We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

Genesee Depot
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

Hello all!

We're planning a trip of (4) days. We want to go where we can see the giant trees.

Where is the best place to fly in (from Chicago) and drive to and when is the best time to go??

Appreciate any advice.


Goldfield, Nevada
Level Contributor
11,181 posts
34 reviews
1. Re: Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

Sequoia National Park is where the world's largest trees (by volume) are located. The world's largest tree is the General Sherman Tree in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park. The world's third largest tree is the General Grant Tree in the beautiful Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, which is adjacent to Sequoia National Park. Your entry fee to one of these 2 parks gets you both parks. $20 for the car and it's good for 7 days. These are giant sequoia trees (sequoiadendron giganteum) and are typically the largest trees in the world by volume.

On the other hand, the coast redwood (sequoia sempervirens) are typically the tallest trees in the world by height. The world's tallest known tree is the Hyperion Tree in Redwood National Park, in the northern California coastal area. I read a rumor that a taller one was discovered but its location is kept secret to protect it. Even for the Hyperion Tree, I think you are no longer allowed to actually go to it. In the White Mountains of eastern California, the world's oldest trees that reproduce by seed are in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. In a stark, dry, windswept, seemingly inhospitable landscape some trees there are nearly 5,000 years old.

The giant sequoia trees of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National park in general tend to be not as tall as the coast redwoods, but they have a larger diameter and are very impressive in person. The biggest ones can seem like buildings or monuments. Yosemite National Park also has a few groves of giant sequoia trees, but the greatest concentration of giant sequoia trees is the area in Tulare County of California, encompassing Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. All these are together in one region. That is the area you should go to if the giant trees are the focus of your trip.

For those parks, I would fly to Fresno even if you have to change planes somewhere. From Fresno, it is an easy 1-hour drive east on Highway 180 to the entrance of Kings Canyon National Park. You can see the giant trees in Grant Grove there, and you can drive the General's Highway through the parks to the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park and see the trees there. There is much more to see in those parks as well, besides the trees.

Yosemite National Park is within an easy day's drive; from Fresno it is about a 2.5 hour drive north to Yosemite Valley. Yosemite is more crowded than Sequoia/Kings Canyon, but offers giant waterfalls in the spring and early summer, towering granite cliffs and dramatic views all over the place. But if the trees are the main reason for your trip, Sequoia National Park is the place you want to go to.

Edited: 18 June 2011, 21:16
Genesee Depot
Level Contributor
4 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

bw92116.Thank you much for your reply. You have answered all my questions.

Thanks, again

Whitby, Ontario
Level Contributor
6 posts
162 reviews
3. Re: Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

Thank you for such a descriptive answer to the question. It has been extremely helpful.

4. Re: Giant sequoia trees - best place to see

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 March 2013, 05:23