"Deadman Canyon, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness, 8/4/2011" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Sequoia & Kings Canyon Guide
Late Winter 2023
Late Winter Visitor Guide to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (NP) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
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Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Trip Planner Late Winter 2023 Photo by NPS/Alison Taggart-Barone Roads in the parks may close at any time due to storms, snow, debris fows, or other conditions. Giant Sequoias, Wildfre, and You Giant sequoias are icons of resilience. They are well-adapted to survive thousands of years in a landscape visited by fre, drought, and beetle attacks, but human-caused climate change and past management practices are putting trees at risk from all three. Although these parks have one of the oldest prescribed burning programs in the national parks, after over a century of fre suppression across the landscape many groves have become choked with dead wood and small trees, creating dangerous fre conditions. Climate change is causing rising temperatures, earlier snowmelt, and drier conditions, leading to higher-severity fre and fre seasons that are substantially longer and more extreme than even 20 years ago. The 2020 Castle Fire and 2021 KNP Complex Fire burned so intensely that thousands of large sequoias were killed. In 2022 there were no major fres in the parks, but extreme drought conditions continue. Expect Delays Along the Generals Highway Most wildfre-killed sequoias die from high heat and crown-burning fames. However, some trees that survive fres have died a few years later while still standing. Researchers found branches riddled with tunnels made by tiny, native cedar bark beetles which had not previously been known to kill sequoias. Drought conditions and hotter temperatures over most of the past decade have meant there is less water for trees. Additionally, damage from severe fres may reduce water fow to the tree’s crown. In those conditions, beetle tunneling could turn from harmless to fatal for a weakened tree. Park managers fear that despite sequoias’ incredible toughness, without action, more of the magnifcent giants may die in alarming numbers. More prescribed fre and other approaches to reduce unnatural accumulations of fre fuel can help restore groves to healthier conditions, though further research may provide other helpful management tools. But perhaps the most powerful defenders of sequoias are those who come to the parks and learn, teach others, and take steps toward a world where today’s sequoias stand for hundreds or thousands of years more. Mature sequoias can usually survive low or medium severity fres, but modern high severity fres can be deadly. © Kirke Wrench After severe January storms, we've been working to restore access to the Giant Forest. One-lane access has been established on portions of the Generals Highway while we monitor the road. Please use extreme caution as you drive in areas where new road signs, barriers, and traffc lights have been installed. At the traffc light, expect delays of at least fve to ten minutes. Delays could increase depending on traffc. Two-lane traffc in this area is not expected until late spring or summer. General Information ........... 2 Wildlife Safety ........................5 Grant Grove ...........................8 Información en español ..... 10-11 Camping............................... 3 Foothills ..................................6 Wilderness Trips .....................9 Información de seguridad ...... 10 Safety ................................... 4 Giant Forest ...........................7 National Forest Lands ............9 Winter Roads & Driving .......... 12 2 General Information Contacts Frequently Asked Questions Accessibility Cell Service and WiFi Pets Cell service is extremely limited here, and can be available for some networks near entrance stations. WiFi connectivity is sparse in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Public WiFi is available at Foothills and Kings Canyon visitor centers. Pets are not permitted on any trails in Sequoia and Kings Canyon. