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 »
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 »
Environmental Factors: Air, Land, & Water
Among Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ rich diversity of plants and animals are other elements that are not as obvious but equally important. An air flow eddy circles around the neighboring San Joaquin Valley and carries air pollution from human activity and industry into the parks. This affects visibility, the health of people and natural resources in the parks. Air quality monitoring in the parks is making a difference by providing important data to notify the public of health hazards on “bad air” days and to help both state and federal agencies in their efforts to improve air quality.
In the past the landscapes of these parks were regularly shaped by fire. The positive results benefited both plants and animals, such as encouraging the regeneration of plants, which in turn can benefit wildlife. After decades of fire suppression the landscape has severely changed, but efforts have been made to once again allow fire to return to its place as part of the natural cycle in the Sierra Nevada.
As the population of the state continues to increase and urban areas grow, so does the use of outdoor lighting. This has an environmental impact on dark skies. Where once dark skies provided the perfect backdrop to distant stars and planets, they now glow more from the lights of urban areas. By recording these changes and providing education, park staff can increase appreciation of the night skies and suggest ways that we all can take a more active role returning a natural glow to our night skies.
Did You Know?
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!