These two parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley. Activity varies by season and elevation, which ranges from 1300′ to 14,494′.
Visits are great during any season!
SUMMER: July – early September, approximately
Activities and temperatures are at their peak. The foothills chaparral is hot and dry, but the mid-elevation sequoia groves offer warm days and pleasant nights. All roads and facilities are open — conditions permitting — and the Giant Forest shuttle is running. Ranger-led nature programs and Crystal Cave tours are offered daily.
FALL: mid-September – November, approximately
Cooler temperatures arrive to all elevations. In some areas, fall adds a touch of color to the landscape. Sudden storms can dust everything with snow before quickly melting. Crystal Cave tours usually continue into October. Most roads and facilities remain open but fewer programs are offered. Summer crowds are gone.
WINTER: Late November – mid-April, approximately
Pacific rains turn foothills grasses green and bring deep snowy silence to higher elevations. Come prepared for winter driving on snowy or icy roads. Some facilities shut down for winter. The roads to Cedar Grove and Mineral King close. The main road may close during and after winter storms for plowing.
SPRING: mid-April – June, approximately
Longer days and warmer temperatures melt snow and clothe lower elevations with wildflowers.
At higher elevations, winter conditions often linger. Rivers grow swift, cold and very dangerous. Crystal Cave tours begin mid-May. he road to Cedar Grove usually opens in mid-April and the Mineral King Road by Memorial Day.
DRIVING TO THE PARKS – Both roads leading to these parks approach from the west, from the San Joaquin Valley. They are open all day, every day, depending on weather. No roads cross these parks to the east side of the Sierra Nevada. From the east, no roads reach the park boundary. See the map at the bottom of this page. For current park road conditions and other information call: 1-559-565-3341.
The main park road, the Generals Highway, connects these two entrances. There are no gas stations within park boundaries – be sure to fill up outside the parks.
The Shaver Lake Art Gallery is located in the quaint village of Shaver Lake. It …
California’s Sierras are a mountain playground without compare. Yosemite, Mammoth Mountain, Lake Tahoe; if the …
The Frontier Pack Station offers guided pack trips to the magnificent Yosemite National Park and …
The Taylor Creek Visitor Center is the hub of four fascinating self-guided interpretive trails and …
No Visit to a California destination would be complete without visiting one of the many …
Get some altitude in mountain peaks, attitude on river runs, and time and space under …