Porterville, CA 1342

Sequoia National Forest

(Sequoia National Forest Website) www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia/aboutus

The Sequoia is one of nineteen National Forests in California. It takes its name from the giant sequoia, the world's largest tree, which grows in more than 30 groves on the forest's lower slopes. The Sequoia's landscape is as spectacular as its trees. Soaring granite monoliths, glacier-torn canyons, roaring whitewater, and more await your discovery at the Sierra Nevada's southern end. Elevations range from 1,000 feet in the foothill region to peaks over 12,000 feet in the rugged high country, providing visitors with some of the most spectacular views of mountainous landscape in the entire west.

Hikers, off-highway vehicle users, and horseback riders have over 1,500 miles of maintained roads, 1000 miles of abandoned roads, and 850 miles of trails in the forest available for their use and enjoyment. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, which stretches 2,600 miles from Canada to Mexico, crosses the Sequoia National Forest for approximately 78 miles. The three National Recreation Trails in the forest are: Summit, Cannell Meadow, and Jackass Creek. Other points of interest on the forest include: Hume Lake, Chicago Stump, Cannell Meadow Station, Kern River, Kings River, Dome Rock and Needles. The Sequoia contains portions of six designated wilderness areas: Kiavah, Monarch, South Sierra, Dome Land, Jennie Lakes and Golden Trout. Specific winter activity areas accessible by highway are: Hume Lake Ranger District at Cherry Gap and Quail Flat; Tule River Ranger District in the vicinity of Quaking Aspen Campground; and Greenhorn Ranger District at Greenhorn Summit.

The Sequoia National Forest offers a huge range of outdoor recreation activities. The trails offer hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. The many developed campgrounds or dispersed areas provide the full range of camping experiences. The rivers, lakes and reservoirs offer boating, fishing, water-skiing, swimming, whitewater rafting, and kayaking. In the winter, the high elevations provide downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

Elevation plays a major role in temperature and precipitation on the Sequoia National Forest. This precipitation falls mainly from October through April. At higher elevations, much of it comes in the form of snow. Winter temperatures well below freezing and summer temperatures above 100 degrees indicate the normal seasonal spread. Clouds can build up during the summer to produce thunderstorm activity. It is wise to pack for any season when venturing into the high country, with clothing that can be "layered", ready to peel off or add on as the thermometer dictates. Always include some kind of rain gear.

The Sequoia National Forest received its name for the 39 groves of giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum, located within its boundaries. In 1847 a German botanist named Stephen Endlicher named the coastal redwood trees Sequoia sempervirens. He presumably was honoring the Cherokee Chief Sequoya or Sikwayi who invented a phonetic alphabet of 86 symbols for the Cherokee language. In 1854 a French botanist, Joseph Decaisne, applied the name to the giant sequoias, which are closely related to the coastal redwoods.

The Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers the Sequoia National Forest which consists of five ranger districts. The Tule River, Hot Springs, Cannell Meadow, and Greenhorn comprise the southern unit. The Hume Lake Ranger District is the northern unit. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, U.S. Department of Interior, separate these two units of the Sequoia National Forest.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I purchase maps?

Recreation, Wilderness, and other maps are available and may be purchased at any Forest Office. Some sporting goods stores, outfitters, and map stores also sell these maps. USGS Maps can be obtained at http://mapping.usgs.gov/.
How can we obtain a California Campfire permit?

At any Forest Service Office, Bureau of Land Management, or California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF) Offices, also from any Forest Service field personnel. Please read the permit information page for additional information.
Is there a cost? No, there is no cost for the campfire permit.
How can I get a camping space?

The ideal camping time in most Forest areas is May to October, prior to winter storm activity. Reservation campgrounds are available, however the majority of Forest campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served system. For group camping sites you may make reservations, for additional information please contact one of our offices. The maximum stay in most campgrounds is 14 days and a 21 day maximum stay per Ranger District, per calendar year. Most campgrounds fill quickly during holiday weekends, therefore visitors should come prepared to camp in undeveloped areas. Wherever you camp, be sure to Leave No Trace.

For reservations, call the National Forest Reservation Center at 1-877-444-6777. Remember to obtain a campfire permit if you plan to make your own camp. Visitors with Internet access can find out about campsite availability on the World Wide Web at: www.reserveusa.com
Do I need a wilderness permit to access wilderness lands on the Forest?

A permit is required for overnight visits to the Golden Trout Wilderness. These permits are free of charge and may be obtained at one of our offices. One permit is required per trip per group. If you choose to have a campfire you will need a campfire permit. These may also be obtained free of charge at the same time you obtain your Wilderness permit.

Permits for overnight visits to other wilderness areas or for day use are not required but we ask that you sign the register at the trailhead.
Can I camp in areas outside developed campgrounds?

