Seuqoia and Kings are jointly administered by the National Parks Service and are famous for their giant sequoia trees, including the General Sherman, the largest trees on the planet that sits in the Giant Forest. Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park is one of the oldest parks in the country. Kings Canyon, founded in 1940, officially connected to Sequoia in 1943. Together, they include 800 miles of hiking trails and draw snowshoers, horseback riders, and rock climbers.

DON'T MISS: Waterslides may not be the first thing that come to mind when thinking about the Sierra Nevadas, there are plenty of natural ones just north of Johnsondale, California. The Kern River slides can be accessed by a short hike around a nearby tributary. In the spring, the river swells with melted ice water that makes the slides especially brisk.