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Western Divide Highway
Giant Sequoia National Monument

Western Divide Highway. (Mountain Road or M107) travels the dramatic ridge line that divides the Kern River Watershed from the Tule River Watershed, beginning where Highway 190 stops at Quaking Aspen, ending at the junction of Mountain Road M50. From this road access numerous giant sequoia groves, fire lookouts, favorite fishing streams, trails and trailheads leading into the Golden Trout Wilderness. The road is closed during the winter due to snow but many still enjoy the area popular for snow play, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiles.

From Porterville, take Highway 190 to Springville and travel east about 24 miles to where Highway 190 turns to Mountain Road 107. From the California Hot Springs area take County Road M50 (Parker Pass Drive) approximately 12 miles east to Parker Pass and turn north on M107. From the Kernville area travel County Road M99 to Johnsondale where the road becomes County Road M50. Travel about 5 mile past Johnsondale to Parker Pass and turn north on M107.

Western Divide Highway map

Dome Rock. This massive monolith forms a natural vista point overlooking the Kern River Canyon, the Needles, distant peaks of Sequoia National Park, Inyo National Forest, and Kern Plateau. Located south of Upper Peppermint, take Forest Road 21S69 to the parking area and scramble to the top.

Awe inspiring granite formations occur throughout the Sequoia National Forest. Popular with nature photographers and sight seers, enjoy expansive views from on top and be mindful that rock climbers maybe just below and can be injured by falling rocks.

The Needles LookoutNeedles Lookout. This working fire lookout sits precariously atop a series of massive granite rock formations rising from the North Fork of the Kern River to an elevation of 8,245 feet. Take a 5-mile round trip, moderately difficult hike and enjoy panoramic views of the Golden Trout Wilderness and Kern River Canyon. The tower was constructed in 1938 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Take Forest Road 21S05 just south of Quaking Aspen Campground on Mountain Road 107 to the trailhead.

Mule Peak Lookout at the southern end of the Great Western Divide Highway is a short but steep hike at the end of Forest Road 22S03.

Jordan Peak Lookout is located at the east end of the highway off of Forest Road 20S71. The tower is about a 500-foot climb above the trailhead.

All three working fire lookouts watch over the southern section of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Forest. These fire lookouts are staffed during summer months and visitors are welcome. The lookout towers may be closed due to days off, lightning, fire, inclement weather and other emergencies. Please be respectful of the person staffing the tower. Check with the ranger station in Springville for hours of operation.

Slate Mountain Botanical Area. An unusually large variety of very rare wild plants are concentrated on the rocky outcrops and crevices along the 9000 foot high ridge of Slate Mountain. Many are found only in few high alpine meadows in Tulare County. Typically these plants appear briefly after the snow melts flowering for a couple of months in the spring or summer. From Quaking Aspen Campground take trail 31E14 south. Ascend approximately 2,000 feet over 5 miles to Slate Mountain.

Campgrounds Elevation Sites Season Max. Trailer Potable Water Remarks
Holey Meadow Group 6400 60 people June-Nov 16’ No Reservations Required
Long Meadow Group 6500 25 people June-Nov 16’ No Reservations Required
Quaking Aspen 7000 32 June-Nov 24’ Yes Reservations available
Quaking Aspen Group 7000 (3) 12 people June-Nov 24’ Yes Reservations available
Quaking Aspen Group 7000 (2) 25 people June-Nov 24’ Yes Reservations available
Quaking Aspen Group 7000 (2) 50 people June-Nov 24’ Yes Reservations available
Redwood Meadow 6500 15 June-Nov 16’ Yes Reservations available
Upper Peppermint 7100   June-Nov 24’ No No Reservations, primitive
Trails Trail # Elevation Miles Remarks
Clicks Creek 32E11 6200-7800 8.2 Wilderness access, river crossings, fishing
Jordan Peek 31E35 8600-9115 1.5 bicycles permitted, short and steep, lookout tower
Lewis Camp 33E01 5800-7600 18.5 Wilderness access, bridge crossing, fishing
Long Meadow 31E15 6800-9000 7.6 Wilderness access, river crossings, stenuous, fishing
Mule Peak 31E43 7600-8200 1.5 bicycles permitted, short and steep, lookout tower
Needles 32E22 7800-8200 2.5 Bicycles permitted, no water,lookout tower
Summit (GTW) 31E14 8400-9920 11.3 Wilderness access, river crossing, fishing
Summit (South) 31E14 7000-9000 25 Non wilderness access, bicycles permitted
Trail of 100 Giants - 6500-6500 1.5 Loop Trail, use fee, potable water, accessible

Hiking Handouts: Trail of 100 Giants (PDF- 237k)
Trail of 100 Giants Interpretive Tour Guide (PDF - 177k)