2020 Superintendent's Compendium

36 CFR Part 1 — General Provisions
Section 1.5 — Closures and public use limits

(a)(1) Visiting hours, public use limits, closures, and area designations for specific use or activities.

PUBLIC USE LIMITS

  • The Pinewood Picnic Area is closed to all use from dusk to dawn, except by permit.1
  • The Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is closed to single vehicles over 22 feet long and all combination vehicles when the Park’s shuttle bus system is in operation and closure signs are posted.2
  • Snow play is prohibited within fifty feet of buildings and roads, except in designated snow play areas (Wolverton, Columbine and Big Stump Picnic Areas). The Superintendent may close areas to snow play by posting signs in conspicuous locations; snow play in violation of posted signs is prohibited.3
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs) are prohibited in all group camp sites except Dorst. A maximum of two RVs or trailers are permitted for each Dorst group site. Use is limited to the inside of the RV (cooking, sleeping, recreation, etc.) All other activities must take place out of the parking area.4
  • Possession of a glass container within 50 feet of any river is prohibited, except in designated campsites and picnic areas.5


CLOSURES

  • The following roads are closed to public vehicular traffic during the winter months (when posted or gated) Specific opening and closing dates are detailed in Attachment # 11: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 2019 Open and Close Schedule6:
  • Mineral King Road above the Conifer Gate at milepost 17.64, from the last Wednesday of October until the Wednesday preceding Memorial Day weekend.7
  • Middle Fork Road from Hospital Rock to Buckeye Flat Campground and to the Middle Fork Trailhead.
  • Crystal Cave Road
  • Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road
  • Redwood Saddle Road
  • Panoramic Point Road
  • All roads within the Cedar Grove area
  • The Generals Highway between Red Fir Maintenance Area and the Wye, or portions thereof, at the discretion of the Superintendent based on current weather conditions.

  • The following roads are closed to vehicular traffic:
    • All roads within the Dillonwood Grove area.8
  • All Roads within the Oriole Lake Road complex within Sequoia National Park except for property owners accessing private residences.9
  • The Shepherd Saddle Road is closed to public vehicular traffic (except bicycles).10

  • The following former roads, which are located within recommended or eligible wilderness, are closed to public vehicular traffic, including bicycles: 1
    • Colony Mill Trail from the Crystal Cave Road to the Sequoia National Park boundary.
  • North Fork / West Boundary Trail from Yucca Flat to Hidden Spring.
  • Redwood Canyon Trail

  • Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road is closed to all vehicular traffic each Saturday, Sunday, and federal holiday weekend while the park shuttle is operating except for:12
  • Vehicles transporting visitors with valid wilderness permits for the Crescent Meadow Trailhead,
  • Vehicles bearing disabled placards,
  • Commercial passenger carrying motor vehicles less than 22 feet in length, or
  • Sequoia National Park shuttles

  • The following areas are closed to public entry, except when accompanied by a park official, or when entry is authorized by the Superintendent:
  • All facilities and buildings used for the storage, treatment, or transmission of electricity, gas, telephone, waste disposal, and domestic water. The roads that service these facilities are also closed to public access when gated and/or posted.13
  • All park helibases and helispots.14
  • All management class 4, 5, and 6 caves.15

  • Moro and Chimney Rocks are closed to rock climbing from April 1 through August 15 in the areas described below. All or parts of the closure may be rescinded if it is determined by the Superintendent to be unnecessary to protect nesting Peregrine Falcons. When a closure has been lifted, signs on the areas bulletin boards will be posted showing all or parts of the areas that are open to rock climbing.16
  • CHIMNEY ROCK SEASONAL AREA CLOSURE DESCRIPTION
    • The following describe a triangle that encompasses the area closure (GPS Data Format UTM NAD83) (Attachment 1 – Chimney Rock Seasonal Peregrine Closure Map):
    • From 332897e, 4058397n southeasterly along the USFS/NPS border to 333321e, 4057713n From 333321e, 4057713n northwesterly, in a straight line to 332486e, 4058128n
    • From 332897e, 4058397n in a straight line southwesterly to 332486e, 4058128n
  • This closure includes, but is not limited to, the following climbing areas: Chimney Rock and Chimney Spire, The Monk, Camp Ridge (Crystal Wall), and Chartreuse Dicephalon. Access to Sasquatch Spire, Moccasin Ridge, and Moccasin Spire is also closed during closures.
  • MORO ROCK SEASONAL AREA CLOSURE DESCRIPTION:

All rock climbing routes between (and including) “South Face” and “Full Metal Jacket”.

  • Unmanned Aircraft Closure:
  • Definition: The term “unmanned aircraft” means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communications links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including recreation or commerce.
  • Closure: Launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.17

(a)(2) Specific use or activity designations, conditions, and restrictions

  • Climbing or attempting to climb Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) trees is prohibited without a permit.18
  • Prior to entering park caves, clothing (worn or carried) and other supplies and equipment (cameras, purses, packs, pads, food, or other portables) that have been inside any cave, mine or other environment that could potentially expose these items to white-nose syndrome fungus must first be disinfected according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service protocols (Attachment 2).19
  • The use of flotation devices, boats, or rafts is prohibited on the South Fork of the Kings River from Bubbs Creek Bridge downstream to the Kings Canyon National Park boundary.20
  • Generators may not be used in the following campground areas: Lodgepole sites 36- 60 (RV’s and tents) and sites 69 – 150 (tents only) and Dorst sites 74 – 127 (tents only).21
  • Generators use is restricted in Lodgepole and Dorst Campgrounds to the following hours: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. in designated sites.22
  • Passenger buses are subject to the following condition/restriction on all park roads within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks:23
  • Buses must shut down their engines when not underway.
  • Buses are allowed to idle up to 15 minutes to allow the driver to complete their legally required Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.
  • All other idling shall not exceed 5 minutes.
 

Section 1.6(f) – Activities requiring a permit24

§2.4(d) Carrying or possessing a weapon, trap, or net

§2.5(a) Specimen collection (taking of plants, fish, wildlife, rocks or minerals)

§2.10(a) Overnight camping

§2.12 Audio Disturbances

  • (a)(2) Operating a chain saw in developed areas
  • (a)(3) Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas
  • (a)(4) Operation of a public address system in connection with a public gathering or special event for which a permit has been issued pursuant to §2.50 or §2.51.

§2.13(a) Lighting or maintaining a fire

§2.15(e) Possession of pets by park residents


§2.16(g) Overnight use of horses and pack animals in wilderness areas

§2.17 Aircraft and Air Delivery

  • (a)(3) Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means.
  • (c)(1) Removal of a downed aircraft.


