Changes to Some Opening/Closing Dates for Services and Facilities – Check Back for Updates
Some of the opening/closing dates for facilities and visitor services in the parks have changed due to weather and/or other circumstances. See link for details and match to locations on the park map (under "Park Tools," bottom left, this page). More »
Road Conditions (Entire Park) and Road Construction Delays (if Entering/Exiting Hwy. 198)
Expect 20-minute to 1-hour construction delays on main road through parks (Generals Hwy) until Memorial Day weekend (7 a.m.-6 p.m.). See link for schedule. Call for 24-hour road conditions info: 559-565-3341 (press 1, 1, 1). More »
Vehicle Length Limits Have Changed in Sequoia NP (if Entering/Exiting Hwy 198)
Planning to see the "Big Trees" in Sequoia National Park? If you enter/exit via Hwy. 198, please pay close attention to new vehicle length advisories for your safety and the safety of others. More »
You May Have Trouble Calling Us. Use the "Contact Us" Link (Bottom Left) to Send an E-mail.
We are experiencing technical problems receiving some incoming phone calls at the parks. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please keep trying to reach us or check this website for frequently-asked questions. The search box (top, right) may be helpful.
Meadow Opening/Closing Updates
Please read important park alerts by clicking the red tab above for information you need to know before you come to the parks.
Each year, opening dates for grazing are established for the wilderness meadows of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Setting opening dates for the meadows allow the parks to protect biological and scenic resources from unacceptable impacts that may occur when the meadows are too wet.
As meadows are most susceptible to damage from stock when ground moisture levels are high, opening dates are established based on the amount of precipitation that the wilderness receives over the winter.
Recognizing that commercial outfitters, recreational users, and park operations need to be able to plan trips in advance, we issue bulletins two times during the spring season as a service to keep all stock users informed.The bulletins update current conditions and anticipated opening dates. All bulletins are advisory only, the actual opening dates of specific meadows will be determined in the field. For final opening dates call the Wilderness Office prior to your trip at 559-565-3766.
Opening dates are anticipated based on snowpack in the wilderness.The snowpack is the best indicator we have of the amount of moisture the meadows received.The park has a series of snow courses that are measured periodically through the winter, with the late April snowpack measurements giving the latest and last estimate of conditions. We are providing this bulletin as tentative information based on late April/early May conditions.
Click the following link to view the 2013 original meadow opening dates:
According to the amount of moisture in the snowpack, we categorize the year as one of the following:
1) Dry (less than 50% of average snowpack)
2) Normal (51% to 150% of the average snowpack)
3) Wet (more than 150% of the average snowpack)
Opening dates in wet years are later than dry years.
2013 has been categorized as a Dry year.
If you are planning a trip on or near the opening date for a particular area it is your responsibility to contact the parks' Wilderness Office at 559-565-3766 for the latest update on conditions.For more information, also visit www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wilderness.htm. Note that the opening dates only restrict grazing, pack trips prior to the opening dates are permitted as long as all feed is packed in and stock remain tied up at all times. For a complete list of meadows, please see the 2013 Stock Users Guide.
Your cooperation in managing stock use in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks is appreciated.Together we can continue to protect the natural diversity and beauty of the Sierra wilderness.
South Fork San Joaquin River - Kings Canyon National Park
Kings River Drainage - Kings Canyon National Park
Kern River Drainage - Sequoia National Park
Kaweah River Drainage - Sequoia National Park
Did You Know?
Sometimes you will see sequoias in a straight row. This may happen because sequoia seeds prefer mineral-rich burned ground. When a fallen log burns long and hot, it leaves a strip of bare mineral-rich soil — an ideal place for new sequoias to grow. Years later, we see a line of sequoias!