Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks Offer Tips For Visiting During Thanksgiving Weekend

by Amy Myers
Photo by Ken Hively/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

For many Americans, hitting the trails is an important part of spending time with their families, so it’s no surprise that Californians may be looking to visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks during Thanksgiving weekend. Knowing that the parks will likely become much busier in the coming days, officials have penned a few tips for safely exploring Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

According to park officials, the weather for this weekend will actually be pretty mild, which may make for a pleasant journey to see the area’s famed ancient trees and other natural attractions. However, this doesn’t mean you can ditch the winter-weather gear.

“At elevations where giant sequoias are found, some snow remains on the ground from a recent storm, but it has melted off significantly, and is not sufficient for most snow play activities,” the parks stated in a release. Right now, the forecast doesn’t predict any more significant precipitation in the region. “However, visitors should come prepared with warm, waterproof shoes and clothing, and personal traction devices for footwear, such as spikes, for walking on ice or icy snow, especially if planning to walk on any trails.”

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Advise Visitors to Arrive Early and Use Shuttle Service

Along with weather preparations, officials suggested that visitors head to the parks either before or after the peak window to “avoid a lengthy wait at the entrance station.” They advised adventurers to arrive prior to 9 a.m. or after 2 p.m. and to have payment ready before reaching the gate.

“Bring snacks, water, and a full tank of gas,” the release added.

Another time- and energy-saving technique is to take the free shuttle service that runs through both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

“Driving your own vehicle from site to site increases traffic congestion,” the parks informed.

For overnight visitors, expect freezing temperatures and the possibility of bear activity. Some backcountry trails and campsites may still be subject to snowy or icy conditions. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks urged folks to use caution in the wilderness regions as these conditions can “dramatically increases the risk of slips and falls.”