Foothills Points of Interest, Summer

Historic Sequoia Indian head sign with cartoon of little man

Sequoia's historic Indian head encounters a new visitor.

NPS Photo


Entrance to Sequoia National Park
Less than 1/4 mile inside the entrance to Sequoia National Park stands a massive, hand-carved wooden sign, modeled after the face on the old Indian head nickel. This sign was created by a Civilian Conservation Corps enrollee from Arkansas in the 1930's. The giant trees that make this park famous may have been named after a Cherokee Indian, Se-quo-yah, who devised an alphabet for his people.

The Generals Highway
The road from Ash Mountain to Hospital Rock was originally built by the Mt. Whitney Power Company to provide access to build a flume that carries water from the Marble and Middle Forks of the Kaweah River to a power generator just outside the park. You can see this concrete flume on the far side of the river. The road from Hospital Rock to Giant Forest was built by the government, and was completed in 1926. The rockwork was added by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Today, construction is underway to repair and upgrade this historic road.

Tunnel Rock
This large granite boulder is 1.6 miles from the Ash Mountain Visitor Center. Originally, the only road here was the bypass. The CCC dug the tunnel beneath the rock and faced the dirt wall with rock, finishing the work in 1938.

Hospital Rock
This pleasant site on the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River was once home to nearly 500 Native Americans belonging to the Potwisha sub-group of the Monache, or Western Mono, Indians. Archeological evidence indicates that Indians settled in this area as early as 1350. Today, visitors to Hospital Rock can still view ancient rock paintings, or pictographs, and bedrock mortars used to grind acorns. The area got its present name in 1873, when James Everton stayed here to recover from a gunshot wound he had received while stumbling into a shotgun snare set to trap bear.

Amphitheater Point
Amphitheater Point is a broad turnout on the Generals Highway, 10.3 miles from the Foothills Visitor Center. From here, you can see all three of the life zones of the Sierra. Below lies the Foothill zone with its oak and brush forests. Above lies the mixed- conifer forest, home to the giant sequoias, the world's largest living things. And in the distance, you can get your first good view of the high Sierra, as the barren, rocky peaks of the Great Western Divide appear on your right.

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