Tulare California lies at the gate of the Sequoia National Park, the home to the world’s largest living thing. The Giant Sequoia trees are as tall as a 25-story building and would fill a city street with their large bases. A day trip to see these giants is a great option for Tulare families.
Tulare families head to Sequoia via Highway 99 to Highway 198. Travel east on Highway 198 through Visalia, Exeter, Lemon Cove, and Three Rivers and come to the park entrance, about 45 minutes from Tulare. From the park entrance, it is still about one hour’s drive before travelers hit the key scenes of the park.Stop for a burger at Three Rivers before heading into the park. Consider an ice cream at Reimer’s, a favorite candy shop that features homemade candies and ice cream. Fill your car up with gas before you head into the park.
One of the first sights is Moro Rock, a rock with stairs and a hand guard in which you can climb and see the Golden Trout Wilderness to the east (Sequoia’s back country) or the San Joaquin Valley below. The climb is moderate but for those on a tight schedule, climb about one-third of the way up for a great view. If you feel more adventuresome at this point, do head to the top and you will be rewarded by the view.
Near Moro Rock, follow the signs to Crescent Meadow where you will be able to take a moderate to mild hike around this gorgeous meadow. You will find a treat deep in the meadow — Tharpe’s Log, once a home to a Sequoia resident.
From Crescent Meadow, travel back towards Lodge Pole. On the way, make plenty of time to stop for pictures of your car driving under a Giant Sequoia or parked on top of one. You will also pass the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman tree. Park, walk up to the tree, and take the classic tourist pictures. Stay for a while and hike around a grove of giants. Enjoy the classic flora and fauna of Sequoia National Park.
In Lodge Pole you will find a visitor’s center with more information, fast food, and groceries. Near Lodge Pole is a nice hotel as well. As at the information center for trail head information. There are several moderate trails that start near Lodge Pole.
From Lodge Pole you can continue to Grant Grove and then exit the park via Grant Grove to Fresno. The drive is far less winding than the drive from Three Rivers. In any case, plan for a long, full day of hiking and sight-seeing to take in the wonders of the park.