Here is a press release from Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks received at 10 pm on December 31:
Park officials announced that several areas in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks closed effective 6 p.m. on Monday, December 31. The parks are being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns.
The Generals Highway closed this evening at Hospital Rock in Sequoia National Park. This closure extends through Giant Forest and Lodgepole, through to Lost Grove at the park's northern boundary. The closure includes concession facilities at these locations including Wuksachi Lodge and other concession and partner operations.
Trash receptacles are overflowing, resulting in litter dispersal throughout the area and a threat to wildlife. Vehicular congestion, motor vehicle accidents, and icy roadways have led to up to three hour delays on the Generals Highway.
Other areas within the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park also closed this evening. They include the road to the General Grant Tree, Big Stump Picnic Area, and Azalea Campground.
The Grant Tree Trail, normally minimally maintained by sanding, has become extraordinarily slick, the ice and snow has become compressed and glazed due to heavy traffic, causing multiple falls and at least one injury.
The Grant Village will remain open, as will Highway 180 for through traffic to Princess Campground and Montecito Sequoia Lodge.
It is likely these closures will remain in effect for the duration of the government shutdown.
The local National Park Service appreciates all the support from its local communities and park partners. We encourage visitors in the area to explore the excellent food, shops, and recreational opportunities available nearby.
For Wuksachi Lodge reservation information, visit www.visitsequoia.com.
For current road conditions and weather information, call 559-565-3341.
For updates on the shutdown, visit www.doi.gov/shutdown.