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3 National Parks in 3 Days on the Majestic Mountain Loop

Don't miss these iconic things to do in Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite national parks.

Take the Majestic Mountain Loop, an action-packed three-day itinerary to explore three of California’s favorite national parks, Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite. You’ll see the best of each park, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon where advanced reservations are not required. From May 20 through Sept.  30, 2022, every visitor to Yosemite will need an advanced day-use reservation that can be made on recreation.gov. You can learn more about Yosemite’s 2022 summer reservation system here.

1. Climb Moro Rock in Sequoia

Steps up Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park
Steps up Moro Rock NPS/R Cain
Hiking to the top of Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park
Awesome views at the top of Moro Rock (Photo by Depositphotos)

Moro Rock’s quarter-mile, 350-plus step climb offers equally spectacular views as its more intense sister, Half Dome, located in Yosemite National Park.

Tip: Park at the Giant Forest Museum and take the seasonal free shuttle to the trailhead to avoid circling for parking in the small lot at the rock’s base. On summer weekends, the shuttle is the only way to get to the trailhead.

2. Drive through Sequoia’s Tunnel Log

Drive through the Tunnel Log in Sequoia National Park
Tunnel Log is an iconic feature. (Photo by Flickr/Ming-yen Hsu)

No trip to this park is complete without driving under the iconic Tunnel Log. In 1937, the 2,000-year-old tree fell across the road and is now a tunnel.

Tip: The tunnel is only 8 feet high, so taller vehicles must drive around.

3. See the World’s Largest Tree

General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park
A couple poses in front of the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park (Photo by Depositphotos)

The General Sherman Tree reigns king over the giant sequoias at 275 feet tall. See this noble tree via the half-mile Main Trail.

Tip: To see more breathtaking giants, continue past General Sherman on the two-mile paved Congress Trail.

Hiking the Congress Trail in Sequoia National Park
Hiking the Congress Trail in Sequoia National Park is a must-do. (Photo courtesy of Sequoia Tourism)

4. Head Underground at Boyden Cavern near Kings Canyon

Boyden Cavern formations in Kings Canyon National Park
Boyden Cavern formations are incredible. (Photo by  Flickr/Amy)

Join a walking tour into the cavern that departs on the hour to see awe-inspiring marble formations. The cavern is open late May through early November and tickets can be purchased at the cavern’s entrance.

Tip: The cavern remains a steady 55-degrees year-round, so bring a jacket.

5. See the Nation’s Christmas Tree at Kings Canyon

The General Grant Sequoia Tree in Kings Canyon National Park
General Grant Tree is the second largest tree in the world and is in Kings Canyon National Park (Photo by Depositphotos)

Coined “The Nation’s Christmas Tree” by President Coolidge, the General Grant Tree is the second largest tree in the world.

Tip: On the second Sunday of December, join the annual “Trek to the Tree” at 2:30 p.m. to celebrate the holidays, an event that’s been taking place for 95 years.

6. Hike Kings Canyon’s Zumwalt Meadow

Zumwalt Meadow boardwalk in Kings Canyon National Park
Here’s the boardwalk trail through Zumwalt Meadow in Kings Canyon National Park (Photo by iStock)

You’ll see the best of Kings Canyon from granite walls to verdant green meadows on this 1.5-mile trail in the park’s Cedar Grove area.

Tip: Heavy spring rains can flood this area, so always check trail conditions at the visitor center before heading out. This road is open seasonally.

7. Hike the Mist Trail in Yosemite

Vernal Fall on the Mist Trail in Yosemite
Vernal Fall is a sight to see (Photo by Grant Ordelheide)

A steep, 1.2-mile one-way hike will bring you to the beautiful 317-foot Vernal Fall. The aptly named trail is streaked with rainbows from the waterfall mist. If you’re up for more, keep hiking another 1.5 miles to the 594-foot Nevada Fall.

Tip: The Mist Trails can be extremely slippery, so walk slowly and carefully and keep and eye on children. Do not wade into the water as the strong current has swept people away.

8. Watch Sunset at Yosemite’s Glacier Point

Yosemite sunset from Glacier Point's View Terrace
Half Dome is highly visible from Glacier Point’s View Terrace. (Photo by Dollar)

At the top of Glacier Point, you’ll see one of the park’s most iconic views. Grab a seat and watch as the setting sun illuminates Half Dome in oranges, pinks and purples.

Tip: Glacier Point is seasonal, usually open from May to November. For the adventurous, during snow season you can cross country ski to this beautiful overlook. NOTE: Glacier Point Road is closed for road repairs in 2022, so the only way to access it is via Four Mile Trail or Panorama Trail from the valley. Both are strenuous hikes with Panorama Trail being a very strenuous 17-mile round trip hike and Four Mile Trail being an 8-mile hike round trip. 

9. Bike through Yosemite Valley

Bikes in Yosemite Valley
Biking in Yosemite Valley is definitely worth it. (Photo by Alexander Johnson)

Rent a bike at Yosemite Valley Lodge or Curry Village and explore the 12-mile paved bike path through Yosemite Valley to see all the sights.

Tip: Stop for a snack break when you get to El Capitan Meadow and break out the binoculars to spot big wall climbers on this imposing granite wall.

All three parks on this loop have experienced wildfire in the past few years. Be sure to check for closures and conditions before visiting. Wildfire is a natural part of the ecosystem. You may be surprised how changing landscapes can reveal new and beautiful vistas. Please help protect these beautiful places by recreating responsibly.


For more information:

Majestic Mountain Loop
(559) 683-4636
MajesticMountainLoop.com

Visit Visalia
(559) 334-0141
www.visitvisalia.com

Visit Yosemite | Madera County
(559) 683-4636
www.yosemitethisyear.com