Park Regions

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain five unique regions: Foothills, Mineral King, Giant Forest / Lodgepole, Grant Grove, and Cedar Grove. Each area has its own climate, features, and highlights. The Mineral King and Cedar Grove regions are accessible only in the summer, while Grant Grove, Giant Forest, and Lodgepole offer both summer and winter activities. The lower elevation foothills offer a snow free visit year-round. Read more about each region and view a map of the areas below.


The Foothills consist of the lower elevations of Sequoia National Park, including the South Fork area located east of Three Rivers. Oaks, chaparral, and river canyons are plentiful here in an area with more biological diversity (different kinds of plants and animals) than the conifer forests and High Sierra combined.

Winters are relatively snow-free; abundant wildflowers bloom in spring and summer. Ranging from 500 to 3,500 feet (457-1067 m) in elevation, the foothills are characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Campgrounds: Potwisha, Buckeye Flat
Picnic Areas: Foothills Visitor Center, Hospital Rock
Foothills day hikes

Area Highlights

Foothills Visitor Center

Open year-round. Exhibits, ranger-led programs, books, maps, bear canisters, first aid, and local wilderness permits.

Hospital Rock Picnic Area

Exhibits, pictographs, and nearly 50 bedrock mortars (grinding holes) from the Western Mono people who once lived in the area.

Marble Falls Trail

Hike through chaparral to a waterfall. More…

Paradise Creek Trail

Cross a bridge over the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River and follow Paradise Creek. More…

Lady Bug Trail (South Fork)

Hike along the South Fork of the Kaweah River in the upper foothills. The trail ends at one of the lowest-elevation sequoia groves. More…

Garfield Grove (South Fork)

A relatively steep climb to Garfield Sequoia Grove. More…


Giant Forest and Lodgepole
The Giant Forest Sequoia Grove is home to many of the world's biggest trees. Forty miles of trails, including the paved Big Trees Trail with wheelchair accessibility, invite visitors to immerse themselves in the majesty of the ancient grove. At 6,400 feet (1950 m) elevation, this area is characterized by warm days and cool nights in summer, with cold days and deep snow in winter.

Campgrounds: Lodgepole, Dorst Creek
Picnic Areas: Crescent Meadow, Pinewood, Wolverton, Lodgepole, Halstead Meadow
Giant Forest and Lodgepole Day Hikes

Area Highlights

Giant Forest Museum

Closed in winter. Exciting exhibits about sequoia ecology and ranger-led programs in summer. Bookstore, information, and first aid.

General Sherman Tree

Two trails offer access to the world's largest tree.

Sentinel Tree

Located in front of the Giant Forest Musem.

Moro Rock

A prominent granite dome with a steep ¼ mile (.4 km) staircase to the summit and a spectacular view. More…

Tunnel Log

A fallen sequoia that was tunneled through and the only "tree you can drive through" in the parks.

Crescent Meadow

Summer wildflowers bloom in this fragile meadow. Access to Tharp's Log, a cabin in a fallen sequoia, via a one-mile (1.6 km) route.

Crystal Cave

The only one of over 200 marble caverns in the parks that offers public tours. Open approximately mid-May to late November, weather permitting.

Lodgepole Visitor Center

Video about bears of the Sierra, exhibits, bookstore, wilderness permits, and information about ranger-led programs. Open year-round, with limited hours in winter.

Lodgepole Village

Market, gift shop, deli, snack bar, laundry, showers, and post office. Open summer only.

Wuksachi Village

Year-round lodging and dining, gift shop, and ski/snowshoe rentals.


Hiking trails and winter snowplay area.


Grant Grove
The Grant Grove area was originally General Grant National Park, created in 1890 to protect giant sequoias from logging. Visit both a pristine sequoia grove (The General Grant Grove) and one that was logged in the 1880s (The Big Stump Grove). At 6,600 feet (2,008 m) elevation, this area is characterized by warm days and cool nights in summer, with deep snow and cold temperatures in winter.

Campgrounds: Crystal Springs, Azalea, Sunset
Picnic Areas:
Big Stump and Columbine (both snowplay areas in winter)
Grant Grove Day Hikes

Area Highlights

Kings Canyon Visitor Center

Video and exhibits about Kings Canyon National Park, bookstore, wilderness permits, first aid, and information about ranger-led programs. Open year-round.

