The Foothills, Lodgepole, and Grant Grove visitor centers and their restrooms are wheel-chair accessible. Although they do not meet ADA standards, the trails to the General Sherman and General Grant trees are paved, as is the Congress Trail and the Trail for All People (both in Giant Forest). The Ash Mountain, Hospital Rock, and Big Stump picnic areas have modified picnic tables. In the winter, accessibility in the Grant Grove and Giant Forest areas may be limited due to deep snow.
There are many opportunities for backcountry camping and hiking.
See the Camping Page and the Hiking Page for detailed information.
Basic Visit Recommendations
I recommend that you plan your trip and the areas you would like to see and then go and relax and make a day of it. Go and see all that is in the area and enjoy it. You spend more quality time and learn and see more than you could ever imagine.
Driving time from Ash Mountain (Highway 198 entrance) to Grant Grove (Highway 180 entrance) is at least 2 hours, not counting stops. Road construction between Ash Mountain and Lodgepole may affect this driving time. A side trip from Grant Grove into the Kings Canyon will take an extra 2-3 hours. First-time visitors should be sure to see the General Sherman and General Grant trees, both easily accessible from the road. If you are planning a longer visit, check out the Sights Page and Hiking Page.
From atop Moro Rock, you can grasp the multiple superlatives that brought Sequoia, and eventually Kings Canyon, into the National Park System. To the north lies the Giant Forest plateau where sequoias rise above their forest neighbors. In cathedral-like Giant Forest, stands the 275-foot-tall General Sherman giant sequoia tree, whose trunk weighs an estimated 1,385 tons and whose circumference at the ground is nearly 103 feet. To the west, in contrast to these gargantuan conifers, are the dry foothills with their oak trees and chaparral vegetation descending toward the San Joaquin Valley. To the south, and down, down more than 5,000 vertical feet, the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River threads through its rugged canyon. To the east, snowcapped peaks of the Great Western Divide and the Kaweah Peaks top out on Mt. Kaweah at 13,802 feet. Just out of sight, beyond the divide, the highest mountain in the contiguous 48 states, Mount Whitney, reaches 14,494 feet of elevation. Big trees, high peaks, and deep canyons in North America's longest continuous mountain range; superlatives abound amidst glorious scenery.
Biking is allowed on the main roads in the parks but is prohibited on park trails.
Campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon are operated by the National Park Service. In Sequoia, South Fork and the Mineral King campgrounds have pit toilets. All other campgrounds provide flush toilets. All areas except South Fork have drinking water and sanitary disposal stations. There are no hook-ups for RV's in any of the park campgrounds. Showers are available in summer at Lodgepole, Grant Grove, and Cedar Grove through the concessioner. Additional campgrounds are located in the national forests adjacent to the parks.
See the Camping Page for more information.
|Individual Entry (Bike, Foot)||$ 10.00 (Seven Day Pass)|
|Private Non-commercial Vehicle||$ 20.00 (Seven Day Pass)|
|Annual Pass||$ 30.00 (Good For One Year)|
|Gold Access Pass (Blind or permanently disabled individuals)||Free (Lifetime - good in all national parks)|
|Golden Age Pass (one time fee - for those 62+ years young)||$ 10.00 (Lifetime - good in all national parks)|
|National Park Pass (good one year from date of purchase)||$ 50.00 (good in all national parks)|
|Golden Eagle Pass (good 1 year from date of purchase)||$ 15.00 (valid in all Natl Parks & Fed Rec Areas)|
Golden Access Pass
The Golden Access Pass is a free pass available to all permanent U.S. residents who are eligible to receive federal benefits based on disability, whether or not you are actually receiving them or not. This pass entitles the bearer, and immediate family or accompanying passengers in a private vehicle, to free admission to all U.S. National Parks, Monuments, Forests, and Historic Sites, as well as half price camping. Apply in person at any National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service area.
Fishing is permitted in most parts of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and on adjacent national forests. Persons 16 years of age or older are required to have a California fishing license. Licenses and tackle are available at Lodgepole, Stony Creek, Grant Grove, and Cedar Grove.
Food and Supplies
In the summer, meals, groceries, camping gear, fishing tackle/licenses, and ice are sold at Giant Forest, Lodgepole, Stony Creek (Sequoia National Forest), Grant Grove, and Cedar Grove. Gasoline is not available at Lodgepole and Grant Grove, but is at Hume Lake and Kings Canyon Lodge along Highway 180 in Sequoia National Forest. Diesel fuel is also available Hume Lake.
