Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park border each other in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Most places you look will often lump the two parks together but I have listed the best hikes in Sequoia separately for your convenience. The park is home to some of the world’s tallest trees, including the famous General Sherman, and has incredible views of the Great Western Divide to its east. Official Website.
Not an easy trail, especially with the gain in altitude but you cannot beat the views along the way. The hike steepens the last 2 miles to the 11,100′ summit. The last 1/2 miles will require some rock scrambling as well – keep in mind this section is covered in ice/snow most of the year. The trailhead begins in the Wolverton parking area.
- 13.1 miles – Out and back
- 3800′ gain
2. Lakes Trail
One of the best possible days spent in Sequoia would include combining Alta Peak (above) and the Lakes Trail, setting up camp next to Pear Lake for the night. These 2 incredible hikes in Sequoia National Park share the same trail for the first 1.75 miles. The scenery on this hike is beautiful as you pass Heather Lake, Emerald Lake, Aster Lake, and Pear Lake on the way. The trailhead is the same Wolverton parking area as Alta Peak.
- 12.2 miles – Out and back
- 2800′ gain
An uphill climb will get hikers to the Upper and Lower Franklin Lakes, settled in between high ridges of the Great Western Divide. Creeks, waterfalls, and rocky meadows pave the way as you traverse up switchbacks on your way. The trailhead is near the parking area at the end of Mineral King Road.
- 12.0 miles – Out and back
- 2700′ gain
Not short and sweet, but short and steep! This hike climbs over 2000′ in just over 3 miles. The relatively short distance and good fishing in the lake make this a popular day hike so you’ll have to share the trail with other adventure seekers. The trailhead is located at the south end of the Eagle/Mosquito parking lot.
- 6.4 miles – Out and back
- 2150′ gain
You get a great workout with the hikes in Sequoia National Park and this one is no different. Monarch Lakes is another steep trail out of the Mineral King valley leading to picturesque lakes. Multi-day backpackers have the option of continuing on a 25+ mile looped trail climbing around the entire area. The trailhead is at the Timber Gap parking area off of Mineral King Road.
- 8.9 miles – Out and back
- 2550′ gain
Combining some of the park’s greatest trails, this look takes hikers through the heart of some of the largest trees in the world, including the famous, General Sherman. There are multiple trailheads but the best way to start is at the Sugar Pine Trailhead in the less crowded Crescent Meadows parking area.
- 7.5 miles – Loop
- 600′ gain
Moro Rock is a granite dome rock formation that can be summited via a 1/4 mile set of stairs. From the top there are incredible views to the east of Sequoia National Park and the Great Western Divide. The trailhead is off of the one-way road from Crescent Meadow Road.
- 0.4 miles – Out and back
- 300′ gain
A gradual inclined trail will get hikers to the 1200′ cascading Tokopah waterfall. The valley was carved by glaciers and the views at the end are more than worth the trek. The trailhead is in the parking area off of Lodgepole Road past the visitor center.
- 3.7 miles – Out and back
- 550′ gain
Another gradually inclining trail to a beautiful waterfall similar to Tokopah Falls Trail (above). The trail is narrow with a steep drop off and the rocks around the falls are slippery so watch your step! The trailhead is just north of the Potwisha Campground.
- 6.3 miles – Out and back
- 1500′ gain