Many families visit Yosemite National Park without exploring nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, just two hours away. If your family is considering a visit, plan to travel the Majestic Mountain Loop, a three-day, do-it-yourself tour that covers all three parks (and is manageable enough that nobody will feel overloaded).
Day 1: Sequoia National Park
Stop 1: Giant Forest Museum
Begin your trip with a brief visit to this museum, which provides interactive exhibits and an introduction to the history of Sequoia National Park.
Stop 2: Climb Inside a Sequoia
Just before Moro Rock (your next stop), you’ll find a burned, hollow sequoia tree.
Climb inside and look up at sky! Be sure to have the kids peer through a hole in the tree for photo ops, too.
Stop 3: Moro Rock
Best for families with tweens or teens, Moro Rock provides views of the High Sierra and Great Western Divide. If you can’t make it to the top, there are plenty of places to take pictures of it from afar.
Stop 4: General Sherman Tree
The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree, by volume, in the world. It is the most popular attraction in Sequoia National Park.
Hotel Recommendation: Wuksachi Lodge
Day 2: Kings Canyon National Park
Stop 1: General Grant Tree
The General Grant Tree is the second largest sequoia tree in the world. It’s also nicknamed the “Nation’s Christmas Tree.”
Stop 2: Boyden Cavern
Go underground to discover even more beauty in Kings Canyon. You’ll see rare formations, a “bat grotto” and more at Boyden Cavern.
Stop 3: Roaring River Falls
Roaring River Falls is one of many beautiful waterfalls within the park. This one descends 40 feet over a small ledge.
Stop 4: Zumwalt Meadow
Stop at Zumwalt Meadow to enjoy more fantastic views and a picnic lunch.
Hotel Recommendation: John Muir Lodge
Day 3: Yosemite National Park
Stop 1: Wawona Pioneer Village
Located by the storied Wawona Hotel, Wawona Pioneer Village provides a peak into yesteryear, with stagecoach rides, living history reenactments and more.
Stop 2: Glacier Point
Glacier Point is one of the most iconic attractions in Yosemite National Park. During the summer months, you can drive to the top (via Glacier Point Road) for spectacular vistas.
Stop 3: Tunnel View
After you descend a hill and drive through a tunnel, the skies seem to open up on this iconic view, worthy of a stop and pictures — lots of them.
Stop 4: Yosemite Valley
Continue on to Yosemite Valley, where you’ll find Curry Village — a hub for lodging, restaurants, outdoor sports rentals (we recommend a bike ride) and more.
Hotel Recommendation: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
– Amanda Geronikos