The Tahoe & Sequoia Trip

8 Days in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Tahoe and Sequoia Trip focuses on Lake Tahoe and Sequoia National Park, while providing a complete driving loop, beginning and ending in Las Vegas. The drive crosses the Nevada desert, then devotes a day to hiking through alpine landscapes near Lake Tahoe. Then it heads south, to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, before making the return trip to Las Vegas via Bakersfield.

Day 1

Across Nevada

On the first day, I headed north across the Nevada desert, with a destination of the town of Hawthorne, just short of Lake Tahoe. Along the way, I checked out the Extraterrestrial Highway and the ghost mines surrounding Tonopah, Nevada.

Day 2

Into the Mountains

This day begins with a drive out of the desert and into the mountains. It ends with my arrival in South Lake Tahoe, a short hike, and some photography at sunset.

Day 3

Just One Big Hike

I could only handle one hike on this day, but it was a big one: a 12+ mile round-trip to Lake Aloha, in the mountains south of Lake Tahoe.

Day 4

Over the Mountains

I left Lake Tahoe behind and traveled across the Sierra Nevada Mountains on California Highway 4, a narrow route over Ebbetts Pass and into the Central Valley. I saw some Big Trees along the way, before hurrying on to Fresno and the Kings Canyon area.

Day 5

Kings Canyon National Park

This day focused on Kings Canyon National Park, with a drive into the canyon and some great hikes in the park.

Day 6

Sequoia National Park

I devoted this day to Sequoia National Park, south of Kings Canyon. The day included a scenic drive on the Generals Highway and some excellent hikes among the giant sequoia trees inside the park.

Day 7

More of Sequoia

I took as much time in Sequoia National Park on Day 7 as I could, before leaving via the southern entrance. The day included more great hikes through the giant sequoia forests.

Day 8

Back to Vegas

Since I had spent most of my trip on the west side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I needed to get back to the east side. That meant a long day of driving south, then east, to get out of California and back into the Las Vegas area. I did find time to make a few interesting stops along the way.