• Giant Sequoia Trees

    Sequoia & Kings Canyon

    National Parks California

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • The Generals Highway "Road Between the Parks" is OPEN

    The section of road between Lodgepole (Sequoia) and Grant Grove (Kings Canyon) is open. Call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1) for 24-hour road updates.

  • Be Prepared! Tire Chains or Cables May Be Required in the Parks at Any Time

    All vehicles must carry chains or cables when entering a chain-restricted area. It's the law (CA Vehicle Code, Section 605, Sections 27450-27503). Road conditions may change often. For road conditions, call 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1). 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 »

  • 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 »

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.


September 29, 2013 to May 22, 2014
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.)


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. NO Exceptions. 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 need to be picked up at the issuing station closest to your trailhead.

Tentative permit-issuing locations and operating hours for the 2014 season:

  • Ash Mountain Wilderness Office (near Foothills Visitor Center) 8:00am to 4:00pm. This location accepts credit cards and checks only. No cash.
  • Grant Grove Visitor Center 8:00am to 4:30pm
  • Lodgepole Visitor Center 7am to 3:30pm (closed from 11am-12pm for lunch)
  • Road's End Permit Station 7:00am to 4:00pm
  • Mineral King Ranger Station 8:00am to 4:00pm

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?

Cave formation.

The small gravity-defying cave formations found in Sequoia and Kings Canyon caves are known as helictites. They form due to the capillary action of acidic solutions and are composed of the minerals calcite and aragonite.