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A Guide to Hiking in Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park: Popular Hiking Trails

There are so many reasons to visit the Sequoia National Park, and perhaps the best reason is its fabulous hiking trails. Visitors can enjoy an amazing view of towering giant sequoia trees along on the Trail of the Sequoias, one of the most popular trails in the park. The Trail of the Sequoias begins at the famous General Sherman Tree and continues though the Giant Forest, which contains many of the largest trees in the park [source: Hiking Trailer] Some are as tall as 26 story buildings.

The Trail of the Sequoias meets the Crescent Meadow Trail, another amazing though less challenging hiking experience that is also kid-friendly. This trail meanders gently through lush and sunny greenery and takes hikers past several downed Sequoias, including one that visitors can climb into and one that has been converted into a cabin [source: Hike's Peak]. This trial is also a wildflower wonder, particularly in spring [source: Crapsey].

Another popular trail is the High Sierra Trail, most of which is manageable for the average fit backpacker [source: Crapsey]. The High Sierra begins in Crescent Meadow, passes through the Great Western Divide, and ends at the summit of Mount Whitney (14,494 feet, or 455 meters), offering some of the most breathtaking views known to man [source: National Park Service and Crapsey]. However, keep in mind that the Great Western Divide, a double crested row of the tallest, most rugged peaks in the Sierras, blocks the view of Mount Whitney along most of the High Sierra Trail [source: Challenge of the Big Trees].

Sequoia National Park is a fantastic experience for hikers of all skill levels. You probably won't begin to appreciate its splendor in just one trip, so plan to visit often. Keep in mind that Sequoia's convenient shuttle service means you can hike from one end a trail to the other without having to retrace your footsteps since many of its trails are stretches, not loops [source: Crapsey]. You should also check the weather report before you go – visitors to Sequoia usually enjoy the best conditions between May and November. On the other hand, planning your trip to avoid the summer crowds can be a great way to enjoy the park in all its quiet and pristine glory.