The park was established in 1890 to protect groves of big trees, or giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum), which are among the world’s largest and oldest living things.
Sequoia National Park covers an area of 1,635 square kilometers (631 square miles) or 163,518 hectares (404,064 acres).
This dramatic landscape testifies to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity — huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and giant sequoias.
Sequoia National Park contains a significant portion of the Sierra Nevada. The park’s mountainous landscape includes the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney, which rises to 14,505 feet (4,421 m) above sea level.
The Giant Forest is the centerpiece of Sequoia National Park. This montane forest, situated at over 1,800 meters (6,000 feet) above sea level. It has the best sequoia hikes as well as some spectacular high country trails. Five of the ten most massive trees on the planet are located within the Giant Forest.
The largest big tree in the park is known as the General Sherman tree and is thought to be 2,300 to 2,700 years old. Although the General Sherman Tree, 83.8 metres (274.9 feet) high, is not as tall as some of the California coast redwoods and its circumference at its base (31.3 metres, or 102.6 feet) is not as great as that of a cypress growing near Oaxaca, Mexico, it is, in terms of volume, the world’s largest living thing.
Moro Rock is a granite dome rock formation in Sequoia National Park. It is located in the center of the park, at the head of Moro Creek, between Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. A stairway, designed by the National Park Service and built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, is cut into and poured onto the rock, so that visitors can hike to the top. The view from the rock encompasses much of the Park, including the Great Western Divide.
Crystal Cave is a marble karst cave within Sequoia National Park, in the western Sierra Nevada of California. It is one of at least 240 known caves in Sequoia National Park. Crystal Cave is in the Giant Forest area, between the Ash Mountain entrance of the park and the Giant Forest museum.
Tokopah Falls, also known as Tokopah Valley Falls, is a 370-meter (1,200-foot) cascading waterfall in Sequoia National Park. The falls are formed as the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River slides down a huge granite headwall of the glacial Tokopah Valley. Although the falls flow powerfully during the snow melt of late spring and early summer, it is usually a trickle by autumn, occasionally drying up completely during poor snow years.
The scenic Mineral King area in the southern part of the park was added in 1978. Its focus is the glacier-carved Mineral King Valley, which is bordered by high mountain peaks; a number of hiking trails radiate from the valley.
The area which now comprises Sequoia National Park was first home to “Monachee” Native Americans, who resided mainly in the Kaweah River drainage in the Foothills region of the park, though evidence of seasonal habitation exists as high as the Giant Forest.
By the time the first European settlers arrived in the area, smallpox had already spread to the region, decimating Native American populations. The first European settler to homestead in the area was Hale Tharp, who famously built a home out of a hollowed-out fallen giant sequoia log in the Giant Forest next to Log Meadow.
Sequoia National Park is one of the eight national parks in California.
They were designated the UNESCO Sequoia-Kings Canyon Biosphere Reserve in 1976.
Animals that inhabit this park are coyote, badger, black bear, bighorn sheep, deer, fox, cougar, eleven species of woodpecker, various species of turtle, three species of owl, opossum, various species of snake, wolverine, birds including roadrunner, beaver, various species of frog, and muskrat.
Sequoia National Park has about 1.3 million visitors per year.