§2.23(b) Entry to the park and use of campgrounds

§2.37 Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services (pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit issued under §2.50, §2.51, and §2.52).


§2.38 Explosives

  • Use, possess, store, or transport explosives or blasting agents
  • Use or possess fireworks


§2.50(a) Conducting a sports event, pageant, regatta, public spectator attraction, entertainment, ceremony, or similar events.

§2.51(a) Public assemblies, meetings, gatherings, demonstrations, parades, and other public expressions or views in groups exceeding 25 people.

§2.52(a) Sale or distribution of printed matter that is not solely commercial advertising (printed material that is solely commercial advertising is prohibited) in groups exceeding 25 people.

§2.60(a) Grazing of horses and pack animals (wilderness permit)

§2.60(b) Stock use (except day use). Stock is defined as horses, mules, donkeys, burros, and llamas only.

§2.61(b) Residing on federal lands.


§2.62 Memorialization

  • Erection of monuments (requires approval from Regional Director)
  • Scattering human ashes from human cremation


§4.11(a) Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight and size limits.

§5.1 Advertisements (display, posting or distribution).

§5.2(b) Sale of intoxicants on private lands.25

§5.3 Engaging in or soliciting any business (requires a permit, contract or other written agreement with the United States, or must be pursuant to special regulations).


§5.4(a) Commercial transportation of passengers by motor vehicles.

§5.5(a) Commercial photography / filming

  • Commercial filming of motion pictures or television involving the use of professional casts, settings, or crews, other than bona fide newsreel or news television
  • Still photography of vehicles or other articles of commerce or models for the purpose of commercial advertising.


§5.6(c) Use of commercial vehicles on park area roads (The superintendent shall issue a permit to access private lands within and adjacent to the park when access is otherwise not available).

§5.7 Construction of buildings, facilities, trails, roads, boat docks, paths, structures, etc.

§5.10(a) Operation of eating, drinking, or lodging establishments


§7.8 Special Regulations: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

  • (c)(1) Constructing, rebuilding, or altering any building, water supply, or sewage disposal system.
  • (e)(2) Snowmobile use – limited to providing access to owners of private property in Wilsonia and Mineral King.
 

36 CFR PART 2 – RESOURCE PROTECTION, PUBLIC USE AND RECREATION

Section 2.1 – Preservation of natural, cultural, and archeological resources

(a)(4) Dead wood on the ground may be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the parks in all areas except:26

  • Where campfires are prohibited,
  • Sequoia Groves listed in Table 5 (p. 65) in the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (WSP)
  • All other areas listed in Section 2.13

(c)(1)(2) The following fruits, nuts, and berries may be gathered by hand for personal consumption, in accordance with the noted size, quantity, collection sites and/or use consumption:27

One (1) pint per person, per day, wherever found, for immediate consumption for:

  • Blackberries
  • Bilberries and Huckleberries (Genus Vaccinium)
  • Currants and Gooseberries (Genus Ribes)
  • Elderberries
  • Fungi, edible*
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Currants
  • Thimbleberries
  • Elderberries
  • Watercress (leaves only)*
  • Wild onions (tops only)*

* Must be cut, not pulled.

Section 2.2 – Wildlife Protection

(d) The transporting of lawfully taken wildlife through the parks is only permitted under the following conditions and procedures:

1. The carcass must be tagged in accordance with state law; AND
2. Game must be kept out of sight as much as practicable; AND
3. Legally taken wildlife may only be transported in the following areas:

Grant Grove Highway: 180 through Grant Grove, and the Generals Highway to Highway 180 in Grant Grove, in order for hunters to leave the park by the most direct route without delay from adjacent National Forest lands, and for Hume Lake, Wilsonia, and park residents to access their private residences.
Cedar Grove: Cedar Grove Road from the park boundary to private residences within the park (park residents only).
Lodgepole: Those portions of the Generals Highway and access roads from the northern boundary of Sequoia National Park to Wuksachi, Lodgepole or Giant Forest (park residents only).
Ash Mountain: Generals Highway from the Ash Mountain Entrance at Highway 198 to private residences within the park (private landowners and park residents only).
Mineral King: Mineral King Road from the park boundary to private residences within the park in Mineral King and Silver City (cabin-owners, cabin-permittees, and park residents only), or from wilderness trailheads to the park boundary or private residences within the park.

(e) All areas of the parks are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light.

Section 2.3 – Fishing

Definition:
Developed Area: area within one-quarter (1/4) mile of buildings, campgrounds, picnic areas, or parking lots that accommodate more than five (5) vehicles.28

The following Special Regulation applies in addition to Federal and State law:

In waters below 9,000 feet elevation29 that are not located in a Developed Area:

  • Rainbow Trout, Sacramento Sucker, Kern Rainbow, Sculpin, and Roach Fish must be released.
  • Only barbless artificial flies or lures are authorized

Section 2.10 – Camping and Food Storage

(a) The Superintendent may require permits, designate sites or areas, and establish conditions for camping:

NON-WILDERNESS CAMPING
Permits:

  • Expanded amenity fees, if applicable, shall be paid immediately upon campsite occupancy.
  • Permits cannot be transferred, sold, or purchased beyond initial issuance.
  • First-come first-served campsites may not be reserved for individuals that may be arriving later. A campsite is considered occupied when it has been paid for, the permit receipt is attached to the numbered post, and there is some evidence of occupancy (chairs, tent, camping equipment, etc.) in the site.
  • Campsites may not be sublet.


Designated Non-wilderness Campgrounds:

  • Ash Mountain / Foothills: Buckeye Flat, Potwisha, South Fork
  • Cedar Grove: Canyon View, Moraine, Sentinel, Sheep Creek
  • Grant Grove: Azalea, Crystal Spring, Sunset
  • Lodgepole: Dorst Creek, Lodgepole
  • Mineral King: Atwell Mill, Cold Springs

Conditions:

  • Camping in designated campgrounds is limited to 30 days total during the calendar year, with no more than 14 days falling between the night of June 14th and the night of September 14th.
  • No more than six individuals are permitted to sleep in a single (non-group) site.
  • No more than one vehicle is permitted to park at any site in the Buckeye Campground. Vehicles must be in the designated parking area, and may not obstruct traffic.
  • No more than two vehicles are permitted to park at any non-group site. Not all sites will accommodate more than one vehicle.
  • Vehicles must be in the designated parking area and may not obstruct traffic.
  • Group sites (mid-size and large) are designated on campground maps in Canyon View, Crystal Springs, and Dorst Campgrounds.
  • Check-out time is 12:00 pm (noon).