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times, or appropriately crated or caged. Pets cannot be left tied and unattended at any time. The leash must be no longer than 6 feet (1.8 meters) long. These parks are committed to a continuing effort to improve the accessibility of our trails and facilities so they can be enjoyed by all. Questions or suggestions about accessibility can be emailed to SEKI_Information@nps.gov or call us at (559) 565-3341. EMERGENCY — DIAL 911 In an emergency, contact a ranger at any visitor center or museum, or call 911. Sequoia & Kings Canyon (NPS) (559) 565-3341 (24 hours): Recorded information is available for road conditions, weather, current fres, camping, lodging, wilderness, and more. Drones Uncrewed aircraft are not allowed in these parks. This includes drones and other remotely piloted vehicles. Marijuana Possession or use of marijuana and other controlled substances inside the national parks is prohibited. While California law provides for limited possession and use of marijuana, it remains an illegal drug under federal law, which is enforced within the parks. Firearms in these National Parks www.nps.gov/seki @sequoiakingsnps @sequoiakingsnps @sequoiakingsnps Sequoia National Forest/ Monument (USFS) (559) 338-2251, fs.usda.gov/sequoia Yosemite National Park (NPS) (209) 372-0200, nps.gov/yose California Road Conditions (CalTrans) (800) 427-7623, dot.ca.gov Campground Reservations Visit Recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 TDD: (877) 833-6777. Delaware North (Authorized Concessioner) Visit www.visitsequoia.com or call (866) 807-3598 for lodging reservations. People who can legally possess frearms under federal, California, and local laws may possess frearms here. You are responsible for understanding and complying with all applicable California, local, and federal frearms laws. Discharge of frearms in the parks is prohibited. Getting Directions to the Park GPS devices and online map services often misdirect travelers here. Use maps and signs, or ask for directions. If using GPS or online maps, don't use the "avoid toll roads" option. Translations Welcome—You may borrow a Braille copy of the park map & guide at visitor centers. Bienvenidos—Hay un folleto en español disponible en los centros de visitante. Bienvenue—Une guide offcielle est disponible dans les centres d’information. Wilkommen—Eine Landkarte ist auch in deutscher sprache im Besucher-zentrum erhaltlich. Benvenuti—La traduzione in lingua Italiana della mappa e’ disponibile in tutti i centri di informazioni. Free Mobile App Install the new free National Park Service app for more trip-planning information. Search for National Park Service in the iTunes or Google Play stores. Once downloaded, choose Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Be sure to download content for use offine during your visit. WiFi may not be available in the parks, so install the app before you get here. Accessibility Guide Ask at any visitor center for a printed accessibility guide. This booklet offers details about accessible park features by area and for different user groups. The information in the guide is also available online at www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm. Borrow a Braille version of the offcial park map at park visitor centers. Outdoor exhibits along the Grant Tree Trail have Braille text and tactile features. Kings Canyon Visitor Center and Hospital Rock Picnic Area have tactile interpretive exhibits. At Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove, assistive listening and audio description are available for the park flm. Ask at the information desk for a receiver. Visitor Centers All visitor centers and museums have paved, fat paths leading from parking areas to information desks, exhibits, bookstores, water bottle flling stations, and restrooms. Wheelchairs may be borrowed at no cost at Kings Canyon Visitor Center or Giant Forest Museum. They can be used anywhere in the parks but must be returned by the end of the day, before each visitor center closes. Be prepared to provide your address and phone number. Wheelchair-Accessible Trails Trails may be snowy or icy. Some trails are plowed but winter conditions may prevent trails from being wheelchair-accessible. People with mobility impairments may want to consider using traction devices if conditions are icy, and trekking poles may help with balance. General Sherman Tree Trail (Giant Forest) This short trail leads a few hundred feet from an accessible parking area to the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on earth. Big Trees Trail (Giant Forest) This level trail is a 0.75-mile (1.2 km) loop. It circles a meadow surrounded by giant sequoias. Hazelwood Nature Loop (Giant Forest) This frm-packed loop is 0.3 miles (0.5 km) and leads through a quiet area within the Giant Forest. 