Holiday incidents and visitor statistics: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

People come from around the world to stand in awe of the giant sequoias, the largest trees on the planet.

Sequoia National Park

July 2— Rangers received a report of a minor motor vehicle accident in the Lodgepole Campground. Upon investigation a 22-year-old male from the Los Angeles area was issued mandatory appearances for driving while suspended for DUI and failure to report a motor vehicle accident.
July 2— Rangers responded to a fire near Crescent Meadow parking area. The small log fire was put out by visitors and rangers. The cause of the fire is undetermined.
July 2— Ambulance 6 was called to Wuksachi lodge for a 49-year-old female from Germany with a facial laceration sustained while hiking. EMTs cleaned and bandaged the wound, and the patient declined ambulance transport.
July 3— Rangers responded to a dropped cell phone and wallet on the Moro Rock Trail. Due to the high visibility and exposure of the location, rangers rappelled down to retrieve the phone.
July 4— Rangers responded to Moro Rock for the 37-year-old female from California who had fainted. Rangers assessed the patient, who refused transport.
July 4— Ambulance 6 responded to the trails around the Sherman Tree for the 27-year-old male from California with a swollen ankle. Ambulance 6 wrapped PT’s ankle and provided an ice pack. Patient refused ambulance transport.
July 5— Rangers responded to the Upper Sherman Parking Area for the 70-year-old female from Florida with a facial injury from a fall. Rangers cleaned and dressed the injury, and the patient declined ambulance transport.
July 5— Rangers responded to Wuksachi Lodge for the 56-year-old male from California with shortness of breath. Rangers assessed the patient, who refused ambulance transport.
July 5— Rangers responded to the Dorst Campground for a 11-month-old female from California with a head injury. Rangers assessed the patient, and the family declined ambulance transport.
High Sierra
July 1—  A 20 year old female PCT hiker activated her personal locator beacon at approximate ly 1430 hours after taking a fall while climbing Forester Pass. Rangers responded and found the woman to be suffering from acute mountain sickness. They escorted the woman to the base of Forester Pass where they overnighted. The park helicopter evacuated the woman on July 2 to Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine.
July 4— Rangers received a report of a 54 year old male that fell approximately 100 feet off the John Muir Trail near Hitchcock Lakes. He was reported to be in an unstable environment and was in danger of falling. A ranger short-hauled the subject to a safe landing zone where he was assessed and transported to the hospital.
July 6— A 48 year old male triggered his personal locator beacon at approximately 1630 hours after down-climbing the south face of Mt. Russell and getting stuck on a ledge at around 14,000 feet. A ranger short-hauled the subject off the cliff to a safe location where he was released.

Kings Canyon National Park

Grant Grove
July 3— A visitor was bitten by a dog that ran at her from a DNC guest cabin at the John Muir Lodge. The patient’s injury was treated by rangers and the patient refused ambulance transport. The dog’s owner was cited for failing to restrain their pet.

July 4—  The annual Wilsonia 4th of July Parade was held on Independence Day. Rangers provided traffic control while cowgirls, bicyclists, and a cavalcade of decorated vehicles and  wagons toured the village.
July 4— Rangers wrote multiple citations for unruliness at the Sunset and Azalea Campgrounds related to over-sized groups, resource destruction, public intoxication, excessive noise, fire violations, food storage and litter.
July 6— Rangers responded to the report of a 6 year old girl being charged and bitten by a Malamute-type dog at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center. The suspects were gone upon arrival but a witness provided the vehicle description and license plate. Rangers will follow up with the suspects, once their identity has been established.
Sierra Crest
July 1— A climber on the Evolution Traverse suffered a 40-50 foot fall sustaining significant injuries on the boundary between Inyo Co. and the park. A CHP helicopter and Inyo Co. search and rescue team member was able to evacuate the subject to Bishop on July 2.
July 3-4— A PCT hiker was swept down river and managed to escape relatively uninjured. Wilderness rangers assisted the individual overnight and into the 4th. A ranger attempted to escort the individual over Taboose pass when environmental conditions and the condition of the individual prohibited them from continuing further. The individual was evacuated by helicopter to Bishop under the care of the Grant Grove EMT.
Grant Rangers and the McClure Ranger responded to requests for help from the father of a 49 year old female hiker who had used an Inreach to message her father. Contact with the hiker indicated that she nor her group of PCT hikers wanted help any longer.
July 7— The Rae Lakes ranger & VIP responded to an injured hiker near the Woods Creek Crossing. A backpacker had sustained a lower extremity injury and was unable to continue on their planned trip. The individual was evacuated by helicopter under the care of a Grant Grove Park Medic.
Cedar Grove
July 3— Ambulance 4 responded to the Cedar Grove Lodge for a 7 year old female with a finger laceration. The patient was treated and released to parents.
July 4-7— Rangers provided traffic control for dense traffic and overflowing roadside parking between Zumwalt Meadow and Roads End.
July 5— Ambulance 4 responded to the Cedar Grove Lodge for a 16 year old male with a crush injury to his finger. The patient was treated and parents decided to self-transport to the hospital.
July 5— Rangers responded to a motor vehicle accident involving two vehicles near the Don Cecil Trailhead with property damage only. A citation was issued to one of the drivers for operating a motor vehicle without due care.
July 7— Ambulance 4 responded to Sentinel Campground for a 50 year old Female with an eye injury. The patient was treated and drove with family to the hospital.