WILDERNESS CAMPING30:
Permits:

  • All persons entering areas managed as wilderness and remaining overnight (on foot or with stock) must possess a valid Wilderness Use Permit issued by one of the following:
  • The National Park Service
  • The National Forest Service
  • The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) - This permit is valid for those traveling more than 500 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Permit holders may conduct day trips off of the PCT, but may not camp more than ½ mile from the PCT.
  • Permits for overnight use are only valid for entry to the wilderness at a specified location, date, and party size.
  • Permits issued by the PCTA are only valid for continuous travel in the direction indicated on the permit. PCTA permits are valid only within 35 days of arrival at Kennedy Meadows South at PCT mile 702 (northbound direction of travel) or Sonora Pass at PCT mile 1017 (southbound direction of travel).
  • Exiting from wilderness in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and remaining outside of wilderness overnight shall invalidate a SEKI Wilderness Use Permit.
  • A permit issued by the NPS shall serve as a campfire permit. All others must obtain a Campfire Permit at: https://www.readyforwildfire.org/permits/campfire-permit/. Terms and conditions of the campfire permits are listed in Section 2.13 (below).
  • The SEKI Minimum Impact Restrictions constitute additional terms and conditions of the permit; violation of any term or condition is prohibited. (See Attachment 2: SEKI Minimum Impact Restrictions).
  • The Annual Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions (See Attachments 4 and 5: Sequoia/Kings Canyon Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions) constitute additional terms and conditions of the permit for groups with stock; violation of any term or condition is prohibited.


Designated Wilderness Campsites and Camping Area Restrictions31:

  • Camping is prohibited within 1 mile of any road or developed area.
  • Camping is prohibited between the trailhead and the “First Allowable camp” listed in the WSP except when those areas are completely snow covered.32
  • Camping in cross-country areas is prohibited within one mile of roads and developed areas.
  • Camping on vegetation is prohibited.
  • Camping or staying overnight in the John Muir Memorial Shelter near Muir Pass and in the Mount Whitney Shelter on the summit of Mount Whitney is prohibited.
  • Camping is prohibited between the Crabtree Ranger Station and the summit of Mount Whitney for hikers traveling on PCTA issued permits.

Specific areas closed to camping are:

  • Bullfrog Lake - within ¼ mile of the lake;
  • Lakes Trail area – at Heather Lake and in the Marble Fork drainage below Emerald and Pear lakes;
  • Eagle Lake - no camping between the trail and Eagle Lake;
  • Mosquito Lake - no camping within ¼ mile of Mosquito Lake #1;
  • Hockett Meadow - no camping between the trail and Whitman Creek; and
  • Timberline Lake area - Lake – within ¼ mile of the lake;
  • Columbine Lake – within 100 feet of the lake;
  • The following sequoia groves: Atwell, Big Stump, Clough Cave, Coffeepot, Dillonwood,
    Forgotten, Giant Forest, Grant, Lost, Muir, Sequoia Creek, and Suwanee;
  • Buena Vista, Big Baldy, Little Baldy, Tokopah Falls Valley, Giant Forest and Crystal Cave areas,
    and Marble Falls.33


Specific areas where camping is only allowed in designated sites/campgrounds:

  • In designated sites in Lower Paradise Valley
  • In designated sites at Emerald Lake and Pear Lake
  • In the designated campground at Bearpaw Meadow


Length of Stay/Night Limits

  • Camping is limited to stays of 14 consecutive nights within ¼ mile radius at a single location, 25 total nights per trip, and 75 total nights in SEKI wilderness per year, except:
    • 3 night limit: Emerald and Pear Lakes (combined); and Lower and Upper Soldier Lakes (combined).
    • 2 Night Limit: Charlotte Lake; Colony Mill Road Trail; Crabtree/Whitney Creek area; Don Cecil Trail; Dusy Basin (basin-wide); Guitar Lake/Mt. Whitney area; JMT from Woods Creek Crossing to Vidette Meadow (any one location, excluding Rae Lakes Basin, see below); Kearsarge Lakes Basin (basin-wide); North Dome; Paradise Valley (valley-wide);and Redwood Canyon (area-wide):
    • 1 Night Limit: Hamilton Lake (basin-wide); and Rae Lakes Basin from Dollar Lake to Glen Pass (per-lake)
 

Party Size Limits34

  • Parties with separate wilderness permits, but sharing the same affiliation (school, church, club, scout group, family, friends, etc. or any combination thereof) may not travel or camp within one half (0.5) mile of each other if the total number of people exceeds fifteen.35

Non-stock parties:

  • On-trail day use – 25 people
  • On-trail overnight use – 15 people
  • Off trail in excess of ½ mile from a maintained trail – 12 people
  • Area specific restrictions
    • 10 people – Redwood Canyon
    • 8 people – Colony Mill Road Trail; Don Cecil Trail; Dusy Basin; Darwin Canyon / Lamarck Col Mount Whitney Management Area / Mount Langley;; (Sixty Lake Basin; and Sphinx Lakes. Area specific limits apply to all class 1 trails in areas listed.
 

Stock Parties

  • The maximum number of stock allowed per camping party in SEKI wilderness areas is twenty
  • (20). Some areas have more restrictive limits (See Attachments 4 and 5).
  • Day Rides – 20 People, 20 Stock, 40 Combined total
  • On-trail overnight, spot and dunnage trips – 15 people, 20 Stock, 28 Combined total
  • Off-trail – 12 People, 12 Stock, 14 Combined
    • Area specific restrictions:
      • Redwood Canyon (10 People, 10 Stock)
      • Upper Goddard Canyon/Martha Lake (12 People, 12 Stock, 14 Combined)
      • Day Rides Only – 8 Combined, on-trail only:
        • Sixty Lakes Basin – Trail is closed to stock 1.8 miles from JMT Junction
        • Miter Basin above Penned Up Meadow – on the Class 1 trail.
 

(b)(3) Camping within 25 feet of a fire hydrant or main road, or within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water is only authorized in the following designated areas:

  • Previously well-established campsites that are more than 25 feet from the water.

(d) Conditions for the storage of food are in effect, as noted, for the following areas:

For the purpose of the following food storage restrictions, “food items” shall be defined as food (human, pet and stock), food-tainted garbage and recyclables (empty cans and bottles, food wrappers, etc.), toiletries such as soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics, and any creams, ointments, or lotions. Food containers, such as ice chests and coolers shall also be considered “food items”, unless they are completely empty and free of food particles. Dirty, non-disposable tableware and cookware must be washed or stored as a food item.

Failure to store food by one of the following acceptable methods is prohibited.

