Home to the tallest trees and tallest mountain in the Lower 48, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park are nothing short of impressive.
Just a 6.5-hour drive from Las Vegas, the parks are one fun road trip away. Give yourself three days to camp under towering sequoias, hike to stunning waterfalls, and explore all that these historic national parks have to offer.
Although Kings Canyon and Sequoia are considered separate parks, they’re managed as one park that you can explore during your stay. In 2021, the KNP fire ravaged these parks and different areas are either closed or have schedules for access.
Getting around the parks is fairly easy unless you’re visiting in winter when roads tend to shut down. During the warmer months, a free shuttle will take you to trailheads and park services.
There are 14 campgrounds in the parks that will likely require reservations - especially during the peak summer camping season. Some of the more secluded campgrounds are South Fork, Atwell Mill and Cold Springs.
Don’t worry if you can’t find a camping spot in the parks; Camping is also available on nearby Lake Isabella in Sequoia National Forest and many other nearby places which you can find via the Campendium and Hipcamp apps.
A round trip to and from Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park from Las Vegas will be about 850 miles of driving altogether.
A 7-day vehicle pass to enter the park is $35. Camping is about $20 per night.
(If you're visiting more than one park, consider the NPS annual pass. Military, seniors, and a few other discounts are also available)
Depart from Las Vegas as early as possible to have enough time to enjoy Sequoia National Park.
Stop in at one of the park’s Visitor Centers to check trail conditions and pick up maps before heading to your campsite for the night.
Wake up and eat a good breakfast. You have a full day of hiking among giant trees and granite peaks ahead of you and will need the energy!
From Grant Grove, you can access some of the park’s easier day hikes that bring you up close to towering sequoias and views into Redwood Canyon from the popular Big Baldy Ridge lookout.
Looking for a hike that’s a little more challenging? Try the Don Cecil Trail. The trail allows you to continue to the Sheep Creek Cascade trail and then Lookout Peak if you don’t mind an all-day hike, or turn around for a shorter hike.
End the day of hiking with a tour of Crystal Cave, an impressive marble cavern within the park. Note that tickets need to be purchased in advance.
It’s time to clean up your campsite and say goodbye.
On your way out of the park, take a drive on the 50-mile Kings Canyon Scenic Byway and stop at some of the popular vantage points including Junction View, Marble Mountain View and Grizzly Falls.
Get one last panoramic view over the park from the towering Moro Rock before hitting the road back to Las Vegas.
Mount Whitney If you want to hike Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48, plan on at least one overnight, although most people take two nights and three days to climb the mountain; 22 miles round trip at altitude is no joke! Reserve well ahead as the permit system is usually fully booked. There are, however, morning lotteries for no-shows.
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