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Driving to Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Due to fire related forest closures, please contact the National Park and National Forest websites along with their social media channels for more information.

Driving to Sequoia and Kings Canyon

Current Road Conditions

Due to winter weather, road conditions may change at any time and tire chains may be required for all vehicles, including four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles. Call 559-565-3341 for current road conditions. Also refer to the SEKI NPS site at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

For information about roads outside the park, visit the Caltrans website or call 800-427-7623.

Two Entrances to the Parks

Two highways enter the parks. Helpful driving maps are hosted on the SEKI NPS site at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/maps.htm

The North Entrance to Kings Canyon National Park (Big Stump Entrance)

Hwy 180 from Fresno leads east to Kings Canyon National Park, then continues 30 miles east to Cedar Grove. Vehicles over 22-feet long should enter the parks via Highway 180. Highway 180, the northern entrance to these parks, is the preferred route for these longer vehicles. Highway 180 is straighter, less steep, and wider. In winter, the Generals Highway between the parks often closes. Chains may be required on park roads. No roads cross these parks east to west.

The South Entrance to Sequoia National Park (Ash Mountain Entrance)

Highway 198 enters Sequoia National Park at the town of Three Rivers. Beyond the entrance station, the road is narrow and winding. Vehicles longer than 24 feet (7.3 m) are not advised between the Foothills Visitor Center and Potwisha Campground. Vehicles longer than 22 feet (6.7 m) are not advised on the stretch of road between Potwisha Campground and the Giant Forest Museum. This limit applies to tow trucks, as well.

Inside the parks, Highway 198 becomes the Generals Highway, which connects 198 to 180.

Vehicles over 22-feet long should enter the parks via Highway 180. In winter, the Generals Highway between the parks often closes. Chains may be required on park roads. No roads cross these parks east to west.

Flying to the Region on a Plane

Fresno Yosemite International (FAT) is 1 ¼ hours from the Kings Canyon National Park entrance on Highway 180 and 1¾ hours from the Sequoia National Park entrance on Highway 198. From the airport, you can rent a car to reach the parks.

Visalia Municipal Airport (VIS) is 1 hour from the Sequoia National Park entrance on Highway 198 and 1½ hours from Kings Canyon National Park entrance. From the airport, you can rent a car or, in summer, take a bus to the Visalia Transit Center, where Sequoia Shuttle provides summer shuttle service to Sequoia National Park. 

Entrance Fee to enter the National Parks

There are a variety of passes to enter the park including the Vehicle Pass for $35.00. This pass is valid for 1-7 days and includes everyone traveling in a single vehicle for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument. You can purchase this pass in advance at www.yourpassnow.com.

The $80 Interagency Pass includes: 

  • Annual Pass: $80
  • Current U.S. Military Annual Pass: Free
  • 4th Grade Pass for U.S. students in fourth grade: Free
  • Senior Pass: $80 (lifetime); $20 (annual)
  • Access Pass: Free
  • Volunteer Pass: Free

Don’t forget about the free accessibility pass should you need such access. Learn more at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

There are many more passes and you can read more about fees for entrance at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/fees.htm

These are free dates in 2020

Gas Stations

No gas stations or repair shops are inside park boundaries. Gas and emergency vehicle services are available nearby in national forests.

Not far from the 180 turnoff for Kings Canyon, there is a gas station at:

  • Hume Lake about 3 miles from the 180.
    • 64144 Hume Lake Rd., Hume, CA 93628

If traveling into the park via the 180, there is a gas station in Squaw Valley at:

  • Valero Gas Station at Glingan’s Junction in Squaw Valley or Dunlap
    • 35468 E Kings Canyon Rd, Squaw Valley, CA 93675.
    • Phone: (559) 338-2404
  • Squaw Valley Trading Post 
    • 30812 E Kings Canyon Rd, Squaw Valley, CA 93675
    • 559-332-2880

If traveling into the park via the 198, there are two gas stations in Three Rivers:

  • Chevron
    • 41907 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271
    • (559) 561-4227
  • Shell
    • 41729 Sierra Dr, Three Rivers, CA 93271
    • (559) 561-4113

At certain times of the year there is an open gas station at:

  • Stony Creek Lodge
    • 65569 Generals Hwy, Sequoia National Park, CA 93262
    • (559) 565-3909
    • Seasonal, Memorial Day to mid-September

Sequoia Shuttle

We are fans of the Sequoia Shuttle and it’s a great solution for traveling around the Park for most of the year except for winter. The Sequoia Shuttle, operating all summer long, is the perfect way to get to the Sequoia National Park. The shuttle departs from various convenient locations throughout Visalia, Exeter, Three Rivers, and Lemon Cove, Ca. several times a day, seven days a week. Reservations are required and round-trip tickets are only $20, this includes unlimited shuttle service inside the park. Once inside the park, take advantage of unlimited shuttle service to the parks major attractions. The in-park shuttles run from 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and are completely ticketless, so simply hop on and off at any stop. The accessibility options for the shuttle are also a win. They can be reached at 877-BUS-HIKE (877-287-4453)

Visit their site at https://www.sequoiashuttle.com/about-us/

Winter Driving

Consult the NPS Winter Driving & Tire Chains site at https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/winter_driving.htm

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