• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), including delays to/from the General Sherman Tree, Crystal Cave, and Grant Grove. 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, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), please pay close attention to vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. 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 »

Ultraviolet Radiation

Since the 1970s, ozone high in the atmosphere has been decreasing. This allows more UV solar radiation to reach the earth's surface. The effects of increased UV radiation are not well understood. Several agencies and universities are studying links between UV radiation exposure and skin cancer and eye disorders in humans. UV radiation also has negative effects on plants and aquatic ecosystems.

UV radiation may also influence air quality in the parks. The smog obscuring park views is the result of chemical reactions that take place in the presence of sunlight. More UV radiation may speed up these chemical reactions and could increase the amount of smog and low-altitude ozone present.

In the mid-1990s Sequoia National Park was one of 14 national parks monitoring UV radiation as part of a UV network sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service. These measurements helped scientists better understand how changes in UV affect human health and various ecosystem processes. The network data are used for a variety of scientific studies including assessments of the effects of UV radiation on frog populations.

Ultraviolet Radiation Links
Environmental Protection Agency Ultraviolet Monitoring Program

Did You Know?

The Four Guardsmen (four sequoias), with the Generals Highway running between them.

Sometimes you will see sequoias in a straight row. This may happen because sequoia seeds prefer mineral-rich burned ground. When a fallen log burns long and hot, it leaves a strip of bare mineral-rich soil — an ideal place for new sequoias to grow. Years later, we see a line of sequoias!