3 Camping Nightly Fee Toilets Dump Station Showers Potable Water Grant Grove $28 Flush – – Yes 20 snowy sites are first-come, first-served basis until spring, then make reservations at Recreation.gov. Potwisha Foothills $28 Flush Maybe – Yes Sites are usually snow-free and reservations are required. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve a campsite. South Fork Foothills Flooding and landslides caused by recent heavy rain events have to impacted South Forkis Road and Campground. The road this campground very rough, especially $6 Vault – – – This road and campground are extensively damaged and therain. campground is closed until further notice. after High-clearance vehicles are recommended. Campground Location Azalea Other information The following campgrounds are closed until spring or summer: Buckeye Flat, Lodgepole, Dorst Creek, Crystal Springs, Sunset, Canyon View, Sheep Creek, Sentinel, Moraine, Cold Springs, and Atwell Mill campgrounds. First-come, First-served for Winter This winter, camping is available on a first-come, first served basis at Azalea. Paying for only one night at a Check in and Check out Dump Station time due to weather, road conditions, or other causes The Potwisha dump station is under construction and will be closed for part of the winter. up to 24 hours after a heavy winter storm. Consider checking out prior to a major storm, or prepare for an extended campground stay due to impassable roads. Reservations John Muir Lodge Check in and check out is at noon. time is recommended. Campgrounds may close at any and refunds cannot be issued. Snow removal can take Azalea Campground 180 180 GRANT GROVE Wuksachi Lodge Campsite Amenities Each campsite has a table, food storage box, and accommodates up to six people and one vehicle. There are no RV hook-ups in the parks. Roadside Camping pass online at Recreation.gov, or call (877) 444-6777 (TDD: (877) 833-6777). Roadside camping is not permitted in the park. Camp only in designated sites in campgrounds. RV and Trailer Length Limits Quiet and Generator Hours Check length limits on park roads and at campsites if Noise should be audible in your site only. Quiet hours are 10 pm–6 am (no generators). Potwisha Campground G Make camping reservations or purchase an entrance LODGEPOLE driving an RV or trailer. to South Fork Campground e en GIANT FOREST y wa gh Hi ls ra FOOTHILLS 198 180 High-clearance vehicles recommended Activities and Programs All ranger activities are free of charge. Sequoia Parks Conservancy SPC Adventures Ranger-led Walks & Talks Sequoia Parks Conservancy (SPC) is the official nonprofit partner of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. SPC works hand-in-hand with the National Park Service to provide tours and retail services. SPC funds critical projects that help protect and preserve the treasures of our great parks for future generations. Stop into any park store or visit us online to learn more about what we do. SPC Adventures can help you have a fun and memorable journey in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Join private group tours and connect with the biggest trees, the darkest skies, and the wildest wilderness. Everything is here waiting. The only thing missing is you. Free programs may be offered in the Foothills, Giant Forest, and Grant Grove. Check bulletin boards for schedules of ranger-led activities. Junior Ranger Program Pick up a free booklet at any visitor center, complete the activities, and earn your badge. Interested in Volunteering? Log in to volunteer.gov and enter keywords “Sequoia and Kings Canyon” to see available opportunities, or call the volunteer office at (559) 565-4232. Volunteers are needed for invasive plant control, special events, and routine clerical and maintenance tasks. Individuals and groups are welcome For more information, call (559) 565-4251, or visit www.sequoiaparksconservancy.org/adventures. @SequoiaParksConservancy @SeqParksCon Shop our online store! 4 Be Safe You Are Responsible for Your Safety Explore Safely Beautiful, yet remote and rugged, these parks present hazards. Mountain weather changes quickly, trees fall without warning, and wild animals pose dangers. People create other hazards by driving poorly, leaving campfres burning, and making bad decisions. Cell phones can’t be relied on and GPS directions may send you in the wrong direction. Every day, we help visitors who have emergencies. • Avoid traveling alone. Tell someone your plans and expected return time. • Take a map, water, fashlight, and extra layers of clothes. Do not rely on your map or fashlight. Please help us by being prepared—review these safety warnings. Your safety