For Fourth of July weekend, we took a seemingly random road trip to Visalia in California’s Central Valley where temps were in the 100s – eek! My husband had a long weekend off for the holiday. Because I needed to be back in LA to teach a class on Monday, he requested a short getaway. My mom in northern California was also looking for something to do. We opted for a weekend in Visalia with a Sequoia National Park day trip!
After checking prices in some of our favorites town for California travel destinations, we were somewhat discouraged until we tried an airbnb in the Central Valley – a house and a pool were our only criteria. A house in Visalia popped up and we booked it right away. Ready to relax, the getaway was perfect. We swam, relaxed, slept in, made a quick trip up to Fresno for a stop on the Fruit Trail, met up with a blogger friend of mine, and ended it all with a Sequoia National Park day trip. I grew up going to Yosemite, so this was a first visit to Sequoia + King’s Canyon National Park for each of us! Unfortunately, the park was crowded because of the holiday weekend, but we did have a fun visit amidst the looming trees and we were really impressed with the Congress Trail beginning from the General Sherman Tree…
Sequoia National Park Day Trip
After parking in the overflow lot for the General Sherman Tree, we realized that one of us had forgotten hiking boots. We decided to visit the big tree anyway and see how far we could go with our shoe situation. The Congress Trail is about a 2-mile loop featuring the trees appropriately called McKinley, the President, the “House,” and the “Senate.” And as luck would have it, the whole trail is paved, so two pairs of boots and a pair of sandals traipsed happily along! The trail is mostly shaded – by those massive trees of course – but it can still get warm, so be sure to take water and hats are always a good idea when hiking! There are a few benches where you can stop for snack or lunch too. It was a great trail if you’re looking for a good walk without anything too intensive. There’s a lot we didn’t see in Sequoia and we didn’t get anywhere near King’s Canyon, so I’m sure we’ll be back soon!
For a little perspective on just how massive these trees are, there’s a picture below and I’m in it! Can you find me?