Embark on a Wilderness Journey in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

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The marvels tucked away in California’s Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks are no hidden secret. The magnificent presence of ancient sequoia trees, glacial canyons, broad lake basins, lush meadows, and sheer granite peaks, represent the most rugged portion of the High Sierra. This captivating landscape expands throughout the park’s presidentially designated 808,000 acres of wilderness, including an additional 29,500 acres of proposed wilderness.

Experience the hallmarks of the Sierra Nevada with a backpacking trip in Sequoia & Kings Canyon

From front country experiences like camping in the park’s fourteen popular campgrounds to an extensive network of trails, Sequoia & Kings Canyons National Parks offer opportunities for inspiration at its most iconic destinations and solitude in the backcountry. If you plan to visit during the summer season, expect busy weekends and congestion at the park’s most popular destinations like Grant Grove (Kings Canyon National Park) and in the Giant Forest (Sequoia National Park). Be sure to arrive early and park only in designated areas.

Those seeking a backcountry experience can explore the park’s wilderness which includes over 95% of the park.  Here you can climb the highest peaks and most rugged country in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Not all wilderness hikes are challenging; gentle trails lead into wilderness areas, too.

Views from the Alta Peak Trail.

Alta Peak Trail at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Heidi Motzkus, Share the Experience)

The permit system is an essential component of the parks’ wilderness stewardship efforts to prevent crowding and ensure wilderness visitors are prepared to protect the mountain environment. During the high use summer months the park limits the number of people entering the wilderness for overnight use by entry point and day and charges a permit fee.

Beginning January 5, 2021, advanced reservations for overnight permits will be available on Recreation.gov for the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks backcountry.  Reservations are available six months in advance for trip dates starting May 28, 2021 through the end of the quota season, September 18, 2021.

Outside the quota season permits are self-issued and free at the trailhead.

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