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 will be posted here as information becomes available.

Temporary Stock Use and Grazing Restrictions have been put in place for 2024. These restrictions have been established by the Superintendent for resource protection under the authority in 36 CFR 1.5 and 2.16. Unless otherwise restricted, stock parties may camp in areas that are temporarily closed to grazing but are required to either hold and feed their animals or graze them in other sites in the area that are open to grazing.

Grazing Advisory and Meadow Opening Date Bulletin: May 3, 2024

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 the soil can support the weight of stock or before plants are developed enough to tolerate defoliation and reproduce.

Meadows are most susceptible to stock impacts when soil moisture levels are high. Thus, the parks primarily use the amount of winter precipitation (measured in the form of mountain snowpack) as a guide when establishing opening dates. Opening dates in wet years are later than those in drier years. To determine the amount of 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 throughout winter and spring.

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

  1. Dry 50% or less of the average April 1 snowpack
  2. Normal 51% to 150% of the average April 1 snowpack
  3. Wet 151% or more of the average April 1 snowpack

The parks issue two bulletins primarily based on the April 1 and May 1 snowpack measurements in order to allow stock operators to plan trips in advance. All bulletins are advisory only. The actual opening dates of specific meadows will be determined in the field. For final opening dates, contact the Wilderness Office prior to your trip. Contact information is below.

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 e-mail us 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 show that there is approximately 71% of the average April 1 snowpack in the San Joaquin and Kings River drainages, 51% in the Kaweah River drainage, and 63% in the Kern River drainage. Snowpack data is available at At this time, the parks anticipate that 2024 will be categorized as a normal year for setting opening dates throughout the parks.

Some areas of the parks are currently closed to vehicles due to road damage. For current park condition information please visit

Tentative 2024 Opening Dates

The following list shows the tentative normal year opening dates for 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. Changes to opening dates are also posted at, along with other information important to planning a stock-supported wilderness trip. Additional information about wilderness travel can be found at If you are planning a trip, it is your responsibility to contact the parks' Wilderness Office latest condition updates at e-mail us or at 559-565-3766.

Note that the opening dates only restrict grazing. The parks 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 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.

All dates listed below are subject to change at any time due to current conditions.

San Joaquin River Drainage

Travel Zone Forage Areas Named Areas Opening Date
28 all Goddard Canyon 7/15
33 1 Evolution 7/1
33 2-4 McClure, Colby and Darwin 8/1
34 all Evolution Basin 8/1

Kings River Drainage

Travel Zone Forage Areas Named Areas Opening Date
38 all Blue Canyon 7/15
39 all LeConte 7/15
42 all Dusy Creek 7/15
45 all Upper Palisade Creek 7/15
46 1, 3-6 Upper S. Fork Kings River/Above JMT Jct 8/1
46 2 Upper S. Fork Kings River/Below JMT Jct 7/15
51 all Simpson and Tehipite 7/15
52 all Kennedy Canyon 7/15
53 1-6, 8 Dougherty Creek 8/1
53 7 Shorty's Meadow 8/15
54 all Granite Basin 7/7
56 all Twin Lakes 7/15
57 all Woods Lake Basin 8/1
58 1 Castle Domes 7/15
58 2-3 Woods Creek Crossing, Baxter Creek Drift Fence 7/21
63 all Charlotte Creek 7/15
65 all Upper Bubbs Creek 7/15
66 all Lower Bubbs Creek 7/1
67 all East Lake 7/10
68 all Sphinx Creek 7/1
69 all Roaring River 6/25
70 all Cloud Canyon 7/1
71 all Deadman Canyon 7/1
72 1-13.1 Sugarloaf 7/1
72 13.2-22 Ferguson 7/1
73 all Ball Dome Area 7/1

Kern River Drainage

Travel Zone Forage Areas Named Areas Opening Date
79 all Kern-Kaweah 7/15
80 all Tyndall Creek 7/1
81 1-2.2,2.4 Wright and Wallace Creeks 7/1
81 2.3 Wallace Creek Waterfall 7/15
82 all Upper Kern Canyon (Junction Mdw to Hot Springs) 7/5
83 6-8 Lower Whitney, Sandy, Crabtree Lakes Meadows 7/1
83 4 Upper Crabtree Meadow 7/15
84 all Lower Rock Creek 7/1
85 3-4, 6-8, 10 Upper Rock Creek 7/15
86 all Lower Kern Canyon (Hot Springs to Kern Ranger Station) 6/15
87 all Chagoopa Plateau and Big Arroyo 7/10
88 1-2 Little Five Lakes 7/15
88 3-5 Big Five Lakes 7/25
89 1-4, 10-13 Lost, Soda, Lower Rattlesnake, Laurel, Crytes, Coyote 7/1
89 5-9 Upper Rattlesnake (>9,000 feet, above Cow Camp) 7/15

Kaweah River Drainage

Travel Zone Forage Areas Named Areas Opening Date
74 all Clover and Silliman Creeks 7/1
75 all Lone Pine Creek 7/15
77 1-4, 6-7 Bearpaw Meadow, Cliff Creek, Pinto Lake 7/1
77 5 Redwood Meadow 6/15
90 all Hockett 6/20
91 all South Fork Kaweah River 4/1
96 all North Fork Kaweah River 4/1

These tables only list tentative opening dates. Always check for area-specific regulations related to stock use.

Find details about these regulations by contacting the Wilderness Office at 559-565-3766 or via email at e-mail us, requesting a copy of the annual Stock User's Guide, or visiting and


Last updated: May 13, 2024

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47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


559 565-3341

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