Sequoia National Park

ROCK STAR COLLECTION: Meet Chong the Chipmunk

This Alpine Chipmunk has a fever! And there is only one cure: MORE COWBELL!!! This adorable creature has a good reason to be so lives in Sequoia National Park, home to the largest living trees on the planet, the Giant Sequoia tree.

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Great for adults and kids that love to geek out on nature, each page includes detailed hand drawn illustrations of landscapes, plants, and animals. They're full of fun factoids so that you can learn new things while you have fun coloring.

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Sequoia National Park was among the first national parks ever created, designated as such in 1890. Visitors for thousands of years--for this was home to American Indian tribes long before modern European discovery--have stood in awe of the trees here, which are the world’s largest by volume and the third oldest on the planet. General Sherman, a tree you’ll see on your Sequoia National Park visit, is the largest of all sequoias. At 275 feet tall and over twelve million pounds, it is 2.5 times longer and over 35 times heavier than the largest blue whales!

There was a time in early park history when tunnels were cut into sequoias in order to attract more people into the park. Thankfully, times have changed. The goal in the park now is to allow nature to run its course with only minimal human interference. Visitors are still welcome into the park to see the giant sequoias that stand healthy and whole.

Consider the following quote from famous California naturalist John Muir:

Barring accidents [giant sequoias] seem to be immortal, being exempt from all diseases that afflict and kill other trees. Unless destroyed by man, they live on indefinitely until burned, smashed by lightning, or cast down by storms, or by the giving way of the ground on which they stand.

As Muir noted, giant sequoias are masters of survival. If you’ve already visited and completed the lesson for Calaveras Big Trees State Park, then you know that these trees have many traits that help them withstand all sorts of challenges, even forest fires. In this section, we’ll learn all about forest fire ecology, and how to keep sequoias--and the rest of the forest--happy and healthy.

Family Tips

  • Season: spring, winter and fall
  • Difficulty: easy-moderate
  • Time Needed: 1-2 days
  • Cost: $35 per vehicle or National Parks Pass
  • Hike Moro rock early or late in the day, the trail is in full sun. There are a lot of steps along a large dome to get to the top. There is a small rock wall along the trail edge but it can be a scary trail if you have a fear of heights.
  • General Sherman is the busiest area of the park, expect a long line to take a picture if front of General sherman, go at dusk for less crowds
  • To get to Tokopah Falls park at the end of Lodgepole campground near the bridge, walk across the bridge to find the trailhead.
  • Don’t swim in the Kaweah River by the Tokopah Falls trail. People have drowned here, it has swift strong currents.
  • Many people who visit sequoia only go to see General Sherman and the other big trees, make sure to do the other hikes because they are less crowded and still impressive.
  • Your vehicle can only drive through tunnel log if it is shorter than 8 feet tall. There is a small road to drive around it if your vehicle is too big.

5 Family Faves

  1. Hike to General Sherman tree, 1 mile round trip
  2. Hike Moro Rock, 400 rock steps that lead 300 feet in elevation to the top.
  3. Big Trees Trail, 1 mile loop around sequoias and a marsh
  4. Climb on top of a fallen sequoia and hang on its roots
  5. Hike Tokopah Falls, 4 mile round trip trail

Image attribution shout outs: