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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Birds flutter around a 250-foot-tall sequoia tree as a bear and her cubs walk along the forest floor past the tree’s enormous trunk. Welcome to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Nestled in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, these neighboring parks feature some of the tallest trees in the world. The diameter of the largest one here, dubbed the General Sherman tree, is bigger than a basketball court! 

 

GO BIG

 

Trees aren’t the only big things in the parks, which together include 865,964 acres of land. Visitors to the area can view a 1,200-foot-high waterfall called Tokopah Falls. And Mount Whitney is located at the eastern border of Sequoia National Park. Rising nearly 14,500 feet high, it’s one of the tallest peaks in the United States. 

 

The rugged mountain is hard to scale—unless you’re a Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. These animals, which can live at elevations of 14,000 feet, have hooves that are built for climbing rough surfaces. 

 

BEAR NECESSITIES

 

Black bears and marmots also live in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The bears often roam the parks’ forests, tearing logs apart with their claws in search of yummy ants to eat. And the mischievous marmots here have been known to chew through backpacks left lying around to get to stashes of food. From their ginormous trees to their sly rodents, these parks are full of big surprises!

 

Text by Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh

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