Heavy snow forces chain restrictions, road closure at Sequoia National Park

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Some visitors to Sequoia National Park were disappointed earlier Friday. (KFSN)

Some visitors to Sequoia National Park were disappointed earlier Friday (and many turned around at the entrance), when they found out they would only be able to drive to Hospital Rock due to snow removal operations at higher elevations.

"It was closed due to the snow so we decided to come up here," said Lakeya Orange, of Los Angeles.

Lakeya and her husband Kevin have been to other national parks, but not to Sequoia or Kings Canyon. They've also never put on tire chains, until Friday, when they were required to at a stop just below the entrance to Kings Canyon, at around 5,000 feet.

The California Highway Patrol recommends practicing with chains before coming up the mountains. But Lakeya and Kevin managed just fine, with some help from others.

"We're ready for some fun in the snow...new experiences," Lakeya said.

The CHP also recommends slowing down, and be ready for weather conditions to change fast.

"Blankets, food, snacks, whatever it might be," CHP Officer Axel Reyes said. "Because something might happen, whether it's a collision or some other occurrence. And so just be prepared for anything up here."

Park officials expect more this weekend.

Chain restrictions will be in effect, and they say more road closures are a possibility.

Chain Controls and Winter Driving Alerts

The closure at Hospital Rock in Sequoia National Park was lifted later Friday. For the latest conditions, call 559-565-3341, then press 1, then 1 again.
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