Weather in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park


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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 in Sequoia & Kings Canyon

Chains may be required at ANY time within the Park.  Be prepared by carrying chains in your vehicle at all times.

Highway 198 and all roads around Sequoia are generally kept clear of snow throughout the winter season; however the Generals Highway connecting Kings Canyon National Park to Sequoia National Park closes periodically throughout the winter in times of heavy snowfall.  During these closures, travelers will not be able to enter Sequoia National Park from the Highway 180 entrance.  Guests traveling to Wuksachi Lodge® and the Giant Forest/Wolverton areas are advised to use Highway 198 from Visalia.


All major roads are kept well plowed throughout the season when snowstorms occur.  Remember that icy conditions exist on park roads during the winter.  Slow down and watch for icy patches, especially in the shady areas. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Caltrans does NOT report on road and weather conditions within the park. Call the National Park Service general information 24-hour recording for current road and weather conditions at (559) 565-3341.

For road conditions outside of the park, please visit these Caltrans web pages:
Highway 180
Highway 198

Chain Concierge

Wuksachi Lodge is pleased to announce that when chains are required we will be offering a chain concierge to assist guests with installing their snow chains at the chain-up area along the Generals Highway between the southern park entrance (Highway 198) and the hotel.  This service will be available on Fridays from noon to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The chain concierge will install chains for Wuksachi Lodge overnight guests free of charge, or for a $20 fee for non-hotel guests.
Assistance is also available at Wuksachi Lodge on Sunday mornings for departing guests beginning at 8:00 a.m.

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