Sequoia National Park is one of the top parks to visit in California. This family-friendly park is open year-round and offers a variety of activities, making it a prime tourist destination. If you’re interested in spending some time in nature, you may be wondering when the best time to visit Sequoia National Park is.
The summer season is the best time to visit Sequoia National Park. Between June and August, the temperature is warm but the trees provide the right amount of shade. All park facilities are open for the summer season, so you will get to make the most out of your trip with fun activities like horseback riding and touring Crystal Cave.
This national park was first established in 1890 and has become a significant part of California. If you want to see giant Sequoia trees in person, then you need to book a trip to Sequoia National Park. Keep reading to find out the best time to visit and what’s great about this park each month.
When Should I Avoid Traveling To Sequoia National Park?
There is no bad time to visit Sequoia National Park, as there’s something great about each season. December is the least comfortable month when it comes to weather because it brings brisk temperatures, snow, and rain. You will need good-quality waterproof outerwear to ensure you’re satisfied.
On the other hand, August is the driest month in the park. This can put the park at a greater risk of a forest fire.
If you are visiting after a forest fire, it’s important that you avoid traveling near burned areas. These areas can be dangerous because of falling trees, rocks, and debris.
When Is The Cheapest Time To Visit Sequoia National Park?
The best time to save money on a trip to Sequoia National Park is between January and March. During this time, it’s easier to find discounted rates on flights. The average traveler will spend anywhere from $2,100 to $3,500 on a one-week visit to this destination. You can visit this park without going over budget if you book your flight during the off-season.
If you live within driving distance of this park and want to spend a day there while saving money, you’re in luck. There are a few days throughout the year when Sequoia National Park when you can take advantage of a free day pass. This includes:
- Martin Luther King’s Birthday (January 17)
- First day of National Park Week (mid-April)
- Great American Outdoors Act anniversary (August 4)
- National Public Lands Day (September 24)
- Veterans Day (November 11)
When To Plan A Trip To Sequoia National Park: Month By Month Breakdown
Sequoia National Park is a beautiful spot to visit during all four seasons. To give you a better idea of when you should book your trip to this park, we’re going to break down some of the best things that each month has to offer.
January: Best Month For Snowy Trails
January is one of the best months to enjoy a peaceful hike on a snowy trail. Keep in mind that snow is unpredictable in Sequoia National Par. But your best bet for catching a snowy day is in January.
The park has designated snow areas that let visitors enjoy the snow safely. We recommend visiting areas like Wolverton and Grant Grove to enjoy winter activities.
- Ranger-guided snowshoeing
- Cross-country skiing
February: Best Month For Winter Drives
Sequoia National Park looks absolutely beautiful in February, making it one of the best times of year to go for a scenic drive.
On a cold day, if you don’t want to stay out in the bitter cold, you can still enjoy the scenery and viewpoints from the comfort of your car. Always make sure your vehicle is prepared with tire chains before touring the park in winter.
Keep in mind that roads often go unplowed as snow accumulates. When you choose to go for a scenic drive, always give yourself plenty of time to drive safely on the roads.
- Hike Buena Vista Peak
- See giant trees along Redwood Mountain Grove
- Check out the views at Kings Canyon Overlook
Related Read: Top 20 Santa Cruz Hiking Trails
March: Best Month For Avoiding Crowds
March is one of the best months to avoid crowds at Sequoia National Park. During the high season in summer, the park will get an average of over 6,000 visitors each day.
In March, the average is only around 2,500. When visiting in March, you should prepare for chilly weather and snow in higher elevations of the park.
- Visit the Giant Forest Museum
- Hike in the Foothill regions
- Take pictures of trees and scenery
April: Best Month To Celebrate Parks
National Parks Weeks starts in April, so what better way to celebrate than a trip to Sequoia National Park.
During this week, America celebrates the history and culture of its favorite parks. Sequoia National Park has a lot to discover, and this month highlights some of the best features.
Keep in mind that when you visit in April, there is still a chance that you may run into snow. The Foothill regions are relatively mild this time of year, but Sequoia Groves may still have freezing temperatures at night.
- Go bird-watching (there are over 2000 species of birds at this park)
- Learn about the myth of the Tunnel Tree
- Hike at Grant Grove trails
May: Best Month For Nature Hikes
Okay, so we know that Sequoia National Park is ideal all year round for going on a hike, but there’s something magical about the scenery in May. The temperature usually stays above 70 F/ 21 C during the day. Green grass is finally revealed for spring, and wildflowers are blooming across the park.
Another reason we love Sequoia National Park in May is that many of the roads and attractions are open again. The shuttle service also re-opens in May for tours of the park.
- Explore Giant Forest
- Learn about the history of Big Stump Grove
- Climb Moro Rock
June: Best Month For Summer Fun Without The Summer Crowd
June offers all the fun of a summer vacation in Sequoia National Park with the rush of crowds that come in July and August. You can enjoy beautiful weather in Sequoia Grove this time of year while enjoying some of the fun. Some popular things to do include overnight backpacking, hikes along the river, horseback riding, and more.
If you’re looking forward to hiking, we strongly recommend you explore trails on Sequoia Grove and avoid the trails on Foothill. The Foothill area gets really hot during the day, with temperatures often soaring above 90 F/ 32 C.
