Gazing up up up at giant trees is only the beginning of what you can do at this dramatic and varied pair of sister parks. Design your own tour with a personal naturalist guide, available through the Sequoia Field Institute, with expert naturalists shedding light on the region’s remarkable ecology. The institute also offers special guided tours of fascinating Crystal Cave, in Sequoia National Park. For a real treat, try spelunking on the special Candlelight Tour, or practice your shimmy and belly-crawl on a Wild Cave Tour.
To get off the grid and get far beyond the parks’ more popular destinations, consider booking a multi-day pack trip; horses or mules carry the gear and guides prepare meals—a pretty awesome way to explore the backcountry and a great choice for families.
Try your hand at catch-and-release fly-fishing in the region’s trout-filled creeks and rivers; local outfitters like Sierra Fly Fisher provide gear and expert instruction for all levels; ask about special family lessons and trips.
While road access through the park is limited in winter due to snow, that same white stuff makes for a whole new way to explore—by snowshoe. Rangers lead guided snowshoe tromps through the Giant Forest and Grant Groves, where giant sequoia trees loom like ancient sentries standing in a snowbound wilderness.