Parks Remain Open and are Not Affected by United States Forest Service Closure

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – Labor Day weekend is the last holiday weekend of the summer season at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the parks are expected to be exceptionally busy. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your holiday weekend trip.
Bears
There have been significant problems with bears in the parks this summer caused by visitors improperly managing food. Bears that have obtained food rewards in the past become increasingly aggressive. Bears have been breaking into parked vehicles to get the food stored inside, and boldly approaching picnickers, who sometimes are intimidated or surprised into abandoning their food. NPS staff recently euthanized a bear after it instigated a string of increasingly aggressive and destructive incidents in the Giant Forest area.
At this time of year, bears are active in all areas of the parks, as well as the surrounding communities. Wherever you park your car, ensure that your food is stored in metal food storage locker (“bear box”), never leave food unattended (out of arm’s reach), and if a bear approaches you and your food, haze it aggressively. Gather people together, shout, throw stones, etc. Please keep all food and garbage out of restrooms, and throw trash away in metal trash cans with latching lids. If trash receptacles are full, please pack your trash out with you. NPS staff will confiscate unattended coolers.
Fire
The parks are in Stage 3 fire restrictions, which means that all wood and charcoal fires and barbeques are prohibited at all elevations throughout the parks. This is the highest level of fire restrictions and was enacted in response to severe fire danger throughout the parks. These restrictions will be in place until fire danger significantly decreases.
Traffic and Shuttles
Expect lines at the parks’ entrance stations every day of the weekend. To avoid a long wait, consider arriving at the parks before 9 a.m., and have your payment ready when you arrive at the gate. Arrive with snacks, water, and a full tank of gas. You can purchase your pass online prior to visiting at www.recreation.gov/pass.
The free Sequoia Shuttle will operate in the Giant Forest throughout the holiday weekend. The Crescent Meadow/Moro Rock Road will be closed to personal vehicles Saturday – Monday from approximately 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors can ride the shuttle or explore on foot. There is no shuttle service available from Visalia this year. For more route information, visit https://go.nps.gov/sequoiashuttle. Monday, September 6, will be the last day of regular shuttle operations for the 2021 season.
All parking areas are expected to be crowded throughout the weekend. To avoid crowds, park in larger lots, such as Lodgepole Market or Wolverton, and ride the shuttle.
Campgrounds and Services
All open campsites in the parks have already been reserved for the upcoming holiday weekend. Do not arrive planning to camp if you do not have a reservation. Campsites are limited to six people and two cars per site. There are currently no public showers available in the parks.
To make reservations for the future, explore campsite availability, or modify an existing reservation, search for “Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks” on recreation.gov, or call them using the numbers listed under their “Contact Us” section.
RVs and trailers longer than 22 feet are advised to enter through the Big Stump Entrance Station in Kings Canyon National Park, due to the extremely windy road between the Ash Mountain Entrance Station and Giant Forest.
Outdoor/to-go restaurant and market services are open in both parks. For more information about food, retail, and lodging, visit www.visitsequoia.com/.
COVID-19
COVID-19 and the Delta Variant remains a threat to the health and well-being of visitors and park employees. All visitors and employees, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks inside of all park buildings and on shuttles. In outdoor areas, please socially distance and be respectful of other people.
Trip Planning Tools
The free official app for the National Park Service provides tools to explore more than 400 national parks nationwide, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Specific park information, including trail maps, can be downloaded in advance so that it will be available when you are offline. Learn more at go.nps.gov/skcapp.
The best source of information about the parks, including alerts and updates, is the parks’ website, www.nps.gov/seki. When you are in the parks, refer to the map and newspaper that you receive at the entrance station for a wealth of trip planning information.
More information on the closure of United States Forest Service lands is available on United States Forest Service websites and platforms, by phone at (707) 562-9113, or by email at SM.FS.R5inquiries@usda.gov.