s list!

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