"Deadman Canyon, Sequoia-Kings Canyon Wilderness, 8/4/2011" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Sequoia & Kings Canyon Guide

Spring 2023

brochure Sequoia & Kings Canyon Guide - Spring 2023

Spring Visitor Guide to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (NP) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Protect Yourself and These Parks Tree Hazards Hypothermia 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. Don’t linger under dead, cracked, or broken hanging branches or trees with rotten bases. Hypothermia can occur year-round. Stay warm and eat snacks. 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, or shelter. Poison Oak Ticks Ticks are common in grassy, brushy lowelevation areas like the foothills. They can carry diseases that harm humans. They have a painless bite. Check yourself for ticks after hiking. Remove them carefully with tweezers and seek a doctor’s advice. Rattlesnakes This shrub grows in the foothills, and can cause an itchy rash if you touch it. Poison oak has leaflets in groups of three. The plant is bare in winter, and has shiny green leaves in spring. If you touch it, wash skin and clothes with soap and warm water right away. Rattlesnakes are common in low elevation areas like the foothills. Watch where you put your hands and feet! Do not harass or kill them; this is when most bites occur. Bites are rarely lethal, but tissue damage can be severe. If bitten, don’t panic and call 911. Firearms It is illegal to discharge a firearm within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks or to bring one into any federal building. Hunting and trapping are illegal in the parks. Pets 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 park. Snowplay Safety Pets are not permitted on any trails in the parks. Pets in designated areas must be kept on a maximum 6 feet (1.8 m) long leash at all times. Pick up all pet waste and dispose of properly. Do not leave pets unattended or in vehicles where they can easily overheat. When sledding: • Slide feet first. • 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. Drones Uncrewed aircraft are not allowed in the parks. This includes drones and other remotely piloted vehicles. Wildlife and Food Storage You’re in Bear Country. Bears will grab unattended food and break into cars where food is visible. Bears have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to human food as well as hand sanitizer, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, cleaning supplies, and child safety seats. Bears that have had human food can become aggressive and dangerous and have to be killed. A fed bear is a dead bear. Food storage is the key to protecting humans and bears. Food Storage Boxes are provided for you to properly store food and odorous items, when not in use. Store all food, coolers, and anything with an odor, including child safety seats and flavored drinks. If no food storage box is available, food items must be stored inside your car trunk or low in the vehicle, out of sight, and keep windows closed. Always keep a clean campsite and throw away all trash in dumpsters. While picnicking, never move away from coolers and tables when food is out. Stay within arm’s length of food. Wildlife Viewing Safety 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 (91 m) from predators like bears or mountain lions. Don’t let wildlife, especially bears, approach you, your food, picnic area, or campsite. Wave your arms and make loud noises. 25 yards (23 m) 50 yards (46 m) 100 yards (91 m) 25 yards (23 m) is about two bus-lengths National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks California Driving Routes to Sequoias in Grant Grove: CLOSURE Sequoia National Park Entrance to Kings Canyon National Park Entrance 180 General Grant Tree There is no access to sequoias in Sequoia National Park at this time. Highway 245 and Dry Creek Road do not currently have through access 180 to Highway 180. Big Stump Entrance 180 Orange Cove 0 KINGS CANYON NP Stony Creek Village KINGS CANYON NP (closed in winter) Generals Hwy Ave. 460/Park Blvd Lodgepole Village 5 Kilometers 1 6720 ft 5 Miles Dinuba Blvd./Rd. 128 0 1 CLOSURE 6589 ft Hills Valley Rd. North To Cedar Grove (Closed Seasonally) (formerly Squaw Valley) 63 To Fresno and Hwy 99 S E Q U O I A N A T I O N A L F O R E S T/ G I A N T S E Q U O I A N A T I O N A L M O N U M E N T Grant Grove Yokuts Valley 180 Hume Lake Main roads Orosi Cutler Secondary roads Closed roads S E Q U O I A N A T I O N A L P A R K Highway 63 Recommended Route Drive time: 2 hours General Sherman Tree Giant Forest Museum 6409 ft CLOSURE Potwisha Campground Hospital Rock 63 Current