Revenue and Fee Management Branch

Ash Mountain Entrance Station (Sequoia)
Fourth of July Weekend (July 4 – July 7, 2019) had a total of 8,708 recreational visits through the entrance station. This represents a 6.9% increase from Fourth of July weekend 2018 and a 1.5% decrease from 2017.

The busiest day of the weekend in 2019 was Saturday, July 6 (2,435 vehicles), in 2018 was Saturday, July 7 (2,233 vehicles), and in 2017 was Saturday, July 1 (2,745 vehicles).
Ash Mountain Entrance Station utilized four inbound lanes Thursday through Sunday and were able to keep traffic moving with the longest waits up to 35-40 minutes on Thursday and Friday, and 25-minute waits on Saturday. Sunday was much less busy.
Big Stump Entrance Station (Kings Canyon)
Fourth of July Weekend (July 4 – July 7, 2019) had a total of 6,839 recreational visits through the entrance station. This represents a 12.5% increase from Fourth of July weekend 2018 and a 14.0% increase from 2017.
The busiest day of the weekend in 2019 was Thursday, July 4 (1,825 vehicles), in 2018 was Sunday, July 8 (1,320 vehicles), and in 2017 was Sunday, July 2 (1,942 vehicles).
Big Stump Entrance saw a large volume of traffic earlier than usual on Thursday morning, July 4, causing delays of 45 minutes and more. The team has taken note and will adjust staffing and hours accordingly.
Dorst Creek, Sheep Creek, and Sunset campgrounds opened for the season on July 3, 2019.
Moraine Campground closed July 8 at noon until the new Cedar Grove water system is ready.
Cold Springs campground will open on Wednesday 7/10, with 5 site closures due to hazard trees. 
Dorst Creek has 13 sites closed due to hazard treetops. Campground staff are utilizing auxiliary and emergency sites to accommodate reservation holders for the closed sites, but cannot fit large RVs from four of the RV sites that are closed. There were reports of visitors camping in closed sites (even though they are signed closed and marked dangerous) and campsite poaching in Dorst over the holiday weekend.
There were multiple food storage violations in campgrounds over the holiday weekend.
page3image29600368 page3image2437504 page3image2438848

% Full Weekdays

% Full Weekends
Cedar Grove (314 campsites)
Cedar Grove Mid-Size (12 campsites)
Grant Grove (301 campsites)
Grant Grove Mid-Size (14 campsites)
Lodgepole (194 sites)



page3image2121024 page3image2121408




Dorst Creek (198 campsites)
page4image29849376 page4image29850384


Ash Mountain (67 sites)
Mineral King (61 campsites, 20 now at Atwell Mill)



page4image2618304 page4image2618496



The week of July 1 through 7, there were 391 incidents that required assistance for all the parks that use the same communications center: Pinnacles NP (15), Whiskeytown Recreation Area (11), Channel Islands NP (13), Sequoia (206), and Kings Canyon (151).

One thought on “Holiday incidents and visitor statistics: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

  • July 12, 2019 at 7:03 am

    Thank you for posting this. I find it interesting to read the reports (and someone marvel at the, uh, “lack of common sense” exhibited by SEKI visitors!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.