Meadow Opening Dates

Two horses graze in a meadow

Each year, opening dates for grazing are established for the wilderness meadows of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Setting opening dates for the meadows allow the parks to protect biological and scenic resources from unacceptable impacts that may occur when the meadows are too wet.

As meadows are most susceptible to damage from stock when ground moisture levels are high, opening dates are established based on the amount of precipitation that the wilderness receives over the winter.

Recognizing that commercial outfitters, recreational users, and park operations need to be able to plan trips in advance, we issue bulletins two times during the spring season to keep all stock users informed.The bulletins update current conditions and anticipated opening dates. All bulletins are advisory only, the actual opening dates of specific meadows will be determined in the field. For final opening dates call the Wilderness Office prior to your trip at 559-565-3766.

Opening dates are anticipated based on snowpack in the wilderness.The snowpack is the best indicator we have of the amount of moisture the meadows received.The park has a series of snow courses that are measured periodically through the winter, with the late April snowpack measurements giving the latest and last estimate of conditions. We are providing this bulletin as tentative information based on late April/early May conditions.

Current Meadow Opening Dates

For tentative opening dates for grazing in wilderness meadows, check our 2019 June Grazing Advisory Bulletin. Also see updates to opening dates below.

Snowpack measurements in the parks show that there is approximately 159% of the average May 1
snowpack in the San Joaquin and Kings River drainages, 92% in the Kaweah River drainage, and 136% in
the Kern River drainage. Snowpack data is available at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/snow/.

The May Grazing Advisory anticipated wet year opening dates for meadows in the San Joaquin, Kings, and Kern River basins. We are issuing this special June Grazing Advisory to assign wet year anticipated opening dates to all meadows in the Kaweah River drainage as well due to exceptionally cool and wet weather over the past month that has resulted in a delay of the melting of the snowpack. Therefore, we anticipate that meadows throughout the parks are likely to open according to wet year opening dates or later in some areas..


According to the amount of moisture in the snowpack, we categorize the year as one of the following:

1) Dry (less than 50% of average snowpack)

2) Normal (51% to 150% of the average snowpack)

3) Wet (more than 150% of the average snowpack)

Opening dates in wet years are later than dry years.

If you are planning a trip on or near the opening date for a particular area it is your responsibility to contact the parks' Wilderness Office at 559-565-3766 for the latest update on conditions. Note that the opening dates only restrict grazing. Pack trips prior to the opening dates are permitted as long as all feed is packed in and stock remain tied up at all times. For a complete list of meadows, please see the Stock Users Guide.

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

 

Current Changes to Opening Dates

KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK

South Fork San Joaquin River
28-1 Piute Creek, delayed opening to 8/8
28-2 Aspen Meadow, delayed opening to 8/8
28-3 Cony Camp, delayed opening to 8/8
28-4 Franklin-Montgomery Meadow, delayed opening to 8/8
28-5 Pig Chute Meadow, delayed opening to 8/8
28-6 Hell-For-Sure Junction Area, delayed opening to 8/8
33-1 Evolution Meadows delayed opening to 8/25
33-2 McClure Meadows delayed opening to 9/10
33-3 Colby Meadows delayed opening to 9/10
33-4.1 Upper Colby Meadows delayed opening to 9/10
33-4.2 Darwin Meadows Pockets delayed opening to 9/10

Kings River Drainage
39-2 Big Pete, delayed opening to 9/21
39-3 Little Pete, delayed opening to 8/29
39-4 Ladder Camp hand grazing in upper section starting 8/1, free graze whole mdw 8/15
39-7 Stillwater Meadows, Lower Deer Meadow, open early to 8/1
39-6 Palisade Creek Jct, open early to 8/1
46-2 South Fork Kings River, delayed opening to 8/22
46-3 Bench Lake/JMT Jct, delayed opening to 8/30
46-4 Bench Lake Meadow is closed to grazing for the rest of the season, effective 9/16
46-5 Taboose Pass Area, Striped Meadow, delayed opening to 8/30
53-1 Horseshoe Meadow, delayed opening to 8/30
53-2 Horseshoe Lakes Turnoff, delayed opening to 8/30
53-3 State Lakes Area, delayed opening to 8/30
53-4.1 Dougherty Meadows, delayed opening to 8/30
53-4.2 Glacier Valley Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
53-5 Fallen Moon Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
53-6 Volcanic Trial Juction, delayed opening to 8/30
53-8 Granite Pass Meadows, delayed opening to 8/30
54-2 Granite Basin Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
56-2 Twin Lakes Area (Woods Cr), delayed opening to 8/15
56-3 White Fork camp/Ghost Forest, delayed opening to 8/29
57-1 Woods Lake Meadows: delayed opening to 8/29
58-1 Castle Dome Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
58-2 Woods Creek Crossing open on time, stock users should only hand graze from 8/1-8/8 to avoid erosion/stock impacts.
58-3 Baxter Creek Drift Fence Meadow, delayed opening to 9/8
63-1 Charlotte Creek, to be opened immediately
65-3 Upper Viddette Meadow, delayed opening to 9/26
65-4 Upper Bubbs Creek Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
66-3 Junction Meadow. For the lower meadow only, delayed opening to 7/27

