No definite date for reopening Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks has been provided, but Superintendent Woody Smeck is confident that the parks will be available for day use activities sometime on or between June 1 and June 5. At that time, all park roads and trails will open to the public but overnight stays will not be allowed. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
The parks have been closed to the public since March 25 to adhere to the State of California’s stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
Visitors will be urged to spread out, follow CDC guidelines regarding face coverings and physical distancing, be self reliant, be equipped with hand sanitizer and other hygiene products, and recreate responsibly. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
During this first phase of opening, there will be no commercial services such as lodging, markets, restaurants, or gift shops open within the national park boundaries. Silver City Mountain Resort, located 22 miles from Highway 198 on the Mineral King Road, is not located within the parks and is planning to open for the season Friday, June 5. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
The visitor centers and campgrounds will remain closed during at least the first two weeks of being open to the public.
Currently, both permanent and seasonal staff are being trained in the new protocol necessary during these pandemic times. The local Park Service will be deliberate as they move through the phases of opening to ensure the new health and safety procedures are working for both staff and visitors.
Superintendent Smeck said where the parks are the most vulnerable are if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in an employee housing area because if even one person becomes ill, all employees will have to undergo two weeks of quarantine. This will create stress on a workforce that is already stretched thin. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
There will be no free in-park shuttle making the rounds in the Giant Forest area this year. In addition there will be no Sequoia Shuttle, which normally operates Memorial Day to Labor Day with multiple round trips from Visalia to Giant Forest and several stops in Three Rivers.
Regarding wilderness travel
From the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks website: When overnight wilderness trips resume, wilderness permits will be required. Our quota system remains in place, limiting the number of people entering the wilderness each day, from each trailhead, in accordance with the parks’ Wilderness Stewardship Plan. Day hiking does not require a wilderness permit. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will
In order to comply with CDC guidelines and maintain social distancing, all wilderness permits will be issued remotely, by phone and email. Consequently, advance reservations are required for all wilderness permits in the 2020 season. No walk-up permits will be issued. The Lakes Trail, previously walk-up permits only, is available for reservation with a limited quota.
With reduced services in the parks, it is particularly important that visitors plan ahead and arrive prepared for their trip. Rangers are not available to answer questions at the trailhead.
Animal resistant food storage containers (bear canisters) are still required in most of the park, but may not be available for rental. Visitors should rent or buy an appropriate food storage container before arriving in the park. Sequoia-Kings Canyon will