If you are visiting California, either Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Even Las Vegas in Nevada, there are two national parks you cannot miss and will reward you with the most spectacular natural landscapes, with granite mountains, domes, hills, with meadows, lakes, forests with giant trees and redwood conifers. And not to talk about the amazing wildlife you’ll encounter a very few meters away from you nor the views from any hill you climb. We are talking about Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, we promise both will be unforgettable.
How to get to Yosemite and Sequoia from San Francisco?
Yosemite is only 3 hours and a half from San Francisco. The parks are relatively close one to each other, so you can arrange to attend both during at least four days, to take the time to see the most relevant sites or perhaps get relax in a beautiful camping site in a unique place on the planet. We decided to camp in Wawona, a very central place, and ideal for easily moving to interest places.
Yosemite the granite sanctuary
The rock formations create absolutely stunning landscapes and from anywhere you can get excellent photos. There are hundreds of routes to walk as long as the weather permits, we could say that Yosemite has more adventures for those who love hiking or climbing. Some of the best places to see the interesting views:
- The Half Dome from the Glacier Point view
One of the most famous places in this park for its strange shape is the Half Dome. You can make a route of about 12 hours to reach its peak but is vital to get prior information about what is required to do so. To hike it proper shoes, water, and good shape are vital. The Glacier point allows you to see the great mountain from across. It is particularly beautiful at sunset time, as you will get the last sunlight on the top of the Half Dome.
Sequoia, land of giants
The park is renowned internationally because it houses the species with the greater volume of the planet: the Giant Sequoias. Over 100m tall trunks, over 10m in diameter (you will need around 35 people holding hands to hug it) and roots that exceed 30m depth, most of them, between 2000 and 3000 years old. You can take trails that let you see the most renowned sequoias, but note that trails are constantly changing, as the trees fall and its large trunk generate changes in the area. You can see some of the giants resting on the floor and get another perspective of their size, even walk on them and have this “ant” feeling.
Interesting places to visit in Sequoia National Park:
- The General Sherman
This is the largest tree on earth (by its volume). 83,8 meters high, 31,3 meters in circumference, 11,1 m of diameter. This is a huge spectacular giant. I dreamt about hugging it, but in order to protect it, and to protect the fragile sequoia seeds, it has been surrounded by a fence. In any case, it was amazing to be honored to meet him.
- The twins
Located at Grant Grove, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.
- The Sentinel
He is kind of a teenager sequoia, compared to the elders, but is huge also and is located in front of the Giant Forest Museum, a very interesting place to understand deeply how these trees work together, how they overcome fires with resilience. You can read our post about it here.
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What has been your favorite park in the United States West coast? Let us know below in the comments.
You can read our almost spiritual experience with the Sequoias in this link.
We dream about going back. Later will be… for the moment Vamos Somewhere else!