Unsafe Visitor Conditions Lead to Full Closure of Sequoia and
Kings Canyon National Parks
SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, California, January 2, 2019 – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks will be fully closed effective 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2. The parks are being forced to take this action for health and safety concerns. This supersedes previous closures.
Sequoia National Park will be closed at the Ash Mountain Entrance Station in Three Rivers, California. This closure extends through the Foothills, Giant Forest, Lodgepole, through to Lost Grove. The closure includes all concession and park partner operations. Bathroom facilities in all locations are unsanitary and unhealthy, resulting in facility closures and human waste and toilet paper accumulation. Overflowing trash receptacles have resulted in animals eating and spreading trash around. Lack of adequate parking has resulted in significant pedestrian use of the Generals Highway, creating risk of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
Kings Canyon National Park will close at the Big Stump Entrance Station on Highway 180. This closure includes all areas and services within Grant Grove such as the General Grant Tree, Big Stump Picnic Area, Grant Grove Village, Azalea Campground and all concession and park partner operations. Similar conditions of overflowing trash and human waste, as well as illegal fire rings and campfires have made this area unsafe to visitors and wildlife. Highway 180 will remain accessible for through traffic only.
It is likely these closures will remain in effect for the duration of the government shutdown.