• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • The Generals Highway "Road Between the Parks" is OPEN

    The section of road between Lodgepole (Sequoia) and Grant Grove (Kings Canyon) is open. Call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1) for 24-hour road updates.

  • Be Prepared! Tire Chains or Cables May Be Required in the Parks at Any Time

    All vehicles must carry chains or cables when entering a chain-restricted area. It's the law (CA Vehicle Code, Section 605, Sections 27450-27503). Road conditions may change often. For road conditions, call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1). More »

  • You May Have Trouble Calling Us

    We are experiencing technical problems receiving incoming phone calls. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please send us an email to SEKI_Interpretation@nps.gov or check the "More" link for trip-planning information. More »

  • Vehicle Length Limits in Sequoia National Park (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)

    Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »

Building Removal

front-end loader lifts a cabin off its foundation

Heavy equipment was used judiciously in restoration of the Giant Forest.

NPS photo by Athena Demetry

Many of the buildings to be removed dated from the 1930s and contained lead-based paint and asbestos in floor coverings, wall board, pipe insulation, roofing, and other building materials. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and mercury were present in some light fixtures. Removal and disposal of these materials had to conform to strict federal, state, and local regulations.

Smaller cabins were removed by lifting the intact building off its piers with a long set of forks attached to a loader bucket. This was the preferred method, resulting in little additional soil disturbance. Heavier cabins that could not be removed by lifting with forks were often dragged with a chain fastened around the base of the building. Because equipment travel was constrained to designated routes where soils were already compact, this method also resulted in minimal soil disturbance. Sometimes chains were run through doors and windows and the building lifted with the excavator. The largest buildings were demolished in place. Buildings were moved to a central area to be broken up, and the debris either loaded directly into containers or ground into chips using a large tub grinder for transport out of the park.

Did You Know?

Sequoia cross-section shows evidence of much fire damage and recovery

Sequoia tree rings tell a fascinating story of survival and adaptation. Many sequoia cross-sections do not show a neat set of concentric growth rings. Among the rings are many scars — indicating repeated fire damage — and as many curved rings, the growth that eventually covered over the scars.