Central Sierra Nevada: Sequoia to Donner
Although Sequoia trees can be found in the southern Sierra, the National Park is located more in the mid-Sierra. From the Kern River to Kings River, the southern stretch of Sierra Nevada is home to the southern most Sequoia groves, the longest river in California, and the granite dome wonderlands that overlook the Mojave Desert.
The Tehachapi range is on the tail end to the south w/ Hwy 58, while Kings Canyon Park borders more High Sierra Wilderness to the north end. If you are heading up from SoCal, this is the most accessible portion of the Sierra Nevada range.
While the Kern River Valley can get hot in the summer months, the rivers, streams & higher elevations surrounding it, make it a prime destination for folks seeking cooler mountain breezes, creeks and dark skies. Springtime is one of the best times of year to visit the Kern River. While summer is best for the high wilderness areas, since the snow usually doesn’t melt until May.
Mountain Home State Forest is a little known haven for campers & hikers seeking less-crowded Sequoias. With the Tule River, fishing ponds, waterfalls, swimming holes & meadows, this place provides a nice solitude to the busier parks to the north. Balch Park is a county park w/ large campground, that sits adjacent to Mountain Home Forest.
Both National Parks are both busy in summer & tourists can be seen lining the Highway 198. Crystal Cave & Boyden Cavern both offer daily tours during the warmer months. Sequoia National Park is open during winter months & is popular among winter sports enthusiasts. Kings Canyon National Park & Hwy 180 are also open during winter, with winter sports recreation.
Big Meadows Road (14S11) offers great camping options for those that wish to camp outside the National Park boundaries.
Sequoia forest & parks –
Sequoia maps & trails –
- Sequoia National Forest Map
- Dome Land Wilderness Map
- Golden Trout Wilderness Map
- Sequoia & Kings Cyn Map
- Kings Canyon High Country Map
Central Sierra Nevada forest & parks –
Central Sierra Highways –
- Tioga Pass Hwy 120
- Sonora Pass Hwy 108
- Ebbetts Pass Hwy 4
- Carson Pass Hwy 88
- Kyburz Pass US Hwy 50
- Donner Pass Interstate 80
Central Sierra Nevada maps & trails –
- Sierra National Forest Map
- Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Maps
- Ansel Adams Wilderness Maps
- Kaiser Wilderness Map
- Sierra Nevada Topo Map
- Shaver Lake Map NatGeo
- Yosemite National Park Maps NatGeo
- Yosemite Valley Trail Map
- Yosemite High Country Map
- Stanislaus NF Map
- Eldorado NF Map
- Lake Tahoe Maps
is located in the western foothills of the Central Sierra Mountains