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The National Parks – Sierra

The Sierra National Parks

The Sierra are blessed with one of the highest concentrations of wilderness and national park areas in the United States. With four National Parks and twenty-two Wilderness Areas in the Sierra recreation is abundant and locations to enjoy a numerous.

From the volcanic and strange landscapes in Lassen Volcanic National Park in the north to the iconic granite features of Yosemite National Park and the majestic trees and water features of Kings Canyon and Sequoia National parks to the south, visitors and residents alike have unbelievable access to the beauty, thrills and challenges of these beautiful creations.

Explore your National Parks in the Sierra: Day Trips, Backcountry Backpacking Trips, Weekend Getaways, Family Traditions all are readily available in the Sierra National Parks.

These Links and Pages will help you explore new places, plan a next trip, find your new favorite place in the Sierra National Parks, or start a family tradition.

National Park Service Announces Entrance Fee-Free Days for 2019 Sierra Parks

Yosemite, Lassen Volcanic, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Will Offer Five Free Entrance Days in 2019 Sierra Rec Magazine - News Release NPS - WASHINGTON – The National Park Service will waive all entrance fees on five days in 2019, giving visitors and locals an additional FEE Free opportunity to come and explore the Sierra National Parks we all love and celebrate.  These Fee Free days can be quite busy days to explore the National Parks but if the gate fee is your barrier for going, then take these opportunities to celebrate special moments in the parks. Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Death Valley (Which does not charge a fee ever) and Lassen Volcanic National Park are all within driving distance of each other in the Sierra.  Backp[acking permits are still required for these days in the Parks, but your entrance fee is waived. The five entrance fee-free days for 2019 will be: Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day “The entrance fee-free days hosted by the National Park Service are special opportunities to invite visitors, volunteers and veterans to celebrate some important moments for our parks and opportunities for service in those parks,” said National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith. The National Park System includes more than 85 million acres and includes national parks, national historical parks, national monuments, national recreation areas, national battlefields, and national seashores. There is at least...

Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Will Close Tuesday Nov. 20 In Preparation of Winter Storm

TRAVEL UPDATES: TIOGA PASS, Glacier Point, Sonora Pass and Ebbets Pass Thanksgiving Weekend Sierra Rec Magazine, Yosemite National Park, November 19th 2018, - Each year we arrive at today with mixed emotions. Yosemite National Park has announced The Tioga and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park will close to all vehicular traffic beginning at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, November 20, 2018 due to incoming winter weather. The roads will reopen as weather and road conditions permit. This is not necessarily a seasonal closure. This signals the end of the season for us on the Eastside of Yosemite who use the Tioga Pass entrance to many of our Yosemite Park Adventures. Yet it also signals the beginning of snowshoe and ski season which is a beautiful reason to celebrate. A series of winter storms are expected to pass through the Yosemite area beginning on Tuesday evening through the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Yosemite National Park is open year-round with snow removal on all other roads within the park. Highway 120 West, Highway 140, and Highway 41 remain open year-round and provide access to Yosemite Valley. The Hetch Hetchy Road is open for day use throughout the winter months. All roads within the park are subject to chain control or temporary closures due to hazardous driving conditions. All motorists are required to carry tire chains, even if their car is equipped with four-wheel drive, while driving in the park during the winter months. For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200 Sonora and Ebbetts Pass also plan on closing for Thanksgiving travel Caltrans reports that Ebbetts Pass...

Lassen Volcanic to Waive Entrance Fee to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day

MINERAL, CA - All National Park Service sites, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, will offer free admission to visitors on September 22 for National Public Lands Day. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this fee free day to explore and discover the beauty and recreational opportunities that Lassen Volcanic National Park has to offer,” said Superintendent Jim Richardson. “There is much for the public to experience and enjoy in the parklands and forests of northern California.On September 22, thousands of volunteers will show their appreciation for our America's public lands by volunteering in National Public Lands Day activities. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, the public is encouraged to participate in activities focusing on the resilience and restoration of our public lands.Lassen Volcanic is excited to participate in National Public Lands Day through a number of activities. Students, teachers, and parents from the Lassen-Antelope Volcanic Academy (LAVA) Charter School will kick off National Public Lands Day activities on September 21. These hardworking volunteers will take part in an important restoration project to remove overgrown vegetation on Manzanita Lake Dam.Other opportunities for volunteering will occur throughout the park. There is a need for volunteers to assist in making our park signs more resilient through cleaning and polishing. Visitors can help the park highway and trailhead signs shine by wiping down and polishing wayside exhibits and bulletin cases. Pick up and drop-off a small kit with supplies, instructions, and locations at the Loomis Museum or Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.There is also an excellent project to work with park biologists to restore native vegetation by removing invasive species. This is a fantastic opportunity to help the park, while...

