Hikes and Activities at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

If you love visiting national parks that make you feel tiny – be it standing on the rim of a massive canyon or looking up at the powerful torrent of a waterfall and giant trees – then you’ll want to add Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks to your bucket list.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks are normally open year-round but due to Covid-19 please check their websites for updated info. 

It’s a great idea to plan on seeing both parks while you are here!  The entire area consists of the national parks and national forests, it all runs together.  The Generals Highway connects the two parks making it easy to see it all. There are cabins and hotel nearby and there are 14 NPS campgrounds in the two parks, with the majority of the campsites being first-come, first-served.


1. General Sherman Tree

Inside Sequoia National Park sits the Giant Forest. Giant Forest, a large sequoia grove, contains more unbelievable large sequoias than any other grove. Here you will find the largest living sequoia, the incomparable General Sherman Tree.

The main trail to the General Sherman Tree is 1-mile roundtrip.  Pets are not permitted.

2.  Moro Rock

Moro Rock is a dome shaped granite monolith. It is located in the center of the park, at the head of Moro Creek, between Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. The stairway is designed by the National Park Service and built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. It is cut into and poured onto the rock, so that visitors can hike to the top. The hike is not very difficult and has a twist and turns. The view from the rock encompasses much of the Park, including the Great Western Divide.

Climb the stairway to the clouds as you ascend to the top of Moro Rock! This dramatic overlook offers stunning views of the beautiful canyon, river, and trees below.

This hike is 0.5 miles roundtrip and gains about 300 feet of elevation. Moro Rock is 6,725 feet above sea level. Take your time and enjoy the view. Stairs and walkways are carved into the side of this giant granite dome so expect steep drop-offs and there are guardrails.

( Moro Rock trail)

3.  Tunnel Log and Crescent Meadow

Visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon can drive through Sequoia Park’s fallen “Tunnel Log” located along the Crescent Meadow Road in Giant Forest. Crescent Meadow is a beautiful wide-open space, surrounded by big trees. There is a short loop around Crescent Meadow {1.3 miles round trip} or you can venture a little further out to Tharp’s Log. Here you’ll find an old cabin that was built into the hollowed-out center of a giant sequoia. You’ll also find another peaceful meadow next to the cabin.  Pets are not permitted.

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is divided into two main areas.

The Grant Grove area is located in the “high” part of the park (elevation 6,500 feet).  This area is the most commonly visited since it is not that far from the limits of Sequoia National Park.  Here you will see a Visitor’s Center, village and campgrounds.

The Cedar Grove area is located in the “low” area of the park (elevation 4,600 feet).  This part is located at the bottom of Kings Canyon (the park’s main road snakes through the canyon).  There are less people here. This area has the same facilities as the Grant Grove area.

1.  General Grant Tree

Kings Canyon has huge sequoia trees too! Take a walk to the 2nd largest tree in the world — the General Grant Tree — and pay a visit to this amazing area of the park.

2.  Zumwalt Meadow

This hike is 1.5 miles roundtrip and travels around the perimeter of the meadow. Be on the lookout for wildlife here!

In addition, the meadow is at the steepest and most dramatic part of the canyon, situated between two tall, nearly vertical granite cliff faces. It is a one-and-a-half-mile loop that circles the meadow and is one of the more popular trails in the park.

3. Roaring River Falls

A short 0.2-mile round trip walk is all it takes to get to the base of this stunning waterfall.  Pets are not permitted on this trail.

If you love chasing waterfalls, be sure to check out the Grizzly Falls Picnic Area in the national forest land that borders Kings Canyon {you’ll pass right by it as you drive along the road to Cedar Grove}. This waterfall is huge and is basically right beside the road and no hiking required.

4. Panoramic Point

Once you pass the Grant Grove, you are going to find the Panoramic Point Road on your right.  Once you are there, keep going for two miles till the end of the road.

The trail to Panoramic Point can be walked in a loop and is 0.5 miles roundtrip. I suggest traveling up the wheel-chair accessible part of the trail and then looping back down to your vehicle on the steeper portion of the trail. If you hike this way, the elevation gain will be more gradual.

( Panoramic Point)


We stayed at Grant Grove Cabin. We chose the Tent Cabin and the cabin price starts at $68 to 135. They have oversize cabin, cabin with private bath etc. You have to book very early. I was able to reserve a basic Tent Cabin that have a canvas roof and come with two double beds. When we went to check in there were a few cabin available and we had a choice to pick the cabin. We went with #313 and farthest away from the bathhouse as we thought will have less noise. It was the best cabin, it sits on higher ground and was away from the crowd. Once we walked in, to my surprise, the rooms were so quaint and spacious.

The room came with blankets, towels, a box of tissue and couple of dresser, 2 chairs and a coffee table. There is no electricity. There is also an outdoor picnic table and we have access to a shared central bathhouse which is just a short walk away. Their flyer and online says currently shower is closed at this location but that wasn’t the case. There was free showers and had hot water, and bathroom was clean.

Night is cold even in July! so keep that in mind. We saw deer and squirrels and chipmunks when I was chilling on the picnic table. We stayed 3 nights and cost around $79 include taxes per night.

(Cabin at Grant Grove)


The park has two visitor’s centers: Grant Grove and Cedar Grove. Both offer a restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, expect simple fare), a store, restrooms, and other amenities.

Make sure to pack all your hiking needs

From the Giant Forest area in Sequoia National Park, driving time is about one hour to the Grant Grove.  From the Grant Grove, it is about an hour to Cedar Grove.

Carry water and snacks (preferably, high in protein snack) with you.

The road connecting the two park areas can be dangerous.  Exercise caution, drive slowly and stop only in designated areas.

Cell phone service is very limited and non-existence at some areas

Have you visited Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park? What are your suggestions for the top things to do?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.