Sequoia & Kings Canyon Winter Sports
Winter in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Winter in Sequoia and Kings Canyon is a magical time of year. Snow blankets the landscape and creates a wonderland of new adventures and activities.
Sierra snowfall changes everything at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, adding scenic drama as it opens up new playgrounds of winter sport options. And the parks’ two mountain lodges, Wuksachi Lodge® in Sequoia and John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon, are the perfect base camps to explore all the season has to offer, creating the perfect “conditions” for a Sierra winter getaway.
Under the snowy boughs and branches of the big trees, Sequoia and Kings Canyon make for a magical winter wonderland. Hidden beneath their winter “coat,” dusty summer trails disappear and hiking boots give way to skis and snowshoes on well-marked cross-country trails. Sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow play at Wolverton Meadow and Grant Grove will reward the well-bundled visitor. Head over to the Big Stump snow play area and build a snowman with the kids, or toboggan down an icy track if you dare.
Naturalists from the Sequoia Natural History Association offer guided snowshoe walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Park rangers may also offer snowshoe nature walks, naturalist and evening programs. See our page on ranger and naturalist programs in Sequoia and Kings Canyon for details.
In the evening, warm up around the roaring fireplace in the Great Room lobby of the John Muir Lodge. Winter is the when many families return, year after year, to spend national park holidays. Whether it's Thanksgiving or the annual Yuletide celebration underneath the bedecked General Grant Tree, Sequoia and Kings Canyon have played a role for generations of holiday merry-makers.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon winter also brings with it a nostalgic, old-fashioned, stare-into-the-roaring-fire kind of vacation experience that is a relaxing counterpoint to the high-adrenaline ski vacations offered elsewhere in the California Sierra. It’s a different way to experience the season, and the perfect way to reconnect with family and loved ones.
Pear Lake Winter Hut
Nestled up in the mountains at 9200 feet, the Pear Lake Winter Hut offers access to the pristine winter wilderness of Sequoia National Park. The steep six-mile trail begins at Wolverton and gains 2000 feet in elevation to reach the Pear Lake area. Fit and experienced backcountry travelers will be rewarded with the stunning quiet of the High Sierra in winter in the luxury of a cozy cabin complete with pellet stove to keep you warm (pellets provided). The hut sleeps 10 and reservations are required.
For more information about the hut and a calendar of availability, please see the Sequoia Natural History Association page on the Pear Lake Winter Hut.
Photo courtesy the Sequoia Natural History Association.