Yosemite Valley to Reopen to Visitors on Tuesday, August 14th, at 9:00 a.m.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias to reopen on Monday, August 13th Yosemite National Park is pleased to announce that Yosemite Valley will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, August 14th, at 9:00 a.m. Yosemite Valley has been closed to visitors since Wednesday, July 25th, due to impacts from the Ferguson Fire. Visitors can access Yosemite Valley from the El Portal Road (Highway 140), the Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120), or the Tioga Road (Highway 120).  The Wawona Road (Highway 41) will remain closed from Wawona to Yosemite Valley for at least another week due to ongoing fire activity and firefighter operations. Park visitors should be aware that there is still active fire and smoke on the roads and people should drive with extreme caution. Delays on the roads are possible due to fire activity and ongoing firefighter operations. There will be limited hours and limited visitor services at park facilities as the park returns to normal operations. Mariposa Grove of Giants - Yosemite National Park The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias will reopen to the public on Monday, August 13th, at 9:00 a.m. Visitors can access the Mariposa Grove via the South Entrance (Highway 41) and park in the newly constructed parking area. The free shuttle buses to the Mariposa Grove will begin at 9:00 am. and take visitors to the newly restored Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Mariposa Grove reopened to visitors on June 14th, after a 3 year restoration project conducted in partnership with Yosemite Conservancy. Visitors will be able to travel to the Wawona area via the South Entrance (Highway 41). However, there is...

The Ferguson Fire Continues To Engulf The Sierra and Endanger Firefighters and Local Residents. Updated Road Closures

Additional Road Closures for the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite National Park include the West HWY 120  Crane Flat region Awahanee, CA, August 2, 2018 - On Sunday, July 29, 2018, Brian Hughes, 33, Captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots lost his life battling the Ferguson Fire on the Sierra National Forest. An official memorial website has been established in honor of Captain Hughes. There, the public can learn about him, upcoming memorial services, and where to send condolence letters or contributions. The site also includes a section for visitor-submitted memories and condolences. more… The Ferguson Fire now in its 21th day, started July 13 on the Sierra National Forest and is managed under unified command between the United States Forest Service, California Interagency Incident Management Team 4, CALFIRE and the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. The fire is now 68,610 acres with 39% containment and 3,344 personnel that are currently engaged on the fire which includes 145 engines, 45 water tenders, 14 helicopters, 88 crews, 5 masticators and 49 dozers. There have been 2 fatalities and 11 injuries to date. 10 structures have been destroyed. Firefighters worked throughout the night to contain a couple spot fires outside of Wawona as they made progress toward full suppression of the Ferguson Fire. The high-pressure system above the fire is weakening which will result in warmer and drier conditions. With lower winds speeds and the inversion layer forecasted to lift by midday, residents are likely to see taller smoke columns than they are used to seeing. Natural resource specialists have begun surveying the western side of the fire today to assess areas requiring repair and mitigation. Firefighters,...

Yosemite Valley and Other Areas Will Remain Closed through Sunday, August 5

Yosemite National Park Announces Yosemite Valley and Other Areas Will Remain Closed through Sunday, August 5, 2018 Due to Continued Unhealthy Smoke Impacts and Active Firefighting Operations Conditions and closures to be assessed over the weekend Sierra REc Magazine - August 2, 2018 - Yosemite National Park announces Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, Hetch Hetchy, and other areas will remain closed to all visitors through Sunday, August 5, 2018 due to continued unhealthy smoke impacts and ongoing firefighting operations. The park will continue to assess conditions and reevaluate all closures on Sunday, August 5. Yosemite Valley has been temporarily closed since July 25 due to smoke impacts and for firefighting operations along El Portal Road and the Wawona Road due to the Ferguson Fire. The Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West) to Crane Flat and Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass remain open to all visitors and vehicles. Visitors are advised to drive with caution, as smoke impacts may vary. All trails and campgrounds along Tioga Road, including the Tuolumne Meadows Campground remain open. All visitor services along Tioga Road, including the High Sierra Camps and visitor services near Tuolumne Meadows remain open. Since the Ferguson Fire began on Friday, July 13, several other park facilities and roads have been closed due to fire impacts and the need to support firefighting operations. These closures include Glacier Point Road, Bridalveil Creek Campground, Wawona Campground, and the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias. Yosemite National Park continues to work closely with the Incident Management Team...

Mariposa Grove Reopening – A Celebration Of Partnership, Vision And Passion

Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Conservancy Celebrate the Reopening of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias After the Largest Restoration Project in Park History Sierra Rec Magazine -Yosemite National Park- June 2018 - Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Conservancy and public officials this month dedicated the newly restored Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias following a landmark project to protect the ancient trees and reestablish the area’s natural serenity. “As the largest protection, restoration and improvement project in park history, this milestone reflects the unbridled passion so many people have to care for Yosemite so that future generations can experience majestic places like Mariposa Grove,” said Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds. “These trees sowed the seeds of the national park idea in the 1800s and because of this incredible project it will remain one of the world’s most significant natural and cultural resources.” Mariposa Grove is home to about 500 mature giant sequoias, which are among the largest living things on Earth. The grove and Yosemite Valley were protected in 1864 as part of the Yosemite Grant Act, the nation’s first legislation focused on preserving public lands.The National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy donors each provided $20 million to fund the $40 million project. The grove has been closed to the public since July 2015 when restoration activities began. At a new arrival area, where shuttle busses will drop-off visitors, officials marked the grove reopening with a ribbon cutting and a tribal blessing. Speakers highlighted the grove’s historical significance, the importance of preserving our natural places, and the effectiveness of the National Park Service and Yosemite Conservancy partnership to accomplish exceptional work in...

