Incoming Storm Closure and 2024 Road Construction and Projects Update


Hello neighbors,

We hope you’ve been enjoying this nice weather and getting outside! We have a couple updates to share with you all.

To start, for those of you tracking the very large tree blocking the Mineral King Road in the park, our crew was able to clear it out of the road to facilitate snow surveying access. As conditions allow, residents should have full access to the valley.

Forecasted Winter Storm this Weekend

Fortunately for our much-needed snowpack, but unfortunately for some of you with businesses, and our visitors, this next storm is forecasted to bring several feet of new snow to Lodgepole and Grant Grove. We may even get some snow in the foothills.

Given this forecast, we are planning to close the Generals Hwy at Hospital Rock Friday evening, 3/1. If the forecast is accurate, it is likely to remain closed through the weekend, especially given how low the snowline may be. As always, our crews will assess conditions each day and evaluate if it’s possible to open access sooner. Grant Grove is likely to remain open and mostly accessible, as it is a much easier road to maintain, although we urge visitors to avoid driving up during an active storm.

For the most current information, please continue to call 559-565-3341 (1,1).

Spring Road Construction

We’ve been actively engaged with Federal Highways (FHWA) about the next phase of road construction for the one remaining site (Site 20) on the Generals Hwy (located between Hospital Rock and Giant Forest) as well as the Mineral King Road in an effort to minimize impacts to visitor access. It will be the same contractor from last year.

Site 20 on the Generals Hwy is going to require extensive drilling and rebuilding in order to complete repairs. To reduce the amount of time visitation is impacted, crews will be working 6 days a week, and will need complete closures for longer periods of time than we had hoped for, and longer than we’ve had before. This work is scheduled to begin in April and last for about 8 weeks. The delay schedules are still being finalized, but we wanted to give you a heads up that there may pretty significant closures coming this spring. This will include full daytime closures at Hospital Rock mid-week for a few weeks. Access will remain open to Giant Forest from Grant Grove during this period. The portion of the highway between the parks is on target to open 3/15. As soon as details are confirmed with FHWA in the next couple weeks we’ll be sending out a more detailed schedule and information.

For the Mineral King Rd. we’ve heard from Tulare County that they don’t anticipate completing repairs until later in the season, so we are expecting to begin work on the 5 remaining NPS sites sometime in April. This work is also expected to take about 8 weeks, although the type of work is much different from site 20, so access shouldn’t be impacted to the same level. We are waiting for more information about engineering design and contractor schedules, though expect to accommodate resident access. We hope to know more in the coming weeks.

Hazard Tree Removal Project

After the 2021 KNP Wildfire, thousands of trees were identified as needing to be removed along the main travel corridor in SEKI, from the foothills to Grant Grove. This project was much larger than anything we could absorb in-house, so we’ve gone the contracting route. Given the amount of recovery work post-fire, and then last year’s storm damage, coupled with a desire to spread out fire and storm recovery work to avoid visitors experiencing multiple delays at different places on the same trip, much hazard tree work remains to be completed. This year, we are planning to get this project underway sometime this summer, and it may need to continue into next year.

Although this is a critical project that needs to be completed, it will also come with access impacts and travel delays. This project will likely begin after we’ve completed the above road construction project, currently projected for some time in June. During much of the peak summer months work will likely be focused off the main travel corridors in areas like Crystal Cave and Redwood Mountain. However, scheduled 2–3-hour closures will likely be necessary at some point later in the year. Again, there is still a lot to work through before we have any finalized information. But we wanted to give you some time to process and begin planning.

Highway 180 and Cedar Grove

Caltrans has been making good progress on the highway washouts outside the park west of Cedar Grove. We understand that they hope to restore public access sometime in June, after which we hope to open for general access quickly thereafter.

As always, we will share more details as soon as we know more. It’s always a balance of being transparent as early as we can, even though we don’t have the details ironed out, or waiting until we have all the answers before we get messaging out. We know how impactful the last few years have been, and we’ve heard from you that you would rather know sooner than later.

If you have questions, please feel free to send them my way, although I may not have answers for at least a few weeks. But these may help inform the type of materials we develop to help in our messaging.

All the best,


[SOURCE: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, SEKI Public Affairs]