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 »
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks support a wide diversity of animal species, reflecting the range in elevation, climate, and habitat variety here. Over 260 native vertebrate species are in the parks; numerous additional species may be present but have not been confirmed. Of the native vertebrates, five species are extirpated (extinct here), and over 150 are rare or uncommon.
There have been some studies of invertebrates here, but there is not enough information to know how many species occur in the parks. Many of the parks' caves contain invertebrates, some of which occur only in one cave and are known nowhere else in the world.
Plant life in the foothills, where summers are hot and dry and winters are mild, is largely chaparral on the lower slopes with blue oak and California buckeye in the valleys and on higher slopes. A number of animals live in this area year-round; some breed here, while others winter here. Local species include the gray fox, bobcat, striped and spotted skunks, black bear, woodrat, pocket gopher, white-footed mouse, California quail, scrub jay, lesser goldfinch, wrentit, acorn woodpecker, gopher snake, California kingsnake, striped racer, western whiptail lizard, and the California newt.
The high country is a land of lakes, meadows, some open forest, and miles of granite. Mammals are less common here, and food is scarce. It is only here that you will find the elusive Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Other mammals include the marmot, pika, and white-tailed jack rabbit. Birds include the Clark's nutcracker, mountain bluebird, and gray-crowned rosy finch. In this region, you may also be lucky enough to find a mountain yellow-legged frog, a declining species for which recovery efforts are now underway.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' Branch of Wildlife and Aquatics has the following goals: to provide baseline information on park wildlife; to understand and mitigate resource threats; and to provide for resource safety (e.g. human-bear management). The most important threats to the parks' ecosystems are the loss of a natural fire regime, exotic species, air pollution, habitat fragmentation, and climate change. Additional challenges to wildlife management include: conflicts between wildlife and people, mortality of wildlife caused both accidentally and by poaching, and insufficient information on many species. And remember, if you are in the parks and observe wildlife, stop by the visitor center so we can enter the sighting into our wildlife database.
Did You Know?
Amphibians and reptiles live at all elevations within Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. They range from common (such as western fence lizards and garter snakes) to rare (such as the mountain yellow-legged frog) to locally extinct (such as the foothill yellow-legged frog).