Everyone needs to do their part to keep food from the bears. I don't know exactly how it is in Sequoia, but in Yosemite, there are 500-1000 incidents of bears breaking into cars every year!
The park provides bear-proof metal cabinets at many of the parking areas for any scented items within your car. Don't forget to take trash out of your car, too.
Save your car and save the bears! If bears become too friendly, they may need to be destroyed.
Check out Sequoia's page on bear management. http://www.nps.gov/seki/snrm/wildlife/bear_overview.htm
I just returned from another trip to the Park. Maybe it's just me, but I almost always cross paths with a bear while I am there. This time was no exception. However, the bear won out for having more intelligence than most of the people that were near our camp.
While setting up our tents, a black bear was helping himself to food that had been stored on a table inside a screened-in tent nearby. The mesh screening was somehow meant to confuse the bear. Uh huh. Fortunately, the owners of the now ripped tent were gone.
On his second pass, the campers were there... squealing with excitement. Dad walked up to the bear to pose while Mom stood on a 2 foot rock with the camera --- somehow thinking herself safe while getting that "shot with the bear." Finally the bear got tired of them, turned, and they had to make a quick escape.
"Bear Warning sign? Oh yeah! ...I saw that too."
Moving along, the bear went to another nearby campsite. This one was notable for 2 tables with food, trash left out, and a 6 foot cooler sitting in the middle of the camp. No one was there. The bear took one swipe at the cooler latch and had it open and the lid up.
"A bear can't undo a cooler latch, right?" Mmmmkay.
At this point, we were still staying close to our car. My friends yelled to another campsite to warn them of the bear. We heard some screaming. 30 seconds later, we watched 10 adults and their children running to see a bear. They found him, and closed in to watch him munch out of the ice chest and destroy a large wooden box containing food.
"OH, KEWL!" "Didja see that?!?"
As any sensible bear would do, he wandered back the next day. Again, most of the people were elsewhere and there was STILL food sitting out in the same places in the same campsites. Yep, they STILL acted just as surprised when they returned to find things damaged and their food gone.
My point in all of this nonsense? =)
-BEWARE of dumb people and their food.
-READ and FOLLOW the bear warning info and food storage rules.
-NEVER approach a wild animal.
These mountains and forests cover a lot of area. When I say peace and quiet I mean it.
Take a compass, GPS or pictures as you go so you can navigate through the woods.
I can see how people could get lost if they went too far off the main trails.
In Mineral King, parking lots and cabins were built in an area occupied by marmots, creating attractants for their desire for cover and new opportunities for their chewing habits and quest for minerals. During the spring, the marmots regularly take apart the under-side of numerous vehicles to go after anti-freeze. The result is disabled vehicles, cabins with holes chewed through them, and marmots consuming potentially harmful chemicals. After extensive monitoring, biologists found that in a single year, several hundred marmots have been involved. Some marmots have even exited the park when vehicles were driven away with an unsuspecting marmot hidden under the hood. The distance record to date is when one marmot caught a ride to Santa Monica, CA. The current solution to the problem is chicken wire around vehicles in the spring - another alternative would be to eliminate the parking lot.
Watch out for bears. Keep making noise along the trail so you don't startle them.
Don't approach a bear. Make noise and yell at the bear. Don't run away.
Keep your food locked up in the areas provided.
If you are going on a day hike, do not leave any food or scented , non food items in your car. The bears will get to it. The park has special lockers where you park and you can store them there. Check out the website below and read up.
In parts of Sequoia National Park (mainly Mineral King Valley), marmots who awake from their winter hibernation in late spring and early summer will feed on the radiator hoses of cars to get necessary minerals. So watch out for your car, and try to get chicken wire or something along those lines to protect your car from biting marmots.
Don't drive the General's Highway at night. It is full of twists and turns, and your headlights are the only lighting on the road. Also, the road is literally built into the mountainside, so going over the edge would mean a long drop. Plus, by driving it at night, you will miss a great series of views and overlooks.
When we were there, Sequoia National park had numerous signs warning that the fire danger lavel was extreme, the highest level (other levels are mild, moderate, and high). Due to the dry California climate, fires can spread rapidly in in these forests, so please be very, very careful with matches, lighters, and other sources of flame.
Gasoline is NOT sold within park boundaries. Be sure to fill up in one of the towns near the park entrance or at two locations in neighboring national forest areas -- Hume Lake (year-round) and Kings Canyon Lodge (closed in winter).
Okay, I admit it, I love the snow, LOL. I was supposed to be on a summer vacation, and it looked like summer in the morning... so I can't help it that I am wearing a miniskirt and sandels, now can I? hahaha, but the sight of snow I just couldn't stand the temptation and I had to throw a snowball. Yes.... it was cold on my feet, all the snow creeping in my shoes, but it was fun!!!
The riverbeds are so rocky and the water is so cold, that should you fall in, you can really get hurt. There are posted signs to keep people away from the water, especially when the water is really flowing in springtime. Be careful when you're out there. Tell people where you're going if you go exploring on your own.
Because of its location in the mountains, winter weather might occur even in late spring or early fall. Check the weather services and be ready for winter conditions. As you can see on the picture, there might be lots of snow. The elevation of the park ranges from 1,360 feet (412 m) in the foothills to 14,491 feet (4,417 m) in the high-alpine mountains.
Certain roads in Sequoia National Park are so narrow, steep and winding that there are length limits on the vehicles that can be driven. On the General's Highway, vehicles over 40 feet long are not permitted by law. RVs are not recommended on Mineral King Road, Moro Rock/Cresent Meadow Road or Crystal Cave Road, where the maximum vehicle length is 22 feet.
Upon entering the Lodgepole campground we were given a bright pink leaflet advising all campers to be cautious of bears for this was a very active bear area. be sure to store all food and scented items in bear proof lockers which are located at each campsite. Don't store food items in your car unless you want a large bear to break into your vehicle...it happens all the time.
Camping with babies is ok....just be sure to store your baby car seat and stroller out in the open and all baby food should go into the bear proof locker.