You may camp outside of developed campgrounds in most parts of the Forest, at no cost. Potable water, toilets, and other amenities are not generally available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate water or be prepared to purify spring water before drinking. Water on the Sequoia National Forest may be contaminated with Giardia or other microorganisms. Also be sure you have a Campfire permits if you plan to build a fire, and a Wilderness Permit if you plan to spend the night in the Wilderness. Wherever you camp, be sure to Leave No Trace.
Can I have dogs in the campgrounds and trails?

Your canine companions are welcome in National Forests. The few rules that apply to dogs are meant to assure that you and other National Forest visitors have an enjoyable outdoor recreation experience. Please practice the following, (these rules will be enforced in developed reaction areas). If you are traveling in a National Forest Wilderness, dogs are permitted. However, if you leave a National Forest Wilderness and enter into a National Park, dogs are not permitted.

Leave vicious or unusually noisy dogs at home.
Please keep your dog on a leash no more than 6 feet long, or otherwise restrict its freedom to roam at will.
At night keep your dogs and other pets inside an enclosed vehicle or in a tent.
Developed campgrounds are for people, not animals. Please do not bring more than two dogs or other pet to any one campsite.
Do not bring dogs onto developed swimming beaches, even if they are restrained. Guide dogs are an exception.
Where can I ride an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) or Over-Snow Vehicle (OSV)?

OHV recreation is just one of the many uses allowed on National Forest lands. OHV travel is restricted to designated routes and areas. Many routes are open and accessible to those who enjoy recreating on OHVs. It is your responsibility to know and abide by regulations relating to motor vehicle travel. California state law requires registration of all motor vehicles before being operated on public lands. You must have either a current Green Sticker or highway license, both issued by the State Department of Motor Vehicles. If highway licensed, the vehicle must meet all standards for operating on a public highway. Many areas are open and accessible to those who enjoy recreating on ATVs and OSVs during the winter months. Motorized over-snow travel is prohibited in some areas. Federal law prohibits operation of any mechanical or motorized equipment within the boundaries of a designated Wilderness except for persons with disabilities. The Wilderness Act allows the use of wheelchairs (a device designed solely for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area) in a Wilderness Area. Please contact us for specific information about routes that are open to OHV/OSV use on the Sequoia National Forest.
Passes & Permits

Golden Access Passport
The Golden Access Passport is a free lifetime entrance pass to those federally-operated parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas and national wildlife refuges administered by the federal government which charges entrances fees.

Golden Eagle Passport
The Golden Eagle Passport is an annual entrance pass to federal lands including national parks, refuges, recreation areas, historic sites, and monuments that charge entrance fees. Its cost is $65.

Golden Age Passports
The government has established the Golden Eagle, Golden Age and Golden Access Passports that when obtained allow the public to enter fee areas without additional charge. This is very convenient when traveling to several areas that charge an entrance fee.

River Use Permits
On the Upper and Lower Kern Runs, the Forest Service provides an annual permit which is free of charge. Boaters need to pick up these permits in person at a Forest Service office in Kernville, Lake Isabella or Bakersfield.

For the Forks Run, the Forest Service operates an advance reservation service because of the popularity for this stretch of river. There is a $2.00 charge for this service.

Campfire Permits
A California campfire permit is required for a fire outside a designated recreation site. A permit is available free-of-charge from any Forest Service, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Bureau of Land Management office.

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months or both. 16 USC 551 and 18 USC 3559 and 3571

Road Use Permits
Commercial Use of Forest Development Roads is regulated under the authority of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Regional Forester Order 98-2 prohibits commercial haul on a Forest Development Road without a permit or written authorization.

Firewood Permits
To cut firewood for personal use on National Forest and BLM lands you must have a Personal Use Firewood Permit. At $10.00 per cord, you can purchase a permit for no less than two cords ($20) for each purchase and no more than ten cords ($100) (total for year). A permit is good for gathering firewood from the time of purchase through November 15. Permits are available at all Forest Service and BLM offices.

Keep your permit on the dashboard of your vehicle where it is visible through the windshield. Fill out the bottom portion of the permit at the cutting site before you haul each load. Travel together when hauling wood in more than one vehicle for the same permit. To cut firewood for someone else (third party), authorization must be approved when purchasing the permit. A lost or stolen permit cannot be replaced or the fee refunded.

Wilderness Permits
Wilderness permits are available at Forest Service offices.
Forest Supervisor's Office
900 West Grand Ave.
Porterville, CA 93257
FAX 559-781-4744
TDD 559-781-6650

Tule River Ranger District
32588 Highway 190
Springville, CA 93265

Hot Springs Ranger District
43474 Parker Pass Drive
Route 4, Box 548
California Hot Springs, CA 93207