- Fish along the river
- Challenge yourself on J.O. Pass Trail
- Sign up for Ranger Programs
July: Best Month For Camping
July is the best month for camping because you don’t have to word about any bitter cold nights.
You can set up a tent in a designated campground or book a stay at one of the park’s lodges. This is one of the busiest months, so be prepared to see more crowds at the popular destinations.
Booking a camping trip in the summer months gives you more options for where you stay as well. There are only a select few camping locations that are open year-round. However, there are 10 camping locations that open up for the summer season.
- Have a picnic in the park
- Tour Crystal Cave
- Take a dip in the river
Related Read: 15 Best Carmel Hiking Trails
August: Best Month To Enjoy The Shade
August is a great month to visit Sequoia National Park because you can take a break from the hot summer sun and enjoy the natural shade provided by the giant trees in this park.
Some of the trees in this park have grown over 250 feet tall, creating a comfortable atmosphere while you’re out exploring on a sunny day.
Another reason to visit in August is that it’s one of the best times of year to view wildlife. Many visitors have spotted deer, pika, and lizards, among many other animals, while taking a stroll around this park.
We suggest doing some research on what animals are in the area you’re visiting and what time of day you may be able to spot them.
- Stargazing at night
- Visit General Sherman Tree
- Horseback riding
Related Read: 29 Top Treehouse Rentals in California
September: Best Month For Comfort
One of the reasons we love Sequoia National Park in September is that summer temperatures have started to cool off. However, the crisp autumn temperatures haven’t arrived.
While the Foothills still remain hot during the day, the Sequoia Grove is slightly cooler, providing the most comfortable conditions for exploring.
There’s another reason we enjoy this park in September. All the summer attractions are still open for the last of the season, but the crowds have settled down. This is the last month you can visit attractions like Crystal Cave and Mineral King.
- Dark Sky Festival
- Spot wildlife on Cedar Grove trail
- Visit the Soundscapes
October: Best Month For Autumn Hikes
October is one of the best months to visit Sequoia National Park if you want to be surrounded by beautiful autumn scenery. You will need to prepare for cooler days in Sequoia Grove, but the Foothills temperature drops down to a more comfortable range.
The temperatures usually have a high of 80 F/ 26 C. October is the ideal month if you missed your chance at summer vacation and want to visit before it gets cold.
If you enjoy fishing, October is a good month for it. The river is at its lowest, and the water is still warm, giving you a better chance of catching a bite. There are several types of trout in the river, including brook, rainbow, and German brown.
- Enjoy the fall colors around the park
- Relax and watch the sunset
- Stop by a visitor center
November: The Month Where You Get To Choose Your Season
When you visit Sequoia National Park in November, you can choose your destination based on the season you prefer.
If you want to enjoy winter activities, there are several areas in Sequoia National Park that may have up to a foot of snow. This allows you to enjoy snowshoeing, sledding, and other winter activities.
On the other hand, the Foothills are still nice and mild, with average daily highs being around 67 F/ 19 C. While nighttime temperatures do drop, it’s still in an appropriate range for camping overnight.
- Spot woodpeckers
- Grab a bite to eat at Wuksachi
- Take a scenic drive
December: Best Month To Get Festive Outdoors
There’s nothing like a fresh snowfall to put someone in a festive mood, which is why December can be a fun month to visit Sequoia National Park.
All of the winter activities will have started so that you can enjoy snowshoeing, sledding, and other activities. Kids also have a blast playing in the snow areas.
It’s important to know that when you’re traveling in December, you will need to bring extra layers and a waterproof jacket.
This will ensure you’re comfortable if you run into rain while you’re exploring. There is a selection of cozy lodges and cabins to stay at and warm up after a day of exploring this park.
- Warm-up with a hot drink at the lodge
- Tubing in the snow play areas
- Snowshoe in Grant Grove
When Is The Best Time To Bring Kids To Sequoia National Park?
January and February are two of the best months to visit with kids because of the fun winter activities.
The park is very beautiful when it’s covered with snow, which makes it a wonderful time to go out exploring. Kids also have a lot of fun in the snow play areas, where they can go sledding or tubing.
That being said, each season has something wonderful to offer families that want to explore this park. If your kids don’t enjoy being out in the cold, they may prefer a summer adventure.
More attractions are open this time of year, giving kids the opportunity to engage with rangers and learn more about the park.
Related Read: 30 Things To Do In Santa Cruz
When Is Sequoia National Park The Most Crowded?
Sequoia National Park is the most crowded in July and August. A lot of people travel during these two months because their kids are out of school.
All of the attractions in the park are open, and camping season is at its peak. The park sees nearly triple the number of visitors during these two months as it does the rest of the year.
When Does It Rain The Most At Sequoia National Park?
February is the rainiest month, with an average of 8.02 inches of precipitation. The rainy season usually occurs in the winter and spring months from January through May.
Summer is the dry season, with very few rainy days; however, there is the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. It’s also common for the winter months to have low-sitting clouds.
What Month Is The Most Expensive To Visit Sequoia National Park?
The summer months are the most expensive time to book a trip to Sequoia National Park. The flight is one of the most expensive parts, and the rates in July and August are usually higher.
With more things open around the park that are closed off-season, it’s easier for travelers to spend more money than intended. Specific sites, like Crystal Cave, also charge an admission rate.