Meadow Grazing-Opening and Closing Updates

Two horses graze in a meadow

Meadow Opening and Closing Updates

Changes in opening dates or temporary meadow closures are made based on conditions in the field. Meadow opening dates may be delayed, open earlier than anticipated, or close temporarily for the season as conditions warrant (lack of forage, stock use impacts, etc.).

Opening Date Changes
Area Previous Opening Date Current Opening Date
Big Pete Meadow (39-2) 7/1 7/7
Castle Domes Meadow (58-1) 7/1 6/21
Hockett Meadow (90-5.1) 6/10 6/29

Closing Date Changes
Area Date Closed
Upper Crabtree (83-4) 8/8
Baxter Creek Drift Fence Meadow (58-3) 8/13
Big Pete (39-2) 8/24
Darwin Pocket Meadow (33-4.2) 8/28
Palisade Lakes (45-1) 8/31
Tyndall Creek (80-3) 9/10

Temporary Meadow Grazing Closures - At this time, there are no temporary meadow grazing closures in addition to those listed in the annual Special Wilderness Public Use Limits & Closures.

Grazing Advisory and Meadow Opening Date Bulletin: May 7, 2021

Each year, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks establish opening dates for grazing in their wilderness meadows. This allows the parks to protect biological and scenic resources from the impacts that can occur when pack stock graze meadows before soil has dried and plants have developed.

Meadows are most susceptible to pack stock impacts when ground moisture levels are high. Therefore, the parks rely on the amount of winter precipitation (measured in the form of mountain snowpack) as a guide when establishing opening dates. To determine snowpack, the parks and other cooperators of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program collect data along a series of snow courses and snow gage sensors.

The parks use the amount of moisture in the snowpack to categorize the year as one of the following:

  • Dry 50% or less of the average April 1 peak snowpack
  • Normal 51% to 150% of the average April 1 peak snowpack
  • Wet 151% or more of the average April 1 peak snowpack

The parks issue two bulletins based on the April 1 and May 1 snowpack measurements in order to allow commercial outfitters, recreational users, and park operations to plan trips in advance. The bulletins update current conditions and anticipated opening dates. They will be posted on this page as they are available in the Current Situation section below.

All bulletins are advisory only. The actual opening dates of specific meadows will be determined in the field.


If you are planning a trip on or near the opening date for a particular area it is your responsibility to contact our Wilderness Office at 559-565-3766 or seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov for the latest update on conditions. More information on planning a wilderness trip using stock can be found on our Wilderness Stock Use webpage.

Current Situation

Snowpack measurements in the parks as of May 7 show that there is approximately 16% of the average peak snowpack in the San Joaquin and Kings River Drainages, 4% in the Kaweah River Drainage, and 3% in the Kern River Drainage. Snowpack data are available through the California Department of Water Resources.

At this time, the parks are anticipating that opening dates in 2021 will be categorized as a dry year in all drainages. For current park condition information, including COVID-19 safety guidance, please visit our Current Conditions page.

Tentative 2021 Opening Dates

The table below shows anticipated meadow opening dates in 2021 in all drainages. The list is arranged by drainage and travel zone. These dates are only guidelines. Depending on actual conditions, changes in opening dates may be made as the season progresses. If you are planning a trip, it is your responsibility to contact the parks' Wilderness Office for latest condition updates. The office can be reached at seki_wilderness_office@nps.gov or at 559- 565-3766. Changes in opening dates are also posted at www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/stockuse.htm, along with other information important to planning a stock-supported wilderness trip. Check our overnight backpacking web pages for additional information about wilderness travel.

Note that the opening dates only restrict grazing, not access. We permit pack trips prior to opening dates as long as all feed is packed in and stock remain tied to either an existing hitch rail or a “high line” between two trees or rocks on a flat, hard, non-vegetated site away from the meadow, trail, water, and camp.

We appreciate your cooperation in managing stock use in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Together we can continue to protect the natural diversity and beauty of the Sierra wilderness.

River Drainage Travel Zone Forage Areas Name of Travel Zone Anticipated Meadow Opening Date
San Joaquin 28 all Goddard Canyon 7/1
San Joaquin 33 1 Evolution 6/15
San Joaquin 33 2-4 McClure, Colby and Darwin 7/7
San Joaquin 34 all Evolution Basin 7/15
Kings 38 all Blue Canyon 7/1
Kings 39 all LeConte* 7/1
Kings 42 all Dusy Creek 7/1
Kings 45 all Upper Palisade Creek 7/1
Kings 46 1, 3-6 Upper S.Fork Kings River/Above JMT Jxn. 7/15
Kings 46 2 Upper S.Fork Kings River/Below JMT Jxn. 7/1
Kings 51 all Simpson and Tehipite 7/1
Kings 52 all Kennedy Canyon 7/1
Kings 53 1-6, 8 Dougherty Creek 7/15
Kings 53 7 Shorty's Meadow 8/1
Kings 54 all Granite Basin 6/20
Kings 56 all Twin Lakes 7/1
Kings 57 all Woods Lake Basin 7/15
Kings 58 1 Castle Domes* 7/1
Kings 58 2-3 Woods Creek Crossing 7/7
Kings 63 all Charlotte Creek 7/1
Kings 65 all Upper Bubbs Creek 7/1
Kings 66 all Lower Bubbs Creek 6/15
Kings 67 all East Lake 7/1
Kings 68 all Sphinx Creek 6/15
Kings 69 all Roaring River 6/10
Kings 70 all Cloud Canyon 6/10
Kings 71 all Deadman Canyon 6/15
Kings 72 1-13.1 Sugarloaf 6/15
Kings 72 13.2-22 Ferguson 6/15
Kings 73 all Ball Dome Area 6/15
Kaweah 74 all Clover and Silliman Creeks 6/15
Kaweah 75 all Lone Pine Creek 7/1
Kaweah 77 1-4, 6-7 Bearpaw Meadow, Cliff Creek, Pinto Lake 6/15
Kaweah 77 5 Redwood Meadow 6/1
Kern 79 all Kern-Kaweah 7/1
Kern 80 all Tyndall Creek 6/20
Kern 81 1-2.2, 2.4 Wright and Wallace Creeks 6/20
Kern 81 2.3 Wallace Creek Waterfall 7/1
Kern 82 all Upper Kern Canyon (Junction Mdw to Hot Springs) 6/25
Kern 83 1-3, 7-8 Lower Crabtree 6/20
Kern 83 4, 6 Upper Crabtree 7/5
Kern 84 all Lower Rock Creek 6/20
Kern 85 3-4, 6-7, 10 Upper Rock Creek 7/1
Kern 85 8.1, 8.2 Rock Creek Lake and Stringer Meadows 7/5
Kern 86 all Lower Kern Canyon (Hot Springs to Kern Ranger Station) 6/1
Kern 87 all Chagoopa Plateau and Big Arroyo 6/20
Kern 88 1-2 Little Five Lakes 7/1
Kern 88 3-5 Big Five Lakes 7/15
Kern 89 1-4, 10-13 Lost, Soda, Lower Rattlesnake, Laurel, Crytes, Coyote 6/15
Kern 89 5-9 Upper Rattlesnake (>9,000 feet) 7/1
Kaweah 90 all Hockett* 6/10
Kaweah 91 all South Fork Kaweah River 3/1
Kaweah 96 all North Fork Kaweah River 3/1

*designates a change in opening dates, see table at the top of the web page.
 

Last updated: September 13, 2021

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47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers , CA 93271

Phone:

559 565-3341

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