South Fork History


The only roadway to the South Fork of the Kings River is California State Route 180.  Originally envisioned as a possible Trans-sierra route from Fresno to Independence.

For more information about the history of the initial construction of CA-180, and subsequent adjustments/realignments check out the following links:


The initial 4 campgrounds (now named Sheep Creek, Sentinel, Canyon View, & Moraine) were constructed and maintained by the National Forest Service from 1937-1965. After which, and through the present, they have been operated and maintained by the National Park Service.

[CHALLENGE OF THE BIG TREES by Lary M. Dilsaver and William C. Tweed, ©1990, Sequoia Natural History Association, Inc., Chapters 7-8]

Forest Fires:

Year Name Cause Location Description
1916 Miscellaneous Upstream along Redwood Creek South of 180
1917 Lightning Near Boole Tree
1917 Miscellaneous Middle Fork upstream from Confluence
1917 Lightning West Side of Lewis Creek, North of Road
1921 Lightning Near Head Waters of Wren Creek, upstream from Grizzly
1921 Miscellaneous South side between Lewis Creek & Deer Cove
1928 Miscellaneous From Boole Tree, Downstream
1931 Miscellaneous Indian, Ten Mile, & Redwood Creeks Drainages from Hume Rd to Yucca Point.
1932 Miscellaneous Downstream from Grizzly Creek
1933 Miscellaneous North side between Windy Gulch & Grizzly
1934 Lightning Upslope between Hotel & Granite Creeks
1934 Miscellaneous Downstream from Windy Gulch down past Convict Flats
1950 DEER COVE Smoking Along Deer Cove Creek & Trail
1950 EAGLE PEA Lightning North side between Windy Gulch & Downstream from Grizzly
1950 Lightning Along Wren Creek
1955 UNKNOWN Unknown/ Unidentified Northside Near Convict Flats
1955 MCGEE Miscellaneous Visible from Mcgee Vista facing West
1955 Miscellaneous Indian Basin Meadow
1955 SENTINAL RIDGE Lightning Southside of Sentinel Ridge, West of Roaring River.
1959 LEWIS CRK Lightning Near Cedar Grove Overlook
1961 NORTH MTN Lightning Upstream from Hotel Creek
1962 Miscellaneous Northside From Confluence to almost Convict Flats
1966 Lightning Spring, Garlic Meadow & Rough Creek Drainages
1970 BUBBS CRE Lightning Uplope from Bubbs Creek
1971 UNKNOWN Unknown/ Unidentified Between Deer Cove Trail & East Fork Grizzly Creek along Happy Gap Trail
1973 SO SENTIN Lightning South of Sentinel Ridge and downstream from Roaring River
1973 MORAINE C Lightning Near confluence of Moraine creek & Roaring River
1975 Arson Northside Near Convict Flats
1976 SPHINX Campfire Along Bubbs Creek between Sphinx Creek and North Guard Creek
1979 KENNEDY Lightning Downstream from East Fork Lewis Creek along Lewis Creek Trail to Kennedy Pass
1979 SENTINEL Lightning South of intersection of Sentinel Ridge & Roaring River
1980 LEWIS CRK Equipment Use Along Lewis Creek Drainage
1980 ROARING Lightning Along Roaring River South of Sugarloaf Creek.
1980 TENT Lightning Along Copper Creek Trail Near Tent Meadow
1982 Lightning Upslope and around corner downstream from Grizzly Falls
1985 CONVERSE Smoking North of converse basin at end of Converse Road
1986 DEER Smoking Northside From Confluence to Kings River Trailhead & Verplank Creek
1988 LEWIS CR Lightning Upslope and between Lewis Creek and Deer Cove Trail
1988 OBELISK Lightning Crossing Middle Fork along Tombstone Creek From Obelisk to Wren Peak.
1990 AVALANCHE Lightning Southside, Upstream from Roaring River
1993 BUCK PEAK Lightning Near Roads End along Copper Creek Trail
1993 HELIPORTW Escaped Prescribed Burn Cedar Grove Heliport
1994 GARLIC Lightning Downstream from Middle Fork Confluence by Garlic Meadow Creek
1994 GRANITE Lightning Northside along Granite Creek
1995 MOTORNATU Escaped Prescribed Burn Upstream from entrance to Motor Nature Trail
1997 CHOKE Lightning Upslope from Grizzly Creek, Downstream from Frypan Meadow
2000 ROADS END Arson East of Roads End, Northside of South Fork
2000 MILLWOOD Equipment Use Downslope from SR-180, West of Sequoia Lake
2002 RIVER Arson Northside of South fork along River & Motor Nature Trails, East of Lodge & Ranger Housing
2005 COMB Lightning Upslope northside of South fork across ridge from Deer Cove to Granite Creek upstream
2006 ROARING Lightning Upslope, South side, South Fork from Sheep Creek to Roaring River, south to Sentinel ridgeline.
2006 RIDGE Lightning Upslope, South side, South Fork from Sheep Creek to Roaring River, south to Sentinel ridgeline.
2010 SHEEP COMPLEX Lightning Upslope southside of South Fork, from Grizzly Falls to Sheep Creek.
2015 ROUGH Lightning North of Grant Grove, East of Pine Flat Headwaters to upstream from Hotel Creek and North to Rancheria Creek and Crown valley Trail
2016 SENTINEL Lightning Along Sheep creek near lookout peak & Sentinel ridge
2018 NORTH BUBBS Lightning Northside along Bubbs Creek
2021 KNP Complex Lightning Along General’s Highway south of Grant’s Grove to the East Fork of the Kaweah River
2021 BOYDEN 1 Debris Northside of South Fork, across and downstream from Boyden’s Cavern

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