Where else in the world can you find impressive superlatives all around you—the largest tree on the planet, the tallest peak in the lower 48—but for Sequoia and Kings Canyon? Although these two central California parks often are overlooked in favor of their more Instagram-famous cousin to the north, Yosemite, they’re far less crowded, closer to Southern California, and full of mind-blowing natural wonders. If you’re interested in hiking to roaring waterfalls, hugging enormous conifers, or soaking up incredible sunset views of the Great Western Divide, these parks need to be on your list.
Given their remote location in the Sierra Nevada, finding luxe, amenity-rich lodging options for these parks is challenging, which can be discouraging for some tall tree enthusiasts, especially if they’re looking to luxuriate on a romantic weekend away or bring along the whole family. Luckily, this list has a little something for everyone—from modern geodesic domes to sprawling country estates and woodsy tiny homes.
*We should note that, because of the record-breaking winter storms that California has experienced, access to the Giant Forest via Hwy 180 through the Big Stump Entrance Station is estimated to open between May 26–June 16th. Access via Highway 198 through the Ash Mountain Entrance will open in June or July 2023. Mineral King is expected to open in June 2023. Giant sequoias may still be viewed in Grant Grove.
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