How can I get to Mineral King?Take Hwy 198 northwest through the town of Three Rivers, following signs for Sequoia / Kings Canyon national park. Leave Hwy 198 on the Mineral King Road. This turn is marked by a small green sign reading 'Mineral King 25 miles', but just after you make the turn there is a much larger brown sign next to a fire station. Up the hill, take the left fork at Hammond Road, following the sign to Mineral King. There is a self-service fee booth at Lookout Point. It is approximately 25 miles from the turnoff to the Mineral King Ranger Station. It is a narrow road with many sharp turns, steep drop-offs, and wild animals. Wide vehicles are not recommended. Please be courteous and yield to oncoming vehicles.
Where can I find more information about Mineral King?
Please visit the Mineral King Preservation Society's website at www.mineralking.org.
What is the current status of the cabin leases?
The latest draft of the General Management Plan was released in September, 2006. For more information about the plan, click here.
Why should the cabins be allowed to remain?
One of the mandates of the original 1916 National Park Service organic law is that both natural and historic objects be preserved unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.
Communities are very much a part of our national park scene. Other National Parks in America include many preserved historic communities. The 1997 National Park Service Strategic Plan states, "Historic and prehistoric structures and the events surrounding them are key park cultural resources, forming the basis for 220 park units and are integral to many other parks. Maintaining these structures in good condition responds to the National Park Service Organic Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the cultural resource integrity of the national park system."
Unfortunately, because of the Park service policy of demolition of older structures, our nation is experiencing the loss of a heritage that never can be replaced. The Mineral King community, begun in 1872 with its current cabins dating from 1895 to the early 1950s, is linked to the very core of western mountain history and its continuity. It is not just old, it is historic; therefore, its history must be preserved.
Are the cabins available for rent or purchase?
Federal law prevents the rental or purchase of any of the Mineral King cabins. Two miles down the road from the Mineral King valley is a private land community, the Silver City Resort, where rental cabins are available.
Should the valley be returned to its wilderness status?
Unlike many historic sites in the high Sierra Nevada, Mineral King never has nor does it now lie within a designated wilderness area. Human impact on the valley's lands began over three thousand years ago with aboriginal summer camps and trading trails. Since then, for well over a century the area has been trapped, hunted, grazed, lumbered, mined and developed into a resort and recreation area. Today, it is used as a campground and trailhead destination and departure point. It is inconceivable that the valley could ever be returned to anything approximating wilderness without the loss of the rich cultural landscape. Further, the resources required to attempt such a transition could not be justified.