Mineral King Road in California: 398 curves in just 25 miles

Mineral King Road is the name of a stunning drive located in Tulare County, in the U.S. state of California. The road is said to have 398 curves in just 25 miles.

Mineral King Road

How long is Mineral King Road?

Mineral King Road is 39.91 kilometers (24.8 miles) long and runs west-east from CA-198 (Sierra Drive) to Mineral King.

Is Mineral King Road paved?

Tucked away in the southern part of Sequoia National Park, the road is mostly paved, but sometimes it is very good gravel or dirt, and eventually becomes a trail. A 4x4 vehicle is not needed.

Is the road to Mineral King Open?

The road ends at 2,398 meters (7,867 feet) above sea level. It is only open from Memorial Day weekend through October. The winter closure gate lies two miles west of Atwell Grove. RVs and trailers are not recommended. The road is prone to rock slides and washouts, so it's better to check the conditions before embarking on the drive to see if it’s passable.

When was the Mineral King Road built?

 Silver was discovered here in the 1870s, and a rush to the area occurred. In 1873, the road was built and gradually improved over the ages. The early part of the trail follows the old mining access road.

Is Mineral King worth the drive?

The road into Mineral King, a subalpine glacial valley, is a beautiful drive up a windy and narrow mountain road. It leads to some of the most stunning and accessible high country in the Sierra Nevada. Back in the 1960s, Walt Disney wanted to build a ski resort there.

Is Mineral King Road dangerous?

The drive is very steep. It has an average grade of 5.1% but has stretches between 15-20% in places. The road is very narrow in parts and has few guardrails. This long, narrow, winding, and unpaved road for several miles is full of twists, turns, and bumps, with little signage, and is tough going. If you have a sports car, you may want to think twice about taking it. The drive into Mineral King is great - for the passengers! For the driver, it's a constant challenge with steep cliff drops...
Pic: Jitin Makker