TRIP IDEA

Off the Beaten Path at Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Two adults and a child sit at the edge of a cliff overlooking mountain vistas
Duration Multiple Days
Topic(s) Forests and Woodlands, Mountains, Scenic Views, Trails, Wilderness, Canyons and Canyonlands, River and Riparian, Waterfalls, Lakes, Rock Landscapes and Features, Foothills, Plains and Valleys
Activities Backcountry Camping, Hiking, Car or Front Country Camping
Type Kid Friendly, Active, Relaxed, Adrenaline Rush, Solitary/Remote, Educational, Inspirational, Outdoors, Road Trip, Group Friendly
Parks Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Every year, millions of visitors make their way up winding mountain roads to see the General Sherman Tree and climb Moro Rock, but with hundreds of miles of trails and hundreds of thousands of acres of park land, there's always more to do. Whether it's your first visit or your thousandth, take a step off the beaten path. Discover secluded sequoia groves and alpine lakes; listen for hidden waterfalls and tranquil bird calls; and find the perfect peak for that panorama photo and a moment of quiet contemplation.

Here are some trips that will get you away from the bustle and discovering the parks in a whole new way. Many of these activities are full day outings and hours apart, so please consult a park map and plan accordingly.
Day Hiking
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Explore a Hidden Sequoia Grove

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Generals Highway, Sequoia National Park
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours

    Take a hike to a sequoia grove that is tucked away from the road. Muir Grove provides a quiet experience among these giant trees. If you find other sequoia groves to be a bit crowded, take a walk to experience Muir Grove.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Explore Sub-Alpine Landscapes at Mineral King

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: Yes with Restrictions
    • Location: Mineral King, Sequoia National Park
    • Duration: 1–3 Days
    • Season: Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Any Time

    In Sequoia National Park visit Mineral King, a beautiful valley at 7,500 feet. This area can be used as a basecamp for day hikes to lakes and alpine wonderlands.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Discover Sheep Creek Cascade

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Cedar Grove, Kings Canyon National Park
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk

    Visit Cedar Grove, in the heart of Kings Canyon. Once there, take a hike through a forested ravine to a shady glen and a small cascading waterfall called Sheep Creek Cascade. You’ll also see views of the Monarch Divide.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Enjoy a 360-Degree View at Little Baldy Dome

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Generals Highway, Sequoia National Park
    • Duration: 2–3 Hours
    • Season: Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk

    Hike on a lesser-known trail in Sequoia National Park. The Little Baldy trail takes you through a mixed-conifer forest to the top of a granite dome. Once there, you can take in a 360-degree panoramic view.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Hike to a Bird's Eye View

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk
    Eagle View

    Take a short hike to little-known viewpoint, called Eagle View. This vista is just as spectacular as Moro Rock, but with fewer people. Enjoy the bird's-eye view of the Sequoia Kings Wilderness and the High Sierra.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Take a Short Hike to Buena Vista Peak

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Hiking
    • Pets: No
    • Location: Generals Highway, Kings Canyon National Park
    • Duration: 1–2 Hours
    • Season: Summer, Fall
    • Time of Day: Day, Dawn, Dusk

    Would you like to hike, but don’t have a lot of time? Head to Buena Vista Peak, which is only a 1-mile hike to a spectacular viewpoint. You’ll be rewarded with views of Redwood Canyon and the Kings Canyon high country.

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Camping
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Quiet Camping in the Foothills at Sequoia

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Car or Front Country Camping
    • Pets: Yes
    • Season: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
    campsites with picnic tables and bear boxes under trees

    Enjoy a quiet campsite at the remote South Fork Campground in the foothills of Sequoia National Park.

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  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Sleep under Secluded Sequoias at Mineral King

    • Activity Fee: Yes
    • Reservations: No
    • Activity: Car or Front Country Camping
    • Pets: Yes
    • Season: Summer
    A campfire ring, picnic table, and bear box are in a clearing under Sequoia trees

    Camping in Mineral King (Sequoia and Kings Canyon) for off the beaten path trip idea page

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Backpacking
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

    Backpack into the Less-Traveled Sequoia Grove

    • Activity Fee: No (Entrance fees may apply)
    • Reservations: Yes
    • Activity: Backcountry Camping
    • Pets: No
    Red sequoia trunks tower over green underbrush

    Take a quiet backpacking trip along the Garfield Trail to the remote Garfield Grove in Sequoia National Park

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Last updated: June 7, 2018