Seasonal road closures are in place for most Forest Service administered roads in Giant Sequoia National Monument and Sequoia National Forest. Many high elevation roads under County jurisdiction; Highway 180 past the Hume Lake cutoff, Western Divide Highway past Ponderosa Lodge, and Mountain Road 50 over Parker Pass are also closed. If you choose to visit the Monument or Forest in the winter months, please plan ahead.
Prepare for wet and cold weather by bringing extra winter clothing, warm sleeping bags or blankets, flashlight with fresh batteries, food, and water.Sequoia NPS Road Update 12-13-2019
Due to recent cold storms, chains have been required at elevations as low as 2,000 feet. Beware of black ice on the roadways and always carry chains in your vehicle during winter months. Prepare for wet and cold weather by bringing extra winter clothing, warm sleeping bags or blankets, flashlight with fresh batteries, food, and water. Road closure and chain control information can be found on the Caltrans website http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi
Popular winter snow play areas in Giant Sequoia National Monument include the following:
Above Dunlap, Quail Flat and Big Meadows winter trailheads can be accessed off the Generals Highway, weather permitting. Make a right turn past the Big Stump Entrance Station on Highway 180 to access these sites. Both trailheads provide safe parking, and restrooms. Sixteen miles of groomed snowmobile route and several miles of snowshoeing or backcountry skiing are accessed from these locations. Please pack out your trash.
Montecito Lake Resort, located along the Generals Highway, between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, offers overnight lodging. More information is available at Montecito Lake Resort https://www.mslodge.com/ (opening December 21, after completing their annual winter maintenance). This resort operates under a special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service and offers more than thirty kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Above Porterville, snow seekers will find a snow play area near Quaking Aspen Campground on Highway 190. Wishon Campground is open year-round for camping, reserve your spot by calling 1-877-444-6777 or accessing www.recreation.gov
If you decide to stop at a turnout along the highway for snow play, be sure your vehicle is parked completely off the roadway. Watch your children carefully to ensure they do not play on roads or sled into the roadway. There are no garbage or restroom services at highway turnouts, so be sure to clean up your garbage and deposit it in your trash bin at home. The turnouts can become very congested on the weekends, please do not block another vehicle and prevent them from leaving.
Snowmobiling is limited to roads in the Monument; and many roads are posted for this use. All state vehicle code regulations apply. For the most up to date information, please call the Hume Lake Ranger District (559) 338-2251 or the Western Divide Ranger District (559) 539-2607 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed for lunch 12 – 12:30 p.m.) Both offices will be closed for the holidays on Wednesday December 25, 2019 and January 1, 2020.