Incidents at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Illnesses and injury abound


JULY 23 – 29, 2018
Ash Mountain
July 23— Evacuation procedures for the Mineral King area were created due to the Horse Creek Fire. Evacuation was not necessary.
July 27— Rangers contacted a group of river users near the historic park entrance sign and cited one male for possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
July 29— A traffic stop was conducted in the Ash Mountain area for a vehicle with equipment violations. Several minors were found to be in possession of alcoholic beverages. One of the vehicle occupants was held on two Tulare County misdemeanor warrants.
July 24— Rangers responded to a sick 7-year-old male at the Lodgepole Visitor Center. The child had been ill the past week and unable to keep any liquids and food down for the past 24 hours. He was transported to Kaweah Delta Hospital.
Mineral King
—Smoky conditions persist throughout Mineral King valley from the Ferguson Fire.
—Fire crews are still working on and monitoring the Horse Creek Fire.
July 25— A wilderness ranger contacted a 58-year-old male at Big Five Lakes who was suffering from nausea and vomiting. The patient was assisted/walked to the Little Five Lakes Ranger Station to rest. His condition improved overnight and he was able to hike out of the wilderness
under his own power the following morning.
July 26— Rangers received a satellite phone report of a 48-year-old male suffering from kidney stones at the Big Arroyo/Soda Creek trail junction. A wilderness ranger responded on foot to the patient’s location. Helicopter 552 responded with a Parkmedic. The patient was evacuated to Ash Mountain and transferred to a ground ambulance for transport to Kaweah Delta Hospital.
Grant Grove
July 23— Rangers assisted the Madera County Sheriff’s Office in their search for a 70-year-old German man hiking the PCT. The investigation led them to believe the man was well north of Kings Canyon. Kings Canyon rangers are no longer involved in the search, but the case is still open with Madera County at the time of this writing.
July 25— The Fresno Police Department requested assistance contacting a felony domestic violence suspect who was known to be in the park. Rangers found the man and arrested him. They transported him to the Fresno County Substation in Squaw Valley where they transferred him to Fresno PD.
July 28— Rangers responded to two simultaneous medical emergencies that turned into three in the Grant Grove area. The first report was regarding a 75-year-old female who was reported to be “in and out of consciousness” near the Michigan Tree. While en route, the second call for assistance came in for a 45-year-old female experiencing an allergic reaction at the John Muir Lodge. While on scene at the first medical, a 16-year-old female experienced a near syncopal episode at the same location. All patients refused transport. The two syncope patients were part of the same tour group. The tour guide was instructed to feed and hydrate his group prior to reattempting to walk to the General Grant Tree.
July 29— At 1:30 a.m., rangers responded to Montecito-Sequoia Lodge to assist Tulare County Sheriff’s with an assault. Rangers arrived on scene to find an individual with severe facial trauma after being allegedly hit in the face with a stereo. The patient was transported by ambulance and Tulare County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.
Sierra Crest
July 23— Grant Grove rangers managed two rescues from the wilderness. The first was a SPOT activation for a 70-year-old female with a fractured ankle near Wanda Lake. The second was for a 58-year-old male with an ankle injury along Baxter Creek. The CHP helicopter was utilized for both rescues due to the Parks’ helicopter being busy with the Horse Creek Fire.
Cedar Grove
July 23— Rangers responded to a 62-year-old male who had fallen and hit his head while walking on rocks near the Kings River. The patient was assessed and transported by privately owned vehicle to the hospital.
July 24— Rangers responded to Sheep Creek Campground for a 25-year-old male who had an open left forearm fracture. The patient was transported with an advanced life support rendezvous from Grant Grove rangers for pain management and then transferred to Sequoia Safety for transport to Community Regional Medical Center, in Fresno.
July 27— Rangers responded to a report of a visitor that had drowned and was unconscious at Muir Rock. The patient was found to be conscious and complaining of a leg cramp but was otherwise uninjured. The patient was treated and released.
July 28— Rangers contacted two visitors at Roads End who had left food and backpacks out and unattended on the Kanawyer Loop Trail near Bubbs Creek junction. Witnesses reported a bear eating food out of the visitor’s backpack while the visitors were away from the packs. The visitors were cited for abandoned property.
Wilderness Branch
—The Wilderness Coordinator facilitated the Kings District stock accident After Action Review.
—The Mineral King evacuation plan for the Horse Creek Fire was developed.
—Wilderness Office staff worked with permit reservation holders to change their plans or provide refunds for July permits issued out of Mineral King and worked with the fire information officer on fire update content.
—Call and email volume continues to be moderate to high as visitors seek information about permit availability and current conditions.
LOCAL PARKS BUSY WITH VISITORS: Kings Canyon Campground closes
Last year, Sequoia and Kings Canyon broke records in visitation. It looks like this year is on track to do the same.
Currently, visitation is higher than normal for this time of year due to fire activity that has caused the closure Yosemite Valley and other popular areas in Yosemite National Park.
Campsites and lodging rooms continue to be at a premium as everything is booked or, in the case of the first-come, first-served campsites, become occupied as soon as they are vacated.
One way to save time at a park entrance gate, which also helps reduce wait time for others, is to purchase an entrance pass in advance by going online to
Hopping on the Sequoia Shuttle or booking a private tour from Three Rivers will mean no driving, no parking hassles, and lots of time to sightsee. For information, go to Once in the Giant Forest-Lodgepole areas, there are free in-park shuttles to utilize.
Minimize the time spent in line where roadwork is ongoing on Sequoia’s Generals Highway by checking out the closure schedule and driving timetable on page 4 in this issue.
Crystal Cave tickets are selling out fast, so plan ahead and purchase tickets two days in advance to ensure a tour. Log onto and click the Crystal Cave link.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are active bear areas. It is everyone’s responsibility to secure all food and scented items. In the parks, there are bear-proof food storage boxes in most parking lots. Last resort is to place all food, ice chests, and scented items in the trunk of the vehicle.
Moraine Campground in the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, with 121 sites, has closed due to lack of water. Also closed are the visitor showers and laundry facilities in Cedar Grove Village.
Cedar Grove campsites will be hard to come by except for those who have a reservation. Sentinel Campground (82 sites) is on a reservation system and is booked weekends through the rest of the season. There is some sporadic weekday availability.
That leaves Sheep Creek, a first-come, first-served campground with 111 sites, which is expected to fill quickly on or before weekends.


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