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Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks offer update Trip planning resources

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, CALIFORNIA Are you planning a future trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks? If so, you will want to check recent updates to the “Plan Your Visit” section (link top left on webpage) of the parks’ website at

  • Pay Close Attention to Weather Before Your Visit. Limited snow exists above 8,000 feet at this time. There is some snow at higher elevations. Check weather/roads info before arrival. Temperatures at 5,000-7,000 feet in elevation, where the giant sequoias grow, may be 20-30 degrees F. less than in the Central Valley, so dress accordingly.


  • Fee Free Days: Enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and other national parks free-of-charge on the following dates:
  • August 25 – National Park Service’s 98th Birthday
  • September 26 – National Public Lands Day, 125th Anniversary of Sequoia National Park
  • November 11 – Veterans Day
  • December 13 – Celebration of the Nation’s Christmas Tree (General Grant Tree; Sequoia and Kings Canyon only)
  • Campgrounds: Plan your camping trip now!
    Camping in  Sequoia / Kings Canyon. Photo courtesy of Sequoia National Park

    Camping in Sequoia / Kings Canyon. Photo courtesy of Sequoia National Park

    • Reservations may be available in three campgrounds in Sequoia National Park: Potwisha, Buckeye Flat, and Lodgepole campgrounds require reservations during the busy season. Dorst Creek Campground is no longer accepting new reservations for the 2015 season. To make a reservation up to 6 months in advance, visit or call 1-877-444-6777 from 10 a.m.- 12 midnight EST.
    • For a complete list of campground opening and closing dates: Visit the parks’ webpage
  • Roads/Parking Info:
    • In Sequoia National Park:
      • Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road is open.
      • The main (big) General Sherman Tree parking lot is open.
      • Mineral King Road is open through October 26, 2015, weather-permitting.
    • In Kings Canyon National Park:
      • Highway 180 to Cedar Grove is open through November 12, 2015, weather-permitting.
      • Panoramic Point Road is currently open.
      • Road Between the Parks: OPEN, weather-permitting.
  • Crystal Cave: The cave is open for the season May through November, weather-
    Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park

    Crystal Cave in Sequoia National Park

  • Sequoia Shuttle: The Sequoia Shuttle will operate seven days a week, both inside and from outside Sequoia National Park, from May 21 through September 7, 2015.
    • From Outside the Parks: A round-trip ride from outside the parks costs $15.00 and covers the park entrance fee. All shuttle buses are wheelchair-accessible. For details and reservations for this shuttle, from outside Sequoia National Park, visit or call
      1-877-BUS-HIKE. Once at the Giant Forest Museum, you can ride the free in-park shuttle, which operates during the same dates.
    • Inside the Parks: Ride the shuttle for free:
  • Big Trees Transit – New this Year! Starting on Saturday, May 23, 2015, a brand new shuttle will offer trips from the cities of Fresno and Sanger to Kings Canyon National Park (Grant Grove area). The internal shuttle will serve the Grant Grove Village, campgrounds, John Muir Lodge, the General Grant Tree, and Big Stump Picnic Area. Reservations are required — 1-800-325-RIDE (7433). More info:

About the author

Charlie REC magazine - Charlie Pankey ~ Publisher

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