Sequoia Shuttle Ambassador: Travis ‘Sequoia’ Norvell

Posted on June 25th, 2018 in News

The sequoias weren’t just calling Travis’s name… they’re a PART of his name. Our friend Travis ‘Sequoia’ Norvell was kind enough to do an Instagram takeover for Sequoia Shuttle when he and his wife rode the Sequoia Shuttle to the park recently. They explored ADA-friendly trails and enjoyed the many incredible sights as they toured Sequoia National Park. You can read Travis’s story below and see the photos from his adventure.




(As told by his wife, Shelly)

“Travis’s mom, Debbie, was living in Wichita when she found out she was pregnant. She called her parents to tell them the good news. Every time they’d talk they would ask if she had a name picked out. Debbie said, ‘Not really, but something earthy.’ (Debbie was a self-proclaimed hippy at heart). Her dad told her mom, ‘My gosh, we’ll probably end up with a grandchild named Tree.’ After that, every time she’d call her folks they would always ask, ‘How is Tree doing?’

When Travis was born he had many congenital birth defects and was quite small. After he was born Debbie was crying and told her parents, ‘Here I promised you a tree, but all I got to give you is a little twig.’ To which his grandpa replied, ‘He’ll always be a Giant Sequoia to me.’ That is how he got his middle name Sequoia.”




Travis hopped aboard the Sequoia Shuttle for a day of discovery and adventure in Sequoia National Park. All shuttles are ADA-friendly, and there are multiple pick-up locations throughout Visalia, Exeter, Three Rivers, and Lemon Cove. Once inside the park, he grabbed a map and let the Shuttle take him and his wife, Shelly, from the Visitor Center to the General Sherman Tree and beyond.

Using the itinerary suggestions below, you can explore the sequoias just like Travis—nothing should stop you from experiencing the beauty in your own backyard!



Trails and Park Features

Accessible trails include:
  • General Sherman Tree Trail (Giant Forest): This short trail leads a few hundred feet from an accessible parking area to the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on earth. The entire trail is paved with gentle inclines and limited cross slopes, and benches along the trail provide plenty of places to rest.
  • Big Trees Trail (Giant Forest): This level, ⅔-mile loop trail circles a meadow surrounded by giant sequoias. Trailside exhibits interpret the natural history of the grove. The portion of the trail from the Giant Forest Museum to the accessible parking area is packed soil with a slight incline and cross slope. The remaining loop portion is a paved and wooden boardwalk and is nearly flat.
Some trails are paved but have running or cross slopes that are slightly steeper; they may be accessible, depending on individual abilities:
  • Beetle Rock Trail across from the Giant Forest Museum
  • Crescent Meadow Trail and Tharp’s Log Trail (Giant Forest) from the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road)
Many park features are easily visible from the highway and can be enjoyed while driving, including:
  • Moro Rock – Crescent Meadow Road: This narrow road winds through the Giant Forest Sequoia Grove. Along the way, drivers pass the Buttress Tree, Parker Group and Tunnel Log. The free shuttle will take guests along this road and allow all group members to see the sights.




All visitor centers and museums have paved, flat paths leading from parking areas to information desks, exhibits, bookstores and restrooms. Wheelchairs may be borrowed for your convenience at no cost at Kings Canyon Visitor Center, Lodgepole Visitor Centers and the Giant Forest Museum. They can be used anywhere in the parks but must be returned by the end of the day, before each visitor center closes. The visitors desks will have more information, but be prepared to provide your name, address and phone number.



Backpack // You need somewhere to put your trip necessities; plus, a backpack allows you to keep your hands free, so you’ll be ready for anything.

Water bottle // There are refill stations throughout the park, so you can bring your favorite reusable bottle and save space in your pack.

Packed lunch // Instead of eating or buying food in the park, pack a lunch with a sandwich and sports drink so that you can have a picnic. There are picnic tables at multiple easily-accessible spots in the park. Remember, bears get hungry, too, so proper storage and disposal of food is important.

Snacks // Sliced veggies, granola bars and trail mix are all great portable munchies that you can eat on-the-go during your visit.

Sun protection // Bring additional protection with you, like a hat or visor, and reapply sunscreen every hour or so to help prevent painful sunburns. The giant sequoias provide some shade, but not enough to leave the sunscreen at home.

Camera // You won’t want to miss capturing all of the amazing magnificence of Sequoia National Park.

Binoculars // While not a necessity, binoculars can greatly improve your hiking experience because they will let you see the glory of your surroundings in greater detail. You especially will not want to miss the wildlife, some of which are small (like the acorn woodpecker and grey fox), and others better viewed at a distance (like the bobcat and black bear).