• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Institute Fire Restrictions

    Effective June 18, 2014, the parks are in Stage 1 fire restrictions, see link below for more information. These restrictions will remain in place until further notice. More »

  • Road Construction Delays Begin on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays at various locations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks beginning Monday, June 2, weekdays only, between 5 a.m.-3 p.m., 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, 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 »

Stock and Meadow Management

stock animals walk across a flat area

Horses and mules are often used to pack people and their supplies into the backcountry on recreational trips, as well as to support backcountry maintenance activities in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Photo by William Tweed

Pack and saddle stock have been used in the southern Sierra Nevada since the mid-nineteenth century, first for exploration and then in conjunction with sheep and cattle grazing and mining. In the late nineteenth century, and progressively into the twentieth century, pack and saddle stock were used for access to mountains of the region for recreational purposes. The numbers of pack and saddle stock used for recreational trips increased and peaked in the 1930s, dropped in the 1940s, increased again in the 1950s, and have since declined. In addition, pack stock are used extensively to support trail building and maintenance activities in the wilderness.

Some disruption of natural ecosystems and processes by pack and saddle stock is expected and considered acceptable as a consequence of a form of backcountry use that is appropriate in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The impacts of stock use, however, are potentially significant enough to require a management program for its regulation. Unlike many western national parks, pack stock are allowed to graze in many of the wilderness meadows within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The stock use and meadow management program uses an interdisciplinary approach to assessing the effect of pack stock on park resources, develops and distributes information on regulations and minimum impact stock practices, and works with park wilderness staff to monitor meadow conditions in popular areas. Information on trip planning for recreational pack stock users can be found at the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks wilderness information page.

Did You Know?

Beautiful white spar crystals.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks could have been set aside solely to protect the amazing caves found here. The parks protect half of the caves more than a mile long in California, including the longest cave in the state. They contain Pleistocene-era fossils, rare minerals and unique animals.