Winter Drives and Viewpoints

A man taking a photograph of a snow covered hillside from a roadside viewpoint.
The General's Highway offers great views of the park in winter.

Kirk Wrenche

 

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 in nearby towns. Check the alerts and conditions page for the latest road conditions.

 

Generals Highway from the Foothills Entrance to Lodgepole
Chains are often required here in winter. 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.

Historic Entrance Sign
Just a mile past the Foothills Entrance Station, you will find the historic Sequoia National Park Sign installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1935.

The Kaweah River to Hospital Rock
Pullouts along this stretch of road offer views up and down the Kaweah Canyon as the highway winds up alongside the rapidly descending river.

Hospital Rock
Located across from Potwisha Campground, this historic site hosted a Native American Village. Today grinding mortars and pictographs can be found in this vicinity. Allow for an extra 30 minutes to explore this location.

Amphitheater Point

This notable hairpin turn offers a pullout with waysides and an excellent side view of Moro Rock.

Eleven Range

At this pullout you can find another wayside and a spectacular vista overlooking the Kaweah Canyon toward the San Joaquin Valley.

Beetle Rock

As you arrive in the Giant Forest a short hike from the Giant Forest Museum takes you to Beetle Rock, a granitic dike offering great views of the valley. Allow an addtional 20 minutes.

Marble Fork Canyon

The Generals Highway from Giant Forest to Lodgepole offers dramatic views of the Marble Fork Canyon through the trees.

The Watchtower

Follow the road to Lodgepole Campground (Closed in Winter) for dramatic views of the The Watchtower rising out of Tokopah Valley.

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.

 

Generals Highway from Lodgepole to Grant Grove (The Road Between The Parks)
This road 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.

Lodgepole to Grant Grove

Along this strectch 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.

Buena Vista Peak

If there is little or no snow, a 1-mile trail leads to great views of Redwood Canyon, Buck Rock Lookout, and the High Sierra. (Allow an extra 2-3 hours)

Big Meadows Road

This Forest Service road serves as a cross-country ski trail in the winter, giving access to many miles of peaceful sub-alpine country.

Kings Canyon Overlook

This pull out offers waysides and impressive winter views of the Kings Canyon and High Sierra wilderness.

Redwood Mountain Overlook

Excellent view overlooking the world's largest sequoia grove.

Redwood Mountain Grove

If you are properly equipped and adventurous, consider snowshoeing or cross-country skiing into the world's largest grove of giant sequoias. Enjoy the snowy silence among these slumbering giants. Allow several hours, depending on how far you want to stroll under the big trees.

 

Hwy 180 Grant Grove to Hume Lake
This road may close at any time to allow for snow removal. Allow 1 hour, one way, in addition to time spent at view points.

Panoramic Point Road
Spectacular vista of the High Sierra. If conditions permit and this road is open, go east through the new Kings Canyon Visitor Center parking lot, left around the meadow, then right at the intersection signed "Panoramic Point." From the parking area, it is .25 miles up to the viewpoint.

Mcgee Overlook
This Forest Service overlook offers wonderful views East to the San Joaquin Valley.

Hume Lake
At the end of this road, you willll find a beautiful lake with nice beaches formed by a rare and historic multiple-arch dam. If you're up to it, consider walking the easy 2.5 mile trail around the lake. Allow an extra 1.5 hours to walk around the lake.

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Phone:

(559) 565-3341
Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. Park staff answers calls on weekdays from 8:15 am - 4:15 pm.

Contact Us