Some people love the beach and find their peace when they are standing on the shore with sand in their toes. Other people love the mountains and are energized by the high, open spaces and amazing views. But then there are people like me who love to be surrounded by green trees. On our recent trip to California, we took time to visit Kings Canyon National Park, walk through Grant Grove and appreciate the world’s second largest Sequoia tree in the world. The General Grant Tree is an impressive tree that really makes you stand back in awe.
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Visiting the Giant Sequoias: Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park is not hard to find. After leaving Concord, CA, we stopped in Fresno and met up with one of our favorite author friends, Jill Osborne. Then we drove about an hour and a half to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
There is a fee to enter the park, but the America the Beautiful pass will allow you to enter for free!
Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park are massive parks in the National Park Service. The General Grant Tree is located near the Kings Canyon Visitor Center.
Getting to the General Grant tree is a bit tricky for someone like me who is not fan of high, narrow mountain roads. You climb to an elevation of over 6,000 feet and there are steep drop offs along the path. But the drive to the top of this mountain to Grant Cove is definitely worth it!
When you enter Grant Cove, there is ample parking as well as restrooms before you take the short loop trail over to the General Grant tree.
As you walk around the loop trail, you will come to several other historic trees including one where you can actually walk through the fallen tree trunk!
It’s impossible to convey the feeling you get when you see these powerful trees. It feels like you are on a movie set or other planet. They are so massive and powerful, yet you still see little chipmunks scurrying around the base of the trees.
The General Grant tree, the second-largest sequoia in the world, is the centerpiece of Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.
Everywhere you look, people are trying to capture the massive size and impressive feel of these giant sequoias. Fortunately, people are willing to take pictures of your group or family to help capture these memories.
There is so much to see and experience in Kings Canyon National Park. If you have the time to continue exploring, you may want to drive to the General Sherman Tree which is even larger than the General Grant tree and holds the title of world’s largest tree. Make sure you ask a park ranger before you head that direction.
Where to Stay
Once we had spent our time at the General Grant tree in Grant Cove, we were ready to drive to our hotel. We drove about 2 hours to Bakersfield, California for supper and stayed at the SpringHill Suites in Bakersfield, CA so we would be on the way to our next destination across the California desert.
After a long day of driving and exploring, it’s always nice to find a place that offers comfort, an option to swim and unwind and of course restaurant options close to the hotel. Within just a few blocks of the SpringHill Suites hotel, we were able to find multiple food options.
Hotel tip: When you are booking a hotel, make sure you get one that has a great breakfast and maybe even a sweet snack to start your next morning off right!
Have you ever visited Kings Canyon National Park? What kind of a person are you? Beach lover? Mountain climber? or someone who just appreciates the color green in the trees and grass? I’d love to hear!