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Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

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Detroit, MI
Level Contributor
42 posts
5 reviews
Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

Hi everyone!

At the last minute we found out we have some time off for Labor Day and really would like to see some of Sequoia and/or Kings Canyon. Have been reading through the site forums and helpful posts but am feeling overwhelmed.

There will be three of us driving up from Irvine, CA -- two adults (I am 6 months pregnant) and a 2. 5 year old. We are hoping to leave Fri the 31st and come back on the 4th.

Here a few questions I was hoping you could help me with:

1) What might be the best approach for driving to avoid too much backtracking? It seems like the Giant Forest is one of the main things to see. Would it make sense to drive there and then back down south to see something else?

2) Where would you suggest a good location to stay that might be a good point for day drives out to see the sites.

3) What would you recommend would be the most toddler (and pregnant lady) sites to visit?

Thank you so much! I feel like I am on information overload so any guidance is very much appreciated!



Sequoia National...
Level Contributor
462 posts
1. Re: Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

Hello Holly,

1 - Giant Forest is the main hub of activity in Sequoia National Park, and is where you will find the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, and many other popular attractions. There really isn't a whole lot to see south of that area, but if you continue to travel north you will eventually reach Grant Grove, Kings Canyon, and a number of other exciting locations to explore.

2 - I work for the Wuksachi Lodge so I will refrain from suggesting where to stay, but perhaps some of our other regular contributors could help you out with ideas.

3 - There are many things you should be able to see, although I would recommend that you take your time as the main area of the park is at about 7,000 feet above sea level and you may get winded easily. There are a couple of easy 1 mile loop trails near the Giant Forest Museum - the Big Trees Trail and the Hazelwood Nature Trail, both of which only have 50 feet of elevation gain and feature trailside exhibits that you can check out. There are also a variety of free ranger programs you can participate in, which include things like interpretive talks and campfire programs, and you might be also interested to have dinner at the all-you-can-eat Wolverton BBQ, which includes a great living history program that is put on by the Sequoia Natural History Association.

These are just a handful of suggestions, and as I'm sure you are aware there are plenty of other things to see/do while you're in the park. Feel free to post any additional questions you may have, and I hope you have an incredible trip!

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,914 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

Hi Holly,

Although I'm far from an expert, we just returned from the area 3 weeks ago. We absolutely loved SEKI. You are going to have a great time.

I don't work for Wuksachi Lodge, so I recommend it. LOL! This is where we stayed and loved it. I posted a review on this site. It's a gorgeous setting, and even standard rooms will suit your needs fine. Be sure to ask for a room that does not require hauling luggage down the steps. Their hotel's ground floor actually HAS steps.. The staff will tell you they can't guarantee your request, but we were accomodated. If they can, they will. The lodge is very centrally located. You can be at the General Sherman, Big Trees Trail,, Giant Forest Museum, Tunnel Log in no time. When we were there, you had to use the shuttle buses to get to certain areas up until dinner time.

Since you are pregnant, you will need to be mindful of the elevation as Wuksachi said. At the lodge, make sure your hubby helps you with the luggage. There are carts there, and if needed, ask for assistance at the front desk. They will send someone to help. It's a bit of a hike to the hotel buildings, and it is uphill.

Great hikes would be the Big Trees Trail and Crescent Meadow. (Wear lots of bug spray.) We hiked out to Tharp's Log, and the trail is pretty and basically level. The Sherman Tree trail is a bit of a hike uphill coming back, but there is a handicapped entrance if you aren't up to the hike back. The trail to the Grant Tree would also be good. We didn't get any time to explore Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon, but a person told us it was amazing. I'm sorry time didn't' permit, so if you can, you could take a daytrip there. We also did Crystal Cave. There's a 1/2 mile hike to the cave that's all downhill, but coming back up is a bit steep.

We didn't get to the Wolverton BBQ, but it did sound neat. We enjoyed the dining room at the Wuksachi both nights.

Enjoy your time at SEKI. It's a very special park.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,563 posts
86 reviews
3. Re: Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

I second the recommendation for staying at Wuksachi. There's so much to see nearby. We like the Lodgepole Creek for dipping our toes in (near the bridge) and also the Visitor Center Exhibits (and the evening programs at the campfire area).

I second the recommendation for the Crescent Meadow/Log Meadow loop, as I always do. Take a picnic to the Crescent Meadow picnic area. Watch for bears! Hike is do-able by a 2.5 year old.

Round Meadow is another kid friendly hike.

Detroit, MI
Level Contributor
42 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

Sorry for the late reply but thank you so much for all the great info!!!

5. Re: Trip advice -- help overwhelmed!

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