Non-Wilderness Areas:
All food items must be stored in food storage lockers except:

  • When food is being used, prepared or consumed,
  • In residences and lodging, food items must be stored inside and not be visible from the exterior.
  • In hard-sided motor homes or travel trailers that contain built-in refrigerators, food items must be stored inside and not be visible from the exterior. Vehicle doors and windows must be closed and shades must be drawn when the vehicle is not occupied.
  • Food items may not be stored in soft-topped vehicles.
  • In areas where food storage lockers are not provided, food items must be stored inside a vehicle trunk or, if the vehicle has no trunk, must be placed as low in the vehicle as possible and not be visible from the exterior. Vehicle doors and windows must be closed.

Wilderness Areas:
Food items must be stored in one of the following ways, in descending order of preference:

  • In a portable food storage container (pannier, steel drum with a locking metal lid, or a portable container) that is allowed by SEKI for use in the Parks (Attachment 5: SEKI Allowed Food Storage Containers for Use).36 All other container models and sizes not specifically listed are prohibited as the sole method of food storage, including those by the same manufacturers and with the same construction.
  • In a designated food storage locker.
  • Suspended from a branch with the food remaining at least twelve (12) feet above the ground, five (5) feet below the branch, and ten (10) feet horizontally from the tree trunk, or other vertical support, using the SEKI counterbalance technique. (ww.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/bearhang.htm). In locations without access to a food storage locker or trees adequate to hang food within these parameters, an allowed portable food storage container is required.
 

Specified Restricted Wilderness Areas (Attachment 6 – Container Requirement Areas):
The following areas are defined as the Specified Restricted Wilderness Area:

  • Within the wilderness area bordered by the following landmarks: Sawmill Pass and the Woods Creek drainage on the north, Forester Pass and the Kings/Kern Divide on the south, the Sierra Crest on the east, and Cedar Grove, South Fork of the Kings River, and Sphinx Crest on the west. (All trail corridors and cross-country routes within the area are included in this restriction.)
  • Within the Dusy Basin wilderness areas including all camp areas from Bishop Pass to the junction with the John Muir Trail in LeConte Canyon and all cross-country areas in Dusy Basin and Palisades Basin.
  • Within the Rock Creek wilderness areas of Sequoia National Park including all camp areas in the Rock Creek drainage, including Miter Basin, Soldier Lake, Siberian Outpost and Rock Creek proper. Specifically, the area is defined as areas (including cross country routes) in the Rock Creek drainage west of Cottonwood and New Army Passes, south of Crabtree Pass, south of Guyot Pass, and northnorthwest of the Sequoia National Park boundary and Siberian Pass.
  • • Climbing routes on North Dome.
  • Within the Emerald and Pear Lake Basins, encompassing the legal campsites for those lakes.


The following food storage regulations apply in the Specific Restricted Wilderness Area:

1. From May 1 through October 31, all parties must have SEKI allowed food storage containers with the capacity to store all food items.37 All food items must be stored in these containers when food is not being used, prepared or consumed.
2. Stock parties must have SEKI allowed panniers and/or steel drums with locking lids.

Section 2.13 – Fires

(a)(1) The lighting or maintaining of fires is prohibited, except in designated areas under established conditions:38

Definitions:
Campfires: Open fires (on the ground or in a container including burn barrels, enclosed fireplace stands, and charcoal grills) using natural or native fuels or charcoal.
Gas Fires: Fires with a contained fuel source including propane, butane, kerosene, natural gas, white gas, chafing fuel, etc. that use no other solid fuels (wood, charcoal, paper, cardboard, etc.) to remain ignited.

Designated Areas and Conditions:
Campfires:

  • Developed front country campgrounds with a valid camping permit.
  • Picnic areas shown on the park map within the established or visitor provided cooking receptacles with a valid park entrance permit.
  • Park residential areas including inholdings with a valid housing agreement, travel authorization, special use permit, or property deed.
  • Various locations designated by special permit that may be issued by the Superintendent to private property owners or contractors for the purpose of burning slash or debris piles.
  • Wilderness areas with a valid Wilderness Use Permit, except in the following areas39:
  • Kings Canyon National Park:
  • Above 10,000 feet elevation
  • Granite Basin
  • Redwood Canyon
  • Kaweah River Drainage:
  • Above 9,000 feet elevation
  • Hamilton Lakes Basin
  • Mineral King Valley above the Mineral King Ranger Station
  • Pinto Lake.
  • Kern River drainage:
  • Above 10,000 feet elevation
  • Tule River Drainage
  • Above 9,000 feet elevation
  • Summit Lake Basin
  • Only dead and down wood may be used for campfires. Chopping or removing wood from trees or other vegetation is prohibited. Campfires must be attended at all times.
  • Fires are prohibited in Sequoia Groves, except Cahoon Creek, Castle Creek, Cedar Flat, Dennison, Devils Canyon, Douglass, East Fork, Eden Creek, Garfield, Granite Creek, Horse Creek, Little Redwood Meadow, Oriole Lake Grove, Redwood Meadow, South Fork, and Squirrel Creek.

Gas Fires:

  • Developed front country campgrounds with a valid camping permit
  • Established picnic areas and within 20 feet of picnic tables not located in established picnic areas with a valid park entrance permit.
  • Park residential areas including inholdings with a valid housing agreement, travel authorization,
    special use permit, or property deed.
  • Wilderness areas with a valid Wilderness Use Permit.

Other Conditions:

  • At the discretion of the Superintendent, fires may be prohibited during some periods and/or at specified locations when poor air quality conditions exist.

(c) During periods of high fire danger, the superintendent may close all or a portion of a park area to the lighting or maintaining of a fire.40

  • Further restrictions will be posted and published upon the superintendent’s approval of heightened Fire Restrictions. (See Attachment 7). These restrictions will replace the “Designated Areas and Conditions” section of 2.13(a)(1) listed above.
 

Section 2.15 – Pets

(a)(1) Possessing a pet is prohibited except within 100 feet of the edge of established roads or
parking areas open to the public, and within established campgrounds and picnic areas. Pets
are prohibited on established trails.

(a)(3) Park residents may leave their pets unattended and tied within the boundaries of their yards.

(a)(5) Pet feces in campgrounds, campsites, residential areas, lawns, and within 100 feet of public buildings must be properly disposed of by the person responsible for the pet.

(e) Park residents (NPS employees, concession employees and contractors) may keep pets in
accordance with the current Management Directive No. 46 - Pet Policy. See Attachment 8:
Management Directive No. 46 – Pet Policy).

