Location: Sequoia National Park (25 miles east of Three Rivers on Mineral King Road)
Mineral King ranger station: (559) 565-3768 -- summer only
Web site: nps.gov/seki
Camping: Two campgrounds, Atwell Mill and Cold Springs, are first-come, first-served. Fees are $12 per night.
Lodging: Located 5 miles below Mineral King, the privately owned Silver City Mountain Resort offers cabin rentals, dining, showers and a general store. Details: (559) 561-3223 or silvercityresort.com.
Marmot country: Over the years, these fat, furry rodents have developed a taste for radiator hoses, brake lines and car wiring. Vehicles with coolant leaks are especially susceptible. To discourage marmots, some visitors wrap their cars in tarps or chicken wire; others leave their hoods open.
(Note: Mineral King Road typically closes from Nov. 1 until Memorial Day, weather permitting. Due to steepness, RVs and trailers are strongly discouraged.)