Current Conditions

Alerts

Planning a trip to the parks?

During winter, be prepared with layered warm clothing, traction devices for your shoes, and extra food and water for emergencies.  

At this time of year, expect park highways to be snowy or icy. When chains are required, all vehicles entering the parks must carry tire chains or cables, including 4WD and AWD vehicles. Call (559) 565-3341, press 1, then 1 for current road information.

There are plenty of places to rent or purchase tire chains in Three Rivers, California if you are entering Sequoia National Park through Ash Mountain Entrance Station. If you are coming via Highway 180 and entering Kings Canyon National Park through Big Stump Entrance Station there are limited options to rent tire chains, so consider purchasing chains before you arrive so you can practice installing them and do not have to double back to enter the park.

Weather Road Closures

  • Generals Highway is closed from Grant Grove to Lodgepole.

Seasonal Road Closures

  • Highway 180 to Cedar Grove is closed for the season at the Hume gate.
  • Mineral King Road is closed for the season.
  • Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is open seven days a week in fall and early winter except when winter conditions require a closure. When winter snow accumulates, the road will close and it will become a trail for skiing and snowshoeing.
  • Panoramic Drive in the Grant Grove area is closed due to snow accumulation. The road is not plowed and will not re-open until it melts out.   
  • Crystal Cave Road (Sequoia National Park) is closed for the season.
  • Redwood Mountain Road (Kings Canyon National Park) is currently closed due to hazardous conditions from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire.

 

Weather

Air Quality

Air quality in the parks is impacted by increased concentrations of ozone, an invisible pollutant. We also may experience an increase in high particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution, which is largely derived from local or regional wildfire smoke. Unlike ozone, particulate matter pollution will impact visibility and can alter the visual landscape. Before you visit, learn more about air quality here and access a link to local forecasts. 
 

Gusty wind and heavy snow is expected December 1 - 2. If you're not experienced with driving in mountain storms, consider visiting at another time.This time of year, dress in layers and keep an eye on weather forecasts

Trails

  • Due to snow and ice throughout the area, personal traction devices, such as spikes, yak tracks, or snowshoes, are recommended for all trails.

Roads
Roads can be icy, especially at night and in the mornings. 

  • The Upper Sherman Tree parking lot is currently closed. It will remain closed for the season once significant snow accumulates.
  • The Crescent Meadow / Moro Rock Road is closed to vehicles due to snow accumulation. This road is not plowed in the winter. It will re-open when the road can be safely cleared in the late spring, depending on snow conditions. People may still hike up, but specialized equipment such as spikes or snowshoes is strongly advised. 

Camping

  • All campgrounds have closed for the season.

Wolverton Snowplay Area
There is not currenly enough snow for sledding in the snowplay area. Please only use dedicated snowplay areas for sledding. Enjoy a walk through the snowy trees of the Giant Forest instead or check out the winter activities page for additional ideas on how to spend your time in Sequoia National Park.

Gusty wind and heavy snow is expected December 1 - 2. If you're not experienced with driving in mountain storms, consider visiting at another time. This time of year, dress in layers and keep an eye on weather forecasts

Trails

  • The only trail cleared of snow is the Grant Tree Trail. Due to snow and ice throughout the area, personal traction devices, such as spikes, yak tracks, or snowshoes, are recommended for all other trails in the area.
  • Trails in the Redwood Canyon area are closed following damage from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire and will not reopen until conditions are safe. Some trees in the area are still burning and some smoke can be visible from the highway.

Roads 

Roads can be icy, especially at night and in the morning. 

  • Panoramic Drive is closed to vehicles for the season. This road is not plowed when snow accumulates. It will re-open when the road melts out in the spring or early summer. People may still hike up, but specialized equipment such as spikes or snowshoes is strongly advised. 

Camping

Azalea Campground has 20 first-come, first-served campsites. Sunset and Crystal Springs Campgrounds are closed for the season. 

Snowplay
Currently, there is not enough snow for sledding in the snowplay areas. Please only use dedicated snowplay areas for sledding. Enjoy a walk through the snowy trees instead. Check out the winter activities page for additional ideas on how to spend your time in Kings Canyon National Park.

Highway 180 to Cedar Grove Seasonal Closure

  • The highway is now closed for the season. The gate for the closure is just north/east of the junction of Hwy 180 and the Hume Lake Road

 

Temperatures are cooling in the foothills, and hiking is now more comfortable at the lower elevations of Sequoia National Park. Check our Foothills Trails page for ideas to help you plan your trip. 

Camping:

  • Potwisha Campground has sites that are usually snow-free and reservations are required. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve your campsite.
  • South Fork Campground has first-come, first served sites. The road to this campground is very rough, especially after rain. High-clearance vehicles are recommended. 


Construction
Maintenance work is being completed in the Tunnel Rock area October through December. Parking areas will be closed on weekdays and may be closed on weekends.
 

Winter Fun
Visiting Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in winter is a different experience. Enjoy all that this winter wonderland has to offer with winter activites for all ages and abilities. Come prepared, bring extra layers, and don't forget traction devices for not only yourself but also for your vehicle. Tire chains or cables are often required on park roads from fall through spring, but they might be needed at any time of the year if snow falls. If this is your first time using tire chains or cables, come prepared and know how to use them.

Traffic Congestion

During weekends and holidays, our entrance stations become congested, especially at the Sequoia National Park entrance near Three Rivers, California. Check out these tips to avoid congestion or the inconveniences it may cause. We always recommend that you buy your entrance pass online before you arrive.
 

