These parks are beautiful in winter, but you must be prepared for snowy or icy mountain roads and cold temperatures. Tire chains can be required on any park road at any time from fall through spring, so we strongly recommend that you carry them just in case.
Weather and road conditions can change rapidly, often multiple times per day. Get up-to-date information before heading to the parks, but remember that conditions and chain requirements may change by the time you arrive:
Tire Chains & Cables
Chain control is in effect here when roads are snowy and slippery, which may be any time, usually November through March. State law requires ALL vehicles (including 4-wheel/all-wheel drive) to carry tire chains or cables when entering chain-control areas (CA Vehicle Code, Section 605, Sections 27450-27503).
Chain Control Designations
Putting on Chains
Watch our short Snow Chains and Cables video for information about when to use them. Signs along the road will indicate where you need to put them on when they are required; pull all the way off the road. Put them on the front tires of front-wheel-drive vehicles, and on the back tires of rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
Tire Chain Rental & Purchase near Park Entrances
Sequoia park entrance / Highway 198 / Three Rivers
Kings Canyon park entrance / Highway 180
Winter Driving Tips
Driving safely and lawfully is the first step in enjoying your winter activities in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks!
Visit the California Department of Transportation's website for road conditions in other areas and more about winter driving.
Last updated: December 23, 2020