Two national parks line the Sierra Nevada mountain range, just a few hours drive away from the San Francisco Bay Area. While some may say the parks rival each other, both offer an array of their own breathtaking landscapes and famous landmarks.
Known primarily for its waterfalls and granite cliffs, Yosemite National Park is about a four-hour drive from San Francisco. An average of 3.7 million people visit the park every year, and most spend their time in a small, seven-square mile area of Yosemite Valley. It's home to the popular rock-climbing destination El Capitan, which is beloved in part due to its year-round accessibility. There are also three Giant Sequoia groves located within the park.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is located east of Fresno, California. At the park's Redwood Canyon, you’ll find the largest grove of giant sequoia trees in the country, which grow on average to an astounding 200 feet tall and 23 feet in diameter. It is home also to the General Grant Grove of sequoias. Beyond the groves lies Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Visitors to the park enjoy year-round horseback riding, camping, and hiking throughout the glaciated valley.