• 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 »

Cave Photo Gallery

Delicate, string-like formation stretches from one stone to another
These gravity-defying cave formations are known as helictites. They form due to the capillary action of acidic solutions and are composed of the minerals calcite and aragonite. These formations are small, with the longest helictite being about 8 inches in length. These grew in the Betelgeuse Balcony area of Hurricane Crawl Cave.
Photo by Steven M. Bumgardner
 
Spidery tube-like formations above a black surface
Vermiform (curved) helictites in the Sequin Balcony area of Hurricane Crawl Cave. The longest of these helictites is about 5 inches in length.
Photo by Mark Fritzke
 
Joel Despain at the top of the rope leading to Betelgeuse Balcony in Hurricane Crawl Cave
Joel Despain at the top of the rope leading to Betelgeuse Balcony in Hurricane Crawl Cave. Ropes are needed to reach many areas of park caves.
Photo by Dave Bunnell
 
Lilly pad formation in the Pumpkin Palace of Hurricane Crawl Cave
Vivian Loftin appreciates a beautiful, crystalline "lily pad" formation. These develop near the top of pools of water when crystals of calcite grow across the surface tension of very still pools. These formations are in a corner of the largest room in Hurricane Crawl Cave, Pumpkin Palace.
Photo by Dave Bunnell
 
Drapery formation hangs over the Star Chamber pool in Hurricane Crawl Cave
Rimstone pools and cave curtains and Ann Bosted in the Star Chamber area of Hurricane Crawl Cave. To reach this upper level passage, cavers must climb up a canyon more than 80 feet.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Caver stands beneath orange drapery in the Pumpkin Palace of the Hurricane Crawl Cave
A caver in Pumpkin Palace in Hurricane Crawl Cave. This is the largest room in the cave and is more than 90 feet in diameter. Notice that the caver is not wearing boots and has on a clean caving suit. Cave explorers work very hard and are very careful to protect such delicate formations.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Water drops hang from a soda straw formation in Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park
Delicate stalactites and soda straw formations in Crystal Cave. The drops of water on the ends of the formations mean that they are still actively growing.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Tourists enjoy the views in Marble Hall, the largest room in Crystal Cave
Tourists enjoy the views in Marble Hall, the largest room in Crystal Cave. Crystal Cave was developed for public tours in 1938 and 1939 and has since had well over 1 million visitors.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Cave pearls lie in a cave pool
Cave pearls in Crystal Cave. These form when acidic water deposits rock on grains of sand or small rocks. The dripping water keeps the developing formations moving and so cave pearls remain unattached to the cave floor.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Spar crystals in the Aragon Room of Soldiers Cave
Beautiful spar crystals in the Aragon Room of Soldiers Cave. These crystals, which are several inches long, formed under water.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 
Caver stands in front of a waterfall in Lilburn Cave
A thundering waterfall deep inside Lilburn Cave. Notice the banded marble bedrock and the caver's protective clothing.
Photo by Peter and Ann Bosted
 

 
Man stands beside a clean Soldier Cave formation as it was in 1950
A March 1950 photograph of the columns at Column Pit in Soldiers Cave. This section of the cave had only recently been discovered at this time. For many years to avoid the pit in the floor (which can't be seen in this picture) cavers traveled between the white columns and the white wall.
Photo by George Moore
 
1970s photo of the same area of Soldiers Cave showing the damage and muddying of this formerly beautiful section of the cave
The same area of Soldiers Cave in the 1970s showing the damage and muddying of this formerly beautiful section of the cave.
Photo by Bruce Rogers
 
Volunteer helping clean muddied formation in Soldiers Cave
In response to the damage to the cave the National Park Service sponsored an extensive clean-up and restoration of Soldiers Cave between 1993 and 1995. Many California cavers volunteered their time and equipment for the project. The work involved hose washing some areas of the cave including Column Pit.
Photo by Jim Hildebrand
 
Cave specialist climbs ladder next to protective red flagging tape on the Column Pit in Soldiers Cave
Today the formations at Column Pit are protected by a ladder that cavers now use to cross the pit. Red flagging tape reminds cavers not to touch the columns and other formations the area.
Photo by Greg Stock
 

Did You Know?

Fairy lantern wildflowers.

The unusual diversity of climates and ecosystems in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks led to its designation as an International Biosphere Reserve. There are 580 reserves in 114 countries that hold this honor world-wide.