If the only national park you visit in California is Yosemite, you’ll miss seeing the world’s largest living tree, which grows a short drive away.
Just five hours north of Los Angeles, the legendary General Sherman Tree lives in Sequoia National Park. Part of the fun is getting there as you drive through the awe-inspiring Tunnel Log, formed when a giant sequoia fell across the park road in 1937. The General Sherman Tree reaches 275 feet up to the sky and is 102 feet in circumference at its base.
“People do not realize how close the three national parks are,” says Rhonda Salisbury, CEO of Visit Yosemite|Madera County, referring to Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks. “If you are in California for a week, you can see three amazing parks in three days.”
In Kings Canyon National Park, next to Sequoia, you can explore the General Grant Tree and Boyden Cave, giving you a rare opportunity to see the Earth from the inside. A huge bonus is you see incredible natural wonders without the crowds. While more than 4 million visitors flock to Yosemite each year, only 1.7 million make it to Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
But Yosemite’s beauty is not to be missed, so drive two hours north to the park. Before you get to Yosemite’s South Entrance, stop in Oakhurst to fuel up on supplies, food and gas. Then head to Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad to ride a steam train and pan for gold. By the time you arrive in Yosemite, you’ll have two additional stamps on your National Parks Passport. Don't miss the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias reopening in spring 2018.
For more information:
Majestic Mountain Loop
Visalia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Fresno Yosemite International Airport
Visit Yosemite | Madera County