Interesting Facts About Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are located in the Sierra Mountains of California.

It is mostly a roadless wilderness, but there are some scenic spots where you can access it by road.

Here are some interesting facts about the two parks.

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What are the two parks?

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is an area of national park land that is often erroneously described as California’s third national park.

The first two national parks are Yosemite National Park, which is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California, and Joshua Tree National Park, which is located in Southern California.

The name Sequoia, however, actually refers to the Giant Sequoia tree.

The name Kings Canyon refers to the highest mountain range in the national park.

However, the park encompasses all of Kings Canyon National Park and a small part of Sequoia National Forest.

The two parks are located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the biggest mountain range in the contiguous United States, and just like Yosemite, they’re also designated as a national monument.

What is the park’s landscape like?

Rae Lakes Creek in Kings Canyon National Park, within the Sequoia-Kings Canyon biosphere reserve
Rae Lakes Creek in Kings Canyon National Park, within the Sequoia-Kings Canyon biosphere reserve, Jeffrey Pang from Berkeley, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park’s landscape is extremely diverse.

The Pacific Crest Trail crosses both parks and they are split by Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Forest.

Overall, the two parks represent very different parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

One of the largest differences is in the altitude.

Kings Canyon is generally at a higher elevation and is noticeably more forested.

Sequoia, on the other hand, is much lower and home to the redwood forests.

Why is it so difficult to get to?

Most people want to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for the views.

However, due to the elevation, there are some difficult roads for cars to travel on.

What are the top 5 things you should not miss in the parks

  • Great Redwood Trees
  • Great Western Divide
  • Big Basin
  • Redwoods State Park,
  • Shasta and Lassen Volcanoes Plumas

What is the history of the parks?

The three-mile Kings Canyon Road was built in 1934 to provide easier access to Kings Canyon National Park and Wawona, which is the gateway to the Sequoia National Park.

The road was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to provide work for the unemployed during the Great Depression and eventually became an important tourism route for the people of Yosemite National Park.

Many people built and still live in their rustic cabins along the roadside.

The history of Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park dates back to 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison set aside the two areas as the third national park in California.

However, the exact origins of these parks are unclear.

Is it an easy hike?

If you are good at hiking, then this is a great option for an easy hike.

As long as you are healthy enough, you can take this one but you should never hike it alone.

On an active day, if you start early in the morning, you can finish the hike before sunset.

However, on an off-season day, the heat and smoke will prevent you from starting in the morning, so you should definitely start a bit later.

Also, on an overcast day, it’s not that difficult, and you can finish it with no problem.

There are a number of trails in the park, ranging from easy to moderate to very difficult.

Although the trails are the same throughout, the trail is almost never the same for two consecutive hikes.

Can you snowshoe?

Yes, but it is pretty unusual because the temperatures are too low to make snow.

In years where there is a large amount of precipitation in the winter, it can snow very high in the mountains.

The park tries to make a snow vehicle accessible to visitors.

Snowshoes are provided at the trailheads for the snowshoe corridors.

The park recommends you take a set of snowshoes and put them in your car if you intend to use them, because it takes a long time to put them on when the temperature is 32 degrees.

Can you ice climb?

No. Ice climbing can become dangerous as temperatures rise.

What are the best spots to go?

The highlight of any trip to the parks is the Kings River rafting trip.

You can also visit a Giant Sequoia grove.

There are two viewpoints within the parks: Wupatki National Monument in Kings Canyon National Park Fenceline Trail, Chilnualna Falls, and Hetch Hetchy in Sequoia National Park Fenceline Trail is a paved path from the Visitor Center to Wupatki.

It is a short but stunning walk.

Fenceline Trail was designed as a scenic alternate for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

. It provides a panoramic view of the deep canyon. Hetch Hetchy is on the far side of the park.

How can you get there?

Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are in California in the United States.

The nearest major city is Redding, about 180 km (112 mi) away.

The parks are about 35 km (22 mi) apart and accessible by both Interstate 5 and California State Route 198, which merge into California State Route 140 on the way to the Sequoia entrance.

Do you need a permit to visit the parks?

Passes can be purchased at both parks or at the Red Bluff Ranger District Visitor Center, Visitor Center at Sequoia National Park, or in Sequoia Lodge.

The Red Bluff Ranger District has visitor centers for all three parks.

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Conclusion

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are home to a number of marble caves.

Crystal Cave is particularly popular among visitors and some say that the park would still exist if there were no sequoia trees here.

These parks offer almost everything you can ask for in a national park, from great hiking, to amazing vistas, to tremendous wilderness.

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