Park Conditions To Hwy 99 Dinuba Blvd./Rd. 124 No gasoline available in parks CalTrans Road Info 1 98 Ash Mountain Entrance There is no access to sequoias in Sequoia National Park due to road closures. Foothills Visitor Center 1700 ft 198 Woodlake Ave. 328/J34 M 63 i ll o wo dD r. Ave. 344 Lake Kaweah Three Rivers CLOSURE Mineral King Road (Closed Seasonally) 216 Lemon Cove 216 1 98 Visalia Highway 198 to Highway 63 Alternate Route Drive time: 2 hours Last updated: April 14, 2023 Information in this guide can change at any time as we work to safely increase access to these parks. Due to winter storm damage that heavily impacted park roads, access looks different this spring. Important Information Experience Sequoias in Grant Grove Hike and Picnic in the Foothills Free Public Wi-Fi Grant Grove in Kings Canyon National Park The foothills in Sequoia National Park Road Conditions • • • • • Hike among giant sequoias and visit the General Grant Tree. See snow at Big Stump or Columbine snowplay areas. Snowshoe North Grove Loop or to Panoramic Point. Come prepared for winter conditions. We recommend bringing personal traction devices, snowshoes, crosscountry skis, and dress in layers. Expect delays from Ash Mountain Entrance Station to Hospital Rock. YIELD • • • The Generals Highway is open to Hospital Rock, six miles (9.7 km) past the Ash Mountain Entrance Station. There is no access to giant sequoias, the General Sherman Tree, or snow. Enjoy spring wildflowers along trails. Swimming in rivers and streams is not advised. Yield to downhill traffic at damaged areas along the Generals Highway. Do not approach damaged areas along the Generals Highway. They are not stable. Foothills Visitor Center Kings Canyon Visitor Center EMERGENCY — DIAL 911 (559) 565-3341, (press 1, then 1) Campground Reservations Recreation.gov Road construction along the Generals Highway can be expected Monday to Saturday. Bikes, including e-bikes, are not allowed on closed roads. Sequoia National Park Experience the Foothills With no access to giant sequoias, explore the foothills. The Generals Highway is closed six miles (9.6 km) past the Ash Mountain Entrance Station at Hospital Rock Picnic Area. Explore oak woodlands, river canyons, historical and cultural sites, and abundant wildflowers on trails throughout the foothills. Services and Facilities Foothills Visitor Center and Park Store Open 9 am to 4:30 pm, daily Campgrounds Reservations Required Visit Recreation.gov Potwisha Campground Wilderness Permits Until May 26, self-register for wilderness permits at the Wilderness Office. To get there, follow the dirt path to the right of the visitor center and cross the parking lot. Look for the permit station at the entrance of the Fire Management and Wilderness Office building. Free Public Wi-Fi Foothills Visitor Center Stay Hydrated Emergency - Call 911 Wild for Wildflowers Enjoy wildflower viewing along the following trails: Potwisha Campground to Hospital Rock, Paradise Creek, Middle Fork, and Marble Falls. Remember to stay on trails to protect wildflowers for others to enjoy. Entrance Sign River Trail is a half-mile (0.64 km) trail that starts at the Sequoia National Park entrance sign parking lot. The trail winds down and runs along the edge of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. Enjoy views of Alta Peak and wildflowers from this trail. Tunnel Rock is an iconic picture stop along the Generals Highway. Walk on the old park road under this rock and pose for a photo. Be aware of traffic and poison oak as you explore this historic, hand-built tunnel that was created by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Potwisha Campground to Hospital Rock Trail features views of the historic Generals Highway, Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, and many wildflowers. Park at either the Potwisha Day Use Area or Hospital Rock to hike the roundtrip trek of 4.6 miles (7.4 km). Marble Falls Trail starts near site #14 in Potwisha Campground. This 7.4-mile (12 km) roundtrip trail features wildflowers and Marble Falls, which is gushing with snowmelt. Portions of this trail have been damaged and may be closed for trail work, please do not enter a closed area. Paradise Creek Trail begins at Hospital Rock Picnic Area. Walk along the road to Buckeye Flat Campground to reach the trailhead. The 3.2-mile (5.2 km) roundtrip trail (from Hospital Rock) offers river views of Paradise Creek and gentle sloping canyons. Hospital Rock has pictographs that are sacred to local Native American communities. They are as important as any place of worship. Do not touch or mark on the pictographs or rocks. If you witness vandalism, please