Pets

Pets, including those riding in backpacks, are prohibited on all trails. This includes paved trails, such as the General Sherman Tree Trail, Big Trees Trail, and Grant Tree Trail. In the nearby national forest lands that surround these parks, leashed pets are allowed on trails. Leashes must be less than 6 feet (1.8 meters) long.


Recent Wildfire Activity

In September of 2021, the lightning-caused KNP Complex Fire burned through a significant portion of the park. You will see evidence of recent wildfire along the Generals Highway and on trails. Check our tips for safety in burned areas if you plan to hike in an area affected by fire. Our closure map shows trails (in red) that are closed.


NPS Mobile App

Download the NPS Mobile app to get started on your next national park adventure. The NPS App can connect you to all 420+ national parks from one single app.

Want to improve your visit to Sequoia and Kings Canyon? Get information on popular features, visitor centers, campgrounds, fees and passes, park alerts, passport stamp locations, and more. When you install the app, check the option to download offline content. Cell service is extremely limited at the parks and this option will allow you to use the app in areas with no coverage.


WiFi and Cellular Service

WiFi is available at Kings Canyon and Foothills visitor centers. However, if you use the NPS Mobile app, download the app and data before you arrive. Cell phone service may be available in the Grant Grove developed area for Verizon customers, and outside the Foothills Visitor Center for AT&T customers. However, cellular service is not reliable at these locations.


Information on Neighboring Public Lands

  • Traveling to Yosemite National Park? Visit their webpage to plan your trip in advance.
  • For information on the status of the Sequoia National Forest or Giant Sequoia National Monument (managed by the US Forest Service), visit the Sequoia National Forest website.
  • For information on Lake Kaweah (managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), visit their website.

 

Day Hiking: No permits are needed for day hiking. See the Day Hiking Page for more information about trails in different areas of the parks. During the winter months, personal traction devices, such as spikes for footware, are recommended for ice and icy snow.

Trail Closures: Some trails are closed due to impacts from the KNP Complex Fire.


Wilderness Permits and Overnight Backpacking, Outside of Quota Season

September 18, 2022 - May 25, 2023

  • Self-issue wilderness permits are available for overnight backpacking at Foothills and Kings Canyon visitor centers and at Giant Forest Museum. 

Wilderness Permits during the Quota Season

Beginning May 26, 2023

  • Wilderness permit reservations are available on Recreation.gov. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance of your trip, and are released daily at 7:00 AM Pacific Standard Time.
  • During the quota season, the number of people beginning trips each day is limited by entry point and a recreation fee is required. Reservations are available for most, but not all entry points.
  • Permit pick up will be available at the station closest to your desired trailhead: Mineral King Ranger Station, Foothills Visitor Center, Giant Forest Museum, Kings Canyon Visitor Center, or Road's End Permit Station-Cedar Grove.

Most campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have closed for the season, except AzaleaPotwisha, and South Fork Campgrounds.

Reservations
Reservation booking windows for 2023 are being finalized and details will be posted on the camping page when they become available. 

We recommend that you make reservations as far in advance of your stay as possible, up to 30 days. Reservations can be made directly on each campground's NPS web page, or at Recreation.gov.

First-come, First-served for Winter
This winter, camping is available on a first-come, first serve basis at Azalea and South Fork Campgrounds. We recommend that you pay for only one night at a time. Campgrounds may close at any time due to weather, road conditions, or other causes and refunds cannot be issued. For campers at Azalea Campground, snow removal can take up to 24 hours after a heavy winter storm. Consider checking out prior to a major storm, or prepare for an extended park stay if you are unable to leave due to impassable roads.

Showers: Currently, there are no shower or laundry facilities available in the parks.

Bears: Please be aware of potential bear activity in park campgrounds. To avoid a break-in, secure all food and scented items in the latched storage boxes when not in use. Do not store any scented items like soap or candles in your car. Also, make sure you know what to do if you encounter a bear.

For more information on camping in developed campgrounds in the park, visit our Camping web page.

 
  • A man installs chains on his vehicle. Photo by Kirke Wrench.

    Winter Driving & Tire Chains

    Be prepared for snowy mountain roads! Chains may be required at any time.

  • Three smartphones with screens showing app features

    NPS Mobile App

    The official National Park Service app can guide you around the parks, no cell service needed.

  • A family plays in the snow. Photo by Alison Taggart-Barone.

    Snowplay

    Serious snowplay-related injuries happen weekly in winter months. Learn more about how to avoid accidents.

  • A family group with young children and a stroller travel down a paved path lined with sequoias.

    Accessibility

    We offer recreational opportunities suited for a wide range of abilities, including exhibits, walking, camping, and shuttle transportation.

  • A metal food storage box is provided at each campsite.

    Store Food to Protect Wildlife

    Bears are active day and night. When camping or picnicking, all food, trash, and any item with a scent must be stored in food-storage boxes.

  • People around a campfire

    Fire Restrictions

    Campfires may be prohibited when fire danger is extreme.

  • A distant hazy sky with particulate matter forms over Sierra mountains.

    Air Quality

    Ozone and other air pollutants are common here. Learn more-view our air-quality index forecast.

  • Fire fighters stand on a burning slope

    Current Fire Information

    A link to all current fires can be found here. You may also subscribe to our fire information mailing list.

  • Two men in backpacks on a rocky trail look out over a vista of rugged mountains and conifers.

    Wilderness Permit Reservations

    Make a wilderness permit reservation through Recreation.gov.

Last updated: December 1, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers , CA 93271

Phone:

559 565-3341

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