Hi everyone,
As promised, here is an update on winter storm recovery efforts from the last few days. Work continues, and we’ll send updates as we have them. If you know of anyone who’d like to be added to the local stakeholder email list, please have them email us at We really appreciate those of you helping us distribute this information through your existing channels.

All the best,

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 

Winter Storm Recovery Update (Public Access) 


  • Aerial survey of remote areas occurred on Sat: 
    • A third significant washout was discovered on Mineral King Rd, about 8 miles from the boundary gate. Fairly comparable to the lower two reported already. 
    • Numerous landslides/rockfall along the road. 
    • No obvious damage to private or NPS structures observed. 
    • No major issues observed at Cedar Grove. 
    • One potential major issue observed on Generals Highway from Montecito to Red Fir, washout near Pythian camp.  Additionally, the avalanche slide zone at Little Baldy will need to be assessed further before any potential public use of that section of road. 
    • Along Crystal Cave Road, multiple slides/rockfall observed, and attention needed at the bridge, but no major issues noted. 
  • North Fork Trailhead, road is very slick with deep mud; landslides reported on lower Colony Mill Trail. 
  • Federal Highways Administration engineers coming in early next week. They will help us: 
    • Evaluate whether the Generals Highway is stable enough at the One Shot Rock washout (between Hospital Rock and Giant Forest) to accommodate safe one-lane public traffic flow, and two-way public traffic flow at the washouts at Eleven Range, and the Four Guardsmen. 
    • Help us plan, secure funding, and mobilize emergency stabilization projects for the six sites on Generals Highway (potentially seven, being assessed today) and Mineral King Road to prevent further damage. 
    • Help us plan for longer-term full repairs of the roads (for example, the whole road near Four Guardsmen will need to be rebuilt). 
  • A traffic control light system will arrive this week that—assuming engineers confirm safe one-lane traffic flow—can help us achieve public access to Giant Forest when ready to open. 
  • With no precipitation falling, five of the six sites seem stable at the moment, however, our crew is still trying to divert runoff water from undermining the road at the Four Guardsmen. High-capacity pumps have been acquired to aid this effort. This section will need to be stabilized before it will support public two-way traffic. 
  • While also having to support higher-priority road stabilization efforts, road crews are making progress in plowing, though it is slow going because snow depths are so great, we need to use our limited number of large rotary snow machines to blow the snow away from the road shoulders as there is no room to push the snow out of the lanes. Current progress: 
    • We now have administrative access to all facilities and residences at Grant Grove, Giant Forest, Red Fir, and Wuksachi. 
    • We now have administrative access from Grant Grove to Montecito Resort (Woodward Gate) and improved parking availability at Grant Grove. 
    • A crew is currently cutting an administrative lane from Woodward Gate to Red Fir/Lodgepole. This access is critical to get fuel deliveries to facilities and residences to support residents and operations. 
    • Crews have begun expanding plowing from administrative access to accommodating public access (two lanes versus one lane) at Giant Forest and Lodgepole. 
  • Besides working towards restoring public access to Giant Forest from Ash Mountain, given a one-lane pinch point that will cause traffic congestion issues, we will also be exploring the feasibility of establishing public access across the top from Grant Grove. This would be a difficult undertaking (and not normally open in winter) but, if successful, may help relieve some of the traffic pressure on the road above Hospital Rock. 
  • It is still hard to estimate when we might be able to restore public access to Giant Forest, especially with the dry spell apparently coming to an end this weekend, but we do not expect that it would be before Saturday, February 11th, and more likely will be sometime after that date.

[SOURCE: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks]