National Parks prepare for more snow this weekend

Saturday, December 7, 2019
National Parks prepare for more snow this weekend
National Parks are preparing for another snowstorm Saturday and Sunday.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Sequoia National Park was hit so hard by last week's winter storm that Generals Highway closed past Hospital Rock.

The road reopened on Sunday, but park officials expect another round of snow this weekend.

"Well I saw a few weeks ago that you had quite a storm but I didn't know there was another one coming," said Erik Ballantyne of Toronto. "But should be fine."

Generals Highway was a little wet, but mostly clear of ice and snow as Ballantyne explored some of earth's biggest trees on Friday.

As he heads to Yosemite next, he says he's prepared for any change in the weather.

He carries snow chains and knows how to put them on.

That's what park officials like to hear.

"(With) snow on the ground and the ice, practice before you come up here," said Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks' Colleen Bathe. "And then make sure that you have adequate snacks and water and plenty of warm clothes."

Before you head to the parks, call 559-565-3341 (dial 1, then 1).

While Friday was a beautiful day for visitors, conditions will likely change over the course of the weekend.

"We're prepared for the road to be open and we will keep up with snow plowing operations as we can," Bathe said. "And if there's any point that we as a park feel like it's unsafe for park staff or visitors due to the conditions, we can close the road at any time, so be prepared for that."

This Sunday is the annual Trek to the Nation's Christmas Tree event at Kings Canyon National Park.

It's only been canceled once due to the weather, and park officials hope they don't have to cancel for a second time this weekend.