Section 2.16 – Horses and Pack Animals41

 
 

(b) The use of horses or pack animals is allowed on the following trails, routes or areas:

  1. Routes and areas designated for the use of horses and pack animals are all areas except designated campgrounds, picnic areas, amphitheaters, paved roads and paved trails and such closures as identified in the annual Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions handouts.
  2. Stock Access and Travel (including grazing conditions) in wilderness is quantified in the WSP, Alternative 2, Element 8, pages 71-75. In those areas where overnight stock use is allowed, stock may travel up to ½ mile from trails to access campsites. In areas only open to day-use, stock may travel up to 100 yards from trails.
  3. The Sixty Lake Basin Trail is closed to stock beyond a point 1.8 miles from the junction of the JMT and the Sixty Lake Basin Trail.

(d) Free-trailing or loose-herding is allowed only as necessary for crossing steep rock passes or where exposure is great and there is danger of animals falling off the trail.

(g) Other conditions concerning the use of horses and pack animals:

  • Grazing is permitted in accordance with the terms and conditions pursuant to the annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions handouts, Stock Users Guide, and annual opening date announcements (See Attachments 4 & 5). Specific meadow grazing permissible dates may change due to actual field conditions. It is the responsibility of the user to check on meadow status with the Wilderness Office before beginning a trip.
  • Meadows may be further restricted and/or closed to grazing based on conditions – see WSP, Alternative 2, Element 8, and Appendix D.
  • The maximum number of stock allowed per party is twenty (20) – see Party Size Limits under Section 2.10 above. Some areas have lower limits pursuant to the WSP, and as identified in the annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions and in the Stock User’s Guide.
  • When confinement of stock is necessary, use existing hitch rails or a picket line between two trees or rocks on a flat, hard, non-vegetated site at least 100 feet away from the trail, water, and camp.
  • All manure shall be removed and scattered from within 100 feet of campsites.
  • Dead stock must be moved at least 300 feet from trails, designated campsites, water and water sources within 72 hours. A park employee must be notified of the location of the animal within 72 hours of death.
  • California or Nevada certified weed-free forage (baled or loose hay, hay cubes, or straw bedding) is required when using hay products as supplemental or substitute forage or bedding in frontcountry zones. Feed carried into wilderness must be commercially processed pellets, rolled grains, or fermented hay (e.g., Chaffhaye™). Baled or loose hay and compressed hay cubes are prohibited in wilderness.
  • The areas between the park boundary near the Kern Ranger Station and Laurel Creek are closed to public grazing.
  • Grazing of meadows between Laurel Creek and the Kern-Kaweah River is limited to parties accessing the canyon from the west, north, or east. Parties entering the park from the south passing through USFS lands are prohibited from grazing and required to hold stock once velvet grass begins flowering.
  • Violation of any restriction in the Annual SEKI Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions (Attachments 4 and 5) is prohibited.

Section 2.17 – Aircraft and Delivery

(c)(1) The removal of downed aircraft, components, or parts thereof is subject to procedures established by the superintendent through written authorization.

Section 2.20 – Skating, Skateboards, and Similar Devices

The use of roller skates, skateboards, scooters, coasting vehicles, and similar non-motorized devices is prohibited, except within residential areas.

Section 2.21 – Smoking

(a) Smoking is prohibited in the following locations:

  • All government owned buildings and structures, including all restrooms, except employees’ residences with consent of the occupant(s).
  • All government owned or leased vehicles.
  • Within 50 feet of gasoline pumps and flammable substance storage areas.
  • Further restrictions will be posted and published upon the superintendent’s approval of heightened Fire Restrictions (See Attachment 7).

Section 2.22 – Property

(a)(2) Property may be left unattended for periods longer than 24 hours in following areas and under the following conditions:

  • Motor vehicles may be left unattended for up to 30 days at trailhead parking and residential areas.
 

Section 2.23 – Recreation Fees

(a) Recreation fees, and/or a permit, in accordance with 36 CFR part 71, are established for the following entrance fee areas, and/or for the use of the following specialized sites, facilities, equipment or services, or for participation in the following group activity, recreation events or specialized recreation uses:

Entrance Fee Areas:
Park entrance fees are collected at the following locations:

  • Big Stump Entrance, Grant Grove
  • Ash Mountain Entrance, Ash Mountain
  • Mineral King Ranger Station, Mineral King

Non Commercial Fees:

  • Vehicle Pass - $35.00
  • Motorcycle Pass - $30.00
  • Individual Entry Pass - $20.00
  • Non-Commercial Group in 16+ passenger vehicle - $15.00 per person (excludes driver and individuals under 16 years of age)

Commercial Group Fees:

  • Commercial Group, 1-6 Passenger Capacity - $25.00 plus $10 per person
  • Commercial Group, 7-15 Passenger Capacity - $75.00
  • Commercial Group, 16-25 Passenger Capacity - $100.00
  • Commercial Group, 26+ Passenger Capacity - $200.00

Daily Site Use Fee Areas:
Campgrounds (Non-group, 1-6 people)

  • Atwell Mill $12
  • Azalea (summer) $18
  • Azalea (winter) $10
  • Buckeye Flat $22
  • Cold Springs $12
  • Crystal Springs $18
  • Dorst $22
  • Lodgepole $22
  • Moraine $18
  • Potwisha $22
  • Sentinel $22
  • Sheep Creek $18
  • South Fork $6
  • Sunset $22

Group Campgrounds (Maximum occupancy)

  • Canyon View B (30 people) $50
  • Canyon View A, C, & D (40 people) $60
  • Canyon View G Sites (19 people) $40
  • Crystal Springs (15 people) $40
  • Dorst A & B (25 people) $50
  • Dorst C (50 people) $70
  • Dorst D (40 people) $60
  • Sunset A&B (30 people) $50
Wilderness Camping Fees:

During the trailhead quota season (from late May to late September) a wilderness fee of $10 per permit, plus $5 per person is required.

 

Section 2.50 – Special Events

  • Permits are required for any special event utilizing park areas.
  • Special events such as walk-a-thons, races, endurance runs or competitive events, commercial or otherwise, will not be permitted in wilderness areas.
  • Solicitation activities (per 36 CFR 2.37) require a permit.

Section 2.51 – Demonstrations/ Section 2.52 – Sale or Distribution of Printed Matter

(b) Demonstrations of more than 25 people are allowed within park areas designated as available under paragraph (c)(2) when the superintendent has issued a permit for the activity.

