mist falls waterfall and low river in Kings Canyon National Park
Photo credit: Atsushi Hirao via Shutterstock.

See the Redwoods: 7 Best Hikes in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Looking for the best hikes in two of California’s most gorgeous, redwood-covered parks? We’ve got you covered.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are known for their dramatic landscapes, massive redwood and sequoia trees, a wealth of wildlife, and more.

We’ve identified some of the best hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. And we made sure to highlight a range of easy, moderate, and difficult trails.

Best Hikes in Kings Canyon National Park 

the general grant redwood tree in Kings Canyon National Park, California
“General Grant” Tree, the second largest tree in the world (by volume, not height).

General Grant Grove Loop

If you go to Kings Canyon to see a bunch of massive redwood trees, this is a great spot to get your fix. The trail is central to the park, meaning it’s close to campgrounds and other trails too. And, it boasts the second-largest tree in the world!

Difficulty: Easy

Miles: 0.9 miles

Why visit: An easy, kid-friendly, mostly gravel trail packed with lots of history about these national park’s towering sequoia trees.

General Sherman Tree Trail

This trail to the world’s largest tree — measured by volume, not height — is short and paved. And it’s more of a pit stop than a full hike. But, it’s absolutely worth seeing if you are visiting Kings Canyon National Park.

Difficulty: Easy

Miles: 1.2 miles

Why visit: You’ll get to see the biggest tree in the world!

Mist Falls Trail

If you’re a more serious hiker, head to Road’s End Trailhead. This trailhead is a jumping-off point for all sorts of backpacking trails and loops that can take you hundreds of miles deep into the park. Keep in mind that you’ll need wilderness permits if you plan on backpacking.

If you aren’t backpacking, Mist Falls is the one trail to hit. It’s a gorgeous out-and-back that ends at a waterfall — and you’ll get a good workout in with this trail’s steady elevation gain as well.

Difficulty: Moderate to hard

Miles: 8.7 miles

Why visit: If you are looking for a hard but still-scenic trail that’s off the beaten path from the rest of the park.

a bright white sun peeking through a tall grove of redwood trees

Moro Rock Trail + Eagle View, Huckleberry Loop

Situated just outside the entrance to Kings Canyon and just inside Sequoia National Park, Moro Rock’s 3.6-mile out-and-back is a good and easy-to-moderate hike. It boasts views of the park, wildflower, and bird viewing and, of course, views of Moro Rock itself.

Our favorite option for this trail is incorporating it into Sequoia’s Eagle View and Huckleberry trails to form an 8.5-mile loop. The loop offers all the great views and sights of the Moro Rock trail, but fewer crowds and more mileage.

Difficulty: Moderate

Miles: 3.6 miles to Moro Rock, 8.5 miles for Moro-Eagle View loop

Why visit: Moro Rock is one of the most popular sights in Sequoia National Park. But you don’t just get to see the rock — you’ll get to see epic views as well.

backpacking right of way
Right of Way on Trail: It's Horses, Then Hikers, Then Everyone Else

The slowest-going movers on trails maintain the right of way. Being kind, respectful, and generous will benefit every recreational user. Read more…

Best Hikes in Sequoia National Park

Wuksatchi Trail

The actual Wuksatchi trail only runs about 3.4 miles. However, you can easily connect it to other trails nearby if you are looking to add mileage (and more views) to your hike.

  • Option 1: Hike the Wuksatchi trail out and back.
  • Option 2: Hike the Wuksatchi trail to the Sillman Pass trail up to Cahoon Meadow.
  • Option 3: Hike Wuksatchi to Sillman Pass Lake trail.
  • Option 4: Hike in reverse from the General Sherman tree past the Lodgepole campground up to Wuksatchi Lodge. This is a good trail option if you are camping or lodging in the area.

Basically, there are dozens of variations — Wuksatchi is your oyster.

Difficulty: Moderate

Miles: 3.5-6 miles

Why visit: This is a great and versatile trail just off the scenic byway that runs through Sequoia National Park.

Sunset Rock Trail

hikers walking across sloping Sunset Rock in afternoon light
Photo credit: Natalie Jean via Shutterstock.

Not as crowded as you’d expect, the Sunset Rock Trail is definitely worth checking out if you visit.

One, because of Sunset Rock. Two, because of great wildlife watching on the trail. And three, because of the surrounding views. You’ll pass several large redwoods and meadows before you get to Sunset, a bald, sloping rock with a 180-degree-plus overlook at the endpoint of the trail.

Difficulty: Easy

Miles: 2 miles

Why visit: This probably doesn’t even need to be said, but this trail is a must-see for views. Better yet? Visit Sunset Rock at sunset.

High Sierra Trail

sequoia
A trail overlook in Sequoia National Park; photo credit: Mary Murphy.

Now, this trail extends over 60 miles through Sequoia National Park, so we aren’t suggesting the whole thing. But, the trail is worth checking out, even if you only have time for a day hike.

Starting at the Crescent Meadow Parking area, you’ve got several options. We like hiking the High Sierra Trail from the Crescent Meadow area to the High Sierra trail junction (12 miles out and back), or just a bit further until Little Blue Dome comes into sight. Here on the trail, you’ll get some epic views of several of the park’s notable peaks.

This trail is an out-and-back, so you can tackle as many miles as you want. Got time for an overnight? Find permit info and mileage options for the High Sierra Trail at NPS.gov.

Difficulty: Hard

Miles: Mileage varies depending on route (6-15 miles)

Why visit: If you’ve got several days in the park, we really recommend checking out this trail. It’s long (as long as you want, anyway), challenging, and offers some of the most gorgeous and varied views in the park.

Hiking, Backpacking, and More

Outside of hiking, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are home to some amazing overlooks as well. Definitely leave time on your trip to enjoy the many pull-offs up on the Park’s mountain roads. We recommend getting out early or enjoying the overlooks on a meal break.

Like other national parks, backpacking is also an option as well. Learn more here on the NPS page.

pinnacle rocks at pinnacles national park
The 5 Best Hikes in Pinnacles National Park

While the Pinnacles volcanic formations have been around for 23 million years, this national park wasn’t founded until 2013. Here's what you'll want to see. Read more…

Mary Murphy
By

Mary is based out of GearJunkie's Denver, Colo. office. She has a degree in English and journalism, and has been writing professionally for more than six years. Her outdoor interests span from running to sport climbing, from landscape photography to skiing to pack-paddleboarding. If she's not writing, you can most likely find her at the top of a fourteener, or in a local bakery.