Sequoia National Park Announces Beloved Backcountry Winter Hut Will Be Closed for the Season

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by: Ron Reznick/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Sequoia National Park in California recently announced that the Pear Lake Hut will be closed for the 2022-23 winter season. This comes in response to the continued issues from the KNP Complex fire and the impact of Covid-19. The National Park is committed to restoring access to the hut in the 2023-24 season.

With reservations, the Pear Lake Hut is usually available from December to April for experienced skiers and snowshoers. The trail gives access to the Sierra Nevada mountains, including beginning 7,200 feet up at Wolverton. Pear Lake is a 6-mile ascent to 9,200 feet. The trail to the hut is recommended for advanced backcountry adventurers, as winter conditions can make the trail dangerous.

The Pear Lake Hut was built between 1939 and 1941 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In the summer, it’s used as the Pear Lake Ranger Station, and open to civilians in the winter. The Sequoia National Conservancy has been operating the winter hut with the National Park Service since 1979. Additionally, in 1977, the hut/ranger station was put on the National Register of Historic Places.

The winter hut offers space for ten people in bunks, for which you need your own bedding. There’s also a wood pellet heating stove–fuel included–a composting toilet, Coleman cookstoves–fuel not included–cooking implements, bowls, plates, and mugs, and a caretaker on site. The Sequoia National Conservancy recommends bringing a sleeping bag, as temperatures will definitely fall below freezing, propane fuel and matches, a water purification system, your own food, clothes, and all personal gear needed.

Other Things To Do In Sequoia National Park Besides Visiting the Pear Lake Hut

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park will continue to be open for the winter season. Snowshoeing, ski touring, and cross-country skiing are still available, as well as just playing in the snow to your heart’s content.

As America’s second-oldest National Park, there are plenty of things to do and see, and we’ve broken down just a few that you definitely shouldn’t miss if you’re planning a trip. If you’re looking for a Top-10 list, look no further. These are just a couple of sights you can see year-round, and they may even be more majestic in the winter. You be the judge of that.

First, there’s Zumwalt Meadow Trail. This trail boasts views of giant sequoias, canyons, ancient forests, and a suspension bridge to get over the South Fork of the Kings River. It’s an easy trail for the whole family but does get a bit strenuous at the end. Still, the views are definitely worth it.

Next, go below Sequoia National Park and check out the Crystal Cave. There you’ll get to see stalactites, stalagmites, and other geological features up close and personal. There are many different tour options for this amazing cave system, and so many things to see there. These are just two of the incredible sights at Sequoia and Kings National Park, but check out our list to help you plan your trip.