Milky Way arching over Kings Canyon (c) WallyPacholka / AstroPics.com
There's always something fun to do in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but every now and then, there are some extra-special things going on.
Expert naturalists from the Sequoia Parks Conservancy have special walks year-round. Whether it's a stargazing walk in the summer or a winter snowshoe walk, these walks are one of the best ways to get an insider's view of the parks. See below for details.
And of course, we also have some extra-special events. Whether it's a summer stargazing festival or a once-in-a-lifetime park anniversary celebration, look below for a list of upcoming special events.
If you're looking for the classic ranger-led programs that the national parks are famous for presenting, please consult the National Park Service's schedule of events.
Learn more about the following events and activities:
- Celebrating 100-Plus Years of the National Park Service
- Find Your Park
- Every Kid in a Park
- 2018 Fee-Free Days
- Sequoia Parks Conservancy Naturalist Programs
- Ranger-Led Programs
- Dark Sky Festival
Celebrating 100-Plus Years of the National Park Service
Find Your Park
The National Park Service celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2016. They kicked off in April 2015 with the Find Your Park campaign to encourage everyone to find their park.
Every Kid in a Park
The National Park Service wants to encourage more families and kids to get out and see our incredible parks. As part of the Every Kid in a Park program, they are giving free entry to families accompanied by a fourth-grader. Learn more about the Every Kid In a Park program here.
Enjoy free entry into Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in 2018!
- Monday, January 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 21: First day of National Park Week
- Saturday, May 5: Go Native - A Native American Cultural Celebration Event
- Saturday, September 22: National Public Lands Day
- Sunday, November 11: Veterans Day
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Sequoia Parks Conservancy Naturalist Programs
The Sequoia Parks Conservancy offers a broad array of programs throughout the year, ranging from hikes with an expert naturalist to moonlight snowshoe walks to living history events where an SPC interpreter brings alive a character from the past.
Current and upcoming programs include:
- Wonders of the Night Sky - John Muir Lodge: Spend an hour in the remarkable darkness of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks! Learn backyard astronomy tips and tricks to navigate the night sky, hear cultural and scientific stories about the stars and planets, and more. Flashlight and possibly a cozy blanket to lie on to take in the night sky suggested. All ages welcome, and children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Meet at John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon National Park for the 1-mile round trip adventure from 9-10 p.m. Held late May through September.
- History Alive: Can you imagine what life would have been like for the early inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada, the Yokut and Monache Native Americans? What were the thoughts that crossed the minds of the loggers, miners, and mountaineers who first laid eyes on the big trees? Learn about the history of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks through stories from these individuals who have discovered the world’s largest trees, roamed the mountain tops, and more. All ages welcome, and children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Takes place at Wuksachi Lodge Amphitheater in Sequoia National Park from 7-8 p.m. in June and July.
- Wonders of the Night Sky - Wuksachi Lodge: Enjoy some of the darkest skies in all of California! Learn tips and tricks to help navigate the night sky, hear scientific and cultural stories about the planets and stars, and more. Flashlight and possibly a cozy blanket to lie on to take in the night sky suggested. All ages welcome, and children must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Meet at Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park for the 1-mile round trip adventure from 9-10 p.m. Held late May through September.
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Walk to a sequoia tree or a meadow with a ranger. Join fellow visitors for an evening program. Take the kids on a Junior Ranger walk and become a Junior Ranger yourself! The National Park Service offers a changing set of ranger programs throughout the year, with new schedules posted frequently.
Dark Sky Festival: September 7-9, 2018
To celebrate the special nature of Sequoia's dark skies, the Sequoia Field Institute sponsors a Dark Sky Festival every year. The event typically runs for a couple of days and features daytime educational events and presentations by astronomers and astronauts. At night, the stars are, well, the stars of the show!