In-park shuttle will not operate this summer
Staff at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks have set a target date for re-opening both parks as sometime during the week beginning Monday, June 1. National Park Service administrators are not adverse to postponing this date if all criteria are not met. There are a lot of moving parts to ensure the opening of the local parks is successful, goes smoothly, and is safe for employees and the visiting public. If criteria is not met to the satisfaction of the Park Service and health officials from the national to local levels, the opening will be delayed. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
It will be day-use only — no campgrounds or lodging facilities will be available — for the first couple of weeks but during this time, all roads, trails, and parking lots will be available for use. The entrance stations at Ash Mountain (Sequoia) and Big Stump (Kings Canyon) will be open, collecting fees, and distributing educational and informational materials.
The Mineral King area, Crescent Meadow Road, General Sherman Tree, General Grant Tree, and the Cedar Grove area will all open concurrently. Wilderness permits will be available for the backcountry, where social distancing is always in vogue. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
Visitors will be urged to adhere to physical distancing and not crowding into tight spaces such as the popular General Sherman Tree viewing area. The Park Service will be offering suggestions on how the public may explore the less-visited places to keep crowds at a minimum.
There is concern about crowds on the narrow pathway to Moro Rock; there will be signs, information and, at times, staff to remind people about distancing protocols. With no free in-park shuttle this year, there will also be staff assistance with traffic management at the busiest parking lots.
Mostly, the Park Service is hoping that all visitors will take personal responsibility in keeping themselves and others safe and healthy and virus-free. It is also being advised that everyone bring their own personal hygiene products because water, soap, and restrooms are few and far between when exploring foothills, forests, flora, and fauna. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
If everything goes as planned (and visitors demonstrate a willingness for physical distancing and crowd reduction), camping, lodging, take-away food, and ranger programs won’t be far behind in this master plan for re-opening. More information will be available next week along with trip-planning tools to assist in exploring the parks in the safest way possible. Sequoia and Kings Canyon
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