Sequoia National Park has issued a safety warning for visitors to stay away from park rivers due to the dangers posed by swift currents and slippery rocks. The warning came after officials had to carry out two rescues at the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River this past weekend. 

The National Park Service (NPS) is urging everyone to exercise caution and keep a safe distance from the water.

Sequoia National Park Urges River Safety Awareness

Sequoia National Park's River Safety Alert After Recent Rescues
Kaweah River
(Photo : Daniel Mayer on Wikimedia Commons)

The alert from the NPS explains that even smaller rivers in Sequoia National Park can seem calm but might still have strong currents that can easily overpower even experienced swimmers. Additionally, the rocks near the rivers are very slippery, increasing the risk of falling into fast-moving waters. 

Deputy Chief Ranger Dave Fox emphasized the importance of this guidance, stating that they all want everyone to enjoy by staying safe.

"By staying out of the rivers and maintaining a safe distance from the riverbank, visitors can prevent life-threatening accidents and ensure a fun visit for all," Fox said, according to Travel and Leisure.

Beyond the riverbanks, Sequoia National Park is known for its impressive natural beauty. The park spans a vast area with about 2,600 miles of rivers and streams and nearly 3,200 lakes and ponds. 

These water bodies are popular for camping, fishing, and hiking. The park is also home to the Giant Forest, which features the iconic General Sherman tree, a 2,000-year-old giant among giants.

In addition to water safety, the NPS also advises visitors to take precautions against the heat by seeking shade under the park's massive trees, using cooling towels or bandanas, and staying hydrated by refilling water bottles at park stations. 

These measures are vital for ensuring that the visit to Sequoia National Park is memorable and safe.

Related Article: You Must Visit This National Park in the USA If You're Into Adventure

Sequoia National Park Imposes Early Fire Limits

Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park have initiated stage 1 fire restrictions early this year due to the quick drying of lower elevations despite a wet winter. 

According to National Parks Traveler, the restrictions, which started at 6 a.m. on Friday, affect areas below 3,000 feet, including Potwisha Campground and the Hospital Rock and Foothills picnic areas.

The stage 1 restrictions prohibit using wood and charcoal fires in campgrounds, designated picnic areas, and wilderness areas below 6,000 feet. Smoking is also banned below this elevation, except inside enclosed vehicles or designated smoking areas.

Several campgrounds like South Fork and Buckeye Flat in Sequoia National Park remain closed from storm damage earlier in 2023, limiting areas typically available for visitors. 

Fire Management Officer Leif Mathiesen highlighted the necessity of these precautions, stating they prevent dangerous fire starts that can spread quickly in Sierra Nevada.

While fire restrictions exist, visitors may still use gas, propane, alcohol, and tablet/cube stoves. 

The National Park Service urges visitors to practice extreme caution with fire, use only designated fire rings, and ensure any campfires are completely extinguished. These measures will remain until environmental conditions significantly change.

Read Also: New Rules Limit Tourist Flights Over US National Parks to Protect Peaceful Environment