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

Kern River Drainage
79-5 Gallats Lake Meadows: delayed opening to 8/15
79-6 Upper Kern Kaweah River Meadow: Open on time 8/1 but stock users must hand graze or use an electric fence to keep pack stock out of the upper wet portion of the meadow.
80-2 Tyndall Frog Ponds, delayed opening to 8/22
80.3 Tyndall Creek Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
80-4 Sheep Camp Mdws, delayed opening to 8/8
81-1 Wright Creek Drainage, delayed opening to 8/15. The area East of the JMT/PCT in the Wright Creek drainage between the two established stock camps is open to grazing on 8/3 with stock users required to keep their animals out of the closed portion west of the JMT/PCT.
81-2.1 Wallace Creek/JMT Junction Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
81-2.2 Wallace Creek Meadows, delayed opening to 8/15
91-2.3 Wallace Creek Water Fall Meadow, delayed opening to 9/15
81-2.4 Marshy Meadow, delayed opening to 8/1
82-1 Junction Meadow, delayed opening to 8/1
83-4 Upper Crabtree Meadow is closed to grazing for the rest of the season, effective 9/13
83-7 Lower Whitney Creek /Strawberry closed to grazing for the remainder of the 2019 season 8/16.
83-8 Sandy Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
84-1 Rock Creek Ranger Station Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
84-2 Lower Rock Creek Xing Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
84-6 Siberian Outpost Meadow, delayed opening to 8/8
85-4 Penned Up Meadow, is closed to grazing for the rest of the season, effective 9/16
85-6 Lower Soldier Lake Meadow, delayed opening to 8/29
85-7 New Army Pass Junction Meadow, delayed opening to 8/22
85-8.2 Rock Creek Lake Stringer Meadow, delayed opening to 8/29
85-10 Nathan's Meadow, is closed to grazing for the rest of the season, effective 9/23
86-1 Kern Bridge Camp, delayed opening to 8/22
86-2 Upper Funston Meadow, open to free grazing as of 7/23-no electric fence requirement
87-10 Sky Parlor Meadow, opening early on 8/1
88-1 Lower Little Five Lakes Meadow, delayed opening to 8/24
88-2 Upper Little Five Lakes Meadow, delayed opening to 8/24
88-3 Big Five Lakes Lower Meadow, delayed opening to 8/30
88-4 Big Five Lakes Upper Meadow, delayed opening to 8/30
88-5 Big Five Lakes Upper Stringer Meadow, delayed opening to 8/30
89-2 Upper Lost Canyon, delayed opening to 8/29
89-3 Lower Lost Canyon, open on time 8/1, stock users must use a temporary fence, hand grazing, or other means to keep stock out of 89-2 Upper Lost Canyon until it opens to grazing.
89-9 Middle Rattle Snake Canyon portion of the meadow up canyon of Hilton Camp open early from 8/1 to 7/25: stock users must use a temporary fence, hand grazing, or other means to keep stock off the lower meadow until 8/1.
89-10 Cow Camp, delayed opening to 8/8

Kaweah River Drainage
70-5 Big Wet Meadow , delayed opening 9/6
71-3.1 Lower Ranger Mdw, delayed opening 9/6
71-3.2 MIddle Ranger Mdw, delayed to 9/6
73-4 Lost Lake, delayed opening to 8/11
74-1 Twin Lakes (Clover Creek), delayed opening to 8/11
74-2 Pattee Meadow delayed opening to 8/11
74-3 Clover Creek, delayed opening to 8/11
74-4 Cahoon Meadow delayed opening to 9/8
77-5 Redwood Meadow, delayed opening to 8/8
77-7 Pinto Lake Meadow, delayed opening to 8/15
90-1 Horse Creek, delayed opening to 8/1
90-2 Ansel Lake, delayed opening to 8/1
90-3 Evelyn Lake, delayed opening to 8/1
90-4 Cow Camp (Hockett Plateau), delayed opening to 8/1
90-5.1 Hockett Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10, hand grazing okay starting on 8/5
90-5.2 Hockett Pasture, delayed opening to 8/10
90-6 Sand Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10, hand grazing okay starting on 8/5
90-8 Tuohy Creek Jnct with South Fork Kaweah, delayed opening to 8/1
90-9 Lower South Fork Meadow, delayed opening to 8/1
90-10 South Fork Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10
90-11 South Fork Pasture, delayed opening to 8/10
90-12 Blossom Lake Meadows, delayed opening to 8/1
90-13 Slim's Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10
90-14 Green Meadow/Cabin Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10
90-15 Tuohy Meadows , delayed opening to 8/1
90-16 Summit Meadow, delayed opening to 8/1
90-17 Cyclone Meadow, delayed opening to 8/10
90-19 Quinn Meadow, delayed opening to 8/1

Last updated: September 24, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Phone:

(559) 565-3341

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