Grant Grove Village

Lodging, a market, restaurant, showers, post office and gift shop are available.

General Grant Tree

The world's second largest living tree. President Coolidge proclaimed it the Nation's Christmas tree in 1926. More...

Grant Grove Stables Horseback riding. 1-2 hour guided trips.

Panoramic Point Road

Takes you to Park Ridge with views of Hume Lake and Kings Canyon. Closed to vehicles in winter and used as a ski/snowshoe trail.

Big Stump Trail Takes you through a heavily logged sequoia grove, where you can learn the story of early logging and the forest's ability to restore itself.
North Grove Loop Provides a close look at the Big Trees and a quiet walk through the conifer forest. More...
Dead Giant Loop Speculate on what killed this giant sequoia and enjoy a picturesque view of an historic mill pond. More...

Redwood Mountain Overlook

Looks west over one of the world's largest sequoia groves. Studies revealed the positive relationship between fire and sequoia reproduction.

Kings Canyon Overlook

View the High Sierra wilderness from this overlook.

Buena Vista Peak

This trail leads to a 360 degree vista of Redwood Canyon, Buck Lookout and the High Sierra. More…


Cedar Grove
This glaciated valley features towering cliffs, tumbling waterfalls, and the powerful Kings River, whose canyon gave the park its name. Two prominent rock formations, North Dome at 8,717 feet and Grand Sentinel at 8,518 feet, rise 3,500 feet above the canyon floor. Many spectacular trails to the backcountry also originate in the area, especially near Roads End. Highway 180 to Cedar Grove is open May through October, weather permitting. At 4,600 feet (1,410 m) elevation, expect warm days and cool nights.

Campgrounds: Sheep Creek, Sentinel, Canyon View, Moraine
Picnic Areas: Grizzly Falls (U.S. Forest Service), Cedar Grove Village, and Zumwalt Meadow.
Cedar Grove Day Hikes

Area Highlights

Cedar Grove Visitor Center

Information desk, bookstore, and ranger-led programs.

Cedar Grove Village

Offers a gift shop and market, lodging and showers.

Cedar Grove Pack Station

Horseback riding from 1-hour guided trips to multi-day pack trips.

Knapp's Cabin

During the Roaring '20s, a Santa Barbara businessman commissioned lavish fishing expeditions here, storing gear in this small cabin.

Canyon View

The "U" shape of this canyon, apparent from this viewpoint, reveals its glacial history.

Roaring River Falls A very short, shady walk to a powerful waterfall rushing through a granite chute.
Zumwalt Meadow Trail passes high granite walls, lush meadows, and the Kings River. More…
Roads End (Permit Station) High granite walls and trails to the river, Muir Rock, and the High Sierra.


Mineral King
The Mineral King subalpine valley consists of both dense forests of pine, sequoia, and fir and colorful granite and shale landscapes. Mineral King offers 11 steep alpine trails which traverse the eastern areas of Sequoia National Park. This region also includes 14,494 foot Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. Mineral King is accessed by a 25 mile, steep, winding road open late May through October, weather permitting. RVs and trailers are not recommended. This area, at 7,500 to 14,000 feet elevation, is characterized by warm days and chilly nights in summer. In spring and fall, be prepared for freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow.

Campgrounds: Cold Springs and Atwell Mill
Picnic Areas
: Across from Mineral King Ranger Station
Mineral King Trails

Area Highlights

Mineral King Ranger Station

Offers information, maps, local wilderness permits, first aid, bear canisters. Wilderness permits are available on the porch of the station when closed. (559) 565-3768.

Silver City Mountain Resort (private)

Chalets, rustic cabins, limited supplies, showers, and restaurant. No ice or gasoline. (559) 561-3223 (off-season 805-528-2730) on the Mineral King road, 3 miles west of the ranger station.

Monarch Lakes Trail

Upper and Lower Monarch Lakes lie at the foot of Sawtooth Peak. The trail offers views north and east across the Monarch Creek canyon to Timber Gap, the Great Western Divide, and Sawtooth Pass.

White Chief Trail

Begins at the Eagle-Mosquito trailhead. This one-way trail to the White Chief Bowl is a steep, but scenic hike up the south side of Mineral King Valley.

Eagle and Mosquito Lakes

This one-way trail steadily ascends the south side of Mineral King Valley to either the glacially carved Eagle Lake, or the first of the Mosquito Lakes.

Map of park regions

Map of park regions


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