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Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

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Southern California
posts: 51
reviews: 26
Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

I am taking a group trip iwth 6 adults to Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park in a few weeks. We are planning to spend Wed-Fri in Yosemite and we are thinking of driving on Saturday morning from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, spending the day there then driving to Three Rivers where we will stay over night and spend Sunday in Sequoia area.

Can someone advise if this seems like a reasonable route? We're having trouble figuring out driving times from Yosemite to Kings Canyon and from Kings Canyon to Three Rivers. Any advice on the must-sees in both area (Kings Canyon and Sequoia) over those two days is also welcome. Our trip is mostly focused on Yosemite hence that being where most of our research time has been spent, but we don't want to miss out on Sequoia and Kings Canyon either.

Thanks!

Monterey, California
posts: 1,041
reviews: 22
1. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

It will take 4-5 hours from Yosemite to Grant Grove in King's Canyon National Park.

It's a 30 mile deadend into the canyon itself from 7000 ft to 4500.

From there it would take you a very long time to get to Three Rivers. I'm guessing 3 hours and it would be back up and then all the way down the mountains.

Not something I would even consider. There are places to stay in Cedar Grove, Grant Grove along the King's Hwy and at Wuksachi.

You should research some of the lodging choices before spending all of your time just driving.

Southern California
posts: 51
reviews: 26
2. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Thank you so much for the advice. We'll check out accommodation in those areas. Can you drive from Cedar Grove or Grant Grove straight through to Sequoia without leaving the park? I will research this as well, just appreciate if you know off the top of your head and can advise.

Thanks!

Monterey, California
posts: 1,041
reviews: 22
3. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Hi....here's a map link

http://www.nps.gov/seki/index.htm

Cedar Grove to Grant Grove.........45-60 minutes

Grant GRove to Giant Forest........45minutes

You are on the King's Hwy between the two parks at about 6000 feet. In and out of the parks and Sequoia National Forest.

I just got back a couple of days ago.....besides the construction delays on 198 between 3 rivers and Giant Forest I had to wait up to 20 minutes for construction on the road between Giant Forest and Wuksachi......don't know when that work will be done.

Edited: 9:59 pm, May 17, 2013
New York City, New...
posts: 1,680
reviews: 6
4. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

OK, first thing you need to know is that Three Rivers is down in the foothills about 5000 feet below the giant sequoia forest, it is a 20 mile drive on steep winding mountain roads to get from one to the other. I would rather stay up in the mountains at Wuksachi or the Muir Cabins than do that drive three times within a day or two.

It's called the Generals' Highway, not the King's Highway, between the two parks

(larryjohn must be a royalist :-) .

Las Vegas, Nevada
posts: 4,799
reviews: 48
5. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

The first part of your plan, Yosemite to Kings Canyon is quite do-able. It is the " staying in Three Rivers" I have issues with. I suggest you stay in one central location, Grants Grove or The Wuksachi Lodge. Both are just off of Generals Hwy, the road that runs from Three Rivers on the one end and Roads End in Kings Canyon on the other. IMO Kings Canyon and the General Sherman area of Sequoia each deserve a full day.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,215
reviews: 87
6. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Essentially, you are "in the parks" from Grant Grove to Sequoia (although really, you briefly leave the National Park and are in the National Forest - where you will find Stony Creek Lodge and Montecito-Sequoia Lodge (think that's the name) and cabins at Hume Lake. Stony Creek is almost as rustic as the cabins as Grants Grove. Down in Kings Canyon, there's a slight less rustic inn - but the only modern style accomodation up there is really Wuksachi Lodge, in Sequoia.

Find someplace to stay in one of the parks or one of the places mentioned above.

In Sequoia, main sights are:

General Sherman Tree (of course - you'll have gone by Grant already, gotta see Sherman); Congress Trail as far as you like.

If in summer, take shuttle to Crescent/Log Meadow, hike to Tharp's log and also see one of the last remaining large meadow stands of mature Sequoias that are this accessible.