In the winter, light meals, ski and snowplay equipment, and souvenirs are available at Wolverton. Groceries, meals and a gift shop are available in Grant Grove.
Together, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain 140 miles of roads and 800 miles of trails.
See the Hiking Page for more information.
Stock, horses, burros and llamas are allowed in the park. See the Stable Information for more information.
Stock are restricted to maintained trails in most areas. You may travel up to 0.5 mile from trails to reach a campsite.
Off-trail stock use is permitted only in certain areas; check the Forage Area Guide or grazing regulations.
Please reduce impacts by riding in the center of the trail. Shortcutting trails and switchbacks is prohibited. Riding off-trail to avoid sandy, muddy or rocky spots causes additional damage to the trail. Ride over, not around, water bars, causeways and riprap. Move trail obstacles instead of skirting them.
Double-rope (a lead rope around both sides of the animal ahead) string animals that habitually walk off-trail. Notify a ranger of obstacles or problems.
Please use tact and courtesy with hikers when asking for the right-of-way. Ask hikers to step off the trail on the downhill side in plain view and to remain still until stock have passed.
If any of your stock dies in the backcountry, notify a ranger as soon as possible for help in properly disposing of the animal. Dead stock must be moved at least 300 ft from trails, campsites and water within 72 hours.
Lodging in both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is available through Kings Canyon Park Services, PO Box 909, Kings Canyon NP, CA 93633 Grant Grove Lodge in Kings Canyon is open all year. Giant Forest and Cedar Grove lodges are open during the summer.
See the Lodging Page for more information.
Permits and Reservations
Backcountry permits, which are free, are required for all camping outside designated campgrounds. Permits can be reserved up to three weeks before the start of your trip for $10.00 per permit.
Most campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon are first come-first served. Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia is on a reservation system from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. Group campsites at Grant Grove, Cedar Grove (Kings Canyon) and Dorst (Sequoia) are available by mail-in reservation only.
See the Camping Page for more information.
Please be aware that pets are not allowed on any trails in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. In developed areas, pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
Programs and Activities
Viewing the giant sequoias; hiking; backpacking; horseback riding; fishing; cross-country skiing and snowshoe walks; ranger walks, talks and campfire programs are some of the programs and activities in the parks.
See the Calendar Page for more information.
Transportation into the park
Cedar Grove Visitor Center, Grant Grove Visitor Centers, Foot Hills Visitor Center, Lodgepole Visitor Center, Mineral King Visitor Center are the five visitor centers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
See the Calendar Page for more information.
Deep snow often covers the middle elevations from December to May, but sub-zero temperatures are rare. Precipitation falls mostly between January and mid-May, but thunderstorms, rain and even snow can occur at any time of year.
Temperatures vary with elevation. In the summer, daytime temperatures often exceed 100° F in the foothills, but seldom exceed 90° F in the sequoia groves. Even in the summer, backpackers in the highcountry can encounter nighttime temperatures in the low 30's, and occasionally even in the 20's.
In any season, it is wise to bring clothing that can be "layered". Always include some kind of rain gear.
The Foothills, 1,000 ft - 4,000 ft
The Sierran foothills are characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Precipitation usually occurs from January to mid-May; rain in the summer is rare. Average rainfall is about 26 inches (66 cm). During the winter, low-hanging clouds often drift in from the west, obscuring the countryside for several days at a time.
The Middle Elevations, 4000 ft - 7000 ft
Summer in the middle elevations is characterized by warm days and cool evenings. These elevations receive an average of 40-45 in (102-114 cm) of precipitation annually. Much of this falls during the winter, resulting in a deep blanket of snow from December to May. Sub-zero temperatures, however, are rare. In the summer, occasional afternoon thundershowers may occur.
In the fall and winter, Lodgepole Campground is generally 10-15° F (6-9° C) colder than the average middle elevation temperature.
Summer temperatures in Cedar Grove are generally hotter than the average for the middle elevations. Temperatures in mid-summer may reach the 90's (35-40° C). Cedar Grove is closed in the winter due to hazardous road conditions.
See the Weather Page for current conditions, forecasts and other weather data.
A Farewell to Frogs?
A National Shrine
Activities & Calendar
Address & Phone
Ash Mountain & Foothills Area
Be Bear Aware
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Cedar Grove Area
Gen Grant Christmas Program
Grant Grove Area
High Sierra Trail
Jobs, SCA, Volunteer Positions
Junior Ranger Programs
Lodgepole / Giant Forest Area
Mineral King Area
RV & Trailer Info
Size & Visitation
Stables in the Parks
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