Friday, August 5 2022

Access to the tall trees and world-famous giant forest of Sequoia National Park will reopen to the public on a limited schedule starting this weekend.

The beloved redwood grove, which includes Earth’s tallest tree, General Sherman, will reopen from Saturday. The grove will be open four days a week to start, Thursday through Sunday.

The park will be open for a seven-day period between Christmas and New Years, weather and conditions permitting, park officials said.

General Sherman and the Redwoods groves have been closed to the public since September due to the KNP Complex fire, which burned more than 88,000 acres in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The blaze is only 75% contained, but now only burns in remote areas of the park that pose no threat to the public, park officials said.

Thousands of redwoods have died or are dying as a result of the lightning blaze, park officials said last month. A fifth of the world’s mature giant sequoias have been badly burned or killed by wildfires in California in the past two years alone.

The Giant Forest Grove has been protected from the KNP complex by several prescribed burns the National Park Service has carried out in the area since the 1970s.

Teams have worked tirelessly since November to clear dangerous trees and repair roads so that the iconic park is once again open to visitors. Last month, the foothills reopened to visitors without access to the redwoods.

“We have been working hard to restore access to the giant forest as quickly as possible,” said Clay Jordan, Director of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “As we continue to mitigate risk, bring employees home and tackle the obstacles posed by the winter season, we hope to be able to continue to move closer to a normal level of access for this time of year. . ”

Visitors should be aware that the park currently has no potable water or food available and that they will need to bring their own. Generals Highway may close at any time due to inclement weather conditions, landslides or falling debris, which may be more frequent as a result of the fire.

Tire chains may be required at any time due to winter storms and snowy conditions.

Sequoia National Park reopening schedule

  • Saturday December 11 – Sunday December 12: OPEN (only two days due to expected winter weather)

  • Monday December 13 – Thursday December 16: CLOSED

  • Friday December 17 – Monday December 20: OPEN
  • Tuesday December 21 – Thursday December 23: CLOSED
  • Thursday December 24 – Monday January 3: OPEN

The following areas will be open, according to NPS.

This reopening stretches from Hospital Rock just above the intersection with Wolverton Road. The Giant Forest Museum will be open for visitor information and retail services. Moro Rock / Crescent Meadow Road is closed to vehicles but open to pedestrians to access Moro Rock and Crescent Prairie. Lodgepole and the road between the parks remain closed. Visitors should plan for these areas to remain closed at least until spring 2022. The Sequoia shuttle will operate in the giant forest during the winter months. holidays from December 24 to January 2.

Joshua Yeager is a reporter for the Visalia Times-Delta and a member of the Report for America Corps. It covers the topical deserts of Tulare County with an emphasis on the environment and local governments.

Follow him on Twitter @VTD_Joshy. Receive alerts and stay up to date on all things Tulare County for as little as $ 1 per month. Subscribe today.

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