Two Stunning Days in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks With Kids

May 4, 2018

In June 2017 our family took a 9 night trip to California. One of our family’s travel bucket list goals is to see all 50 states, so this was a good opportunity to hit the Golden State. In the middle of our California trip, we spent two amazing days at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, two adjoined national parks in eastern California.Β 

You can read about our full nine-day trip to California in this post.

Sequoia National Park

We arrived at Sequoia National Park around 11 p.m. from San Francisco. Let me just say, that’s not the safest drive to make in the dark. There were a lot of curves and climbs in the mountains. From what we could tell, it would have been a beautiful drive during daylight!

We stayed for three nights at the Wuksachi Lodge, so we had two full days to explore Sequoia and King’s Canyon. The lodge was convenient and the room was passable. You’ll want to stay in the park, as there is nothing really available in the surrounding area that I can recall. I will say that if you have physical difficulties, this lodge might be a challenge. There was a lot of walking up a hill and steps to get to the lodge from the parking area, and I don’t recall an elevator in the lodge.

Our first day was spent the way you are supposed to spend your first day in Sequoia, looking at the mind-blowingly large trees. First we went to see the General Sherman tree and walked around the area. Wow. They really are a sight to behold. I love this picture, because literally as this picture was being taken, the fog started rolling in, which made our pictures in among the trees pretty magical. Once the fog rolled it, it didn’t let up in Sequoia until after we left.

After lunch we were kind of winging it, so my husband and his trusty hiking trail scoping skills led us to the Wuksachi Trail. It started right behind the lobby and restaurant for the Wuksachi Lodge (which, it is important to note, are located across the road from the buildings where the rooms are). And it quickly turned into a magical wonderland with the fog and the rushing waters. If we’d have know we were going to end up taking our holiday card photo on this hike, we might have worn different clothes, but that’s the beauty of travel, right?

 

The next morning we hiked the Moro Rock Trail. I’m guessing in good weather that it’s a pretty spectacular view, but since we couldn’t see anything on the overlook, I can’t say for sure.

 

King’s Canyon

We heard that King’s Canyon was having less fog and warmer temps, so that’s where we spent the rest of the day. After a record snowfall that year, the spring melting was creating very impressive waterfalls! King’s Canyon is small but mighty. We really enjoyed our time there.

 

The next day, high off our fun in sunnier, warmer King’s Canyon, we were ready for our voyage to Yosemite. Especially when we opened the curtain to our hotel room and saw this:

Yes, we know it snows in the mountains. But come on, Mother Nature. It’s June. In California. And we’re from Minnesota. We don’t need to see snow on our summer vacation. Cut us some slack!

Takeaways:

  • Try to avoid driving into Sequoia National Park at night. My husband, frustrated from the ridiculous traffic leaving San Francisco during rush hour, was downright white knuckling by the time we were driving into the park. Lots of curves and mountainous terrain.
  • Don’t skip King’s Canyon! It definitely warrants a day trip with its stunning waterfalls.

Β 

The trip was a success overall. We saw breathtaking scenery. We have funny stories to tell from our experiences. And we were together, which was most important. And it made me hungry to see more of California with my kids. I’d love to come back to this area again sometime, but it will not be during the early summer.

Travel is about creating memories with those you love. And this trip had memories in spades.

 

 

If you found this post helpful, check out other World Is Wide’s posts from our family’s travel bucket list:

Our Family’s Travel Bucket List

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Priya Florence Shah
    May 15, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I love to see photos of America’s national parks and the General Sherman tree is just stunning. How lucky to be able to enjoy this beautiful wilderness.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 15, 2018 at 3:57 pm

      General Sherman Tree is simply amazing. To think of anything living being that large and old really puts life into perspective…

  • Reply
    Cassie
    May 15, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Wow I can’t believe you made that drive in the dark! So worth it though πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 16, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Yeah, my husband was driving and was pretty freaked out. Lots of white knuckles on the steering wheel. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Nives
    May 16, 2018 at 3:33 am

    It makes me to pack my suitcase to America right now! I love the trees! On my bucket list there is that I want to hug a red tree πŸ™‚ I love National Parks and when I go to America I’m gonna put this one on my list definitely!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

      There is so much to see in America, but the big redwoods and sequoias are must-see, in my opinion. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Alexander Popkov
    May 16, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    These trees are gigantic. I wonder if I can find any of these in Europe. I have heard that forest in Sweden has some. That is a thing to see at least once in a lifetime.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

      If you find some, you should absolutely try to see them somewhere! I’m not sure whether they have them in Europe or not, but they really are something to put on your bucket list.

  • Reply
    Shreya Saha
    May 17, 2018 at 3:35 am

    Glad to know that you guys reached there safely at night as I agree that it’s not a good idea to drive through curves at night. But it was followed by two whole days of fun in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Great pics!

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 17, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Thanks! It was a lovely place to visit, despite the fog and snow. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Suma
    May 17, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Wow, those large trees at the Sequoia National Park are really something. I have seen so many pictures of it over the years and still amazes me. Hiking through these mountains definitely sounds fun! Adding these places to my Americas must visit list.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 17, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      Definitely do. They are so impressive!

  • Reply
    Christina
    May 17, 2018 at 10:38 am

    The sequoias are beautiful. It is one thing to hear how big they are but it is another to see it in person. How incredible that must have been. We are always up for a good waterfall trip.There is so much to see and do in California for sure. Hopefully we can get there some day.

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      I hope you get there, too. California is such a beautiful state!

  • Reply
    Ritika
    May 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I love your pictures .. I came across sequoia a few years back on Instagram and ever since want to go there .. have bookmarked ur post for planning my trip

    • Reply
      Kristie
      May 17, 2018 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks! Glad to hear it’s helpful. πŸ˜‰

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