• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Road Construction Delays on Park Roads for 2014 Season

    Expect occasional 15-minute to 1-hour delays in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks on weekdays only (times vary), 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, and your vehicle is longer than 22 feet (combined length), 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 »

Wilderness Permits & Reservations

Franklin Lake at sunset
Franklin Lake at sunset.
Photo by N. Ver

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


  • Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips. Day hiking and camping in designated car campgrounds does not require a wilderness permit.
  • During the busiest time period (late May to late September) the parks protect wilderness areas by using a trailhead quota system to regulate the number of backpackers starting each trail, each day.


May 23, 2014 to September 27, 2014
During this time period, there is a $15 wilderness permit fee per group, and permits are issued by trailhead rangers during operating hours. The rangers provide important information about trail conditions in the area. NO night drops are permitted. You may obtain permits the afternoon prior to your hike date (after 1:00pm).

Approximately three-quarters of the daily trail quota (see trail descriptions) may be reserved in advance. The remaining spaces are available on a first-come-first-served basis. The $15 fee applies to both walk-up and reserved permits; and both walk-up and reserved permits must to be picked up at the issuing station closest to your trailhead.

Permit-issuing locations and operating hours for the 2014 season:

  • Ash Mountain Wilderness Office (below the Foothills Visitor Center) 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. This location accepts credit cards and checks only. No cash. Permits are available at the Foothills Visitor Center on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Grant Grove Visitor Center 8:00am to 4:30pm daily
  • Lodgepole Visitor Center 7am to 3:30pm daily (closed from 11am-12pm for lunch)
  • Road's End Permit Station 7:00am to 3:45pm daily
  • Mineral King Ranger Station 8:00am to 3:45pm daily


September 28, 2014 to May 21, 2015
Wilderness permits are free, self-issued, and are not limited to daily entry quotas during this time period. The information you provide on your self-issued permit may be helpful in a search and rescue incident.

Self-issue permit stations are available 24 hours a day at the following locations:

  • Outside the Giant Forest Museum
  • Outside the Kings Canyon Visitor Center (in Grant Grove)
  • Outside the Roads End Permit Station (note: In the winter, the road is closed to vehicles approximately 15 miles from Road's End)
  • At the South Fork Campground
  • Outside the Mineral King Ranger Station and road-side near Atwell Mill. (note: in the winter the Mineral King road is gated 10 miles from Highway 198 at the park boundary. For access past the boundary gate, contact the Ash Mountain Visitor Center. A second gate is located approximately 17 miles from Highway 198. There is no vehicle access past the second gate.)

Reservation applications for trips taking place within the quota period are only accepted by fax or by US mail. Reservations can be made no earlier than midnight March 1st, and no later than two weeks prior to the trip. (Note: the popular "Lakes Trail" to Emerald Lake and Pear Lake is non-reservable. First come, first served.)

TRAIL HEAD AVAILABILITY: Check which trailhead start dates are booked by clicking here.

If you will be entering Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks but starting your trip outside of the parks (i.e. surrounding Forest Service lands) you can obtain your permit for your entire itinerary from the agency where your trip begins. To hike Mount Whitney from east of the Sierra Nevada, contact Inyo National Forest http://www.fs.usda.gov/inyo (760) 873-2483.

Did You Know?

Fairy lantern wildflowers.

The unusual diversity of climates and ecosystems in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks led to its designation as an International Biosphere Reserve. There are 580 reserves in 114 countries that hold this honor world-wide.