Kings Canyon: The Nation's 3rd National Park (Kind Of)
In 1890, Kings Canyon National National Park was established as a national park...at the exact same time as Yosemite National Park, therefore, they both share the title as the Nation's 3rd National Park. This park was created to protect a massive sequoia that is named after General Ulysses Grant. In fact, the park shared the same name as the sequoia until it was changed to Kings Canyon in 1940.
General Grant Sequoia Tree
President Franklin Roosevelt changed the name to incorporate the beautiful and vast Canyon that the park also protected. This canyon, now referred to as King's Canyon, sits right in the middle of the High Sierra Mountain Range. Just a few miles down the road, you'll drive right into the neighboring Sequoia National Park. So not only does Kings Canyon NP share sequoia's in common with Sequoia National Park, but they are literally Sierra Mountain Neighbors.
When visiting Kings Canyon you'll find landscapes similar to that of Sequoia and Yosemite with towering granite formations, the vast King's Canyon, sequoia groves and tons of wildlife. We spotted a beautiful black bear when we visited. It was summer and the bear seemed to be preparing for Winter!
King's Canyon is a great park to visit in the summer and fall. You'll find Winter and Spring to be quite cold with a lot of road closures. If you have the time, make your way to Sequoia as well! It's right down the road.