Sequoia National Park is tucked away in the eastern side of California. Death Valley and Nevada lie to the east of the park, and the Central Coast to the west. Covering more than 600 square miles along the Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park features rocky outcroppings, valleys, and foothills. When you book a stay at a vacation rental near Sequoia National Park, you can wake up to towering redwood trees and fresh mountain air. Here’s an overview of the best time of year to visit the park.
Visiting Sequoia National Park in the Summer
The summer months have average temperatures at 77 F for the highs and 44 F for the lows. These months also have the lowest amount of precipitation with less than half of an inch of rain per month. This means that summer has stable, warm temperatures that vary by 25 degrees between highs and lows. Make sure to pack a light jacket to nip those cooler nighttime temperatures in the bud, long pants for the same reason, and a pair of shorts when temperatures climb. Because hiking is by far the most popular (though not only) summer activity, those shorts will come in handy as you trek among the trees and up to Moro Rock, boasting one of the best views in the park. Rock climbing and horseback riding are also available and quite popular. The summer months have a bustling quality with visitors eager to see the verdant growth and towering trees and participate in the ranger-led activities, the latter of which are plentiful during this time of year.
Visiting Sequoia National Park in the Fall
Ranger-led activities taper off at the end of summer and through the fall, but there are a number of educational programs you can participate in such as the Ranger in the Grove while roving the Giant Tree Trail, the Ghosts in the Grove Twilight Walk, the Grant Tree Walk, and the Foothills Feature. The pace of the Sequoia National Park also slows down. Hiking is still the most popular activity, but the Mineral King and Cedar Grove Areas close for the year. On the other hand, the crisp fall air and changing foliage add a unique highlight to your trip. Make sure to bring long pants for those hikes as the higher elevations can get rather chilly in the fall. Add a jacket or light coat to your packing list as well. Temperatures can be unpredictable with highs of 72 F in September to lows of 30 F in November. September is the warmest of the fall months, but October and November can drop below freezing at night. There’s also a greater chance of snowfall during this time with precipitation rising from less than an inch in September to over 4 inches in November.
Visiting Sequoia National Park in the Winter
Winter’s the sleepiest season in the Sequoia National Park, but the snow-dusted trees give this forest a winter wonderland look right out of a fairy tale. Temperatures between December and March drop down to 23 F with highs of 48 F. With the dropping temperatures comes an increase in snow and precipitation with about 8 inches a month. On a list of what to pack for your trip, put down winter wear: coats, snow pants, gloves, scarves, and boots. Even your car has a packing list, and that is snow tires or chains; it’s best to be prepared. In fact, some areas during winter months require that you have chains for your tires. With all this snow, skiing and snowshoeing are the most popular things to do. This way, you can appreciate the beauty of the sequoias while enjoying some of your favorite activities. Wuksachi Lodge offers both snowshoe and ski rentals. There are a few winter ranger-led programs such as the ranger-guided snowshoe walk starting at the Giant Forest Museum. While it may be cold outside, a shining sun on snow can make a dazzling combination requiring both sunglasses and sunscreen.
Visiting Sequoia National Park in the Spring
With the winter thaw comes both spring and wildflower growth. Favorite activities during April, May, and June range from hiking to snowshoeing, depending on how much snow is on the ground. Both offer spectacular views of the wildflowers, one of the biggest draws of the season. Because of the shifting temperatures, which range from highs of 53 F to 68 F and lows of 30 F to 44 F, long pants, a Jacket, and a light coat are recommended along with gloves and boots. There’s also a chance of precipitation. This, along with the snowmelt that turns streams into raging rivers, requires at least a poncho. The park is just waking up, boasting fewer visitors than at summer, but more than at winter. There are also more ranger-led programs as the main tourist season gears up. Some spring programs include Cedar Grove activities, Ranger by the River at Muir Rock, and Saunter in the Sequoias.
When is The Best Time to Visit Sequoia National Park?
While each season has its beauty, from fall foliage to budding wildflowers, summer is the best time to visit. It offers the most when it comes to activities. It also has fewer limitations because the weather tends to be stable, predictable, and neither too hot nor too cold. While you can hike, rock climb, or horseback ride to your heart’s content, there are also more visitors to the park. Bigger crowds, however, seem to be a fair trade-off for more flexibility and freedom. A vacation rental at Sequoia National Park puts you on the front lines of some of the best nature has to offer.
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