"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold." -Aristotle
Designated Snowplay Areas
There are three designated snowplay areas, one in Sequoia National Park and two in Kings Canyon National Park. For your safety and the safety of others, please use these areas for sledding and tubing. Sledding, tubing, skiing, snowboarding is prohibited in residential areas, the Grant Tree Trail area, the Sherman Tree Road, and other areas as signed. You may ski and snowshoe on park trails—check with a local visitor center for condition information or to obtain a map.
The Wolverton Snowplay Area is located at the end of the Wolverton Road at an elevation of 7,250 feet (2,160 meters). It is located two miles (3.2 km) north of the General Sherman Tree. After storms, it may take hours to open this road as plows must clear the main road first. When the Wuksachi Lodge is open, cross-country skis and snowshoes are typically available for rent and snowplay gear is for sale.
Snowplay areas near here are found at approximately 6,600 feet (2,000 meters) in elevation. Columbine Snowplay Area is located on the road to the General Grant Tree Trail. Big Stump Snowplay Area is located near the Big Stump Entrance Station, along Highway 180. Typically, cross-country skis and snowshoes are available for rent and snowplay gear is for sale at the Grant Grove Market.
Every winter, people get hurt badly while sledding in the park. Sledding accidents send over 20,000 people to emergency rooms each year in this country. The most common reason people get hurt is they sled when conditions are bad (icy snow, rock or tree hazards exposed, poor visibility), so if the snow isn't great or you can't see, don't sled!
In an emergency, contact a ranger or call 911. There is a public telephone at Wolverton Snowplay Area. The closest telephone to Columbine and Big Stump snowplay areas is at Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village.
U.S. Forest Service Snowplay Areas
Quail Flat and Cherry Gap trailheads are designated national forest snowplay areas.
Hypothermia is a dangerous condition that can occur year-round. To avoid it, stay dry and snack often. If others don't respond to the need for warmer clothes or are stumbling, forgetful, or extremely tired and drowsy, get warm and sugary drinks into them immediately. Get them into dry clothing, sleeping bags, and shelter. Keep an eye on children who are wet or cold from snowplay.
Tire chains may be required on park roads at any time during winter.
Last updated: March 31, 2021