Sky-high tree tops as far as the eye can see–is there any sweeter view in the world than a sprawling and expanding forest? Skirting eastern California and crawling toward the border of Nevada: that’s where you’ll find some of the nation’s oldest and most beloved forests and national parks. Remote, untouched and majestic, these national parks are reminders of what the Sierra Nevada’s once were “before the coming of European conquerors and American settlers.”
Two of these national parks, Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park, rest back to back in what has been nicknamed The Land of Giants. Although they often are referred to as a single entity, these national parks feature two distinct climates and unique landscapes of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Second oldest in the United States and perhaps the most renowned in California is Sequoia National Park. An early inductee of the national parks system, Sequoia National Park was founded in 1890, and is best known for its staggeringly tall and old trees of the same name, which dominate this national park’s skyline. Tallest and oldest of all giant sequoias is the General Sherman Tree, which, named after an equally proud figure of American history, stands 275 feet tall and is believed to have been born 2,500 years ago.
Similar to Sequoia National Park, in Kings Canyon National Park you’ll find historically significant giant sequoias such as the Fallen Monarch. The hollowed out interior of this massive toppled tree in Kings Canyon National Park has supplied shelter to Native American tribes, cavalry horses for the US Army and tired travelers making the trip across the West.
Accessible only by foot or horseback and full of cascading waters descended from nearby and faraway mountain peaks, these colossal forests are the epitome of serenity. Navigate a massive web of challenging scenic hikes, conquer rushing rapids and surmount great climbs, and become one with nature again at Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park. Visit the national parks website to learn all you need to know about exploring Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.