Things To Do, Places To Go, Sights To See!

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Located at an elevation of 7,200 feet, Ponderosa is a quaint community nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains along the Great Western Divide. With a selection of private rental cabins and a beautiful lodge (which boasts a delicious restaurant!), Ponderosa can serve as a very comfortable starting point for many adventures deeper in the Forest.

Trail of 100 Giants

Trail of 100 Giants offers an easy, accessible walk through the Long Meadow Grove, one of the premier groves of giant sequoias in our area. Along the trail, you’ll see impressively large giant sequoia trees, estimated up to 1,500 years old.

A 1.3 mile paved trail has several loop options with interpretive signs for some of the highlights. Located on the Western Divide Highway (M 107), facilities include a paved parking area, restrooms, picnic area and Redwood Meadow Campground nearby. A $10.00 per vehicle fee is charged to help maintain and improve these facilities. The roads leading to the Trail are typically closed by snow during the winter months. (November thru April).

Dome Rock

Dome Rock offers spectacular views of the Sequoia National Forest and Golden Trout Wilderness. This 1.5 mile out-and-back trail is suitable for most skill levels.

The Needles

This trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Mountain Biking and stock use. Trailhead is 2.5 miles from Western Divide Hwy at the end of Needles Road (21S05). The trail follows the northern slope of Needles Ridge and offers spectacular views stretching all the way to Mt. Whitney. There is no water on this trail.

Photo credit: The Needles – Sequoia National Forest

Jordan Peak Lookout

The hike to the top of the peak from the closest trailhead is short (3/4 mile) and at times steep (just enough to get your heart rate going) but the view from the top is outstanding!

You can see northward towards Dennison Peak, Moses Mountain, Maggie Mountain, Vandever Mountain and the other peaks near Mineral King. Looking east you can see all the way to Olancha Peak! Looking south you can see Slate Mountain and Mule Peak. Looking westward and on a clear day you can see all the way to the coast range of California.

Photo Credit: Jordan Peak Lookout – S. Tofiq

Mule Peak

Another out-and-back trail, Mule Peak provides superb views towards the north including Moses, Maggie, and Slate Mountain. Looking northeast you can just spot Olancha Peak. Towards the east you see the mighty Kern River Canyon and southward you see Baker Point and Tobias Peak.

Slate Mountain Botanical Area

An unusually large variety of very rare wild plants are concentrated on the rocky outcrops and crevices along the 9000’ high ridge of Slate Mountain. Most of these rare plants are found only in a few places in Tulare County.

Quaking Aspen

Quaking Aspen offers a campground with 32 campsites for tents and small RVs and trailers. The campground also has five yurts available. Nearby activities include fishing in nearby streams, hiking, mountain biking or horseback riding along many of the nearby trails.

Photo Credit: Quaking Aspen – Sequoia National Forest