Your day-by-day itinerary

Travel to Three Rivers

Day 1

Travel to Three Rivers

Leaving either San Francisco or Yosemite National Park behind, the next destination on your family road trip is the village of Three Rivers – the gateway to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. The journey should only take a few hours but if you fancy stopping off along the way, then the giant trees of the General Grant Grove are only a small detour away and offer a great introduction to the area.

Family stood in tree branch

From Grant Grove, you can then travel along the winding roads to the General Sherman Tree – the biggest in the World! At nearly 280 foot high and with a circumference of over 100 foot, it has to be seen to be believed. From here, it is just a short drive to Three Rivers – a real American country town, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. You’ll spend the next two nights here, in a cosy wooden lodge by the riverside, surrounded by natural woodland.

Family looking at map

Day 2

Explore Sequoia National Park

Stroll amongst a world of giants today, as you explore the dramatic landscape of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Heading out from your lodge accommodation, it won’t take long before you find yourself surrounded by rugged mountains, vast canyons, and giant trees! Make sure you stop by the Visitor Center to pick up a Junior Ranger Program, which is full of kid-focused activities.

Baby bear and mummy bear

If you haven’t yet done so, your first port of call should be the Giant Forest – home to soaring sequoias that disappear in to the sky, including the World’s largest tree, the General Sherman! There are also plenty of family-friendly hiking trails to follow that meander through the groves, with one of the best being the Big Trees Trail. If you fancy resting those weary feet, then the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is a spectacular drive and is a great way to take in the sheer majesty of the park, especially if you have little ones in tow. After a busy day, you’ll return to Three Rivers for the night.

Children jumping in the air on road

Day 3

Travel to Barstow

Today you’ll break up the journey to Vegas with an overnight stay in Barstow, a railroad town in the Mojave Desert. Following the famous Route 66, make a stop at Calico – an old West ghost town, abandoned in 1904 after a mining boom and restored in 1950. The kids will love panning for gold, riding the narrow-gauge train and taking a stagecoach ride. You’ll reach your motel by late afternoon, with an outdoor pool to cool off in.

Lit up sign reading To Fabulous Las Vegas

Day 4

Arrive at Las Vegas

Finally, your epic journey through the desert – from giant trees to ghost towns – will lead you to the dazzling bright lights of Las Vegas! Here you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the weird and wonderful world of America’s Entertainment Capital. There are so many family-friendly activities on offer and it’s a great chance to take a break from all the national park adventure, before disappearing off in to the desert once more.

Combine this trip with...

Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these:

Pine Forests & Peaks of Yosemite

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Yosemite National Park, California

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Viva Las Vegas

3 days / 2 nights (flexible)

Las Vegas, Nevada

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