Sequoia National Park
Sequoia National Park - Visitor Center, Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA, USA
A quick trip to this beautiful place with kids.
A Family Jaunt at Sequoia National Park.
Sequoia National Park, where we had to make our own terrible coffee and had zero cell service, but they had ice cream, so not all was lost. Again, we booked our campsite at Lodgepole Campground six months prior and got one of the best RV sites in the lot (#155). It is on the end and right along the Marble Fork Kaweah River, where we swam and soaked our sore feet after long days of adventuring with children and grandmas. (All joking aside our mothers totally crushed it).
A great thing about Lodgepole Campground is there are numerous trailheads that start right at the campground, so you don’t need to drive anywhere. But there are a lot of great options outside the campground as well, and a free shuttle service that will take you to them! From Lodgepole we hiked Tokopah Falls, a 3.5-mile out-and-back trail that takes you mainly along the river, through beautiful woods and deer run meadows to a 1,200-foot waterfall, cascading down a huge granite headwall of the glacial Tokopah Valley. This trail has quite a few steps so I would not suggest a stroller or wagon. My husband carried our 2-year-old in a Kelty Kids Backpack and I had our 7-month-old in the Bjorn.
Another must-see was the General Sherman Tree, which encompasses a huge grove of giant Sequoias and is only a short shuttle ride away. This is the main event, ladies and gentlemen, this is where the giants live. General Sherman is the giant of giant sequoias in the world, believed to be 2,200 years old and weigh 1,385 tons - that’s a lot of wood.
From the main tree, we took the Congress trail, a paved 3-mile loop that takes you through gorgeous massive Sequoia groves. While this path is paved there is still about a 470-foot elevation gain which could prove challenging for some. We put both our kiddos in a wagon which worked fine for us. If using a stroller or wagon I would suggest starting at the wheelchair-accessible trailhead, as there are no stairs this way! Afterward, we took the shuttle to The Peaks Restaurant at Wuksachi Lodge (make sure you order the onion rings).
The grandmas volunteered to watch the kids one afternoon so my husband and I took off running, a few hours to explore on our own - we were thrilled! We grabbed a shuttle to Morro Rock and loved it. It is a steep, fast climb (300-foot elevation gain in half a mile) with dropping granite rock on each side. At the top, you are rewarded with 360 views of the magnificent mountain ranges and valleys that surround you. This climb is well lined with railings but if you have a fear of heights this might be a challenge!
Afterward, we opted to skip the short shuttle back to the Giant Forest Museum (where you hop on another shuttle back to our campground) and instead took the 1.5 mile Morro Rock Trail down, which was the best decision by far. On the entire trail, we only encountered 2 people which is very rare for any hike here this time of year. We passed giant Sequoia tree after giant Sequoia tree as we trail ran our way back. Trail running also meant we got to ice-cream faster. Back at camp, our toddler was quick to tell us of her bear sighting and it is still her favorite thing to talk about.