While recent storms brought snow to the parks, most park roads are now bare and dry. A few exceptions include heavily-shaded stretches of road near Lodgepole and Wolverton. For up-to-date road information, call (559) 565-3341 for up-to-date. We also recommend that you check the local weather forecast before you arrive.
Tire chains may be required at any time. When chain control is in effect, all vehicles must carry tire chains, including four-wheel and all-wheel drive vehicles. While driving, watch out for snow plows trying to improve roads and parking lots, and do not walk on closed roads. Parking lots and sidewalks will be icy at times so traction devices for shoes are recommended.
Snowplay Areas: Currently, conditions at snowplay areas are very icy and dangerous in places. In some locations, rocks, downed tree branches, or other hazards are sticking up through the snow. Please use extreme caution while playing in these areas, as snow-related injuries occur every year. Have fun, but stay safe!
Frontcountry Trails: Commonly traveled winter trails include the Grant Tree Trail, Sherman Tree Trail, and Big Trees Trail. These trails received fresh snow recently but currently, conditions are generally icy. For these trails, we recommend visitors hike in sturdy boots. If possible, bring with traction devices (snow cleats) and/or trekking poles to improve stability. The Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road area is popular in winter, but the Moro Rock stairs are usually inaccessible and unsafe due to snow and ice during this time of year. A great alternative to Moro Rock is the highly accessible Beetle Rock overlook. Known for its sunsets, Beetle Rock is just a short walk from the Giant Forest Museum parking area.
Looking for a hike not covered in snow? Consider short hikes in the Foothills area, such as the Paradise Creek Trail or the trail at Hospital Rock leading to the beautiful Kaweah River. While occasionally wet from winter rain, these trails remain snow-free, year-round.
Backcountry Trails and Recreation: Hiking or backpacking? Be prepared for extreme changes in temperatures throughout the day and night and changing trail conditions. Visitors should also use caution when recreating near or crossing rivers. While water levels are generally lower, rocks are extremely slippery and lead to fall-related injuries. If you're unsure if a river is safe to cross, turn back.
Check our Calendar of Events for a list of current ranger programs and guided snowshoe walks. Additional programs are listed at visitor centers.
No gas is available in the parks. Please fill up before you enter the park.
Camping: Potwisha and Azalea campgrounds are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Azalea Campground is currently covered in snow.
The following roads are closed for the season:
Mineral King Road, Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road, Panoramic Point Road, Highway 180 to Cedar Grove, and USFS Big Meadows Road (and other USFS roads as conditions change).