Sequoia and Kings National Park
Land of the Giants! The Giant Forest is a large sequoia grove, set on a rolling plateau between the Marble and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River in Sequoia National Park. It is the largest of the unlogged giant sequoia groves, and it contains more exceptionally large sequoias than any other grove. It hosts the largest living sequoia, the General Sherman Tree. In this grove, visitors can see the effects of decades of prescribed burning: open forest conditions and clumps of giant sequoia seedlings that establish after fire. Giant Forest has an extensive network of hiking trails that range from 1-2 hour hikes to half-day or longer explorations of this grove. From spectacular giant sequoia trees to historic structures leftover from the time cattle grazed in this area, one can learn about both natural and cultural history. Enjoy views from Moro Rock, or wildlife-viewing opportunities amongst the trees and scattered meadows. Visit the Giant Forest Museum for a good introduction, and explore from there by foot, shuttle bus, or car.
The parks are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Occasionally, winter storms will close roads leading into the parks until they can be plowed.
How to get there:
Ash Mountain Entrance to Sequoia National Park
Highway 198 enters Sequoia National Park at the town of Three Rivers. Beyond the entrance station, the road is narrow and winding. Vehicles longer than 22 feet (6.7 km) are not recommended between Potwisha Campground and Giant Forest Museum.
Big Stump Entrance to Kings Canyon National Park
Highway 180 enters Kings Canyon National Park from the west via Fresno. If you have a longer vehicle or worry about winding roads you may prefer this entrance. Highway 180 is straighter, less steep, and wider.
Lookout Point Entrance to the Mineral King Area
If you're heading to the remote Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, look for the junction of Mineral King Road with Highway 198 in the town of Three Rivers, two miles before the Ash Mountain Entrance. Only trails connect Mineral King with the rest of Sequoia National Park.