Sequoia National Forest, CA – Forest Service officials have implemented a seasonal road closure for high elevation areas of the Sequoia National Forest due to the recent and anticipated storm activity. Most Forest Service administered roads on the Hume Lake and Western Divide Ranger Districts are now closed for public safety and resource protection. Highway 180 between the Hume Lake cutoff and Cedar Grove was closed early this year because of the Rough Fire. Tulare County closed the roads leading into Balch Park and Mountain Home, along with the Western Divide Highway and Parker Pass.
Visitors coming to spend some time in the snow covered mountains need to be prepared for winter conditions. Tire chains are required near the 5,000 foot elevation on most roads during the winter months, and will be required at lower elevations during snow storms. On the Hume Lake Ranger District, Quail Flat and Big Meadow winter trailheads are both accessed off the Generals Highway. Take a right turn past the Big Stump Entrance Station on Highway 180 to access these sites. Both provide safe parking, restrooms, and trash services.
Big Meadow Road is open for tracked over-snow vehicles from the winter trailhead to Big Meadow Campground, Unit 5. Roads nearby, also open to tracked over-snow vehicles, are Woodward Road (FS 14S18) and Rock Road (FS 14S14). The area to the south of Big Meadow Road, including the Jennie Lakes Wilderness is open to foot traffic and snow-play.
Along the Generals Highway, between Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, overnight lodging is available at Montecito Lake Resort. This resort operates under a special use permit with the U.S. Forest Service and offers over twenty miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in the Giant Sequoia National Monument. Along the Kings River, Camp 4 ½ Rental Cabin, Camp 4 and Green Cabin Flat campgrounds are open year-round with access from Pine Flat Lake.
Sequoia National Forest visitors are encouraged to travel with vehicles and equipment that are suitable for driving in winter mountain weather. Caltrans recommends all vehicles carry snow chains when traveling during snowy weather. Please see CalTrans Winter Driving Tips for more winter driving tips.
The surrounding backcountry attracts skiers and snowshoers during the winter months. Please travel prepared for cold weather by bringing along extra winter clothing, flash-light with fresh batteries, food, and water.
Above Porterville, on the Western Divide Ranger District, snow seekers will find a snow play area near Quaking Aspen Campground on Highway 190. Portable bathrooms are located in the parking lot of the Ponderosa Lodge for the public use. Wishon Campground is open year-round for camping, reserve your spot by calling 1-877-444-6777 or find on the World Wide Web at www.recreation.gov