What’s the best route from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park?

Taking the kiddos on a trip from the desert to the forests—what’s the best route from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park?

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Answer provided by
Jason Tushinski
Answered on Jun 03, 2022
The best route from Death Valley, California to Sequoia National Park will take you mostly along CA-58 W, a trip that takes 5 1/2 hours and covers 312 miles.
You’ll hit ghost towns, gawk at an engineering marvel, pass through one of California’s agricultural hubs, and drive into Sequoia to be gobsmacked by some of the world’s biggest trees.
Here are the highlights for this desert-to-forest trip:
  • Set out from Death Valley and make stops in Ballarat, a spooky and deserted ghost town that was once a supply point for gold-rush era mines in the Panamint Range, and Silver City, more of a makeshift ghost town filled with old structures from the Lake Isabella area—still a hoot
  • Keep driving down US-58 and make a stop at the Tehachapi Loop, one of the greatest railroad engineering feats ever completed. The loop is a helix that made the ride up the steep mountainside more gradual so freight trains could pass from the San Joaquin Valley to the Mojave
  • After witnessing the Loop, pass through Bakersfield and stroll around the San Joaquin Valley’s central agricultural hub
  • Give the kids a breather and make a stop at Slick Rock Recreation Area for swimming and some horsing around
  • Arrive in Sequoia National Park, and show the kids the General Sherman Tree—the giant Sequoia tree that is the largest tree on this green earth
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