Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are located right next to each other in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Best viewed and visited as a single park, they are known for their giant sequoia trees, which are some of the largest and oldest living organisms on Earth. The parks also feature deep canyons, rugged foothills, and high mountain peaks.
A haven for day trippers and backpackers alike, some popular attractions include the General Sherman Tree, the largest living tree on Earth, and the John Muir Trail, a popular backpacking route. The parks are also home to a diverse array of plant and animal life, including black bears, mountain lions, and several species of birds and fish.
We now offer custom private guided backpacking trips in Sequoia-Kings Canyon as. well as a 10-day Youth Summer Camp Backpacking Adventure. Private backpacking guests can choose from one of popular trips explained below, or chat with our park experts to design a totally custom trip of a lifetime!
Some of our most requested backpacking trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park include:
The Rae Lakes Loop, at 41-miles, is considered one of the most popular and scenic backpacking routes in the park, and offers hikers the opportunity to experience a wide variety of natural beauty, including alpine lakes, granite peaks, and lush meadows.
The trail starts at the Road's End trailhead, located at the end of a long, winding road in the park. From there, hikers will ascend into the Sierra Nevada mountains, passing through the beautiful Rae Lakes, which are known for their crystal-clear water and stunning mountain views. Along the way, hikers will also pass by several other lakes, including Arrowhead, Dragon, and Woods Lakes.
One of the highlights of the Rae Lakes Loop is the Glen Pass, which at 12,000 feet is one of the highest points of the trail and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Mileage: 41 Miles
Recommended Length: 5 Days
This 30 mile loop through the heart of the Sequoia National Park backcountry features clusters of sapphire alpine lakes, high alpine passes with unobstructed 360 degree views, and serene forest and meadow campsites. By the end of the trip, you will be convinced this is one of the finest hikes in all of California.
Your hike begins with a gradual climb to the first night’s camp at Monarch Lake. From there, the trail winds through calm pine forests, past many lake studded alpine basins, and over two high mountain passes with views of the entire park. Each night you will have your pick of campsites by remote alpine lakes with opportunities for swimming and watching the sunset glow on the mountains and water. On the last day, the trail loops back around to Mineral King where your hike began.
Mileage: 31 Miles
Recommended Length: 5 Days
This traverse of the High Sierra through Sequoia National Park is a week-long backpacking adventure that you will remember forever. Begin your hike in a grove of Giant Sequoia Trees, the most massive trees on Earth. Leaving these giants behind, you will gain elevation as you move into the mountains and camp by alpine lakes and meadows. Your journey will take you into the Kern River Canyon, a gorge rivaling the Grand Canyon in size and majesty. Hot springs deep in the wilderness provide a welcome opportunity to relax at your halfway campsite. Following your soak, the trail again climbs towards the slopes of Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the continental United States. Enjoying the view from this summit is a treat for the few who make the difficult climb. After this, you will drop steeply down the Eastern side of the range to your cars at the Whitney Portal Trailhead. Spectacular scenery and sunsets combined with unique visits to massive trees, backcountry hot springs and the highest summit in the lower 48 make this trip a truly memorable challenge.
Mileage: 70 Miles
Recommended Length: 8 Days
We offer a 10-Day Guided Backpacking Summer Camp Adventure for teens that explores many of the most iconic parts of these twin parks. (All Lasting Adventures trips including required permits.)