Hume Lake Dam

The Hume Lake Dam is the first reinforced-concrete, multiple arch dam in the world, and was built to create a millpond for the Hume-Bennett Lumber Co. It is located within Sequoia National Forest in the southern Sierra Nevada.

Construction of the dam began on August 18, 1908, and was finished in November 1908. The Hume Lake was filled to its 1,411-acre capacity by June 1909.  The dam is 677’ long and encompasses twelve 61' high arches. Each arch has an individual span of 50 feet with an accompany buttress that tapers on the dam’s downstream side. Originally a railroad tramway ran on top of the dam and the Hume-Bennett lumber mill was on the downstream side of the dam. 

The original mill burned down in 1917 and a smaller temporary mill was built on the site and ran until the 1920s.  In 1935, the Forest Service acquired the dam and all of the Hume-Bennett land holdings.  The site has been subtly modified, including closing the spillway openings on the central arches in 1942, concrete reinforcing on both the upstream in 1954 and downstream in 1984, and the raising of parapet wing-walls on the outer arches during the 1954 rehabilitation. Original outlet and inlets were replaced during these construction periods.

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Latitude: 36.7937698 Longitude: -118.901403 Elevation: 5205 ft
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Linn Gassaway

About this Establishment

Additional information can be found at

Time Period Represented


Hours Open

24 hours

Visitor Fees

$20 fee at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks entrances.

Seasons Open

Year round

ADA Accessibility Notes

The Hume Lake Trail from Powder Can Day Use area to the Dam and to Sandy Cove is wheelchair accessable. Powder Can Picnic Area is fully ADA Accessibly including bathrooms.

Pet Friendly Notes

Leash pets in developed recreation sites such as trail heads, picnic areas, and campgrounds. On trails, pets must be on a leash or under voice control. Pets must not be allowed to chase or disturb wildlife or other visitors.


It’s a fascinating dam. There is an excellent description of its construction in Edward Wegman's "The Design and Construction of Dams," John Wiley & Sons, 1911, 6th edition, pages 436-439.

Jim Spitze, Sanger, CA, 5/16/2011

The dam is NOT located in Kings Canyon or Sequoia National Parks; it is located in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, outside the parks. The 3.5 miles trail around the lake is a wonderful hike, virtually level and with beautiful lake, forest and mountain vistas.

Dick Estel, 10/4/2016

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Contact Information

Sequoia National Forest / Giant Sequoia National Monument - Hume Lake Ranger District
559-338-2131 (Fax)
35860 East Kings Canyon Road
Dunlap, CA 93621 US


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