(c)(2) The areas listed below are designated for demonstrations and the sale or distribution of printed matter. These areas may be occupied by groups of 25 or fewer persons without a permit provided that all the terms of 36 CFR 2.51 and 2.52 are met and when these locations are not being utilized for previously scheduled public or administrative purposes. (See Attachment 9 – Maps):
Ash Mountain: On the lawn adjacent to the picnic area that is directly across the Generals Highway from the Foothills Visitor Center as depicted on the map.
Mineral King: The area immediately south of the Mineral King Ranger Station as depicted on the map.
Lodgepole:

1) The area southeast of the Lodgepole Visitor Center adjacent to the visitor parking lot as depicted on the map,
2) The area northwest of the Giant Forest Museum as depicted on the map,
3) The Lodgepole Campground Amphitheater, or
4) The Dorst Campground Amphitheater.

Grant Grove:

1) The area next to the footpath just southeast of the Grant Grove restaurant as depicted on the map, or
2) The Sunset Campground Amphitheater.

Cedar Grove:

1) The east-west oriented sidewalk on the north side of the Cedar Grove Lodge, excluding the intersection with the north-south sidewalk on the west side of the Cedar Grove Lodge as depicted on the map, or
2) The Cedar Grove Amphitheater.42

Section 2.62 – Memorialization

(b) The scattering of ashes from cremated human remains is allowed without a permit under the following terms and conditions:

  • The remains to be scattered must have been process by pulverization after cremation.
  • The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 yards from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water
  • The scattering of remains from the air is to be performed at a minimum altitude of 2000 feet above ground level.
  • No scattering of remains from the air is to be performed over developed areas, facilities, or bodies of water.
  • No markers are permitted.
  • No publicity may be given to this activity. When a permit is issued, except for the authorization to disperse human remains by scattering, nothing in the permit shall be construed as authorizing an entry or activity otherwise prohibited or restricted by law or regulation.
 

36 CFR PART 4 – VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC SAFETY

Section 4.10 – Travel on Park Roads and Routes

(a) Park roads open for travel by motor vehicles are indicated in the “Official Map and Guide for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks”.

Section 4.11 – Load, Weight, and Size Limits

(a) The following load, weight and size limits, which are more restrictive than State law, apply to the following roads (does not apply to snow plowing equipment or emergency vehicles):

Crystal Cave Road:

  • All vehicles with a cumulative length over 22 feet are prohibited.


Generals Highway between Potwisha and Giant Forest Museum:

  • Single vehicles over 40 feet long are prohibited.
  • Combination vehicles over 50 feet long are prohibited.


Mineral King Road:

  • Single vehicles over 40 feet long are prohibited.
  • Combination vehicles over 50 feet long are prohibited.


Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road:

  • Single vehicles over 22 feet long are prohibited.
  • All combination vehicles are prohibited.

This exclusion shall not apply to the following vehicles:

  • Government vehicles
  • Park shuttle busses
  • Vehicles with current/valid handicap placards displayed
  • Vehicles with current/valid Commercial Use Authorizations or Special Use Permit for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with access as a specific term of permit

Motorhomes and trailers are prohibited in the following campgrounds and roads:

  • Atwell Mill
  • Cold Springs
  • Buckeye Flat
  • Canyon View
  • Panoramic Point Road

Section 4.21 – Speed Limits

(b) The following speed limits are established for the routes/roads indicated:

(i) 10 MPH:

  • Panoramic Point Road.

(ii) 15 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted:

From Canyon View Drive to North of the Entrance Station
South of the Visitor Center to Alder Creek
Encompassing the Tunnel Rock visitor use area
Encompassing the Hospital Rock visitor use area
Encompassing the Giant Forest Museum visitor use area

  • Sycamore Drive
  • On the Mineral King Road where posted:
Encompassing Silver City
West of Faculty Flat to east of the Mineral King Ranger Station
  • Grant Tree Road below Columbine Picnic Area
  • On Highway 180 encompassing the Big Stump Entrance Station

(iii) 25 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted:

From Alder Creek to Tunnel Rock
From Tunnel Rock to Hospital Rock
From Hospital Rock to the Giant Forest Museum
From the Giant Forest Museum to North of the General Sherman Tree main accessible parking
Encompassing the Lodgepole Road and River Road intersections
Encompassing the Little Baldy Trailhead parking
Encompassing the Dorst Creek Campground access road
Encompassing the Lost Grove visitor use area

  • On the Mineral King Road except the 15 MPH areas described above
  • On the Crystal Cave Road where posted
  • On the Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road where posted
  • On Highway 180 where posted:

Encompassing The Wye
From Park Road to the Grant Grove Corrals

  • On the Redwood Saddle Road

Northside Drive
Westside Drive

(iv) 30 MPH:

On the Generals Highway from north of the Entrance Station to Park Headquarters

(v) 35 MPH:

  • On the Generals Highway where posted

From the General Sherman Tree to Lodgepole

From Lodgepole to the Red Fir Gate

  • On the Wolverton Road where posted
  • On Highway 180 where posted:

from the Big Stump Entrance Station to the Wye
From the Wye to Park Road
From the Grant Grove Corrals to the North Boundary
From the West Park Boundary at Lewis Creek to Roads End

Section 4.30 – Bicycles

(b) Routes may only be designated for bicycle use based on a written determination that such use is consistent with the protection of a park area's natural, scenic and aesthetic values, safety
considerations and management objectives and will not disturb wildlife or park resources.43

The following routes in developed areas or special use zones have been designated for bicycle use:
  • The Shepherd Saddle Road from the government corrals to the park boundary.
  • The Park Ridge Fire Road from near the Panoramic Point parking lot to the Park Ridge Fire Lookout.

(f) Closures and other use restrictions.

Definition: The term “e-bike” means a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.).

E-bikes are allowed in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where traditional bicycles are allowed. E-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited. Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.

A person operating an e-bike is subject to the following sections of 36 CFR part 4 that apply to the use of traditional bicycles: sections 4.12, 4.13, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22, 4.23, and 4.30(h)(2)-(5).

Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.44

Section 4.31 – Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is permitted under the terms and conditions noted:
  • No person shall stand in a roadway for the purpose of soliciting a ride, and visitor safety and traffic flow must not be adversely affected.
 

1 The Giant Forest area has a long history of bear problems dating to the 1920’s. It was typically one of the worst areas in the park for bear problems of every type: bears breaking into cars, cabins, and the cafeteria; bears bluff charging visitors; bears stealing food; and occasionally bears injuring visitors. When the buildings were removed, the human food source was largely eliminated and the bear problem decreased significantly. However, bears remain in the area and will be attracted to improperly handled food items in the Pinewood Picnic Area. The nighttime closure results from the increased difficulty of keeping food items away from bears after dark; staff is less available for monitoring proper food storage and disposal, and educating visitors on the importance of such practices, after dark.

2 This closure is for visitor safety. The Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is narrow; limiting the number of large vehicles on this road decreases the risk of motor vehicle accidents and enhances response times for emergency vehicles.

