• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

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  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Institute Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

    Effective July 28, 2014, the parks are in Stage 2 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 »

Marmots

Image of the face of an inquisitive marmot
Marmots are the largest members of the squirrel family and occasional chewers of boots, backpack straps, hiking pole grips, and radiator hoses.
NPS Photo
 

Each spring and early summer, the marmots of Mineral King have been known to dine on rare delicacies. Their fare includes radiator hoses and car wiring! Like bears, jays and ground squirrels, marmots have not only become accustomed to visitors, they have learned that people are a source of food.

In the parking areas some marmots feast on car hoses and wires. They can actually disable a vehicle. On several occasions, marmots have not escaped the engine compartment quickly enough and unsuspecting drivers have given them rides to other parts of the parks; several have ridden as far as southern California!

The whole thing sounds ridiculous, but it's true. If you visit Mineral King, especially during the spring, check under you hood before driving away. Let the rangers know whether or not your vehicle has been damaged. And don't forget, marmots also love to feast on boots, backpack straps, and other salty things such as the grips of hiking poles.

 
Marmot Mobile

Rangers recommend using tarps that cover the wheel wells.

NPS/Jennifer Swacina

Reports from Mineral King are that marmots are especially bad this year (spring 2014) - They are getting under cars that have been wrapped in chicken wire.

Did You Know?

Walter Fry in NPS uniform

After spending five days with five men cutting down a single sequoia, Walter Fry counted the growth rings on the fallen giant. The answer shocked him into changing careers. In just a few days they had ended 3266 years of growth. Fry later became a park ranger and, in 1912, the parks' superintendent.