is in your own hands! • Be alert for potential hazards above, around, and on the ground. River Safety While swimming in the parks' lakes and rivers can be tempting, drowning is the primary cause of death here. Rivers present great danger due to their swift currents and slippery rocks. In river-related deaths, many people did not intend to swim, but fell in. Currents are strong even during low water. Drop-offs and undertows are ever-present. Be vigilant. Once in a river, getting out can be nearly impossible. Cold water rapidly saps your strength and hypothermia can set in quickly even if it is warm outside. • Do not swim in areas with strong currents, or steep drop-offs. • DO NOT leave children unattended. • Swimming and alcohol or drugs do not mix. Swim sober. • Wear sturdy shoes. Sharp objects in the water can cut bare feet. • During storms, get out of the water and exit beach areas. • NEVER SWIM ALONE. Tree Hazards Branches and trees may fall, whether dead or alive, and when there is no wind. Keep eyes and ears open. Run if you hear cracks or snapping from roots, trunks, or branches (sometimes there is no sound). Don't linger under dead, cracked, broken, or hanging branches. Avoid spending any time under trees that are rotten at the base or have cracked bark that is peeling off the trunk. Hypothermia Hypothermia can occur year-round. Stay dry and snack often. Symptoms include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, memory loss, slurred speech, and fumbling hands. If symptoms appear, drink warm sugary drinks and get into dry clothes, sleeping bags, and shelter. Snow Play Safety In an emergency, contact a ranger at Kings Canyon Visitor Center or Giant Forest Museum, or call 911. When sledding: • Slide feet frst. • Consider wearing a helmet. • Make sure the path is clear — don’t slide near rocks, trees, branches, or people. • After sliding, look uphill. Move out of the way of people coming downhill next. • Avoid hard-packed snow or ice, where speed and direction get out of control. Poison Oak This shrub grows up to 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in elevation, and can cause an itchy rash if touched. Poison oak has leaves in groups of three. In fall, leaves are red and berries whitish, it is bare in winter, and has shiny green leaves in spring. If you touch any part of it, wash skin and clothes with soap and warm water right away. Changing Weather Prior to driving to the parks check the weather forecast for current conditions. Weather changes quickly and unexpectedly. Know when it is time to call it quits and head back to the trailhead. If it starts to get cloudy, consider returning to the trailhead earlier than intended. Roads can close at any time due to winter storms. Winter Driving Winter driving on roads within the parks can be a pleasant adventure or it can be frustrating, tiring, and sometimes even hazardous. Follow these tips to have a safe visit: • Slow down! • Always carry tire chains in fall, winter, and spring. • Beware of poor visibility and reduced traction. • Allow extra distance between vehicles. • Use low gears, especially when driving downhill • Watch out for snow plows. Keep Pets Safe To keep pets and wildlife safe, pets are not allowed on any trails. Pets are vulnerable to tick and snake bites. Bears and deer have also been known to charge or attack dogs. Leashed pets are allowed in campgrounds, parking lots, paved roads, and picnic areas. Pick up all pet waste and properly dispose. Plague & Hantavirus Plague and hantavirus are associated with wildlife here, but cases of human infection are rare. Rodents and their feas may carry plague, which may infect humans when bitten. Hantavirus is an airborne virus that comes from infected deer mice. Typically people contract hantavirus after they clean areas or are in enclosed spaces with deer mice feces. Safety in Burned Areas Watch for falling trees. Branches and trees may fall, whether dead or alive, even when there is no wind. Keep eyes and ears open. Listen for cracks or snapping from roots, trunks, or branches. Don't linger under dead, cracked, broken, or hanging branches. Avoid spending any time under burned trees. Keep Bears Wild Bears will grab unattended food and break into cars when food is visible. Some bears have become bold and aggressive because they have obtained human foods. Too often, these bears must be killed as they become dangerous. Food storage is key to keeping humans safe and bears alive. In Wilderness Hanging food often fail. Store all food in a bear-resistant storage container. These containers