3 Sledding, sliding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding, and the use of similar devices for the purpose of snow play can present multiple hazards to visitors in certain locations. The closure around roads and buildings is meant to prevent injury to the snow players and other visitors where a loss of control can lead to pedestrians in roadways and visitors striking buildings where snow accumulation on roofs can have a potential risk of sliding and burying such individuals. Snow play areas have been established in both parks to facilitate the enjoyment of the parks by the visitors with reasonable limitations for safety concerns. Additionally, specific areas may be required to be posted as closed to snow play at the discretion of the superintendent. Factors involved may include the potential for damage to park resources, the potential for serious bodily injury due to the nature of the terrain, specific hazards hidden from visitors by snow, etc. These activities, outside of the designated areas, interfere with safe and efficient snow removal, which negatively impacts the safety and enjoyment of all visitors. “Roadside” and “parking lot” activities
force plow operators to slow down or divert their efforts in order to not injure visitors or damage vehicles parked along the road. Snow blowing operations are hampered by visitors who congregate in meadows and pullouts where the operator is intending to broadcast snow from the parking areas or roadways. These roadside activities also interfere by occupying pullouts needed for chain control operations and turning around heavy equipment.

4 No group camp sites except Dorst are large enough to accommodate even small RVs. Roads are not constructed to permit RV access. Dorst has adequate parking. Permitting two RVs per group provides reasonable access issues for individuals. Camping activities in the parking lot are a safety hazard. Sleeping, eating, recreation, etc. is provided for within the given campsite.

5 Visitors recreate in rivers in bare feet. Park employees are picking up an increasing number of glass containers, both whole and broken, as shown by data collection from 2016-2018.

6 These roads are closed due to snow accumulations and/or muddy conditions, and there is no winter maintenance on these roads to keep them passable to vehicular traffic. Trash collection service, water, and other visitor services are not available along these road corridors during the winter months. Staff to meet these needs, provide for visitor services and resource protection throughout the winter months is cost prohibitive. Unlimited vehicular access on an unmaintained road during the winter months can adversely affect the condition of the road surface, damaging it, and increasing both the time and cost needed to recondition the road in the spring.

7 The purpose of this gate is to deter access for illegal marijuana cultivation, to insure public health and safety, and to protect natural and cultural resources.

8 This road is closed to vehicular traffic for visitor safety. The Dillonwood area was formerly a small residential community that is now a recently acquired property of Sequoia National Park. All properties are under evaluation for use; the roads, buildings and use areas are not currently maintained.

9 These roads and portions of road are within Designated Wilderness, and are closed to vehicular traffic, except for right-of-way access to private property owners and by permit or authorization from the superintendent.

10 This old road is for administrative use only. NPS owned stock forages in the area and could present a hazard to passing vehicles or the stock themselves. Gates must remain locked to ensure the NPS owned stock does not escape. To this end, public vehicular access is not feasible.

11 These former roads, which are located in designated wilderness, have been closed by locked gates and/or boulder placements to protect natural and cultural resources from illegal activities and the effects of unauthorized vehicles. These closures are also necessary to protect the wilderness experience of park visitors seeking solitude and quiet. The Colony Mill Trail, the North Fork / West Boundary Trail, and the Redwood Canyon Trail are located in designated wilderness. The Wilderness Act prohibits motor vehicles and other forms of mechanical transport.

12 This closure is identified in the SEKI General Management Plan to reduce traffic congestion on the narrow roadway, prevent resource degradation by eliminating roadside parking on Giant Sequoia and other tree roots and plants, and to prevent parking congestion and minor motor vehicle collisions in overcrowded parking areas. During the period in question, the Sequoia National Park shuttle service will stop at the popular visitor attractions (Auto Log, Crescent Meadow, Tunnel Log and Moro Rock.) Visitors may take their private vehicles during the evening hours.

13 These facilities are closed to public entry to ensure both employee and visitor safety.

14 The reason for this closure is for both employee and visitor safety. Operations involving helicopters, especially during takeoffs and landings, are regarded as hazardous. Standard operating practices set forth in both the Department of Interior Manual and the Interagency Helicopter Operations Guidelines require that the access of persons and their movement around helicopter operations be strictly controlled.

15 These caves are closed to public entry because for the following reasons:

Class 4 – These caves have been recently discovered and require further exploration and/or inventory of features to evaluate how they should be managed, or they have been known for years but have not been sufficiently inventoried.

Class 5 – These caves contain paleontological, archeological, biological, or other resources of special scientific value that would be easily altered, even by careful use of the cave.

Class 6 – These caves are closed to all use because of extreme, unavoidable hazards (rockfall, disease, dangerous atmosphere, etc.) for even the most skilled caver.

[Reference: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Cave Management Plan, approved January 1999.]

16 Chimney and Moro Rocks have been traditional nesting sites for Peregrine Falcons, and are expected to continue to be nesting sites in the future. Peregrine Falcons are an endangered species in California; they are extremely sensitive to human activity and may abandon their nests if disturbed. When upset they have been known to dive bomb intruders. Closures protect both visitors and the falcons. Dates are determined by the averages of nesting chronology, considering potential of disturbance that would impact the nesting population.

17 The use of unmanned aircraft potentially presents unacceptable risks to visitors (collisions between unmanned aircraft and visitors, the uncontrolled fall of unmanned aircraft, contact with spinning propellers or rotors of unmanned aircraft). The use of unmanned aircraft adversely impacts visitor experience by negatively affecting scenic and natural sound opportunities, and by potentially interfering with terrestrial and avian wildlife. The use of motorized equipment is also prohibited in areas managed as wilderness (eligible, proposed, recommended or designated wilderness); approximately 96% of park lands are managed as wilderness by NPS policy. Additionally, the unregulated use of unmanned aircraft would potentially violate several other regulations in Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, including §2.2 Frightening Wildlife, §2.12 - Creating an Audio Disturbance, §2.17 - Delivering or Retrieving an Object by Airborne Means, §2.34 - Making Unreasonable Noise, §2.34 - Creating or Maintaining a Hazardous Condition, and §5.13 - Creating or Maintaining a Nuisance.

18 Giant Sequoia trees are found only on the western slope of the southern Sierra Nevada. Many of the world’s finest specimens are located within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Every effort is made to protect them from potential damage and for park visitors to view them undisturbed by other humans.

19 The spread of White-nose syndrome in park caves could cause threats to wildlife. Scoping provided under programmatic PEPC Project 37818.