Moro Rock. Crystal Cave. Messing around in the giant forest near Beetle Rock, hiking to Tokopah Falls (often hot, no Sequoias on that trail).

Then there are longer hikes (Redwood Canyon isn't too long, but memorable and serene).

More than enough to fill a few days - so be sure and do the Sherman Tree, Crescent/Log Meadow and Moro Rock and then see what else you feel like. Little museum at Visitor Center in Lodgepole is worth a quick stop.

KCNP, California
posts: 44
7. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Hi CapeHope,

LeBiscuit D forgot to mention the other modern accommodation in the parks, the John Muir Lodge, which is located in Grant Grove Village in Kings Canyon National Park, close to the northern entrance on Highway 180 (which I assume is the entrance you will use since you will be coming from Yosemite). Also, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are operated as twin parks by the National Park Service, once you pay the entrance fee you have access to both parks, which are connected via the Generals Highway (aka Hwy 198). Highway 180 will take you North and East into Kings Canyon/Cedar Grove, Highway 198 will take you South towards Giant Forest and the main attractions in Sequoia. Since it appears you live in Southern California, you may want to exit the parks via Highway 198 South to head home. It is a lovely drive, but a bit winding, so take your time.

LeBiscuit D gave a great list of things to see in Sequoia, here are my recommendations for Kings Canyon:

Visit the General Grant Tree and the other old growth Sequoias in Grant Grove, right near Grant Grove Village. It's also worth the drive/hike up to Panoramic Point in Grant Grove (just behind the John Muir Lodge) to see a great view of the Kings Canyon back country and Hume Lake. From Grant Grove, I recommend traveling Northeast towards Cedar Grove along Hwy 180. Keep an eye out for the trail head for the Boole Tree hike (it will be on your left near the turnoff for Hume Lake). This is a great hike to see the one remaining Giant Sequoia saved for the logging operations in the area at the turn of the last century. I recommend heading to Hume Lake for a great lunch/ice cream break at the Hume Lake Snack Bar. It's right on the lake and great food @ good prices, operated by the Hume Lake Christian Camp, but open to the general public. You can also inexpensively rent boats/kayaks & bicycles here at the dock from the Christian Camp (they also rent to the general public). Heading back down towards Cedar Grove (along Hwy 180 East) you'll have a spectacular drive along granite cliffs and drive down a canyon deeper than the Grand Canyon. When you reach the Canyon floor, by the Kings River, you will arrive at the entrance to Boyden Cavern on your right before you cross over the bridge. This is a great little small cave tour, and they have tours usually every 1/2 hour. Shortly after you pass Boyden Cave, you will come upon Grizzly Falls on your left -- this is a great little stop to picnic, see the falls and cool off your feet in the pools below the falls (don't climb the falls, however, as it is slippery & dangerous). Continue past Grizzly Falls a few miles and you will arrive in Cedar Grove. It is a beautiful valley, and a great hiking spot. I would ask the Rangers for recommendations for Hikes based on your groups hiking abilities. Roads End it the starting point for many challenging hikes, while you can also choose a more leisurely hike along the valley floor and see Roaring River Falls, Grand Sentinel and do the Zumwalt Meadow hike. If your group is up to something more challenging, I would recommend Mist Falls, but if you only have a day in Cedar Grove, this would take up your entire time, and wouldn't allow for much sight-seeing along the way to/from Cedar Grove. I hope the above info helps! Have a great visit and enjoy!

Southern California
posts: 51
reviews: 26
8. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Thanks again everyone - I'm taking notes and doing more research based on your recommendations. I really appreciate it!

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 7,085
reviews: 320
9. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Here's the link to a very long trip report that I wrote on our visit to Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite from last year:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g28926-i29-k565195…

Perhaps this will give you some ideas for things to see and do, etc.

Southern California
posts: 51
reviews: 26
10. Re: Itinerary for Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Thank you - I will read!