weigh less than 3 pounds (1.3 kg), hold up to 5 days of food, and ft in a backpack. Rent bearresistant storage containers at park visitor centers. A list of approved containers can be found on our website. Metal boxes are located in a few wilderness locations. Don't enter closed areas. There are identifed risks in these areas, including burned bridges, hazard trees, and sections of trail that are unstable due to erosion. Many of these hazards may be hard to spot. Drive carefully. Rocks, debris, and even downed trees may be present on roads at any time. Be alert and drive slowly, especially during rainy or windy weather. Yield to snowplows that are clearing roads, and follow tire chain requirements when they are in place. Watch out for animals. Stay on trails. Though it may be tempting to wander, off-trail areas have hazards such as rolling rocks, holes, and unstable soils. Be careful if it's rainy or windy. Storms and wind make many of the hazards even more dangerous. Consider waiting until the weather is better before traveling in a burned area. If you encounter dangerous conditions, turn back. Conditions in burned areas can change quickly. Turn around if you see a problem and you're not sure if it's safe to continue. Report dangerous conditions to park staff. Be safe around rivers. Rivers present great danger due to their swift currents and slippery rocks. In river-related deaths, many people did not intend to swim, but fell in. Currents are strong even during low water. Check at trailheads for information about potential hazards or closures. 5 Everywhere Campgrounds Store food day and night in the metal food storage boxes provided (avoid using coolers that won’t ft; most boxes are 47" long x 33" deep x 28" high. Store ALL food, coolers, related items, and anything with an odor. Even non-food items must be stored 24 hours a day when not in use. This includes unopened cans and bottles. Make sure food storage boxes are completely latched. Food not properly stored will be impounded. Keep a clean campsite. Deposit garbage immediately in trash cans or dumpsters. Do not leave garbage unattended. Take child safety seats out of cars—the smells they absorb may attract bears. Lodges Remove all food and child safety seats from your vehicle. Don’t let bears approach you, your food, picnic area, or campsite. Wave your arms, make loud noises, and throw small rocks toward them (avoid hitting the face or head). Keep a safe distance, but be persistent. Abandoning your food teaches bears that foods come from humans; the bear may hurt a person in the future to get food. If a bear does get your food, NEVER try to get it back. Touring and Picnicking Food items MUST be stored in food storage boxes when provided. If no food storage box is available, food items must be inside your car trunk. If your vehicle doesn't have a trunk, place food items low in the vehicle, out of sight, and keep windows closed. While picnicking, never move away from coolers and tables when food is out. Stay within arm's length of food. Bears can smell anything with a scent—such as hand sanitizer, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, and cleaning supplies—and will mistake these items for food. Store anything with an odor. Wildlife Viewing & Safety Keep Wildlife Safe Mountain Lions and Bobcats Do not feed or touch ANY wild animals. All animals in the parks are wild. View animals at safe distances (the length of two city buses) or through binoculars. Rarely seen, bobcats are larger than house cats and have short tails. Mountain lions (cougars) are much larger and have long tails. Cats usually run when seen. If you see a mountain lion that doesn’t run: Never disrupt, approach, or disturb animals from behaving normally. Keep a minimum distance of 25 yards (two bus lengths) from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves. • Do not run; running may trigger pursuit. • Pick up children. • Try to appear as large as possible and don’t crouch down. • Hold your ground or back away slowly while facing the mountain lion. • If the mountain lion acts aggressively, wave your hands, shout, and throw stones or sticks at it. • If attacked, fght back! Report any sightings. 