Memorial Day Weekend In The Parks

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2024                             
Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Chief of Communications
Phone: (559) 679-2866



Memorial Day weekend is considered the summer “kick-off” for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and the parks are expected to be exceptionally busy. Trip-planning is essential for a safe and enjoyable visit. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your holiday weekend trip.  

In a typical year, most areas of the parks are open and accessible by Memorial Day weekend. This has not been the case in the last couple of years due to severe damage and hazardous conditions related to previous wildfires and winter storm damage. This year, due to an unprecedented amount of work by dedicated park staff, partner agencies, and the support of park partners, we are able to increase the number of areas and services available to park visitors.

Areas and services along the main corridors of Sequoia and Kings Canyon are open and accessible, including the Foothills area, Giant Forest, Lodgepole, Grant Grove, and access to neighboring U.S. Forest Service areas.

The Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park will reopen for day use and wilderness access on Friday, May 24. This area was closed for all of 2023 due to severe road damage sustained during early 2023 winter storms. Road construction continues in 2024, but no work or delays are expected for the holiday weekend. Visitors to this area should be self-reliant and expect rustic conditions. Emergency services will be limited, and due to late-season snow, there is no potable water. Wilderness hikers from trailheads in this area should expect highly hazardous conditions with high creek crossings and snow making route finding a challenge. Overnight wilderness permits for Mineral King must be secured at the Ash Mountain Wilderness Office before driving up.

The Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park remains closed. This area is anticipated to reopen sometime in mid-to-late-June once water and other utilities are restored to the area. This area was closed for all of 2023 due to severe road damage sustained on Highway 180 during early 2023 winter storms.

Crystal Cave will remain closed for the 2024 season to complete several recovery projects.

Details and current conditions can be found at

NPS App and Trip Planning Tools 

The free official National Park Service app provides tools to explore more than 400 national parks nationwide, including Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Find interactive maps, tours of park places, on-the-ground accessibility information, and much more to plan your adventures before and during your trip. Specific park information, including trail maps, can be downloaded in advance so that it will be available when you are offline! Learn more at

For extensive park information and current conditions, please visit our website at When you are in the parks, you can refer to the map and newspaper that you receive at the entrance station for a wealth of trip-planning information.

Traffic and Shuttles 

Expect long lines and extended waits at the parks’ entrance stations every day over the weekend. To avoid long wait times, consider arriving at the parks before 9 a.m., or after 3 p.m., and have your method of payment ready when you reach the gate. Arrive with snacks, water, and a full tank of gas. Take advantage of pass-only lanes at entrance stations, by purchasing your entrance pass online before visiting at

 The free Sequoia Shuttle is now operating in the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park for the summer season. These shuttles are an excellent way to experience popular sites without needing to drive around looking for parking. All parking areas throughout the parks are expected to fill early this holiday weekend.

Campgrounds and Services 

Campgrounds require advanced reservations and may be reserved up to four months in advance. Do not plan to camp in the parks if you do not have a reservation upon arrival. RVs and trailers longer than 22 feet should enter through the Big Stump Entrance Station in Kings Canyon National Park, as they are not recommended on the Generals Highway between Hospital Rock and Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park due to the winding, narrow roads.  

To make reservations, explore campsite availability, or modify an existing reservation, search for “Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks” on, or call using the numbers listed under their “Contact Us” section. For more information about campgrounds in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, visit

Food is available for purchase at the Lodgepole Market, Wuksachi Lodge, and Grant Grove Market. For more information about food, retail, and lodging, visit  


The parks need your help to prevent unwanted wildfires. All campground fires are required to be in contained, pre-existing rings. Gather only dead and down wood, and do not cut limbs from trees. Campfires must be thoroughly extinguished by dousing with water and stirring before you leave them or go to sleep. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave. For more information on fire in the parks, visit .

River and Lake Safety  

Great caution should be exercised near rivers and lakes in the parks, especially this time of year. Snow melt causes rivers to be swift, cold, and dangerous. Attempting to swim or even recreating at the edge of rivers and lakes can result in life-or-death situations. Rocks along the edge can be extremely slippery, and banks above flows can collapse. Most people who have ended up in water-related emergencies were not attempting to swim. Please maintain space from the edge and be especially mindful of children in your group.   

Wilderness Safety

Late season snow and warming temperatures are creating hazardous conditions for those intending to explore the vast Sierra Nevada wilderness. Overnight wilderness permits are now required for all routes and are limited to quota restrictions by area. Hikers should come prepared for rushing high creek crossings that may be impassable in some areas. Route finding may also be a challenge for trails that are still covered in snow at higher elevations.

Overnight wilderness permits can now be secured on for trailheads that are open.


It is very important that visitors store food properly and not approach bears of any size. Bears can grab unattended food or easily break into cars that have food in them. They become bold and sometimes aggressive in attempts to get more. All food and anything with a scent must be stored and out of sight, and trash must be disposed of in bear-resistant cans and dumpsters throughout the parks

For more trip-planning information and to know exactly what is open or closed, visit   

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks wish you a fun and safe holiday weekend!  


[Source: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks]