Sequoia National Park is a fantastic place to visit if you and your family love the great outdoors and want to see something unique.
There are plenty of things to explore in Sequoia National Park, most notably the stately redwoods that dominate the landscape. Still, there are also plenty of hills and mountains, caverns, and many trekking opportunities.
These rules are in place to protect the land and minimize damage while still allowing visitors to soak in the splendor that is Sequoia National Park. If you and your family want to visit this pristine piece of California land, it’s helpful to know the best time to go.
Why You Should Visit Sequoia National Park
People love Sequoia National Park because it’s home to some of the oldest redwoods on the planet. Since it’s relatively close to Los Angeles, it’s an accessible slice of nature that will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a different world.
If you love hiking and nature and want a little tranquility in your life, head to Sequoia National Park.
Overall Best Time to Visit Sequoia National Park
The best time to visit Sequoia National Park will differ from person to person, depending on what you’re looking to do.
Weather-wise, the summer months are ideal because the climate is far more predictable, and you can thoroughly enjoy your hike.
During the summer, you can enjoy a refreshing dip in one of Sequoia Park’s many lakes or camp out with your family. Just make sure that you get a permit before you go.
With changing climates, snow, and rough terrain, winter tends to be a bit more challenging. So, if you plan on driving in Sequoia National Park during winter, make sure you have chains on your tires.
On the other hand, the winter months are incredible for seeing a whole new side of the park, and you can partake in fun activities like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
Cheapest Time to Visit Sequoia National Park
Since Sequoia National Park is busiest during the summer, the cheapest time to visit is either the winter or late fall.
As a bonus, you’ll get to check out the changing leaves, and there will be fewer crowds to contend with. If you want to cut back on your expenses, it’s a good idea to book your accommodation and flights well in advance.
Compare prices between flights, and don’t be afraid to consider hotel alternatives, like bed and breakfasts or Airbnb for lodging. A little creative planning could save you a lot of cash in the long run.
Least Busy Time to Visit Sequoia National Park
You won’t find too many crowds in Sequoia National Park during the winter, so if you’re looking for peace and quiet, visit between November and April.
The downside is that you could run into bad weather or dangerous hiking conditions. There are several things that you should keep in mind if you’re venturing into Sequoia National Park after the mercury drops.
- Bring plenty of lightweight, warm layers
- Pack gloves and a hat
- Don’t venture onto trails that look too dangerous
- Always pay attention to signage and listen to the rangers
- Tell someone where you’re going if you’re hiking alone
Although it’s a bit different than visiting during the summer, you shouldn’t discount Sequoia National Park in the winter altogether. If you love nature and don’t mind battling a little snow and colder temperatures, this time of year could be ideal for you and your family.
Worst Time to Visit Sequoia National Park
What constitutes the worst time to visit Sequoia National Park is entirely subjective. Although the summer months offer plenty of things to do in terms of hiking, swimming, and exploring, winter also has its advantages.
To determine the best and worst time to visit Sequoia National Park for you, ask yourself a few clarifying questions.
- What sorts of activities do I want to do while I’m there?
- What’s my hiking proficiency?
- How do I feel about driving on icy roads?
- Will large crowds annoy me?
- Is it more important to save money or go during the season of my choice?
The answers to those questions will help you to make an informed decision about when you should visit the scenic and lovely Sequoia National Park. If you’re planning on traveling with your family, make sure you run these questions by them.
Things to Consider
Sequoia National Park is a fabulous place to visit, but there are a few things that you should keep in mind to make your stay both memorable and safe.
Sequoia National Park offers a smartphone app to download offline maps. Since service tends to be pretty spotty in the park, especially if you venture into the deeper parts of the woods, this app can help you find your way back.
In addition, it’s free and easy to download. Consider the app one easy way to stay safe while exploring to your heart’s content.
Book Your Camping Reservation in Advance
If you want to stay at Sequoia National Park, especially during one of the high seasons, understand that you’re in outstanding company.
Many people plan to camp out in the park, so making reservations well in advance is essential. Not only will you save yourself grief, but you’ll also be able to plan your vacation better.
Be Respectful of the Wildlife
You should never touch wild animals. If you see them, leave them alone and observe from a respectful distance. Not only could you distress the animal, but you could also hurt yourself. If you eat food in the park, put it into a designated container to keep wildlife away and the park safe for all guests.
Mind Your Fires
Campfires are totally fine in designated areas of Sequoia National Park, but you need to be smart about them. Never make a fire in a place where you don’t have explicit permission to do so.
And always ensure that you put your fire out completely. As Sequoia National Park tends to be drier, forest fires are a genuine concern for the ancient trees and other guests.
Always tell someone where you’re going and exercise a lot of caution around water and ledges. Don’t assume that every trail in Sequoia National Park is fit for everyone. It’s a good idea to assess your fitness level and hiking ability before heading out to the park. Doing so will keep you safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
These frequently asked questions and answers will help prepare you for your visit to Sequoia National Park and make the most of your family vacation.
What will I see in Sequoia National Park?
You’ll see plenty of old-growth redwood trees at Sequoia National Park and stunning hiking trails, lakes, mountains, and foothills. Make sure you visit Muir Grove and Redwood Canyon if you like hiking.
These treks are challenging, but experienced hikers will find the views rewarding and worth it.
You should also make a point to visit the General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest living sequoia tree. Although the General Sherman Tree is famous, it’s worth battling the crowds to get a glimpse of this magnificent specimen.
Are there any animals in the park?
There are many animals in Sequoia National Park, including birds, mammals, and lizards. Remember, these animals are wild, and trying to interact with them is not okay. You can take pictures from a distance but avoid entering the animal’s habitat.
You could scare it, or even worse, it might attack you. Also, never get near animals with their young, as mothers can be especially assertive about protecting their cubs.
If you’re lucky, you might spot an elusive gray fox, woodrat, or California quail. Bobcats and black bears are also indigenous to the park, although they tend to be afraid of people.
To avoid encounters with larger species of animals, make sure that you put all of your food away. There are snakes in the park, too, including the striped racer, gopher snake, and California kingsnake.
Be careful when walking through piles of leaves or over semi-wet terrain, and you should have no problem. However, if you see a sick animal or have a bad encounter, let the forest rangers know immediately, and they will help.
What should I pack for my visit?
What you should pack for your visit to Sequoia National Park all depends on what time of year you’re visiting. If you’re going during the summer months, pack lots of water, sunscreen, light layers, and a bathing suit to enjoy the lands and ponds in the park.
During the winter, it’s a good idea to pack several light but warm layers of clothing, a hat and gloves, and something waterproof to go over your trekking day bag.
No matter what, you should always have waterproof clothing, as the weather can get unpredictable. Good shoes are an absolute must in Sequoia National Park.
You’ll want sturdy sneakers or hiking boots with a lot of tread on the bottom. You’ll be in even better shape if you can find waterproof options. Bring extra socks in case your feet get wet, too.
Is Sequoia National Park dangerous?
Sequoia National Park is not inherently dangerous, but there are some harmful elements that you need to keep in mind. If you’re visiting during the summer, exercise caution around lakes and ponds, especially if you’re not a strong swimmer.
Additionally, bring plenty of mosquito repellants and stay away from local wildlife. Sequoia National Park does have some ground insects that can bite your ankles, so wear thick socks, even in the summer.
These will protect you from unpleasantness and stop your hiking boots from chafing. In the winter, prepare for icy roads and treacherous trails.
Only do serious mountain climbing or trekking if you’re skilled in winter hiking, and bring poles with you to help balance yourself. You could also be in danger of frostbite during the winter, so remember to change wet clothes often and seek shelter when necessary.
What should I know before I visit Sequoia National Park?
The best way to fully enjoy yourself at Sequoia National Park is to arrive prepared. Understand what kind of weather you’re getting into and pack accordingly.
Additionally, if you’re hiking alone, you should undoubtedly tell somewhere where you’re going in advance. A little safety goes a long way. Make sure you download the free Sequoia National Park app and secure your campsite before visiting.
Never litter in the park. It’s a good idea to bring baggies for food scraps and garbage. You should also know what time is best to visit the park based on your needs.
How can I beat the crowds at Sequoia National Park?
The best way to beat the crowds is to simply avoid them altogether. If you are not opposed to hiking during the winter, plan to visit during the off-season. There’s a good chance that you will have the park all to yourself.
Plan accordingly if you want to visit during the summer, either because that’s when your schedule permits or you don’t like winter hiking. If you’re visiting a popular part of the park, arrive early to beat the crowds and the heat.
Avoid visiting Sequoia National Park during school holidays and on the weekends whenever possible, and plan out your trails in advance, so you’re not trying to do it on the fly.
You can also separate the park into chunks, covering one section per day. This way, you won’t feel like you are rushing but will still have a chance to see everything.
You can visit busier areas during the morning and explore more remote trails during the afternoon hours. These easy tips and tricks will help you to have the best time possible in Sequoia National Park.
It is a good idea to do as much in advance as possible. You can buy your park pass online, make your campsite reservation early, and have your app and itinerary ready to go.
Doing all of this beforehand will allow you to use your time at Sequoia National Park to your complete advantage, rather than having to scramble when you arrive.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Sequoia National Park?
The best time to visit Sequoia National Park will depend on what you want to do and your hiking style. The winter months are the cheapest, and you will not have to contend with summer crowds.
On the other hand, trekking during the winter can be challenging. Summer is fantastic but crowded at Sequoia National Park.
The best idea is to think about what you want to do and plan your vacation accordingly to adhere to your budget and style. That way, you will have a beautiful time at this national treasure. Happy travels!