Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Wed April 06 2016

Opinion Home | Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

  • Janeen Christoff | April 6, 2016 5:00 AM ET

    Three Fun Family Hikes in Sequoia National Park

    Three Fun Family Hikes in Sequoia National Park

    Photo by Janeen Christoff

    Celebrating the National Parks Service centennial with a trip to see the Sequoias? The giant trees are truly stunning in person. No matter how you picture these giant trees in your mind, they definitely appear larger in person – and one of the best ways to see them is to hike in their midst.

    Trees, however, aren’t the only things to marvel over in Sequoia National Park. The park is nestled on the western side of the Sierra Nevada and a gateway to Mount Whitney. It is also home to stunning rock formations, waterfalls and a number of gorgeous hikes. If you If you have the family in tow, hiking through this part of the Sierra Nevada’s can be challenging – but worth it.

    Congress Trail

    This is definitely one of the easier and shorter trails. It travels on a mostly paved pathway and has gradual inclines, taking hikers through some of the largest Sequoias in the park, including the General Sherman Tree – the world’s largest. There is also a grove known as The Senate and one called The House as well as trees named after several presidents.

    Roundtrip, this hike is two miles long – with options to walk farther as several paths connect up with the Congress Trail. You could spend a day wandering through the trees and even stop for a picnic lunch as you explore. If you are hiking in the winter, make sure to bundle up as the path can get snowy and cold.

    Marble Falls Trail

    Potwisha offers year-round camping in the foothills of Sequoia National Park and the campground is also the access point for the Marble Falls trail which is a 3.9-mile hike to a beautiful cascade. The trail begins with a steep, twisting climb up the bank of the river and continues upward for most of the way. This is definitely a hike for older children – or very intrepid younger explorers. But the falls is the ideal spot for a mid-afternoon snack or a picnic lunch if you want to make a day of it on the trail.

    The path is accessible behind campsite 14 at the Potwisha Campground and takes between four and six hours with kids – depending on how fast they hike and how much time you spend at the falls.

    Middle Fork Trail 

    This trail is a fun romp through the chaparral of the foothills with stunning views of Moro Rock and Castle Rocks. There are awesome photo ops for photography-lovers and the hike crosses creaks and rivers along the way to the delight of younger hikers. The walk starts with a mildly steep incline but, about a ½-mile in, kids will get a kick out of leaping from rock to rock over the water. In the springtime, the water is freezing cold, but in summer, it is much more refreshing. At the end of about three miles, Panther Creek Falls awaits. If a six-mile roundtrip journey is too long, you can easily stop and turn around at any time.

    The trail is accessible from the Buckeye Flat campground. Take the dirt road on the left just before you reach the campground. The drive to the trailhead is on a 1.3-mile, narrow dirt road that winds along the side of the mountain but is easily accessible with two-wheel drive.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Janeen Christoff Are We There Yet: Tips For Family Trips

Janeen Christoff Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles and focused her writing on what she loved best — exploring the world. Today, she’s a well-traveled mother of two, an adventurer and a world wanderer who writes about destinations around the world for Want to know where she is headed next? Check out her blog at
Experience Alaska With Holland America Line

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships