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California Road Trip: Death Valley to Sequoia National Park

What to Expect on Your Road Trip Across California

Did you know that Sequoia National Park is among the top 10 National Parks in the United States? 

A road trip from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park is 407 miles and takes 6 hours 46 minutes approx. via CA-127 S and CA-58 W. The shortest route is 312 miles via CA-58 W, but the route has tolls. 

If you’re looking to see two of California’s most iconic locations, here are the top six stops that you’re going to want to make along your route from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park:

  • Death Valley National Park

  • Ridgecrest

  • Mojave

  • Bakersfield

  • Three Rivers 

  • Sequoia National Park

The article will be your travel guide if you are on a road trip from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park.

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Your Road Trip from Death Valley National Park to Sequoia National Park

If your landmarks include Foothill Visitor Center and Stovepipe Wells, the driving distance between the Death Valley to Sequoia National Park is 300 miles, which takes around 5 hours and 15 minutes in driving time. 

Since it can take a 5 to 6 hour drive to reach Sequoia National Park, it is recommended that you take a stop to spend the night at least once and leave for the destination in the morning. 

1. Death Valley National Park

With colorful rocks and canyons, miles and miles of sand dunes, unique evaporative elements, and jaw-dropping peaks, Death Valley is a remarkable landscape with beautiful characteristics. As one of the hottest places in the world, the area is a hot tourist trove with high temperatures that will make it difficult to spend a full day there. 

Death Valley National Park is situated on the eastern boundaries of south-central California on the border of the Great Basin Desert. The hot valley, located in the north of the Mojave Desert, experiences extreme environmental conditions. 

From adventurous walks to leisurely hikes, exploring the beauty of Artist’s Drive at Badwater Basin, sand boarding at Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, unveiling the adventures of the Zabriskie Point, or checking out the oasis at Furnace Creek in the badlands, Death Valley will start your road trip off strong.  

2. Ridgecrest

Ridgecrest, a city in Kern County, California is surrounded by four mountain ranges:the Cosos on the North, the El Paso Mountains on the South, the Sierra Nevada on the West, and the Argus Range on the East.

The top attractions that you can visit in Ridgecrest include Maturango Museum, Petroglyph Park, Little Petroglyph Canyon, Rademacher Hills, and China Lake Naval Weapons Center. All these destinations are also popular for outdoor activities in Ridgecrest. 

3. Mojave

The Mojave Desert covers miles and miles of the area on the West Coast spreading across Arizona, Nevada, California, and Utah. If you select Mojave as one of your stops while visiting Sequoia National Park from Death Valley, don’t forget to bring your water bottle and sunscreen. 

If you have never visited any artificial lake before, Lake Mead will be a fascinating stopover with multiple access areas. Kelso Dunes must be on your list if you want to experience the singing sand dunes during the road trip on the West Coast from Las Vegas to Los Angeles or vice-versa. 

4. Bakersfield

The largest city of Kern county, Bakersfield is located near the southern end of the Central Valley Region. Some of the top attractions include Kern County Museum, California Area Living Museum (CALM), Buck Owens Crystal Palace, and the Murray Family Farms. 

You can see hundreds of peacocks at the Hart Park, go for personalized or guided hiking sessions, or can enjoy a 2-hour pottery workshop in Ojai. Spending time in these activities will definitely bring you closer to nature. 

5. Three Rivers

Located above Lake Kaweah, Three Rivers is surrounded by oak woodland forest. Some of the must-see places include Tokopah Falls, the President Tree, and the Foothills Visitor Center. 

The Foothill Visitor Center can be a stop from where you can buy some gifts for your near and dear ones, and get additional information about your itinerary to Sequoia for a comfortable drive. A 10-minutes hike will take you to the magnificent white marble rocks. 

6. Sequoia National Park

Get ready to witness the giant sequoia trees that include the General Sherman Tree, which is known to be the largest tree on the planet by volume. The tree stands 275 feet tall, which is remarkably eye-catching to say the least. 

When in Sequoia National Park, you must visit Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the United States. Apart from these, there are plenty of tourist places in Sequoia National Park including the Crystal Cave, Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, and more. 

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Other Parks Along the Sierra Nevada

From Sequoia, you can check out these beautiful parks if you want to extend your journey a little bit and make your travel time more comfortable.

Kings Canyon National Park

Located 240 miles from Los Angeles, the Kings Canyon is the deepest canyon in the US. The scenic drives will give you a beautiful view of the lush landscape, cedar and fir forest, sparkling waterfall, and spectacular mountain lakes. 

To reach there, you can either drive through Kings Canyon or continue driving toward Sequoia National Park. Although this is a short route, it limits you to inaccessible areas.

Sierra National Park

You must visit the giant trees, splendid creeks, beautiful meadows, and majestic lush beauty of the Sierra National Park en route to the Sierra Nevada. The giant national forest gives you access to old town Clovis, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, a Book Barn, and more.  

The Book Barn at the Zoo is a must-visit place for visitors of all ages, especially kids. The tour will enable you to explore the most from adventurous terrains to informative stuff. It has something to offer to all the visitors from adults to kids. 

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite inspires everyone from artists to nature admirers to adventure seekers. As you move forward to explore the natural beauty of the Yosemite, you will experience the striking Yosemite Falls tumbling over the graphite rocks. 

The Half Dome is popular among climbers along with the El Capitan which is 3000 feet tall sheer rock, 1000 feet higher than the Half Dome. Apart from these, Glacier Point itself gives you dozens of reasons to visit Yosemite National Park. 


If You’re Heading to Las Vegas

After the Sierra Nevada, head south for these locations on your way back.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua National Park is where the Colorado and Mojave Deserts meet. With a complex landscape and giant forest, you will get to see different vegetation across the areas of the park. Some areas are completely covered with dense Joshua trees while some are totally barren but beautiful. 

Joshua Tree is especially beautiful after it rains, as it’s during this time that the wildflowers underneath the sands make their way to the surface in full bloom. 

Mojave Desert

The Mojave desert is located in the Southwestern Nevada and Southeastern California with some parts separated into Utah and Arizona. Some attractions of the Mojave desert include the Red Rock Canyon, Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, Snow Canyon State Reserve, and more. 

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Plan Your Road Trip with Airport Van Rental

A road trip from Death Valley to Sequoia National Park requires more than proper planning and perseverance. You need a well-maintained rental car with proper insurance in place. 

Contact AVR car rentals to book a reliable vehicle that can give you full control of tough terrain when you are driving on the unfamiliar roads of North America or anywhere in the USA. 

Whether you are planning a road trip from San Francisco, Las Vegas, or any other city in the US, we have the best car rental plans for you.