Changes to Some Opening/Closing Dates for Services and Facilities – Check Back for Updates
Some of the opening/closing dates for facilities and visitor services in the parks have changed due to weather and/or other circumstances. See link for details and match to locations on the park map (under "Park Tools," bottom left, this page). More »
Road Conditions (Entire Park) and Road Construction Delays (if Entering/Exiting Hwy. 198)
Expect 20-minute to 1-hour construction delays on main road through parks (Generals Hwy) until Memorial Day weekend (7 a.m.-6 p.m.). See link for schedule. Call for 24-hour road conditions info: 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1, 1). More »
Vehicle Length Limits Have Changed in Sequoia NP (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 new vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »
You May Have Trouble Calling Us. Use the "Contact Us" Link (Bottom Left) to Send an E-mail.
We are experiencing technical problems receiving some incoming phone calls at the parks. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please keep trying to reach us or check this website for frequently-asked questions. The search box (top, right) may be helpful.
Prescribed Fires Planned at Ash Mountain/Sequoia National Park (Parks' South Entrance)
Fire crews will be working on hazard fuel reduction project at Ash Mountain (south entrance) starting May 23. There are nine small burn segments near the south entrance. The fire may be visible from the road and will produce smoke for very short periods.
Middle Fork Trail
Highlights: Panther Creek Falls, fishing in the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River for those who don't mind bush-whacking, wildflowers in the spring, views up the river drainage to the Great Western Divide, access to Redwood Meadow (one of the most remote sequoia groves in the park).
When to Go: This low elevation trail is best in spring, late fall, or winter. Summer typically brings scorching temperatures that deter most hikers.
USGS 7.5" Topograhic Map: The Lodgepole map includes the entire Middle Fork trail from the trailhead to Redwood Meadow.
How to Get to the Trailhead: Continue north on the Generals Highway from the entrance station near the town of Three Rivers. Turn right at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area toward Buckeye Flat Campground. Follow the small brown wood sign for the Middle Fork Trail by veering left on the dirt road just before the campground.
Please note that the Buckeye Flat Campground road may be closed in the winter. At these times, you will have to park at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area and walk less than two miles to the trailhead.
Common Campsites along the Middle Fork Trail Corridor: Panther Creek, about 3.5 miles from the trailhead, is the first place where camping is allowed. Further down the trail, other campsites include Mehrten Creek (about 6 miles from the trailhead) and Buck Creek (about 9 miles from the trailhead). These previously mentioned campsites are the only locations you will likely find flat ground and breaks in the vegetation.
Further Destinations: From the trailhead, Redwood Meadow can be reached in about 13 miles and Bearpaw Meadow in about 14 miles. Despite its name, Redwood Meadow is home to one of the most remote giant sequoia groves (not redwood trees) reached by trail in the park. Here you can sleep under the big trees without all the crowds! After a strenous hike on the slope between Sugarbowl Dome and River Valley, you can reach Bearpaw Meadow and the High Sierra Trail. Expect more people here than on the Middle Fork Trail.
Common Wildlife You Might See: Mule deer, black bear, bobcat, mountain lion, rattlesnake, and lots of birds.
Common Vegetation You Might Notice: Buckthorn, manzanita, black oak, chemise, bear clover for the first six miles. Mixed conifer trees after six miles and giant sequoias at Redwood Meadow.
Items of Caution: Poison oak is abundant below 6,000 feet elevation - long sleeves and pants are your best protection. Watch out for rattlesnakes, especially at the lower elevations. Check for ticks.
Crossing Granite Creek on the lower trail to Redwood Meadow can be dangerous during high water (typically late spring and/or early summer when the snow starts to melt in the high country). First use the bridge to cross Eagle Scout Creek. Then if Granite Creek is not fordable, continue upstream until you come to the next trail junction. At this point, turn right and head southeast to Redwood Meadow. This upper trail has a bridge and easier creek crossings.
Did You Know?
Not all American black bears are black! Colors also include chocolate, brown, cinnamon, and even blonde. When you see a brown-colored bear in Sequoia and Kings Canyon parks, you are seeing a black bear, not a grizzly. Although a grizzly is on the state flag, none remain in the wilds of California.