I just got back from spending two full days in Sequoia National Park with six friends. Sequoia is about 5 hours northeast of Los Angeles. Once in the park, we set up our tents and campsite at Lodgepole Campground. Then we got to a few short trails that afternoon.

General Sherman and the Big Trees Trail

The Big Trees Trail is a great introduction to Sequoia National Park. It’s a one-mile paved loop that gets close to hundreds of sequoias. This is located in the Giant Forest, which is the world’s second largest sequoia grove. This is also the home to the largest tree in the world (in volume), General Sherman. 

General Sherman

Pictures do not do this tree justice! The base of the tree is 36 feet in diameter. That’s the size of about 30 people standing together in a cluster. It stands 275 feet tall. One of the info signs mentioned that us looking up at the tree is the same ratio as a mouse looking up at a human. It is estimated to be between 2,000 to 2,500 years old and is growing at a rate of 0.4 inches in diameter per year.

This was an easy walk, with a bit of an incline back up to the parking lot. You can walk just to General Sherman if you don’t want to do the whole loop and you’ll save a little time.

Moro Rock

Moro Rock juts out over the park and is visible on much of the drive from the southern park entrance. This trail is shorter than the last but requires more effort. It’s about a quarter mile to get to the top but is all stairs. The whole trail is very scenic, and you get views of the valley below the entire time. At the very top, you get panoramic views all the way around.

The trail has railings all the way up but is only wide enough for one hiker in several places. I could see someone with a fear of heights being a bit uneasy here. It didn’t bother me though, and I thought the view to effort ratio was phenomenal! 

We were here around 6 pm on Friday and it wasn’t very busy. We drove by midday Sunday on our way out of the park and the road was completely closed because the parking lot was full. If that is the case, you can take the free shuttle or go earlier/later in the day.

Views from the top

Beetle Rock

At this point of the day, we were exhausted from a long day of traveling, but we wanted to watch the sunset in a quiet place. Our friends who had been here recommended Beetle Rock, a very short trail (about a quarter mile) out to a granite overlook with more great views. We sat and enjoyed the sunset before making our way back to the campsite. The best part was that there were no other people there. I love having the place to myself!

You may also be interested in:

Hiking the Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park
An Afternoon in Santa Monica

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