Escape From SF: See the World's Largest Trees at Sequoia and Kings Canyon

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Established in 1890, Sequoia is California's first National Park, and it, along with its impressive neighbor, King Canyon Park, offer a weekend's worth of exploring, hiking, and taking in the sights. The two spots are superlatively stocked, offering up views not only of the largest trees in the world, but also the tallest peak in the lower 48—Mt. Whitney at 14,494 feet—both of which are well worth the four hour drive.

The park features 800 miles of marked trails, 1,200 campsites, several lodges, over 250 caves (only a few open to the public), and a grocery store for necessities. The parks combined are a staggering 865,964 acres of wilderness, 66 miles from north to south and 36 miles at it's widest point.  

We recommend an itinerary that includes Moro Rock, Panoramic Point, Kings Canyon, Tokopah Falls, Hume Lake, and, of course, General Sherman and General Grant trees. A couple of insider tips: General Sherman tree is best viewed in the morning light, and you'll want to catch the sunset at Moro Rock. Remember, you'll be at a pretty high elevation averaging around 7,000 feet, so take your time to breathe, stay hydrated, and layer well.

Some fun quick facts about the giant Sequoia's: Some are 3,200 years old and weigh up to 2.7 million pounds. The base of some can measure up to 40 feet in diameter, and the bark of the tree is up to 31 inches thick. Those are some staggering numbers.