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Trip 12, Parks 2&3: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks

While Kings Canyon and Sequoia are considered two separate national parks, they share a boundary, are managed jointly by the park service, and have some similar attractions, mainly groves of sequoia trees. The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is currently closed due to road damage from storms in early 2023 and the road is not expected to reopen until sometime during 2024. This meant that we did not get to see any of the actual canyon area in Kings Canyon. While we enjoyed our time in the park, it would be worth postponing a trip here until after the canyon road is reopened, as the views of the canyon are supposed to be incredible. In addition, our views from overlook areas in Kings Canyon and Sequoia were limited because of prescribed burns that were occurring in the area. Our hikes in Kings Canyon included the Big Stump Loop trail, the Grant Grove trail, the Sequoia Lake Overview via North Grove, and Panaromic Point. The majority of these hikes were through groves of sequoia trees, which are truly immense and impressive. Unfortunately, photos don't truly show the magnitude of these massive trees; in the photo above, I am standing at the base of the tree to provide a bit of perspective. (And this particular tree is not even among the largest of the sequoias.)

For our day at Sequoia, we started with a hike through another sequoia grove, this time to see the General Sherman Tree, the world's largest sequoia tree. We also hiked the Congress Trail, a 3-mile loop that includes many of the largest sequoias. The early morning light through the sequoias was beautiful! After a stop at the Giant Forest Museum, we hiked the nearby Big Trees Trail and Beetle Rock trail. We then hiked Moro Rock, a steep, quarter-mile stairway that scales 300 feet up a granite dome for great mountain views. Definitely one of the highlights for us! Another highlight was seeing a black bear as we hiked Crescent Meadow Loop. The trail circles around the meadow and we had views of the bear during about a third of the hike as it was foraging in the middle of the far meadow. Our final hike for the day was to Tokopah Falls, a very scenic hike through a glacier valley leading to a rocky area with waterfalls.

Unfortunately, we did not go to any brew pubs during this part of the trip. We stayed in the John Muir lodge in Kings Canyon and the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia. The Wuksachi Lodge has a bar and restaurant offering beer on tap, so we settled for that!

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Nov 16, 2023

Very impressive views. The size of the trees is amazing. Trunk Yeah


Tim Hall
Tim Hall
Nov 15, 2023

This is really cool, thanks for sharing.

Nov 16, 2023
Replying to

Tim--Glad you enjoyed the post and great to hear from you! We enjoy sharing our post-retirement adventures! The only difficulty is paring down the photos to the best ones. Even then the photos often don't do justice to the beauty of the real thing! Hope you are doing well!

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