6 Foothills Explore the foothills, home to more species of plants and animals than the rest of these parks combined. Chaparral, oak woodlands, and river canyons offer mild winter trails. Things to Do Foothills Visitor Center and Sequoia Parks Conservancy Park Store Open 9 am–4:00 pm, daily (hours subject to change). WiFi available. Maps, books, and other items sold here. Aveces hay guardabosques aqui quienes hablan español. Wilderness Permits Self-register at the permit station at the building behind the Foothills Visitor Center. Follow the trail behind the visitor center and look for the permit station just across the lower parking lot. Potwisha Campground and Day Use Area The campground is situated along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River, just four miles from the Ash Mountain entrance, in the Sierra Foothills. Nearby trails lead to oak woodlands, river canyons, and spring wildfowers. Wildfower Viewing Spring wildfowers are being spotted on trails throughout the foothills. Stop by the Foothills Visitor Center to fnd out what is blooming and which trails are ideal for wildfower viewing. © Kirke Wrench ô Hospital Rock Picnic Area Highway Closures See rock paintings and explore exhibits about the California Native Americans who lived here and still visit and live nearby. If you fnd an artifact, leave it in place and notify a ranger. Take a short walk to the river or a longer walk on the Middle Fork Trail. Be careful; drownings have occurred in the nearby river and bears are active here. Store your food in a food storage box or keep it within arm's reach. Winter storms may close the Generals Highway at any time. If the highway closes at Hospital Rock, features in the Foothills area may still be open, but there will be no access to the Giant Forest, including snowplay, sequoia groves, and the General Sherman Tree. Tunnel Rock The historic Generals Highway once went through this tunnel (pictured below), created by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Now, it’s a popular photo spot with iconic views. Access to the base of the rock and the tunnel is level and paved. Mineral King January storms caused extensive damage to Mineral King Road. Though the Mineral King area is usually open in winter to people who ski, snowshoe, or hike into the area, the road is closed due to severe damage from winter storms. Three sections of the roadway are unstable. Search and rescue efforts may be delayed in Mineral King until repairs are completed. Consider visiting another area for winter activities. The Grant Grove area, two hours from the entrance to Sequoia National Park, may be open. Check road conditions before you travel there: (559) 565-3341 (press 1,1). Snowplay in Sequoia National Park Snowplay at Wolverton Wolverton Road starts just north of the Sherman Tree. Turn on this road to reach the snowplay area. Sledding is at the end of the road. It is plowed during daylight hours Fridays through Sundays plus Wednesdays and holidays, through mid-March. After storms, it may take hours or even days to open this road as plows must clear the main road frst. Wolverton Snowplay Area General Sherman Tree Giant Forest Museum Leave No Trace Please don't leave broken sleds and trash behind. Too often, spring melt reveals piles of trash left in the snow. Foothills Visitor Center Giant Forest Welcome to the big trees in winter. Winter trail maps can be purchased at Giant Forest Museum. Road may close to this area at any time. D Wolverton Visiting the General Sherman Tree Main Sherman C Tree Parking (Closed, Main Sherman Tree Trail and Parking B This parking area has closed for the season due to snow accumulation. The 2023 tentative opening date is March 24, depending on weather conditions. Wheelchair-Accessible and Winter Sherman Tree Trail A With the accumulation of snow, this parking area is open to all. Check signs at the parking area before parking here if you don't have an accessibility placard. Do not park in the roadway. Once the main parking area opens, parking here is only for those with disability placards. If you don't have a placard, but can’t walk the hill on the main trail, ask at a visitor center for a temporary permit. Giant Forest Museum Giant Forest Museum B Accessible and Winter Sherman Tree Parking C This lot usually flls early in the day. Main/Summer Sherman Tree Parking This parking area has closed for the season due to an accumulation of snow. The 2023 tentative opening date is March 24, depending on weather conditions. Park only in designated spots in parking areas or in paved pullouts. Vehicles parked in unpaved areas along the highway pose a danger to traffc and may be ticketed. This level, paved loop has trailside exhibits about sequoias. Start your walk at Giant Forest Museum for a 1-mile (1.6 km) round-trip walk. Ski or snowshoe once snow gets deep. There are no yellow ski-trail markers along this trail. If you have a disability placard, park at the trailhead for a 