JUST FOR KIDS

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks is full of fun activities just for the kids! Great hiking trails, junior ranger days and programs like Every Kid in the Park barely scratch the surface of available family fun in the national parks. Getting outdoors is a great way for families to experience fun together as they taking in the surrounding nature. 

Not only are outdoor adventures fun, they are also beneficial. According to the website Mental Floss there are many health benefits to being outdoors. Being outdoors is fun, but even more importantly, it’s good for the brain, body, and soul, says Mental Floss. One of the top benefits of being outside is that it boosts your energy. And who doesn’t need more energy? Being outdoors can also boost your immune system, another great benefit. Sanford Health says that getting your kids outdoors can help improve sensory skills, social development and increase attention spans. So, are you ready to get outdoors and explore? Check out these fun, kid-friendly activities in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks.

For some fun things to do in Visalia, check out "Things to Do."

Help the kids get a head start learning about sequoia trees as you make the drive (or ride the Sequoia Shuttle) to Sequoia National Park. Check out this Children's Activity Booklet for some fun facts, a word search puzzle and fill in the blank questions. You can download & print at home or pick one up at the Visit Visalia office when you're in town. 

*Tip: this sheet is best printed on legal size paper 8.5" x14"

General Sherman Tree: If you only have time to do one thing in the Sequoias, choose this! The General Sherman Tree Loop is 0.5 mile trail that descends upon some of the most magnificent trees in the National Park and culminates at the base of the General Sherman Tree-- the world's largest living thing.

Big Trees Trail: This trail circles Round Meadow and features trail-side exhibits about the sequoia habitat. The trail is 1.5 miles in length and takes roughly 1 hour to complete. While you're there, make sure to stop by the Giant Forest Museum to learn all about the giant sequoia story. 

Tokopah Falls Trail: The trail to Tokopah Falls is an easy walk along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River. Tokopah Falls is 1,200 feet high and most impressive in spring and early summer. It is the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park, but unlike the famous free-falling waterfalls in other national parks, Tokopah Falls features a long series of steep picturesque cascades. This hike is 4.2 miles round-trip and is enjoyable for hikers of all abilities. 

Crescent Meadow & Tharp's Log: If you follow the signs to Tharp's Log, you will see meadows, giant sequoias, the park's oldest cabin, dense fir forest and wildflowers (when they are in season). This easy 1.8 mile hike will surely wow you with it's beauty. Continue on to Tharp's Log and check out the 19th century cabin which was built into a hollowed out sequoia tree.

Crystal Cave: Sequoia National park's majestic, towering forests will have definitely have visitors looking skyward at the big trees, but don't forget to look down, too. One of 270 caves hidden throughout the park, Crystal Cave offers visitors a remarkable peek beneath the surface of the Sierras. Formed of marble, Crystal Cave in California’s Sequoia National Park is decorated with curtains of icicle-like stalactites and mounds of stalagmites. Crystal Cave is only available by pre-scheduled tours, so make sure to purchase tickets online, at Lodgepole or at the Foothills Visitors Center. Check out the "Wild Cave Tour: Family" for an extra special time. *recommended for children ages 10-15

Hanging Rock Trail: At the trailhead to Hanging Rock, you'll notice a fun giant sequoia that has been burned out whit two gaps big enough to climb in and out of. At the end of the trail you'll find closeup views of a curiously balanced boulder on the rim of the large canyon carve by Marble Fork.

Huckleberry Meadow Trail: For a quieter hike among the giants, take a gander at Huckleberry Meadow Trail. This hike, though less visited will take you around a variety of scenery including a stream, meadows, young and old sequoia woodland, and old cabin and a floral hillside. Distance: 4 miles.

General Grant Loop Trail: Take a walk around Grand Grove and spot the world's second-largest giant sequoia tree, the General Grant. Located in Kings Canyon National Park, the tree was nicknamed the "Nation's Christmas Tree" by President Calvin Coolidge, and remains one of the primary visitor attractions to the area. Each Christmas the National Park Service hosts a trek to the Nation's Christmas Tree that gives visitors and locals a chance to see the giant dressed for the holidays.

Zumwalt Meadow: Visit this stunning meadow with high granite walls for one of the best day hikes in Kings Canyon National Park. The short, 1.5 mile trail offers visitors views of the canyon, meadows, wildflowers, rushing river, Giant Sequoia trees and more! The trailhead begins at the Zumwalt Meadow parking area, just west of Road's End past Cedar Grove Village in Kings Canyon National Park.

The Junior Ranger Program is a great way to explore national parks, get some cool swag and maybe even one of those cool coveted hats the rangers wear! Well... okay. Yours might be made out of paper, but you'll still rock it! You'll also learn why parks matter and how you can be a part of the team that helps keep parks healthy. 

The National Park Service Junior Ranger program is an activity based program in almost all parks. Every year in April, the parks also celebrate Junior Ranger Day, when each park has special programs for those junior rangers. Don't forget to pick up your Junior Ranger Activity Book at any of the visitor centers to get started.

Hey 4th graders! Did you know that you can explore America's natural wonders and historic sites, for free? You and your family get free access to hundreds of parks, lands and waters for an entire year. This means, you can visit sights like the world's largest tree, the deepest canyon in North America and even spot the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. 

Find out more about how you can get your pass, here

The Passport to the National Parks is a booklet that allows you to mark your national park visit with a special stamp, called a cancellation. Each park has a unique stamp, and some even have multiple stamps for various stops within the park. The stamp will include the park name and specified location, as well as the date of your visit.

There are several versions of the National Park Passport, but the best one is the special edition passport just for your Junior Ranger! This special edition is a fully illustrated park guide that allows kids to collect both the cancellation stamps and a stamp when they complete the Junior Ranger program at the park.

To find out which passport is for you click here.

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P.O. Box 2734 Visalia, CA 93279
112 E Main St, Visalia, CA 93291
(800) 524-0303 : (559) 334-0141