On this year’s Labor Day weekend, while many Angelinos considered a “staycation” as the best way to enjoy a three-day weekend, my husband and I went on a road trip to the Sierra Mountains, about 300 miles away from Los Angeles.

Half Dome Yosemite

Hiking Yosemite

The plan was to discover the great valley of Yosemite, and the world largest trees, the Sequoias and Redwoods, in Sequoia National Park. Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks are two of America’s largest, and most famous parks, attracting hikers, photographers, artists, and nature avids from all over the world. As a world-class recreational spot offering fun natural activities, Yosemite has been for a long time a place where conscious preservation has been vowed from its early inhabitants, the Ahwahnee tribe, followed by by the Europeans settlers in the mid-1800s.

Home of more than a hundred lakes, dozens of meadows, and beautiful waterfalls, Yosemite is a natural icon. The park’s prolific wildlife is divided in various regional areas including Yosemite Valley, Tioga Pass Road, Southern Yosemite, Glacier Point Road, Hetch Hetchy & Big Oak Flat.

Giant Sequoia

Big Rock Yosemite

The drive from Yosemite to the Sequoia Kings Canyon offers an appreciation for the rustic style and structure of the sierra’s spectacular scenery. The Sequoia Kings Canyon, also called “Land of Giants,” offers a breathtaking landscape with colossal mountains, deep canyons and caverns, and the world’s largest trees. While many people believe that redwoods and sequoia trees are the same, there is a significant distinction between these legendary trees: sequoias are bigger, redwood trees are taller, but they both have one thing in common: they are the largest trees in the world!

Mountain scenery Sequoia Sequoia

Although most lakes in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks significantly reduced in size due to the severe drought in california, these magical places offer a spectacular stretch of natural wonders that’ll make you appreciate the environment. My favorite place at Yosemite was the iconic Half Dome, and its more than 10-mile hiking trail, which gives hikers a breathtaking panoramic view after an exciting and arduous hike. Picnicking at Hume Lake at Sequoia National forest was my most memorable moment of the road trip; the beautiful lake offers year-round activities, including fishing canoeing, hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing.

Where to stay?
Yosemite National Park itself! The park has endless options for lodging, and camping.
At Sequoia and Kings Canyon: Wuksachi Lodge, John Muir Lodge, Grant Grove Cabin, Cedar Grove Lodge.
AirBnB: We had a country living experience, and we loved it!

[All photos are by Isabelle A. Barros]

Learn more about California!
Los Angeles: a piece of Hollywood in pictures| Yucca Valley: out fo the desert | Discovering Venice Beach | Le cosebelle di San Francisco