Explore Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks forge a wide-screen recreational wonderland covered by ancient forests, soaring domes, stone canyons, and rivers that roar or ripple, depending on the season. And all of it, kissed by some of the Sierra Nevada’s most consistently sunny weather.
These two parks are separate and adjacent, but administered as one by the National Parks Service. With Giant Sequoia National Monument right next door, this is a massive, million-acre-plus Sierra playground, filled with points of amazement to explore and engage.
Sequoia National Park is named for earth’s largest living things – Sequoiadendron giganteum, or giant sequoias. Their massive, cinnamon-hued trunks and stout limbs soar skyward only here, on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada range, between 5,000 and 8,200 feet. (Taller and more slender, coast redwoods grow only on a narrow strip along the Pacific Coast.
Kings Canyon National Park is named for the deepest canyon in North America, surpassing even the Grand Canyon. The Kings River and Highway 180 (coined the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway) run through it, descending 4,000 feet. Conifer forests give way to chaparral before the highway reaches desert-like terrain with scattered cacti and yucca. This is perhaps Kings Canyon’s most striking span, with jagged metamorphic rock walls closing in on the highway before the pines return at Roads End.