• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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 »

Things to Know Before You Come

Please read important park alerts by clicking the red tab above before you come to the parks.

Some of the opening/closing dates for facilities and visitor services in the parks may change due to weather and/or other circumstances. Please call 559-565-3341 BEFORE you plan to visit.


Improve Your Visit - Take a moment to click on the topics below:


Road Construction Delays

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.

Road Construction Flyer for July 14-25, 2014 (PDF, JPEG)
Printable Park Map with Construction Locations (PDF, JPEG)


Be Prepared - Check Important Park Alerts

At the top of every page - check warnings about road construction delays, closures, vehicle length advisories, on-going chain control restrictions (during and after storms), or other important messages you need to know before you leave home.

Download the Tire Chain Advisory and list of nearby sales/rental locations:
English (PDF; JPEG) or Spanish (PDF; JPEG)


Park Newspaper - Start Here!

Published five times a year, most of your questions will be answered here, including information about: important phone numbers, opening/closing dates, camping, lodging, dining, shopping, showers, activities, attractions, front-country hiking trails, wilderness permits, food storage, safety, road construction delays, where to find gasoline, vehicle length advisories, shuttle service, a park map, and more.
Visitor Guide


Park News in 2014

For links to all public information released in 2014 to date, including: Seasonal opening/closing dates, road construction schedules and delays, vehicle length advisories, ranger-led programs, fee-free dates, wildland and prescribed fire info, volunteer opportunities, shuttle service, public comments about management options, and more.
News Releases


Weather Watchers

Check our area forecasts just before leaving home. Bring the proper clothing, hiking, or camping gear for the area, elevation, and season of your visit.
Current Conditions


Shuttle Service - Sequoia National Park

Enjoy the view, ride the in-park shuttle, free! Shuttles generally operate in Sequoia National Park from approximately late-May through early September, and during the winter holiday season on a limited schedule. For more information visit:
Park Shuttles
To book a ride on the Visalia to Giant Forest shuttle visit:
Sequoia Shuttle


Go Underground and Discover Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave is closed. The 2014 tour season will begin on May 10, weather and conditions permitting. Call 559-565-3341 to verify the cave is open and that tickets are available. For tour schedules and how to purchase tickets visit:
Crystal Cave


Five Scenic Landscapes Await You

Learn about the parks' five different front-country areas, and the highlights of each.
Park Regions


Protect Wildlife - Use Food Storage Boxes

These parks are home to several hundred back bears (but no grizzly bears) as well as mountain lions and many other kinds of wildlife. Stay safe and help keep bears and all wildlife wild - store your food properly, don't feed them, keep a safe distance, and pick up all trash.
Bears and Food Storage


Accessibility

Learn where you can go and what's available in the parks.
Accessiblity


Pets

Know the rules for pets in the parks, and in the surrounding national forests - they're different in each.
Pets


Ranger-led Activities - Free!

Ranger-led programs are posted on multiple pages of our website, up to two weeks in advance. During your visit check for scheduled activities posted in each area on visitor center and campground bulletin boards.
Ranger-led Programs


Playing it Safe in the Parks

Your safety is your responsibility. Learn about the unfamiliar hazards you may encounter in natural areas. Cell phones and GPS generally don't work in the parks. Designate a contact person at home to communicate through. It's best to use printed maps of the parks for the most reliable driving directions.
Your Safety
Gasoline and Emergency Automobile Services

There are no gas stations or repair shops inside the park boundaries. For closest locations
to park entrances visit:
Gas Stations


Campfires, Wildfires, and Prescribed Fires

Fire restrictions begin when fire danger increases - including limits on campfires, barbeques and smoking.
Fire Restrictions

Natural fires and prescribed burns are critical to the park ecosystems you have come to visit.
Fire in the Parks


National Parks vs National Forests?

Since you go in and out of these agency lands when visiting this area, it's important to know which is which.
Some rules vary between National Parks and National Forests


Weapons and Firearms in the Parks

Weapons (including, but not limited to, BB, Pellet and Paint Guns, Bow/Arrow, Slingshots, Bear Spray and other compressed gas irritant devices) are illegal to possess.

