fun to do kids sequoia kings canyon national parks california   Travel for Kids
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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

At Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, kids can see the largest living trees on earth, the giant sequoias. These magnificent trees barely escaped destruction in the 19th century – a third of the giant sequoias were cut down to make pencils and other wooden bits and pieces. In 1890, Sequoia was set aside, including the General Sherman Tree and Giant Forest, making it the second oldest national park in the United States.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park are two contiguous parks – Kings Canyon in the north, Sequoia in the south. Highway 180 is the north entrance into Kings Canyon and Grant Grove. Highway 198 is the south entrance, most convenient for the Giant Forest and Sequoia. The Generals Highway connects the two parks.

Tip: The parks cover a large area, so allow time to get from one part to another. For example, Lodgepole Village to Grant Grove is an hour drive, Grant Grove to Cedar Grove is another hour, without any stops.

    Sequoia National Park
    Kings Canyon National Park
   

Go camping – Camping in the parks is ideal as the campgrounds are close to the sights to see and things to do. Inside the park are markets, snack bars, and laundromats.  Lodgepole and Grant Grove campgrounds have evening campfire programs; check at the visitor centers for the schedule. Click here for info about the campgrounds.

  Tips for enjoying Sequoia & Kings Canyon

Drinking water – Even on a short hike, bring water bottles with you. In the dry, warm air, it's easy to get dehydrated, so drink plenty of water. The streams in look pristine, but don't drink the water.

Sunscreen and hats – Days are usually sunny and can get hot in summer, so it's easy to get a sunburn. Slather on the sunscreen on the kids and wear hats or baseball caps.

Insect repellent – If you're camping, in early summer bring mosquito repellent; in late summer gnats may be out.

Don't feed the animals – The animals in the national parks are protected, and squirrels and marmots will come up to sample your lunch.  Don't feed people food to any animals – it's bad for them.

Bears There are black bears in the area, so don't leave any food in your car overnight, and even while picnicking, keep an eye on your lunch. Rangers also recommend taking car seats out of the car at night (think of the food smells that might attract bears).

Water safety – The rivers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon are gorgeous, but rocks can be slippery and it's easy to fall in. When the water is high early in the summer, don't let kids play unsupervised near the rivers, and only wade or play in the creeks when the water is low.

kids books sequoia kings canyon
     
Riding the Flume - kids mystery sequoia kings canyon California  
Riding the Flume
Patricia Curtis Pfitsch

It's the late 19th century and the big trees in Sequoia are being logged right and left. Finding a note left in a redwood stump, Francie Cavanaugh follows a mystery that leads to a ride down the rushing waters of a man-made flume to save the largest tree on earth. (Chapter book)

 

     
Who Pooped in the Park
Gary D. Robson, Elijah Brady Clark

Find out about animals that live in Sequoia and Kings Canyon by following their tracks and scat (poop) – black bear, porcupine, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, spotted bat, and great gray owl. (Picture book)

 

 
Who Pooped in the Park: Sequoia and Kings Canyon animals childrens books sequoia kings canyon california
     
Day Hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks guidebook  

Sixty easy hikes in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, with maps. Detailed hike descriptions, trail difficulty, and what you'll see along the way. (Guidebook)

 

More children's books on other California pages
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