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General Sherman and more

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Tucson, Arizona
posts: 4
reviews: 2
General Sherman and more

I'm trying to organize a family reunion and am having a hard time. The particulars:

-- Four families (7 adults; 5 kids ages 8-13)

-- Traveling to CA from AZ, NJ, and FL.

-- The only absolute is that one of our party REALLY wants to see the General Sherman tree.

-- This could be the only time the NJ and FL kids make it to CA.

-- I want to keep costs down, so don't want to ask the east coast families to fly into a small airport like Fresno. Even for my family, flying from Tucson, Fresno and Reno are prohibitively expensive.

My questions:

-- Which major airport would be better (LA or SF)? I know it's a long drive from either, but would one drive be much better than the other?

-- Would it make sense to spend a day on either end of the trip, doing touristy things, in the city we fly into?

-- Are there scenic or interesting places on the way to Sequoia/Kings Canyon from either city that we might want to stop and spend the night, or spend a little more time?

Any and all guidance is much appreciated!

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,233
reviews: 87
11. Re: General Sherman and more

Great report, OhioHick.

Sequoia is very relaxing and calm. Yosemite is much busier. Two entirely different atmospheres. Yosemite does have the wide vistas (which you share with many other), while Sequoia offers many, many short and long hikes where you will have solitude or near solitude. Plus, the quiet of that deep, huge forest (which Mariposa Grove in Yosemite is too small to emulate) is amazing (the Congress Trail behind General Sherman is a child's paradise - the forest of their dreams, with huge hollowed out logs, and trees still standing with spaces inside big enough for a child's bed...or even a whole family to live).

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 7,094
reviews: 322
12. Re: General Sherman and more

Thanks, CookieD. I hope the photo links are still in decent shape. Adobe is shutting down Photoshop.com has moved my account to the much less functional Revel; the links still work, but the order of the photos in the albums has been jumbled in many instances. FWIW, I'm moving my on-line photos to SmugMug.

I liked your comparison of Yosemite and Sequoia. Both are wonderful parks, but they are quite different. I enjoyed the hike that my wife and I took through the Mariposa Grove. I probably pointed this out in the TR, but it was interesting how the crowds just disappeared once you got past the Grizzly Giant. It is similar at Sequoia at the General Sherman Tree; lost of folks there to see that amazing natural wonder, but then very few people along the trails.

So Cal
posts: 2,786
reviews: 64
13. Re: General Sherman and more

We took the Congress Trail south, then a fork of another to Crescent Meadow. From that 5point fork through to CM, we saw four people and a bear.


Tucson, Arizona
posts: 4
reviews: 2
14. Re: General Sherman and more

I love your description of the Congress Trail, CookieDartmouth ... my 8yo daughter is a big believer in fairies. Sounds perfect!

Edited: 9:35 am, April 14, 2013
posts: 10
reviews: 6
15. Re: General Sherman and more

We stayed in Fresno after doing Kings Canyon/Sequoia nparks its about 2 hrs from ea park. we did both in 1 day each, a lot of driving but to me it was well worth it. Yosemite is 4 hrs from sf. we came in from San Diego n stayed in Visalia its1 hr outside of Sequoia. I also did the scenic byway at Kings Canyon, takes you from top to bottom [best craziest drive ever]. The kings canyon is actually deeper then the Grand Canyon in some places. Also dont miss the Moro rock [KC] you climb a few hundred steps on side of mountain and at top you look over the Great Western Divide. Have fun!

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,188
reviews: 348
16. Re: General Sherman and more

If you go to Sequoia, be sure to also go to, in neighboring Kings Canyon Park, Grant Grove (lots of redwoods) and Cedar Grove, at the bottom of the Kings Canyon (several nice hikes).

Lewiston, California
posts: 8,650
reviews: 63
17. Re: General Sherman and more

Sequoia/Kings Canyon has EVERYTHING that Yosemite has Except huge crowds. Do not listen to those who think Yosemite is better cause it "Ain't"!

Kings Canyon it's self is deeper than the Grand Canyon & you get to drive through it. Waterfalls, wildlife, fabulous hikes, views & the World's Largest living thing. Just no bumper to bumper traffic.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 7,188
reviews: 348
18. Re: General Sherman and more

#17 highly subjective, of course. Don't listen to anyone who has a different opinion? I think Yosemite is quite different than Sequoia/Kings Canyon, in scenery and ambiance, and Yosemite Valley is not the entire park of Yosemite, but that doesn't mean you won't like Sequoia and KC just as much if not more. You've apparently decided on Sequoia/KC and I'm sure you'll find plenty to do.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 7,094
reviews: 322
19. Re: General Sherman and more

I agree that Yosemite isn't necessarily better than Sequoia or Kings Canyon (they are all amazing natural wonders!), but I do think that the parks are different from one another. While there are qualities that are similar or even shared, I think the character of each is unique and that each park deserves to be explored and enjoyed for its own merits.

20. Re: General Sherman and more

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