Fall is in the air, temperatures are a bit cooler, and leaves on some trees and shrubs are changing colors. In the Foothills, falling acorns are attracting wildlife that gather food for winter. To protect wildlife and avoid vehicle damage, slow down on park roads. Ticks, rattlesnakes, and poison oak may still be encountered at low elevations on hiking trails. Visit our Safety web page for other safety considerations in our parks.
Hiking or backpacking? Be prepared for extreme changes in temperatures throughout the day and night. 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.
Smoke associated with the Kincade Fire in Sonoma County, as well as dust from high winds, is affecting visibility in the parks. For more information on air quality in these parks, visit our Air Quality Information page. Daily air quality forecasts can be found on AIRNow.gov.
Some facilities have reduced hours or are closed for the season.
The Cedar Grove Visitor Center is now closed, while other visitor centers have transitioned to fall hours.
One section of road remains under construction. The Mineral King Road is closed for the season. The road to Cedar Grove will close Tuesday, November 12 at noon.
Buckeye Flat Campground is closed for the season. Sentinel Campground closes Tuesday, November 12 at noon. Lodgepole Camground is operating at limited capacity and only has 15 sites available for camping, and the overflow parking lot will be available for RV overnight usage. For more specific info, visit our Camping page.
The Zumwalt Meadow Trail loop in Cedar Grove is partially closed due to damage from flooding.
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in effect, due to the increased risk of fire. While restrictions are in effect, wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in Hospital Rock and Ash Mountain Picnic Areas, South Fork Campground, and in wilderness areas below 6,000 feet. Smoking is prohibited below 6,000 feet except in enclosed vehicles, permitted campgrounds, and designated smoking areas.
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.