Driving Mountain Roads

A truck drives on a mountain road
Overlooks along the Generals Highway provide many opportunities to see the park.

NPS Photo

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.

Be sure to check information on vehicle length limits and advisories. Vehicles that exceed lengths limits cannot navigate tight curves without crossing the double yellow line. Drivers will be held responsible for any hazardous conditions caused by their actions.

Additional information can be found on our Directions & Transportation page.

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.

Use turnouts

Use Turnouts

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.

Deer crossing

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 gasoline

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

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


559 565-3341

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