Considering a trip to the land of the giant sequoias but don’t know which park to visit? Well you’re in luck. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are connected by the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and are both easily do-able in one trip. In fact, the byway runs alongside many of the top attractions in Sequoia National Park so you’ll be checking things off your bucket list as you head into Kings Canyon.
So what’s the difference?
Sequoia National Park is known for the Giant Forest, home to General Sherman, the largest tree in the world by volume. There, you will head down Congress Trail and deeper into the forest to witness one of the most magnificent groves in the world. There are no shortage of humbling trees here. Other popular attractions in Sequoia National Park include Moro Rock Trail, an ascent of 300 steps to the top featuring stunning views of the San Joaquin Valley, the famous Tunnel Log, a fallen sequoia that you can drive through and Crystal Cave (reservations required), an otherworldly attraction covered in fragile, crystalline formations.
For a complete list of the best things to see and do in Sequoia National Park with a map:
Kings Canyon National Park, by contrast, offers spectacular views of the Kings Canyon from a number of lookout points, General Grant Tree, also known as the Nation’s Christmas Tree and the second largest tree in the world by volume, Zumwalt Meadow, an incredible day hike surrounded by large granite walls and several waterfalls including Mist Falls, Grizzly Falls and Roaring River Falls.
For a complete list of the best things to see and do in Kings Canyon National Park with a map:
If you are short on time and really must choose, most park enthusiasts head to Sequoia National Park first, as there is no better place in the world to witness earth’s giants, the biggest living organism in the world.
Planning a trip to Sequoia National Park?
Start with our 2023 Guide to Sequoia National Park.