Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

STATUS OF SEQUOIA VISITOR ATTRACTIONS AND FACILITIES

Government closure doesn't eliminate holiday crowds
By: 
Sarah Elliott

 

UPDATE #3

 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PRESS RELEASE (Monday, Dec. 31, 10 pm)

For recent status of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for the duration of the government shutdown, see article here.

 

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UPDATE #2

 

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PRESS RELEASE (Monday, Dec. 31)

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are very busy with limited services. Congestion and winter conditions have created delays of two to three hours to access Grant Grove and the Giant Forest areas.
 
Restrooms are available in communities outside Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and limited restrooms in deteriorating conditions inside the parks. Please use bear proof trash cans or pack your trash out. Please do not add trash to a full trash can or dumpster.
 
Entering closed areas, disposing of human waste or trash improperly, having a pet in an area closed to pets, and all other park regulations are being enforced.
 
Unfortunately, we are currently not able to monitor our social media platforms and will not respond to questions.
 
 
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UPDATE #1

 

Here are the results of a tour that was taken Sunday, Dec. 30, from Three Rivers to Wuksachi by John and Sarah Elliott to determine the status of Sequoia National Park facilities and services that are affected by the government lapse in funding that began Friday, Dec. 21. Here is what we found:

 
 
Ash Mountain
(elev. 1,500 ft. / 457 m.)
 
-Sequoia entrance station: The entrance station is unmanned and no fees are being collected. But Sequoia National Park is OPEN to visitors.
 
-Park headquarters: CLOSED temporarily due to government shutdown
 
-Foothills Visitor Center: CLOSED due to shutdown
 
-Restrooms: OPEN
 
 
Potwisha
(elev. 2,000 ft. / 609 m.)
 
-Campground (42 sites): CLOSED due to shutdown
 
-Hiking trails: ACCESSIBLE
 
-River access: ACCESSIBLE
 
 
Hospital Rock
(elev. 2,700 ft. / 823 m.)
 
-Picnic area: ACCESSIBLE
 
-Restrooms: OPEN
 
-Pictographs / mortar holes: ACCESSIBLE
 
On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 29-30, park rangers stopped uphill traffic at Hospital Rock to limit the congestion in Giant Forest and Wolverton where icy conditions persist on the roadways. On Sunday afternoon, the line of cars waiting to travel farther up the Generals Highway was two miles in length. Most likely, traffic will continue to be filtered on Monday-Tuesday, Dec. 31-Jan. 1. It is advised to arrive early to ensure uninterrupted access to the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park.
 
 
Buckeye Flat
(elev. 2,500 ft. / 762 m.)
 
-Campground (28 sites): CLOSED in winter
 
-Hiking trails: ACCESSIBLE
 
 
Amphitheater Point to Eleven Range
 
The ROAD CONSTRUCTION that has been ongoing for two years is COMPLETE, there are NO ROADWORK DELAYS, and both lanes are OPEN.
 
 
Giant Forest
(elev. 6,500 ft. / 1,981 m.)
 
-Giant Forest Museum: CLOSED due to shutdown; public restrooms are OPEN (no wheelchair access).
 
-Crystal Cave: CLOSED in winter
 
-Auto Log: ACCESSIBLE by walking on the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road (about 1 mile).
 
-Tunnel Log: ACCESSIBLE by walking on the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road (about 1.5 miles).
 
-Moro Rock: It is advised to STAY OFF this trail during winter due to steep, icy conditions.
 
-Crescent Meadow: ACCESSIBLE by walking on the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road (about 3 miles).
 
-Tharp’s Log: ACCESSIBLE by walking on the Moro Rock/Crescent Meadow Road (about 3 miles) then following the Tharp’s Log Trail, which will be snow-covered.
 
-General Sherman Tree: ACCESSIBLE; restrooms OPEN. Wolverton Road access road and parking lot are not plowed; parking for everyone is along Generals Highway in what is, during the summer months, the small disability access parking lot. This parking lot is inadequate for the holiday crowds, fills up fast, and is congested throughout the day. There are two turnouts a half-mile farther up the road on the downhill side of the road. 
 
-Picnic areas: CLOSED in winter
 
-Hiking trails: Snow-covered but ACCESSIBLE
 
 
Wolverton
(elev. 7,000 ft. / 2,134 m.)
 
-Hiking trails: Snow-covered but ACCESSIBLE
 
-Restrooms: OPEN
 
-Winter snowplay area: The Wolverton Road is plowed and the snowplay area is OPEN, although snow is minimal.
 
 
Lodgepole
(elev. 6,700 ft. / 2,042 m.)
 
-Campground (214 sites): CLOSED in winter
 
-Visitor center: CLOSED in winter
 
-Market / Gift shop: OPEN daily 9 am-5 pm
 
-Ski/snowshoe rentals: OPEN (but there is currently not enough snowpack)
 
-Food service: CLOSED (only the market and gift shop are open)
 
-Hiking trails: Snow-covered but ACCESSIBLE
 
-Restrooms: The visitor center restrooms are CLOSED. There is a restroom OPEN in the showers area of the Lodgepole Market complex. There are two porta-potties in front of the market that are OPEN 24/7.
 
 
Wuksachi
(elev. 7,000 ft. / 2,134 m.)
 
-Lodging
 
-Dining / cocktails
 
-Gift shop
 
-Conference facilities
 
-Hiking trails: Snow-covered but ACCESSIBLE
 
All visitor services at Wuksachi Lodge are OPEN and under normal operations for this time of year.
 
 
GENERALS HIGHWAY: From Wuksachi to Kings Canyon National Park
 
The highway is CLOSED between the parks due to the government shutdown. The surface is icy and, in some locations, snow-covered due to no plowing.
 
 
 
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