Frequently Asked Questions
Helpful Things to Know Before You Go
Sequoia and Kings Canyon offer spectacular visitor experiences, but as you marvel at the vistas and hit the trails, keep in mind that many everyday things we take for granted are very different in the parks.
As you venture into this pristine stretch of Sierra wilderness, and perhaps stay at a classic national park lodge like the Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia, and the John Muir Lodge or Cedar Grove Lodge in Kings Canyon, please protect the parks and always be alert to changes in weather, terrain and other natural features and conditions.
Read on for answers to frequently asked questions and some travel tips to make your visit to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks as enjoyable as possible.
1) Check Current Road/Weather Conditions
Before entering the park it is always a good idea to check the latest road and weather updates by calling (559) 565-3341. During the winter months, Highway 180 (northern entrance) can close periodically after a heavy snowfall. When this is the case, Highway 198 is the only way in and out of the park, so check to make sure the road you intend to use is open. Regardless of which road you use, please be advised that snow chains are required to be carried in ALL vehicles during the winter months as they may be needed at any time.
RVs & Trailers
NEW! Vehicle length limits have changed in Sequoia National Park (if entering/exiting Hwy 198). The section of the Generals highway leading to and from the "Big Trees" in Giant Forest was built from 1921-1926. As a result, the road was nto constructed to accommodate longer vehicles.
Vehicles longer than 22 feet
(6.7056 meters) areot advised between Powisha Campground and the Giant Forest Museum in Sequoia NP.
Vehichles longer than 24 feet
(7.3152 meters) are not advised between the Foothills Visitor Center and Potwish Campground in Sequoia NP.
2) Make Dinner Reservations
Dinner reservations are not required, but are strongly recommended if you plan to eat in The Peaks Restaurant®, particularly during summer months and holiday periods when we are at full capacity. You may make dinner reservations up to 30 days prior to arrival by calling the front desk at (559) 565-4070, ext. 0. For large parties (6 or more), the earlier in the evening you make your reservations, the easier it will be for our wait staff to seat you together. The Peaks Restaurant opens for dinner at 5:00 p.m.
3) Be Bear Aware
Sequoia National Park is a natural habitat for black bears. Bears are incredibly intelligent and have learned that where there are people, there is most likely food, so the Park Service has requested that all visitors remove any food or scented items from your vehicles. You are certainly welcome to bring food with you, and at Wuksachi Lodge we have mini-refrigerators in all of our guestrooms for your convenience, but just keep in mind that any food and/or food containers (coolers, etc.) you bring with you will have to be unloaded and taken inside.
4) Distances Between Buildings
Wuksachi Lodge is not a giant, sprawling hotel, but a series of buildings designed to blend into the surrounding forest to give you a more secluded, scenic mountaintop experience. Guestroom buildings are located a short distance away (100-200 yards) from the main lodge building that houses the front desk and restaurant, so wait to unload your luggage until after you have checked in. There are individual parking areas just below the guestroom buildings with luggage carts available to help transport your bags to your room. Assistance to and from the main lodge building is available upon request.
5) No Elevators
When Wuksachi Lodge was built, one of the goals was to maintain as small a carbon footprint as possible. As such, there were no elevators installed in our guestroom buildings. If you have difficulty going up and down stairs, please call our reservations office at (888) 252-5757 (International callers dial 801-559-4930) and request an entry-level room (please note that some of our buildings are entered via the second floor). While we cannot guarantee every special request we receive, requests for entry-level rooms due to mobility issues are given high priority.
6) Low Light Levels
Nighttime is magical in Sequoia, and at 7,000+ feet above sea level, with an almost non-existent amount of light pollution, it is amazing to see the millions of stars in the night sky. To preserve the beautiful nighttime view, and in keeping with our commitment to maintain a small carbon footprint, outdoor lighting is minimal around the Wuksachi Lodge grounds. The path between our guestroom buildings and the main lodge is illuminated and paved, but some people find the path hard to see at night. For this reason, we recommend that you bring a flashlight with you.
7) Cell Phone and Internet Service
Due to the higher elevation, there is no cell phone service at Wuksachi Lodge or in most areas of Sequoia National Park. However, there is free wireless Internet service in Wuksachi Lodge common areas, including the lobby, restaurant, lounge, and meeting rooms. If anyone needs to reach you during your stay, they can also call the hotel direct at (559) 565-4070 ext. 0.
8) Be Prepared for Changing Weather
Weather in Sequoia National Park can change quickly,regardless of the season. Even during the hottest months of the year, it gets surprisingly cool once the sun goes down. Pack clothing that you can layer, including a sweater or jacket for evenings and mornings, and comfortable shoes for walking and hiking. You may also want to bring a backpack to carry a water bottle, first aid kit, extra pair of socks, hat, etc.