20 The management of this portion of the South Fork of the Kings River must meet the needs of all park users, including but not limited to photographers, fishermen, and those visitors wishing to see undisturbed sections of a free flowing river. The use of flotation devices, boats, and rafts is contrary to the needs of other park users. This closure is also necessary due to safety hazards – such as fallen trees – to floaters, boaters, and rafters. Removal of these hazards would be contrary to park resource management policy, so this portion of river is unsafe for floating, boating, or rafting.
21 The use of generators adds an unnatural sound to a natural setting and experience. By restricting the areas in which generators may be used, parties using generators and those preferring a natural ambiance will both have the opportunity to enjoy their park camping experience.
22 The use of generators adds an unnatural sound to a natural setting and experience. By restricting the hours during which generators may be used; parties using generators and those preferring a natural ambiance will both receive opportunities to enjoy their park camping experience.
23 The idling of bus engines adds unnecessary exhaust fumes to the air and diminishes the enjoyment by park visitors of the stillness and tranquility of the park. This regulation conforms to state bus regulations.
24 Permits may be issued by the superintendent for these activities pursuant to authority vested by the various sections of the CFR.
25 Note: This section requires that the permit be issued from the Regional Director for the sale of liquor on private lands under the legislative jurisdiction of the United States.
26 Fires are prohibited in these areas due to sensitive natural ecosystems and an inability for the forests to provide adequate fuel for fires.
27 Permitting collection of limited amounts of berries and other natural products for immediate consumption will not affect the regeneration of the plants.
28 16 USC 45b directs the Secretary of the Interior to provide for fishing by hook and line from park waters. Historical use has included these waters provided for recreational activity in support of the Organic Act of the National Park Service. Additionally, it is almost impossible to eradicate a fish population by sport fishing.
29 In areas above 9,000 elevation, the species indigenous to the park are not known to naturally exist. They were transplanted and stocked by early visitors. Since these native species at or above that elevation are considered nonnaturally occurring, it is of interest to the park to remove them. These non-naturally occurring fish are also eating native indigenous frog populations.
30 The Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015) applies limits and restrictions for camping.
31 In addition to the direction of the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), the superintendent may approve recommendations annually in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness”.

32 WSP Table 19 Page 116
33 WSP Table 19 Page 116
34 Party Size Limits (see WSP, Alternative 2, Element 6, pages 114-115):
35 Large groups in off-trail areas have the potential for two types of impacts; biophysical and social. The biophysical impacts include; vegetation trampling and removal; trail incising; social trail development; water pollution (e.g. via human waste); and campsite developments. Social impacts are primarily loss of solitude, compounded by higher visitor expectations for solitude in “off-trail” areas. These parks have seen notable, and likely unacceptable, levels of physical impacts in several popular “off-trail” areas, including those listed above. This restriction is discussed in the annual “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness” memorandum.
36 Note: listed panniers or containers may be disallowed at any time due to failures in the field.
37 This applies to all groups, regardless of party size, whether hiking on trail or cross-country, whether traveling with stock or receiving stock support (i.e. drop trips and/or spot trips).
38 Developed areas where fires are permitted have grills provided to contain and control ash left behind by visitors. The use of campfires outside of designated areas poses a risk of wildfire. The use of campfires in wilderness areas described is inconsistent with resource conservation. There is inadequate native fuel supply in those areas leading to the destruction of live fuel, and downed fuel that provides habitat for flora and fauna. The use of gas fires in wilderness is unrestricted. The use of gas fires in developed areas has been limited to areas established for camping and the preparation of food with picnicking. Unrestricted cooking using gas grills currently is causing issues in congested parking areas and on roadway access areas where gas grills are utilized to prepare food for dozens of visitors without adequate seating capacity or areas to stand that are out of the roadway. It is a safety concern where children and adults are wandering through traffic while attempting to eat
and socialize. There have been documented cases where a single group fills a high visitor use traffic area that is designed for rapid turnover (General Grant Tree Parking Lot in particular) and does not allow adequate visitation from other parties. Noise associated with these impromptu gatherings is also a concern for visitor use areas where serenity is a valued commodity. It is contrary to the traditional use and serenity of park visitation areas to permit these types of gatherings with cooking and eating outside of established areas designated for picnicking.
39 In addition to, and based on, the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), the superintendent may approve recommendations annually in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary public use restrictions in wilderness”.
40 In accordance with the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Fire and Fuels Management Plan, Appendix M, the superintendent may limit fires based on set criteria to include Stage 1 – 3 Fire Restriction Levels.
41 In addition to the Wilderness Stewardship Plan (2015), Alternative 2, Element 8, and Appendix D (Stock Use and Meadow Management and Monitoring Strategy) ), the superintendent may annually approve recommendations in a memorandum titled, “Recommendations for temporary stock use restrictions”.
42 Determination: The above selected areas have been designated based on their suitability for such activities. Other
locations are not suitable due to:

1) Fragile nature of park resources – large groups often tend to stray from paved areas and consistently trample park resources the NPS is legally bound to protect.
2) Atmosphere of peace and tranquility – visitors to Sequoia and Kings Canyon arrive with an expectation to “get away” from the hustle and bustle of city life. The National Parks are a place to reconnect with natural settings in an uninterrupted manner. The peace and tranquility in these visitor use areas, especially wilderness locations, would be severely impacted by allowing any groups to demonstrate or distribute printed matter. Even small groups may disrupt the visitor experience for which other visitors have paid.
3) Interference with program or administrative activities – the NPS provides interpretive talks, walks, programs, and other visitor services as part of the general admission fee to the park. Other visitors have paid for these services, provided by recreation fee dollars and other funds, and are not expected to suffer a disruption to the quality of experience of NPS sponsored programs and activities.
4) Interference with non-NPS programs and activities – individuals, commercial groups, contractors, concessioners, etc. obtain permits and contracts to conduct business and other activities within the National Parks, many at a cost. Even small groups may disrupt the activities of these special permit holders and contractors.
5) Public health and safety – these areas have been selected to promote the safety of all visitors, whether part of the groups or not. Utilizing public roads, narrow trails, congested walkways or trails for these activities could force non-participating visitors and activists to step into areas where footing is uncertain or other hazards, such as motor vehicles, are present and could lead to injury up to and including death.
6) Contrary to traditional use – many of the areas in the National Parks have come to have a traditional use expected by the visitors. Areas outside of these high profile visitor use areas are incompatible with disruptions and changes to traditional use of the National Parks lands. Both small and large groups could disrupt the traditional use of these lands.

43 These roads are active administrative roads and have administrative vehicular traffic. Permitting bicycles on these roads will have no adverse impact on the resources.
44 PEPC Project 94763

 

Last updated: June 18, 2020

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Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Phone:

(559) 565-3341

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