Sequoia National Park

Fact Box

Sequoia National Park
Established 1890
404,051 acres
Visitation (2009) 965,170

Sequoia National Park in California's Sierra Nevada mountains is a land of superlatives: It was the second national park to be designated in the U.S., boasts the tallest mountain in the continental U.S., and is home to the largest tree on earth.

Mount Whitney's granite peak rises 14,505 feet above sea level and can be reached from the Giant Forest by expert hikers taking the arduous High Sierra trail. "General Sherman," a sequoia tree in the Giant Forest, is the world's most voluminous living tree specimen, standing 275 feet high with a base circumference of over 100 feet.

The park's lower elevations feature spectacular waterfalls and more than 200 known caves of beautiful stalactites and naturally polished marble. Most of the park is secluded wilderness and backcountry, and can be reached only by hiking or horseback riding.