Current Conditions


A white line separates the top and bottom halves of the image. The bottom half shows a close-up image of pink-purple flowers with a bee sitting on one flower. The top half of image shows a large giant sequoia trunk partially covered with snow
Spring has begun in the Sierra Nevada foothills, but it is still winter in the sequoia groves.

NPS Photo / S. Boerke (bottom), K. Wrench (top)

Spring in the Foothills, Winter in the Giant Sequoia Groves

While trees and shrubs are budding and flowers are beginning to bloom in the foothills, winter still reigns in the sequoia groves. A series of winter storms passed through the parks last weekend and brought fresh snow. Spring is a lovely time to hike in the foothills, but be on the lookout for poison oak and ticks. Long pants and sunscreen are recommended.

Planning to visit the giant sequoias? Expect cooler temperatures and fresh snow during storms in Grant Grove and Giant Forest.

If you're planning to visit the sequoias, bring warm clothing for cool temperatures -- long pants, a jacket or two, a hat, and gloves -- and traction devices for traveling on the trails, such as snowshoes, microspikes for your footwear, or cross-country skis. Temperatures in sequoia groves can be below freezing in the mornings and evenings and on cloudy days. When rain is forecast for the foothills, there may be fresh snow or very cold rain falling in the sequoia groves. Due to hazardous driving conditions, consider delaying your visit until after storms have ended.

Be Prepared for Tire Chain Restrictions During and Immediately After a Storm

Tire chain restrictions can be in effect on some park roads in the sequoia groves during and after storms due to either snow or ice on roads. Be prepared for snowy conditions: bring chains, cables, or other snow traction attachment for your vehicle. When chain restrictions are in effect, all vehicles are required to carry chains or other snow traction attachment.

Expect some construction delays on Generals Highway. See the Road Conditions link below.


Area-Specific Conditions and Road Information

See the Road Conditions page for conditions on all park roads.

Check the Road Construction page for a summary of road construction in 2024.

See the road information page for general information about park roads.



  • Expect parking at the Giant Forest Museum and General Sherman Tree to fill early on weekends and holidays.

Free Giant Forest Shuttle During Summer 2024

  • The free shuttle operates within the Giant Forest. Dates in 2024 are still being determined, but service usually begins Memorial Day weekend.
  • Visit the shuttle webpage for more information about shuttle routes and stops.


  • Trails within the Giant Forest and Lodgepole areas are open but are snow covered. Only some trails have any winter markings; be prepared with traction devices for your footwear.
  • Pick up a winter trail map (proceeds from trail maps go directly to the Sequoia Park Conservancy) at any visitor center.


  • All campgrounds are closed for the winter season.
  • Lodgepole Campground: reservations must be made in advance through Sites will be open for reservations starting January 24, 2024. Lodgepole Campground is the most popular campground in the parks and site availability may be extremely limited, especially on weekends and holidays.
  • Dorst Creek Campground is closed for the season.

Lodging and Meals

Wuksachi Lodge and Restaurant offers overnight lodging and food service. See for more information.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led programs are available. Visit the Giant Forest Museum or Lodgepole Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.


  • Check weather forecasts. Temperatures in the sequoia groves and the mountains are much cooler than in the valleys. Be prepared for below freezing temperatures. Bring extra warm layers of clothing, particularly for mornings and evenings.


  • Trails within the Grant Grove area are open but are snow covered. Only some trails have any route markings for winter travel; be prepared with traction devices for your footwear. Check at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for the most up-to-date trail conditions.
  • Trails in the Redwood Canyon area are closed following damage from the 2021 KNP Complex Fire and will not reopen until conditions are safe.



  • Azalea Campground is the only open campground and has 20 first-come, first-served sites available through the winter. Campsites are not cleared of snow. Be prepared for winter camping. Payment is made through Download the app prior to arriving. Once the app is installed, payment can be made even when a device is offline.
  • During the spring. summer, and fall, most campgrounds fill well in advance of weekends and holidays. Reservation windows vary between campgrounds, see each individual campground page or for more information.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led programs are available. Visit the Kings Canyon Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.

Highway 180, the only road into the Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park, is closed and will not open until summer 2024.

Due to severe road damage along the Highway 180 corridor between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove, Caltrans does not expect repairs to be completed until the summer of 2024.

Stay safe in the foothills

View the rivers from a distance. The water is very cold and swift. The soil near and along the rivers can be unstable. It can collapse unexpectedly under the weight of people, including children, and result in falls into the river.

Hospital Rock Pictographs

By working with local Native Americans, we’ve learned the pictographs at Hospital Rock are sacred to their communities. They are as important as any place of worship. Do not touch or mark on the pictographs or rocks here. If you see someone vandalizing this area, please let a park ranger know right away.


Check our Foothills Trails page for ideas to help you plan your trip. Also check the map of closures at the bottom of this page.

South Fork Road closure and damaged trails in the South Fork drainage.

  • The portion of South Fork Road within the park boundary that provides access to the trailheads for Ladybug Trail and Garfield Grove Trail suffered severe damage from flooding and landslides during 2022-2023 winter storms. The road is impassable to vehicles. Anyone wanting to travel on these trails should be self-reliant, as road damage makes any rescue effort challenging and subject to delays.


  • Potwisha Campground is open.  Reservations are required. Visit to reserve your campsite.

Campground Closures

  • Buckeye Flat Campground is closed until further notice due to damage from repeated winter storms in early 2023.
  • South Fork Campground is currently inaccessible and closed due to damage from flooding and landslides from winter storms.  Damage to the campground and the access road are being assessed. At this time, it is unknown when the campground will re-open.

Free Ranger Programs

Ranger-led walks and talks are available. Visit the Foothills Visitor Center for more information. For the schedule of ranger talks and programs, see our events calendar. *Ranger programs are posted online about one week in advance.

Fire Restrictions in Summer

By mid-summer in most years fire restrictions are issued for the Foothills. See our fire restrictions page for details. If restrictions are in effect and you're planning to leave the foothills and head into the mountains to see sequoias, food and meals are available at the Wuksachi Lodge.

Current Fire Restrictions: None

  • See the Fire Restrictions page for details about the restrictions that can be in place during the summer and fall.


Map of Current Closures at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Click on a line or point for the name of the closed location.

Road and trail closures are shown in red. Individual point closures are shown with black pins. Area closures are shown in yellow.
Closures can change at any time and may differ from what is shown on this map.

  • A snowy path to the General Sherman Tree. Photo by Kirke Wrench.
    Winter Activities

    Plan your winter visit to the mountains!

  • 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.

  • The Sequoia National Park entrance station
    Avoiding Traffic Congestion

    Weekends and holidays are busy! Learn how to minimize your wait at park entrance stations.

  • A person pushing another person in a wheelchair pauses a moment on a snowy trail.

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

  • 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.

  • Western Pacific Rattlesnake curled in pine needles at base of charred tree.
    General Safety

    Whether you trek into wilderness or stay close to your car, review tips on staying safe in these parks.

  • A river flows through a steep rocky canyon. Photo by Naoko Otani.

    The rivers in these parks are powerful and cold, and drowning is our most frequent cause of death. Learn more about river safety.

  • 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.

  • A moonrise over reddish peaks

    Learn more about backpacking in these parks. Wilderness awaits!


Last updated: April 18, 2024

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Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


559 565-3341

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