Main highway into Sequoia National Park to be closed

Kate Nemarich Image
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Main highway into Sequoia National Park to be closed
Generals Highway, the continuation of Highway 198 from Visalia into Sequoia National Park, is expected to be closed due to the storm moving into Central California.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Determined tourists headed deep into Sequoia National Park while they still could Friday morning.

Groups parked along the side of the road, checking their chains in case they encounter snow.

"I bought tire chains to come here and I haven't used them yet, which is a good thing, obviously. I was kind of getting ready to deal with some snow," Sequoia National Park visitor Cian McKelvey said.

Cian McKelvey and De'onte Ganguly drove up from USC Thursday afternoon.

The two were happy to get into the park and see the sights before any closures.

"I actually wish there was more snow though. Like there was a little bit of snow on the ground, like a couple inches, but not enough. I'm also from Texas so seeing snow is like a good thing, ya know?" Ganguly said.

Parts of Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park closed at 5 p.m. Friday and will last through the weekend.

"The closure really begins at Hospital Rock which is about 6 miles in and that will block access to Giant Forest to Giant Sequoias, snow play areas that are going to be most impacted by this storm," ranger Sintia Kawasaki-Yee said.

The foothills area, visitors center and access to foothills trails and sites will remain open.

Still the closures and threat of wet weather may keep some tourists away

"When it's a rainy days, like tomorrow for example we shut down, the park is shut down, the town is dead. So it is not much going on during the heavy storms or even a regular rainy day," Tony's Tavern on Wheels owners Maritza and Antonis Konnaris said.

Maritza and Antonis Konnaris own Tony's Tavern on Wheels in Three Rivers.

The couple serves up Greek food from their food truck surrounded by picnic tables for guest to enjoy their food with views of the mountains.

They look forward to serving guests but say their business depends heavily on the weather.

"We depend on our locals in town, but also the tourists. They keep coming, but they come when it's sunny, when it's nice up here," Maritza and Antonis Konnaris said.

The Konnarises are hopeful people will still come through to enjoy the parts of the park that are open.

If you do head up to Sequoia or Kings Canyon National Parks be prepared for more closures.

"There may be smaller access roads that do have to close even in the Grant Grove area, like access to the General Grant tree," Kawasaki-Yee said. We already know that Azalea Campground which is our year-round campground in Grant Grove that's already closing this afternoon."

If you do go up to Sequoia National Park, you need to know there are not snow play areas in the parts that are still open because the elevation isn't high enough for snow.

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