Crescent Meadow

Sequoia National Park

Said to have been described by John Muir as the ‘gem of the Sierra,’ this lush meadow is buffered by a forest of firs and giant sequoias. High grass and summer wildflowers are a good excuse for a leisurely loop hike (1.3 miles), as is watching black bears snack on berries and rip apart logs to feast on insects. The meadow environment is fragile, so always stay on established trails.

Several short hikes surround the meadow, including spur trails to Tharp’s Log (0.8 miles), where the area’s first white settler, Hale Tharp, spent summers in a fallen sequoia. Next to Huckleberry Meadow you'll find the Squatters Cabin (0.4 miles), an 1880s log cabin that’s a ghostly remnant of the failed utopian-socialist Kaweah Colony.

The meadow is almost 3 miles down Moro Rock–Crescent Meadow Rd, best accessed by the free seasonal shuttle bus. The road closes to all traffic after the first snowfall and doesn’t reopen until spring, but you can still walk to it, snowshoes or cross-country skiing may be needed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sequoia National Park attractions

1. Eagle View


Jaw-dropping spectacular view of the Sierra Mountains. It's reasonably easily accessible via a 1-mile walk along the High Sierra Trail from Crescent…

2. Tunnel Log

0.67 MILES

Visitors can drive through a 2000-year-old tree, which fell naturally in 1937. It once stood 275ft high with a base measuring 21ft in diameter. Regular…

3. Moro Rock

1.02 MILES

A quarter-mile staircase climbs 350 steps (over 300ft) to the top of Sequoia’s iconic granite dome at an elevation of 6725ft, offering mind-boggling views…

4. Giant Forest Museum

1.47 MILES

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…

5. Sequoia National Forest

2.09 MILES

Bordering long stretches of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, this national forest area, named after the enormous Sequoia trees it contains, was…

6. General Sherman Tree


By volume the largest living tree on earth, the massive General Sherman Tree rockets into the sky and waaay out of the camera frame. Pay your respects to…

7. Giant Forest

2.28 MILES

This 3-sq-mile grove protects the park’s most gargantuan tree specimens. Among them is the world’s biggest, the General Sherman tree, rocketing 275ft into…

8. Hospital Rock


The Potwisha people, a band of Monache (also known as Western Mono), originally lived at this site. When the first white settler, Hale Tharp, arrived in…