Generals Highway Roads and Bridges
Sequoia National Park, California
After World War I, the park's system of wagon roads was recognized to be inadequate for the many automobiles entering the park, and under the supervision of National Park Service Director Stephen T. Mather a new road was surveyed to provide auto access to the Giant Forest. The Peters Survey, completed in 1919, first identified the route that would become the Generals Highway. The new road would connect the existing Mt. Whitney Power Company route at Hospital Rock with the Giant Forest byway of a switchback ascent on Deer Ridge. The original design specified a one-way road to the forest utilizing the Colony Mill route as the exit. Construction of the one-way highway began in 1921 but by 1923 a decision was made to widen the new route to a two-way road. The Colony Mill Road was closed to visitor use following the completion of the Generals Highway to Giant Forest in 1926.
The highway's extension from Giant Forest Village to the northern park boundary and on to General Grant National Park was begun by the Bureau of Public Roads in 1926. The National Park Service and the Bureau of Public Roads signed a joint agreement in January 1926 for the survey, construction, and improvement of major roads within national parks and monuments. Under this agreement, the Bureau of Public Roads supervised the extension of the highway from the Giant Forest Village to the park's northern boundary at Lost Grove, the construction of two bridges, many culverts, the reconstruction of the road below Hospital Rock, and the paving of the entire highway.
The northern section of the Generals Highway was dedicated on June 23, 1935, offering a one-day scenic loop connecting two of the largest sequoia trees, the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park and the General Grant Tree in General Grant National Park (now part of Kings Canyon NP). The linking of the two "General" trees gave the highway its official name.
| Introduction | Acadia | Blue Ridge Parkway | Colonial Parkway | Generals Highway | George Washington Memorial Parkway | Great Smoky Mountains | Mount Rainier | Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway | Shenandoah's Skyline Drive | Southwest Circle Tour | Vicksburg | Yellowstone | Yosemite | Discover History |