Weather in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park


Blanketed in snow, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks become a pristine wonderland with the arrival of winter.

Because of the size of the adjacent national parks and their range of elevations, Sequoia & Kings Canyon weather will vary per your location and season of travel.  When exploring the parks, it's important to be prepared - and always travel safely.

Temperatures vary by elevation/location. Be prepared with the right clothing, hiking, and camping equipment. Mineral King & Cedar Grove close in winter. The Sierra foothills (1,000 to 4,000 feet) are characterized by mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Precipitation usually occurs from January to mid-May; rain in the summer is rare. Average rainfall is about 26 inches. During the winter, low-hanging clouds often drift in from the west, obscuring the countryside for several days at a time.

In summer, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks weather in the middle elevations (4,000 to 7,000 feet) is characterized by warm days and cool evenings, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms. These elevations receive an average of 40 to 45 inches of precipitation annually. Much of this falls during the winter, resulting in a deep blanket of snow from December to May. Sub-zero temperatures, however, are rare.

Summer temperatures in Cedar Grove are generally hotter than the average for the middle elevations. Midsummer temperatures may reach the 90s. Cedar Grove is closed in the winter due to hazardous road conditions.

Seasonal Averages Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High 41 44 48 53 59 68 77 77 72 62 50 43
Avg Low 23 24 26 30 36 44 51 50 45 38 30 26
Avg Precipitation (in.) 7.32 8.02 6.63 4.75 1.78 0.42 0.11 0.17 0.44 1.54 4.11 8.0
Avg Snowfall (in.) 37.0 38.2 40.0 25.6 4.6 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.1 1.8 12.8 28.8
Avg Snow Depth (in.) 24.0 38.0 39.0 25.0 5.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 11.0

Winter Travel Tips

As of March 22, 2016, the General's Highway (Hwy 180 between Sequoia and Grant Grove) is open without restrictions. The road to Moro Rock and Crescent Meadow is also open for the season.

During the winter, the 15-mile stretch of the Generals Highway (Highway 180) from Montecito-Sequoia Lodge to Wuksachi Lodge typically closes for the season after the first big snows. Winter access to Wuksachi Lodge and the Giants Forest is via Highway 198 only as shown on the winter access map. Access to John Muir Lodge is via Highway 180 only.

For the latest Road Conditions update recording, call (559) 565-3134, then 1 & then 1 again when prompted. For additional information, see the National Park Service winter driving page as well as their video about using snow chains and cables.

We recommend that you practice putting your chains on in daylight before you need them. For Wuksachi Lodge guests, we also recommend that you plan your trip to arrive at least as far as the Giants Forest during daylight hours when winter driving conditions exist.

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