Growing up in Seattle you would think that camping and hiking ran in my veins. The love of the great outdoors unfortunately does not come easy to me. I did, however, venture to Sequoia National Park this fall for some tent GLAMping and star gazing.
Sequoia National Forest is home to some of the west coast’s giant Sequoias. It also is one of the most beautiful forests for a non outdoorsy girl to dip her toe in nature. My fiance and I had recently stumbled upon the REI garage sale recalling that he was actually a member since going on a company camping trip.
A Low Maintenance Glamper’s Weekend Guide to Sequoia National Park
We scored an AWESOME three season homestead tent by The North Face for about half the price. It even has a removable tarp for optimum star gazing. I also snagged a The North Face Ricas Insulated Jacket at 75% off! Jay and I camped out at Lodgepole campground for three nights. Lodgepole campground is just a few miles from General Sherman tree off Congress Trail.
There is so much to do in Sequoia National Park that it’s hard to fit it all into one trip. Prior to our five hour road trip from Orange County, I compiled a list of things we had to do while we were camping amongst giants. I had packed my camera to make sure to capture the beauty of the forest and prepared for a holiday weekend of hiking, amazing views, and food cooked over an open fire.
Where to camp at Sequoia National Park
As a low maintenance glamper (glam camper), I prefer to rough it but with access to the basic amenities of home. I once went desert camping with a group of men that brought their own trowel and toilet paper. I commend those who can poop in a hole but I prefer to sit on a porcelain throne.
There are a few things I look for when I am selecting a camp ground:
- Flushable toilets on-site
- Bear box included
After a day of hiking I find it hard to convince myself to crawl into a mummy bag in full fledge stench to marinate over night. If I can’t get a shower on-site then I look for a campsite that at least has coin operated showers near by. DON’T FORGET YOUR SHOWER SHOES.
Bear boxes are extremely important or risk having your food ravaged and torn apart in the middle of the night. You can always buy your own bear proof vault but some camp grounds provide them for you. During my trip to Sequoia I saw at least four or five dear but not bears. Lodgepole did see one within the past week during my stay though.
If you are a low maintenance glamper like myself and want to be central to Sequoia’s best sites, stay at Lodgepole campground.
Plus size friendly activities in Sequoia National Forest
As a plus size camper and beginner hiker, it can be easy to let yourself get over confident in your body’s ability to overcome obstacles. Sequoia is high up in the mountain so the air is thinner. As you hike higher into the peaks breathing can get tough. I had to stop for several breaks just to catch my breath.
Must-do in Sequoia for first timers
- Hike Moro rock
- Walk Congress trail and see General Sherman tree
- Get a picture in Tunnel Log
- Have a picnic in Crescent Meadow
- Drive to Road’s end
Jay and I had pulled into our camp site late on Friday night since we had to work. As a result we spent all night putting up our tent in the dark and attempting to cook our marinated chicken over a luke warm fire. After 2 hours over the fire we finally gave up and ate the chicken. It was still raw. Luckily we didn’t get salmonella or food poisoning.
Our first hike was up the steps of Moro Rock. When you drive through the park you will see a huge bulbous rock from any point in the park; that is Moro rock. It is a really easy 0.5 mile “hike” up 1,000 or so stairs. The view from the top is lovely and a great spot to share a sandwich.
For more fun things to do in Sequoia check out Local Adventurer’s guide to Sequoia National Park.
I had actually captured a ton of great footage on my camping trip but then lost it all to corrupted files when trying to make you all a video 🙁
Next time I’ll be sure to back up my videos.
The General Sherman tree is the largest Sequoia in the world at 275 ft tall and 36 feet in diameter. That’s a whole lot of tree. People from all over the world gather at the base of the tree to get a picture with the General. After your hike to the World’s largest tree, go to the Giant Forest museum just down the street to learn how these giants thrive.
I really enjoyed my trip to Sequoia. In fact I am dying to go to it again in the summer to visit the caves. Now that I have all of this outdoorsy camping equipment and weather proof jackets I need to put them to use. Considering I’m also cutting back on my international adventures this year, I’ll be looking for more local excursions to satisfy my travel bug.
For more information on visiting Sequoia National Forest check out: