Driving Within the Parks
Elevations within Sequoia and Kings Canyon range from 1,370 feet (0.4km) to 14,494 feet (4.4km). Extreme elevation changes over short distances means park roads are steep, narrow, and winding. Winter conditions may exist at higher elevations between November and June; roads occasionally close for plowing and chains may be required at any time. After you read the following, check current park conditions.
Follow these recommendations for your safety, and the safety of others:
Watch for steep grades. Roads become steep and you may be increasing speed without realizing it. When going downhill, downshift to a lower gear (2, 1, or L). Your engine may get louder as it slows you down, but it will save your brakes from overheating and burning out. Frequent braking can cause brakes to fail entirely, and even catch fire.
If you are driving slowly or stopping to view the scenery, pull into the paved turnout areas and let other vehicles pass. The delay of five or more vehicles is prohibited by California state law. Be sure to use paved turnouts only, as hot brakes and mufflers can start fires in dry grass.
Watch For Wildlife
In the parks, wildlife has the right of way. Curves and switchbacks often lead to surprise wildlife encounters. This is especially common in the Foothills area of Sequoia National Park. Please drive slowly and cautiously and use paved turnouts to view wildlife.
No Gas In the Parks
Gasoline is not sold within park boundaries. Gasoline is available at two locations within the surrounding Sequoia National Forest at Hume Lake and Stony Creek.
Last updated: October 2, 2023