Discharge of a firearm or weapon is prohibited within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. To learn more visit:
Laws & Policies

Winter view - Giant Forest Museum.-Photo SMB
Winter view from inside the Giant Forest Museum looking out at the Sentinel, a giant sequoia tree.    Photo by SMB.
 

Gigantic landscapes, long distances
Give yourself plenty of time. Allow a minimum of two hours for driving the Generals Highway loop alone-plus whatever time you plan to spend outside of the car. These parks are huge-865,258 acres. Together they measure 66 miles from north to south and 36 miles across at their widest point. Even though roads access only a small portion of the parks, it is possible to drive for more than four hours and still be within the parks. For example, the drive time between Ash Mountain and Cedar Grove is 3.5 hours.
Maps

Return to top↑

 

Extreme elevation range, steep curvy roads, variable weather
Be prepared at any time of year for a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. The parks range in elevation from 1400' (425 meters) at Ash Mountain in the Foothills to 14494' (4418 meters) atop Mt. Whitney at the remote eastern edge of the parks. The rugged terrain makes for narrow, steep, and very curvy roads and highly variable weather. It can be hot in the Foothills while it is snowing at higher elevations. Drive slowly, use low gear, and watch for signs of engine and brake overheating on steep switchbacks. Avoid grass fires by parking cars only on paved turnouts. There is a vehicle length advisory of 22' (6.7 meters) on the 12 narrow miles of the Generals Highway from Potwisha Campground to Giant Forest Museum.
Traffic and Travel Tips

See what conditions look like from the Giant Forest sequoia grove right now!
Giant Forest Webcam

Return to top ↑

 

Remote country
Come prepared to be self-sufficient. Although there are several small convenience and gift shops and plenty of lodging and camping is available in and around the parks, smaller stores may not always have all the things you need. Accommodations fill up quickly during the busiest times of the year. It is wise to make reservations well in advance if you are planning to visit during a summer weekend.
Goods and Services
Lodging

Return to top ↑

 
This Air Quality Index display is used in all park visitor centers to show projected air quality
Call or visit the nearest park visitor center to find out today's projected air quality index.
NPS
 

Air quality
Check the air quality index forecasts in visitor centers and adjust your activity accordingly. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks periodically experience some of the worst air quality in the National Park system. Warm afternoon winds-particularly on sunny summer days-bring valley ozone and other particulates up the canyons into the mountains. Ozone levels are highest from May to October, peaking in late afternoon. These peaks sometimes reach "unhealthy" levels by state and federal standards and can affect respiratory systems. Air Resources Overview

Return to top↑

 
Map showing various federal jurisdictions

Park, Forest, or Monument? All are federal land. Each exists for the benefit of society. But each has a different history, purpose, and set of rules governing its use. Together, they provide for a wide spectrum of uses.

NPS Graphic

Recognize the different kinds of land in these mountains and the rules that govern each.

Driving you will see signs for national parks, national forests, and national monuments. What is the difference?

All are federal land. All exist for the benefit of society. But each has a different history, purpose, and set of rules. Together they provide for a wide spectrum of uses.

National parks strive to keep landscapes unimpaired for future generations. They protect natural and historic features while offering light-on-the-land recreation. Park rangers work for the National Park Service-part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

National forests, managed under a "multiple-use" concept, provide services and commodities that may include lumber, cattle grazing, minerals, and recreation with and without vehicles. Forest rangers work for the U.S. Forest Service, an agency in the Department of Agriculture.

Both agencies manage wilderness and other areas where they strive for maximum protection of natural resources. For example, part of Sequoia National Forest has been designated Giant Sequoia National Monument to emphasize protection of sequoias.

Parks, forests, and monuments may have different rules in order to achieve their goals.
Where Can I...

Return to top ↑

Did You Know?

Yellow Star thistle

The yellow star thistle is one of many invasive and damaging non-native plants threatening the parks. It quickly takes over areas, displacing native plants and the native animals that rely on them. Please avoid bringing seeds and non-native plant materials into the parks. More...