Seasons, Fees and Reservations
Sequoia National Park is open all year round, but certain facilities and attractions are seasonal. Road closures due to snow and ice are common during winter months. The park covers a huge area and encompasses drastic elevation changes, which can mean variable weather, no matter what season it is. It’s always a good idea to check weather and road conditions before visiting. From springtime wildflower hikes to winter snowshoeing adventures, there’s something to do every season in the park. However, peak visitation time is during the summer months. Expect traffic into and out of the park from late May through September. Visitors coming in RVs should review vehicle length restrictions.
Entrance fees for the park are $20 per vehicle and $10 per individual arriving on foot, bike, motorcycle. The fee grants access for seven consecutive days, and is good for access to Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and the Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument. If you’re thinking of visiting more than once a year, it might not be a bad idea to pick up an annual pass. For $30, the bearer gets unlimited access to the aforementioned areas for one year from the month of purchase.
There are 14 total campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Most of them are first-come, first-serve. The Lodgepole Campground in Sequoia National Park takes reservations during the peak season. Permits are required for backcountry camping and select other activities.
Food, Lodging and Facilities
Unlike many National Parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon have a variety of dining options. Three restaurants in the parks are open all year long, and several more are open seasonally. One option that might be of particular interest to summertime weekend visitors is the all-you-can-eat dinnertime barbecue at the restaurant at Wolverton Meadows. No better way to recharge from a day of walking in the woods, right? There are also grills in some picnic areas if you feel like having your own cookout.
If you’re not interested in “roughing it” at one of the park’s 14 campgrounds, there are other places to stay inside the park and nearby. The majority of concessioner-operated lodges are located in Kings Canyon National Park, but the Wuksachi Lodge near Giant Forest serves visitors to Sequoia National Park all year. There’s a restaurant at the lodge, as well as other amenities like a ski shop and and a cocktail lounge. There are also many guest houses and motels within 20 miles of the park.
Here is a list of visitor centers and other facilities inside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.