0.75-mile (1 km) loop. Check signs at the parking area before parking here if you don't have a placard. In winter, this trail may not meet standards for accessibility. Sherman Tree Trail accessible parking This parking area is on the main park highway. When the main parking area closes, this parking is open to all. From the Sherman Tree, continue along this fairly level 2-mile (3.2 km) loop through the heart of the Giant Forest sequoia grove. Follow the yellow triangle markers posted on trees. ô Big Trees Trail tentative opening date of March 24) A Congress Trail If parking in the lower Sherman Tree parking lot is full, consider coming back later in the day, or visiting sequoias in a quieter area. Options for seeing the Giant Forest sequoia grove include Big Trees Trail, Hazelwood Nature Loop, and hikes beginning at Giant Forest Museum. 7 D Photo by NPS/Alison Taggart-Barone Open 10 am–4 pm, daily (hours subject to change). Winter trail maps, books, and other items are sold here. Aveces hay guardabosques aqui quienes hablan Español. Wilderness Permits Self-register outside Giant Forest Museum. Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road This road has closed for the season due to snow accumulation. But is open year-round for hiking. Stay safe by fnding an alternate hiking trail if the Moro Rock stairs are icy or snowy. Wuksachi Lodge & Restaurant Snowshoe rentals are available here. Wolverton Picnic and Snowplay Area Have a relaxing picnic or play in the snow at Wolverton Snowplay Area. The Wolverton Snowplay Area is located at the end of Wolverton Road at an elevation of 7,250 feet (2,160 meters). This area is at the end of Wolverton Road. If you use this area for snowplay, have fun and stay safe. Paradise Creek Things to Do Giant Forest Museum and Sequoia Parks Conservancy Park Store Wolverton Snowplay Area Snowplay Safety Sled Safely 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. Don’t let an accident ruin your winter fun. • When sledding, slide feet frst. • Consider wearing a helmet. • Make sure your path is clear. Don’t slide near rocks, trees, branches, or other people. • After sliding, look uphill. Move out of the way of people coming downhill after you. • Don’t slide into roads or parking lots. • Avoid hard-packed snow or ice, where speed and direction get out of control. • Sliding devices that can be steered may be safer than others. In an emergency, contact a ranger at any visitor center or museum, or call 911. 8 Grant Grove Wander through snowy sequoia groves or snowshoe through a forest logged at the turn of the century. The Grant Grove area offers a chance to explore, with some amenities nearby. Grant Tree Trail This is the only intermittently plowed trail in the area. Beware of slippery ice and packed snow. This 0.3-mile (0.5 km) paved loop trail leads to the world’s secondlargest living tree. Drive 0.1-mile (0.16 km) north of Grant Grove Village and look for road signs leading to the parking area and trailhead. On the trail, look for tactile exhibits about sequoias. North Grove Loop This lightly traveled, 2-mile (3.2 km) loop with a 400-foot (120 m) elevation change offers a close look at sequoias and a quiet forest walk or snowshoe. Start at the Grant Tree bus and RV overfow parking area. Follow the round red markers on trees. Visitor Center to Grant Tree Trailhead Snow Play Areas Grant Grove Snowplay Areas Big Stump and Columbine picnic areas are designated for snowplay. Big Stump may close due to facilities maintenance. Snowplay is prohibited in all other areas in Grant Grove, including Azalea Campground, which is for campers only. Nearby Forest Service Areas Snowplay is allowed at Cherry Gap Trailhead and Quail Flat (when the Generals Highway is open). Other national forest areas offer opportunities for skiing and snowshoeing. Cherry Gap Snowplay Area General Grant Tree Columbine Snowplay Area Kings Canyon Visitor Center GRANT GROVE 180 180 Big Stump Entrance Big Stump Snowplay Area Quail Flat Snowplay Area K IN G S CANYON N A T IO N A L PARK ne Ge This 2-mile (3.2 km) round-trip forested trail passes through Azalea Campground and Columbine Picnic Area and has a 400-foot (120 m) elevation change. Start from the Grant Tree parking area or across the highway from the visitor center. Follow the green and yellow diamond markers on trees. Snowshoe Panoramic Drive Panoramic Drive, which closes to vehicles in winter, is open for hiking or snowshoeing. This strenuous 5-mile (8 km) round trip to Panoramic Point climbs almost 1,000 feet (300 m) in elevation. Snowshoes or traction devices are