Driving Mountain Roads

Highway 180 to Kings Canyon
Highway 180 into Kings Canyon

NPS Photo


Entering or exiting Sequoia National Park via Hwy 198 and the Generals Highway (the main road through the parks)

In addition to vehicle length limits, be sure to check information on delays due to road construction on this road between the park entrance and the Giant Forest. Vehicles longer than the recommendations listed below cannot navigate the tight curves on this road without crossing the double yellow line. Drivers will be held responsible for any hazardous conditions caused by their actions. Follow the recommendations below for your safety and the safety of others:

  • Vehicles longer than 22 feet (6.70 meters) are prohibited between Hospital Rock and the Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia National Park. Formerly an advisory, this became a restriction on July 5th, due to road construction. Hwy 180, the northern entrance to these parks, is always the preferred route for these longer vehicles.
  • Vehicles longer than 24 feet (7.32 meters) are not advised between the Foothills Visitor Center and Hospital Rock in Sequoia National Park.

The section of the Generals Highway leading to and from the sequoia grove called the Giant Forest was built between 1921 and 1926. As a result, the road was not constructed to accommodate longer vehicles.

Driving within the Parks
Elevations within Sequoia and Kings Canyon range from 1,370 feet to 14,494 feet. 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 may close for plowing and chains may be required at any time. After you read the following, check current conditions.


When going downhill, put the gearshift in 1, 2, or L. The engine gets louder as it slows you down, but it will save your brakes from burning out. Frequent braking can overheat brakes, causing them to fail.

Use turnouts

Use turnouts
If you are driving slowly or stopping to view the scenery, pull into the paved turnout areas and let 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 can mean surprise wildlife encounters. 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: July 5, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


(559) 565-3341

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