For a primer on the intriguing ecology and history of giant sequoias, this pint-sized modern museum will entertain both kids and adults. Hands-on exhibits teach about the life stages of these big trees, which can live for more than 3000 years, and the fire cycle that releases their seeds and allows them to sprout on bare soil. The museum is housed in an historic 1920s building designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, famed architect of the Majestic Yosemite (formerly Ahwahnee) Hotel.
The museum is crushed with visitors in summer. To avoid parking headaches, take the free in-park shuttle bus. You can also try the information desk here when the Lodgepole Visitor Center is closed in winter. During winter, the self-issue wilderness permit station is located to the right of the main entrance.