Because of the extreme elevation range in these parks, weather conditions vary widely between areas.
In summer, the sequoia groves have comfortable temperatures and the foothills are hot and dry. Snow lingers on high-mountain passes well into summer.
In fall, some areas close or reduce their hours. Winter brings snow to sequoia groves and rain to the foothills. Be prepared for tire chain requirements.
Spring is a great time to hike in the foothills and snow begins to melt at higher elevations.
This pass is valid for 1-7 days and includes everyone traveling in a single vehicle for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument. You can purchase this pass in advance at www.yourpassnow.com.
Individual Entry Pass - $20.00
This entry fee is for a single person traveling on foot or by bicycle. It is valid for 1-7 days in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Non-Commercial Group - $15.00
Groups traveling in a bus or vehicle with a capacity of 16 persons or more are charged per person. People 15 years old or younger, drivers hired for transportation only, or anyone with a pass that may be used for park entry is exempt from paying the entrance fee.
Commercial Group, 1-6 Passenger Capacity - $25.00
This entrance fee is for commercial tours of one or more people traveling on an itinerary that has been packaged, priced, or sold for leisure or recreational purposes by an organization that realizes financial gain through the provision of the service. This fee is based on the seating capacity of the vehicle and not the actual number of passengers. Passenger ages or entrance passes do not affect the price. The charge for vehicles with a seating capacity of 1-6 passengers is $25 plus $10 per person.
This entrance fee is for commercial tours of vehicles with a seating capacity of 26 or more people.
Motorcycle Pass - $30.00
This pass is valid for 1-7 days and includes everyone traveling on a motorcycle, scooter, or similar motorized vehicle for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument. You can purchase this pass in advance at www.yourpassnow.com.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon Annual Pass - $60.00
This pass is valid for Sequoia & Kings national Parks and Hume Lake Ranger District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument for one year from the month of purchase. The pass admits all passengers in a private vehicle and is non-transferable. You can purchase this pass in advance at www.yourpassnow.com.
Housed in a historic market building in the Giant Forest sequoia grove at 6,500 feet (1,980 m) elevation. Learn about sequoia groves and fire. Get park information and browse books in a small bookstore.
This visitor center is in Grant Grove Village at an elevation of 6,500 feet (1,980 m). Stop here to learn about three magnificent regions in Kings Canyon National Park: giant sequoia groves, the Kings Canyon itself (often called Cedar Grove), and the High Sierra. Watch a 15-minute movie (English/Spanish). A park store sells books, maps, and educational materials. Other services include accessible restrooms, a pay phone, local wilderness permits, and an AED for cardiac emergencies.
This visitor center is next to the South Fork of the Kings River in mixed conifer forest at an elevation of 4,600 feet (1,400 m). Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Cedar Grove area. A bookstore offers books, maps,and educational items. Other services include accessible restrooms and a pay phone.
In the mixed-conifer forest; elevation 7,600 feet (2,320 m).This small station houses some exhibits on Mineral King's human and natural history. Books, maps, and educational items for sale. Bear canisters available. Pay phone in nearby campground. First aid. Local wilderness permits.
Seeing these parks involves going up in elevation; the sequoias grow about one mile higher than the orchards of the San Joaquin Valley. Weather varies a lot from low to high! Snow may close the Generals Highway between the parks while flowers bloom in the foothills. Some roads open only in summer and fall, and some have limitations on the length of vehicles permitted. Check what's open before you come, and be prepared for changing conditions and availability of facilities due to weather or other circumstances.
Places to Go
Visitor services are concentrated in five different areas: Grant Grove, Giant Forest, and Foothills areas stay open all year. Cedar Grove and Mineral King open from late spring to early fall. Campgrounds are open in all areas spring through fall; some stay open in winter. Find lodging and other services at Grant Grove, Giant Forest, and Wuksachi year-round, and at Cedar Grove during summer and early fall. Lodging, camping, and other services are also available in the national forests and communities bordering the parks.
These parks are home to black bears. Bears can grab unattended food or break into cars that have food in them. They become bold and sometimes aggressive in attempts to get more. Too often these bears must be killed. Follow food-storage rules during your visit. If you camp, be prepared to remove all food and scented items from your vehicle.
Operating Hours & Seasons
Elevation varies by over a mile along the roadways of these parks, and seasons have a big impact on the availability of some features and facilities.
Check here for weather forecasts, road advisories, and other up-to-date information.
Park and ride! In summer, shuttles operate within Sequoia National Park and can bring you to the park from nearby towns. Shuttles also run during some winter holidays.
The park newspaper, the Guide, is a good place to start when planning a visit. It includes phone numbers, opening/closing dates, and information on camping, lodging, dining, shopping, showers, activities, attractions, hiking trails, wilderness permits, food storage, safety, road-construction delays, where to find gasoline, vehicle-length advisories, shuttle service, a park map, and more.
Some special activities in these parks require a permit, such as camping in the wilderness, commercial tours, filming, or scientific research. Check this page for information about different permit types and instructions on how to apply.
If you or someone you are traveling with has with mobility or sensory impairments, there are trails, programs, and other options that are right for you. You can also ask for accessibility information at any visitor center.
Only designated service dogs may go in park buildings or on trails. Rules for pets vary between national parks and the surrounding national forests.
Stay Safe in the Parks
Your safety is your responsibility. Before you visit, learn about hazards you may encounter in natural areas.
Fire & Your Visit
As fire danger increases in summer, restrictions on fire may begin, including limits on campfires, barbeques, smoking, and wilderness campfires. To learn about how the park manages fire and its role in keeping sequoia groves healthy, visit ourprescribed-fire web page.
Sequoia National Forest and Sierra National Forest both border these national parks. If you drive the Generals Highway between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, you'll cross national forest lands, which are managed by a different agency. Some rules vary between national parks and national forests.
Weapons & Firearms in the Parks
Weapons (including, but not limited to, BB, pellet and paint guns; bow/arrow, slingshots, bear spray, and other compressed-gas irritant devices) are illegal to possess. No firearms, including concealed-carry, are allowed in any federal building. Discharge of a firearm or weapon is prohibited within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.