Today we have our last post talking about our trip to the Sequoias, and we wanted to make a post that was a little more informational in case you guys wanted to plan a trip to the sequoias as well!! We rounded up 5 useful tips about the Sequoias that we thought were things that you should know before embarking on an adventure there! Since we went to the park in February, some of these tips may only apply during the winter season, but its good to be prepared regardless of when your traveling there 🙂 We hope you enjoy this and if you have any additional questions go ahead and ask in the comments! Hope you all have a great weekend ahead!
Before heading up the mountain to enter the Sequoias, it is absolutely mandatory to have chains for your tires! In case you’ve never dealt with chains before (like us Californians), it might be a good idea to practice putting them on at home for the first time when its not 30 degrees outside and you can’t feel your fingers. Chains aren’t too expensive and personally, I think they’re something that you should always have in your car (just in case). Now putting the chains on the car is a whole other story, it can be very tedious and tiresome getting yourself all dirty and scuffed up during this process, especially if you’ve never done so before. If you’re traveling when there is snow up in the Sequoias, plan on putting chains on and off everyday you spend there. Even though it might sound like some serious work to put them on, its definitely worth the work to make sure you’re safe and that you get to see everything you possibly can.
2. Road Closures
Always, always check for road closures before you embark on ANY road trip. We do this all the time and we can’t even tell you how much this saves us. For example, before heading to the Sequoias for our trip, we checked the highway roads right when we got up at 2am just to make sure it was safe, and thank god we did, because there had been a road closure do to icy roads. Also, its important to check the National Park’s website to see of any road closures inside the park. Many places, including the Sequoias, close some of their roads seasonally, only allowing visitors to access certain sections of the park. With that being said, the main road in Sequoia National Park, that allows you to drive through the park and then into Kings Canyon National Park on the other side, is closed for a good amount of time between December and April every year. So its important to plan your trip accordingly and know that during the winter, you will eventually hit a dead end in the road and will have to drive back down the mountain and exit the park through the Three Rivers entrance.
3. Windy Roads up the Mountain
If you get car sick easily then this drive up might give you some issues. Not only is it windy all the way to the top, but it will take you a good amount of time, about an hour or so, to get from the entrance of the park to the first grove of Giant Sequoia trees. While this isn’t the worst thing ever, this is something that we wish we would have known before our trip, just so we could have planned more accordingly for seeing the sunrise the first day we were there. Also, after three full days in the park, making that drive up and down the mountain can start to be draining, especially at the end of the day when the sun has gone down and its dark. The drive itself however, is very pretty and offers great views, so its not hard to enjoy this extra time spent in the car everyday 🙂
4. Weekend Popularity
Expect a surge in park goers during Saturdays & Sundays. As figured, more people are going to be traveling on those days, so getting up early on Saturday is crucial for getting a good head start on your morning in the park. We noticed that by 12pm, a lot of the park was full of cars and families enjoying the snow. While there’s no problem with people enjoying themselves and having a good time, if you want to take photos or video of the beautiful nature that exists in the park without other people in your shots, then you should plan your trip around days and times when most people won’t be there.
5. Park Access
Exploring the Sequoias by car is great, but if you look at a map of the park, you will quickly realize that what’s accessible from the road is only a small portion of what this park has to offer. This is important to know, because unlike some other places that have an elaborate system of roads enabling you to see most of what the park has to offer by car, a large portion of Sequoia National Park is only accessible by hiking or backpacking. You will still have an amazing time even if you are just driving through the park, and you will still see plenty of massive Sequoia trees. We just think its cool to know that there is so much more out there beyond what the roads can take you to and so much more to see on a second or third visit to the park.
We hope you enjoyed this post and find it useful for planning a trip to Sequoia National Park and let us know if you have any tips or ideas that we might have missed in the comments!