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 »
Black Bear Encounters
Please read important park alerts by clicking the red tab above before you come to the parks.
We hope you will have a chance to observe bears in the wild during your visit. Remember, however, that when bears and humans get too close, the result can be disastrous - for you or the bear. Bears change their behavior if they become habituated to humans (get used to our presence), which happens if we crowd them or observe them too closely.
If they obtain our food - even just one time - bears begin to break into cars, tents, and cabins. They may become aggressive. If a bear becomes a safety hazard, we may have to destroy it. In 2010, we had to kill four bears.
Habituated and food-conditioned bears often get horribly injured or killed by cars because they spend more time along roads and in campgrounds. Don't let this happen!
What should I do if I encounter a bear in . . .
. . . a natural area?
Consider yourself lucky, but remember these simple rules:
. . . a developed area?
We must make bears feel unwelcome in areas such as campgrounds, picnic areas, and buildings so they don't get habituated to people or get our food. Help keep bears wild and alive! Follow the suggestions below:
Note: You may see park staff using more aggressive techniques to "haze" bears away, such as paint-ball guns, pepper spray, slingshots, or rubber bullets. Do not try these techniques yourself. They may seem "mean," but it may keep bears wild in the long run. Park staff are trained to haze bears safely.
What should I do if a bear bluff-charges me?
It is unlikely to happen, but if it does:
This guidance applies specifically to black bears, not grizzly bears (which do not occur in these parks). Different strategies apply to grizzly bears, and you should consult with local rangers about what to do during grizzly-bear encounters if you visit their habitat.
Did You Know?
Sequoia wood proved too brittle for most lumber uses. Some felled sequoias even shattered as they hit the ground. Most lumbered sequoias ended up as fence posts, shingles, and even match sticks!