I love visiting Sequoia National Park for a quiet outdoor getaway. It’s one of California’s most underrated National Parks. Everyone in Northern California tends to visit Yosemite National Park, while everyone in Southern California goes to Joshua Tree. Because of this, Sequoia National Park can be somewhat overlooked and significantly less busy. And because the park is relatively small, you can visit in 1 day! Here is a jam packed, but extremely fun, day trip itinerary to Sequoia National Park.
01. SUNRISE AT MORO ROCK
Moro Rock is a dome-shaped, isolated granite rock. Stairs are cut out from the rock itself, and it’s 350 steps from the bottom to the very top. You’ll find incredible panoramic views of the Sierra Nevadas once you reach the top. This is hands down, my absolute favorite hike in all of Sequoia National Park. It’s also not long of a hike at all, but can be a little intimidating if you’re not a fan of heights. Very worth the trek though! If you can muster waking up early, this is THE place to watch the sunrise, and a must do when it comes to a Sequoia National Park day trip!
02. RUN THROUGH TUNNEL LOG
Head back down from Moro Rock, and the next closest stop is Tunnel Log! In the year of 1938, one of the giant Sequoia trees fell over and blocked the road. The following year, a tunnel was carved out of the tree to make way for cars rather than removing the tree itself! The tunnel measures 8 ft high and 17 ft wide. The last couple of times I’ve been to Tunnel Log, cars are no longer able to drive through and it is purely for hikers and backpackers! You can park your car at the Giant Forest Museum and hike via Crescent Meadow Road to Tunnel Log!
03. EXPLORE BIG TREE TRAIL
The next stop of the Sequoia National Park Day Trip is Big Tree Trail! There are so many short and beginner friendly hikes all throughout the Sequoia National Park, but the Big Tree Trail is one of the most famous. The entire hike is lined with the most massive Sequoia’s. You can also hike from the Big Tree Trail to Sunset Rock (just a little over a mile) and it’s a very easy hike with a very high reward! There’s also lots of shade on this hike so it’s nice to enjoy!
04. VISIT GENERAL SHERMAN
Make sure you stop at General Sherman! This is the furthest point of the Sequoia day trip. The General Sherman Tree Trail is a short but very heavily trafficked 1 mile hike. It is Sequoia National Park’s main attraction because it stands as the tallest tree in the world, measured by volume. At a grand 275 feet tall and 36 feet diameter, it’s hard to miss! Parking can also be extremely crowded, but just be patient– people come and go very quickly
05. SUNSET AT BEETLE ROCK
Lastly on the Sequoia day trip is Beetle Rock! I chose Beetle Rock for sunset because it’s only a 3 minute walk from the parking lot, so if you are running short on time, you can easily catch the sunrise here. There’s also no big trees that will cover the view of the gorgeous sunset! Because it’s such a short and easy hike, there is a decent amount of foot traffic, but not enough for you to feel like you can’t enjoy a peaceful evening. There’s also some beautiful wildflowers here!