Winter is a great time to visit the park, but the weather is often unpredictable. Snow can fall suddenly at any time of year on park roads in higher elevations, accumulate rapidly, and linger for days or weeks. Be prepared with warm clothing, a sleeping bag, water, and emergency food in case you need to wait for the road to be plowed.
If you're planning a trip in snowy weather, be prepared for winter road conditions. Tire chains are often required in these parks, and chain advisories can be in effect for days after a storm. You may need to bring chains for your vehicle, even if you have four-wheel or all-wheel drive. Chains are also available for rent or purchase in nearby towns. Check the alerts and conditions page for the latest road conditions.
Driving from Sequoia's Ash Mountain Entrance to Lodgepole
This route is spectacular but can be unnerving in winter if you're not used to driving in snow. Chains are often required, sometimes even in fall or early summer. The upper part of this drive may close for snow removal at any time. Allow 1.5 hours one-way, plus your time to stop at viewpoints. Features along the way include:
Historic Entrance Sign
The Giant Forest
The Generals Sherman Tree
If you'd like to spend time outdoors, the base of Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow are accessible only by snowshoe or cross-country ski. Allow several hours to a day if you choose to venture all the way to Crescent Meadow.
Driving from Lodgepole to Grant Grove
Along this stretch you'll catch snow-filled meadows and peaceful mountain vistas through the trees. On clear days, you can even see all the way to the San Joaquin Valley 6-7,000 feet below. This road between Sequoia and Kings Canyon may close at any time—sometimes for an extended period—to allow for snow removal. Allow 1.5-2 hours one-way plus additional time for side trips and time out of the car.
Driving from Grant Grove to Hume Lake
In winter, take Highway 180 heading north from Grant Grove to get to Hume Lake. The junction with HumeLake Road is six miles from Grant Grove Village. Highway 180 is gated just beyond the junction in winter. These roads may close at any time to allow for snow removal.
Driving from Fresno to the Big Stump Entrance Station and Grant Grove
This route is the easiest at any time of year, and especially in winter. Unlike the road curvy road beyond Sequoia's Ash Mountain entrance, the road leading to Kings Canyon National Park is relatively straight. As you enter the park, you'll also enter the Big Stump sequoia grove. Snowplay is available at Big Stump Picnic Area and Columbine Picnic Area.
Last updated: August 17, 2017