let a park ranger know right away. Middle Fork Trail leads to higher elevations and wilderness areas. For a short hike to Morro Creek, park at Hospital Rock and walk along Buckeye Campground Road. At the fork, keep left following the dirt road to get to the trailhead. Morro Creek is a 3.8-mile (6.1 km) roundtrip trek. Swimming Not Advised Rivers are flowing swift and deep with snowmelt. Powerful current, icy water, and river obstructions can trap or kill the unwary. Be vigilant, drowning is the primary cause of death here. In riverrelated deaths, many people did not intend to swim but fell in. Don’t become a swift-water rescue. Follow these tips: • Stay away from river and creek banks during high water conditions. • Do not leave children unattended around rivers or streams. • Wear sturdy shoes along the water’s edge. • Be caution on rocks along riverbanks. They can be slippery when wet or dry. Kings Canyon National Park See Sequoias in Grant Grove Hike among the giant sequoias of Grant Grove. Grant Grove is the gateway to Kings Canyon National Park. At 6,500 feet (1,981 m), this area can be snowy throughout spring. Come prepared by wearing warm layers and carrying personal traction devices for yourself and tire chains or cables for your vehicle. Grant Grove Loop features one of world’s largest living trees. This 0.3-mile (0.5 km) paved trail is regularly cleared of snow, but traction devices are still recommended. Start at the General Grant Tree parking lot, one mile (1.6 km) northwest of the Kings Canyon Visitor Center. Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village features a park film and exhibits about the three regions in Kings Canyon National Park: giant sequoia groves, the Kings Canyon, and the High Sierra. A park store sells gifts, books, maps, and educational materials. Snowplay can be found at Big Stump or Columbine snowplay areas. Sledding is not allowed in other areas of Grant Grove. In spring, snow becomes icier and sledding may be dangerous. There may not be enough snow on the ground to sled. Wildlife Viewing in a natural setting can be a great experience. All animals in these parks are wild. View animals at safe distances of 25 yards (two bus lengths) from most wildlife and 100 yards (91 m) from predators like bears or mountain lions. North Grove Loop is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) loop trail that walks through a mixed conifer and sequoia forest and starts at Grant Tree Trail parking area. Snowshoes are suggested for this trail. Watch out for snow bridges, listen for the sound of running water beneath the snow. Panoramic Point, which is tentatively closed until June to vehicles, is a strenuous five-mile (8 km), 1,000 feet (300 m) elevation roundtrip hike. Snowshoes are recommended for this trail. On a clear day enjoy views of Hume Lake and the entrance of the Kings Canyon. Services and Facilities Kings Canyon Visitor Center and Park Store Open 9 am to 4:30 pm, daily Campgrounds Reservations required beginning May 9. Visit Recreation.gov Azalea Campground Wilderness Permits Until May 26, self-register at Kings Canyon Visitor Center. Grant Grove Restaurant Open 7 to 10 am and 11:30 am to 8 pm, daily Grant Grove Market Open 9 am to 5 pm, daily Snowshoes available for rent. Grant Grove Post Office Open 9 am to noon and 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday through Friday John Muir Lodge (866) 807-3598, VisitSequoia.com Free Public Wi-Fi Kings Canyon Visitor Center Chains May Be Required at Any Time All vehicles must carry tire chains when chain control is in effect, including 4WD and AWD vehicles. Buy or rent chains outside the parks. Snow tires may also be required, but most cars have them. Check the side of your tires: If you see M/S, M+S, or a snowflake symbol embedded in the rubber, it’s a snow tire. The speed limit when driving with chains is 25 mph, even if posted otherwise. R1: Snow tires or chains are required. Your tires must have the letters MS, M/S, M+S or the words MUD AND SNOW or ALL SEASON on the sidewall, or you must install chains. R2: 4-wheel drive or chains are required. Your vehicle must be in 4x4 or all-wheel drive or you must install chains. R3: Chains are required on all vehicles. There are no exceptions. Road Conditions: (559) 565-3341, (press 1, then 1) Sequoia National Forest, Hume Lake District Hume Lake Office Open 9 am - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday (559) 338-2251 Hume Lake Gas Station (559) 305-7770 Walking, hiking, and biking are not allowed on closed California highways, like Highway 180 past the Hume Lake Road junction.

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