Exploring Sequoia & Kings National Parks in California is an awesome experience!
360 degree panoramic view of the parks from Mitchell Peak (elev 10,365 ft)
The two parks are next to each other in the southern Sierra Nevada, on the eastern side of the central San Joaquin Valley in California. Some of the features in these parks include
*mountains – including Mt. Whitney – highest summit in the lower 48 states
*caverns – Crystal Cave and Boyden Caverns are two that offer tours
*deep canyons – Kings Canyon has a road leading down into it to Roads End
*rugged foothills – some of these are accessible in the southern part of Sequoia National Park
*and last but not least, some of the largest living organisms on the planet – The Giant Sequoia Trees.
Zumwalt Meadow located at “roads end” in Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia & Kings National Parks together have an immense road-less area. This area is the second largest area left in the contiguous states. There is not a road through this section of mountains at all! In order to get from the west side to the east side, a person must either go north a couple hundred miles to Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park or go south a couple hundred miles to Walker Pass or Tehachapi Pass.
In the foothills area of Sequoia National Park
There are only a couple of entrances into the parks. Ash Mountain in the south, in Sequoia National Park and Big Stump in the north in Kings Canyon National Park. The road connecting the two is the General’s Highway. Two other roads into Sequoia National Park are in the southern part – one heading to Mineral King and one heading to South Fork. Neither of these roads connect to any other part of the park.
There is no road at all into either National Park on the east side of the mountain range. The only way to enter is on foot.
Tokopah Falls in the Lodgepole section of Sequoia National Park
The two parks are managed as one and cover 865,964 acres. Almost 97% is Wilderness area. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails. View this map to get an idea of the scope of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks – MAP
Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park
There is so, so much more that could be said about exploring Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California. However, it would take several blogs to sort it all out and keep it in order.
So, I will leave you with this link to a webcam at the edge of Giant Forest looking to the southwest – WEBCAM