Have a nature trip planned but can only see the Redwoods or the Sequoias? Read this article to figure out which giant tree forest you should visit.
Quite honestly, if you ever have the chance, visit both. But if you can only choose one, I’ll give you a list of scenarios where one park is worth seeing over the other and it really depends how much time you have and the next door places that are near each location. I’ll also explain the differences between both these places, because there are key details about the trees most people don’t know.
I recently had a chance to visit both places and quite honestly, I had no idea what Sequoia National Park was. My trip started in Vegas (where I had a nice hike I want to share with you here by the way), went to L.A and then up to Modesto, California, and then west to the coast.
It was on the road to Modesto (highly scenic road by the way) that I discovered I was on a highway that wasn’t too far away from a place called Sequoia National Park. Upon Googling it, I saw giant trees and though to myself “Wait, aren’t these called Redwoods?”.
Further research led me to discover (what many probably do) that the Redwoods and Sequoias are 2 totally different places, each with their own giant trees and completely different locations:
Seeing as how both places were on my path, I decided to make a side stop at the first park on the way, while headed towards Modesto.
Sadly upon entering the ranger entrance, I was notified that the park was closed due to a winter storm and other previous storms that filled up the roads with too much snow and that I needed to buy tire chains to get anywhere, which would make no sense since the roads were too snowed in as it was, within the park to even make it close enough to see a single giant tree there.
I had to turn back, head to Modesto, but vowed to stop at the other place, the Redwoods and a few days later, I kept to that promise.
Here are some pictures from that drive:
While I missed Sequoia, visiting the Redwoods really made up for it and I am still set on seeing the other park, the next chance I get. Now with all of this being said, let me finally give you my thoughts on whether you should visit one of these places or the other:
5 reasons to see Sequoia:
1) It’s trees are actually wider in many cases than those in the redwoods. You also have one of the largest and longest living trees there too. There’s a famous one that is on the road with a hole cut out in it that you can drive through.
2) It’s gorgeous there. Even though I didn’t get a chance to go INSIDE the park, the road leading into it as well as the landscape were amazing and from the other images I saw of what’s inside, it’s well worth it.
3) Yosemite and other awesome locations are close by. Yosemite was on my list too by the way, but since both these places are in the same region, the same storm caused them both to be closed down when I was nearby. If you plan a trip for several days, you can do both these spots.
4) The air is thinner in this place and it is also more dry so if your preference is for this type of air, then you’ll have an easier time going through this park.
5) Other mountain regions nearby so there’s a lot of other scenic views.
5 reasons to visit the Redwoods:
1) It is way easier to get to as it is right next to the 101 Pacific Coastal Highway (PCH) road. The entire park can also be driven through on a car to save time. As I was on the PCH, to get to this place, only involved me getting off an exit, onto the road which was parallel to the PCH and just going on it for a little over 10 miles, before making my way back out onto the PCH and continuing my trip.
2) Many trees in this place are said to be taller than the ones in Sequoia. And I did have to stop several times because of how stunning huge they were. Being there really made me feel satisfied, as though I didn’t need to see Sequoia and I would guess anyone who visited the other park might think the same thing about the Redwoods. But if you do visit both, do tell me which one you preferred! Kayaking is also something you can do in this place.
3) I found this place to be VERY quiet. I was there early in the morning (on a weekday), but I hardly saw any cars nearby and when I stopped to do a short hike, there was literally no one on the trails. I also found the landscape to be beautiful and almost alien in certain spots. I felt like a little man in a giant insect world and even had a few moments where I thought giant spiders would jump out at me. It’s silly to think, but when you go there, you’ll get that “alien world” feeling too, believe me.
4) Air is more moist and it’s also humid so if you prefer that, then this is the place for you. It is also right by the Pacific Ocean so if you enjoy beaches, you’ll find it near this place.
5) There are plenty of places nearby worth visiting. Redwoods are on the Pacific Coast Highway, and that road itself is riddled with tons of places to see. So if your trip is near the coast, go to this place and the many other places nearby that are also worth checking out. Here’s 10.
Now I also found a good thread on this subject where others who have been to both places explain their picks. But like I said, visiting both places would be idea.
Additionally, there are 2 things I WISH I did when I was there:
However, I know most people have to plan beforehand, so depending on your starting location, if you’re closer to the coast, go with the Redwoods, if you’re at the south west coast and heading east, go to Sequoia.
And of course, know that those 2 spots aren’t the only places worth visiting and have plenty of other nature attractions nearby you can make a road trip out of.
Interested in knowing the other awesome locations I visited?
As I said before I didn’t only visit these 2 spots, and if you’re interested in knowing other locations that are nearby these 2, I can recommend a number of them, but all of them are nearby the Redwoods:
1) Fort Bragg is one of the locations I recommend.