Yosemite National Park Offers Electronic Park Entrance Passes Beginning on June 21, 2018

YourPassNow offers visitors new digital access to America’s public lands Sierra Rec Magazine - Yosemite National Park, June 2018 - Yosemite National Park announces the opportunity for park visitors to purchase their park entrance passes electronically through YourPassNow beginning on Thursday, June 21, 2018. Once visitors purchase and save their digital pass to their cell phone, or print and bring their purchased pass with them, Rangers will scan their pass at the entrance station. This convenient new service will give visitors the choice of purchasing a park pass in advance, or purchasing a pass in person at the park entrance station. This option is already available to visitors at several National Park Service sites across the country. “We are pleased to offer this opportunity for visitors to purchase park passes at home or on their mobile devices,” stated Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds. “This exciting technology provides visitors with the option for buying their park entrance passes in advance while on the road or from home.” YourPassNow provides an alternative to the traditional paper-based, in-person purchase method while simultaneously providing public lands with a tool to help manage the visitor experience. Using a computer or a personal device, visitors can purchase park entrance passes from yourpassnow.com at no additional cost. Once purchased, passes can be downloaded or stored to an electronic wallet for immediate and future use. Passes are also emailed for those that want to print their pass. The following passes will be available on www.YourPassNow.com: Private Vehicle ($35, valid one to seven days) Motorcycle ($30, valid one to seven days) Individual/Bicycle ($20, valid one to seven days) Yosemite Annual Pass ($70 valid for one year from...

Reds Meadow, Devils Post Pile and Rainbow Falls Access Opens For The Season

The Reds Meadow Road to open June 15   Sierra Rec Magazine - June 14, 2018 - The Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument announce that the Reds Meadow Valley Road will open on Friday, June 15 at 5:00 pm. The road received damage in two sections of the road, where the sub-grade material under the road washed away and the road buckled. The forest’s Engineering Crew, with the assistance of an additional crew brought in under an emergency contract, rebuilt and repaved these segments of the road. The mandatory Reds Meadow Shuttle Bus will run starting Saturday, June 16. Only exception vehicles will be allowed to drive into the Reds Meadow Valley. Please visit https://www.estransit.com/routes-schedule/seasonal/reds-meadow-shuttle/ for details. The Agnew Meadows,Minaret Falls, Reds Meadow, Upper Soda Springs, and the Pumice Flat Campgrounds will open by Friday, June 22 and earlier if feasible by the concessioner, California Land Management (www.clm-services.com).  Inyo National Forest and Devils Postpile National Monument water systems are being tested for potability, so hikers and campers should bring their own water.The Reds Meadow Resort and Pack Station is open with camping supplies. The Devils Postpile Ranger Station will be open daily, 9:00 am -5:00 pm starting June 16. As a reminder, wilderness permits are issued at the Welcome Center in Mammoth Lakes—not at the Ranger Station. Flush toilets are available at the Ranger Station.  Devils Postpile National Monument campground is closed this year to increase day use access for picnicking, improved river access for fishing, and to provide overflow parking in the fall. Please call the Ranger Station/Visitor Center at 760-934-2289 for more information.  The trail to viewpoints above Rainbow Falls are open. ...

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Located in the Northern Sierra. It cradles the exit of the Cascade Mountains and MT. Shasta with the rise of the Great Sierra Granite Mountains. The Volcanic formations, high mountain lakes and lush mountain meadows are a true treasure in our national park system. The least visited of the four national parks in the Sierra. Lassen is recognized as Dark Sky Destination and annually holds the Dark Sky Festival in August each summer.

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Manzanita Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Yosemite National Park

The most popular National Park in the Sierra and one of the most recognized parks in the United States. Over 3 million people search out information on Yosemite online every month of the year. From scenic views that will capture your imaginations, to Backpacking and day hike adventures that will fill your family story time for generations to come. The wild outdoors and adventure opportunities that exist for the average public are some of the top in the world. Waterfalls, Granite formations, Incredible hikes and Wildlife are some of the worlds favorite features.IMG_0415

Kings Canyon National Park & Sequoia National Park

A Land of Giants
This landscape testifies to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity – huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks lie side-by-side in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of the San Joaquin Valley. Visitor activities vary by season and elevation (1,370 to 14,494 feet). The true treasures of these National Parks are often found with a little effort and adventure. However the world-famous Redwood Giant trees are on parade for the whole world with easy access. Recreation Ideas for Kings Canyongeneral-grant-lower-big

Important dates to add to your calendar!
By Recreation.gov

Yosemite National Park offers 13 campgrounds. Five of these are first-come, first-served but you can reserve eight of the most popular (plus acquire Cables on Half-Dome permits) in advance on Recreation.gov. The reservable campsites are in extremely high demand—campers will typically book all of the sites within 20 minutes after they go on sale.

Yosemite National Park differs from most of the campsites on Recreation.gov because the park releases a block of reservations monthly. Yosemite’s reservable campsites are available up to five months in advance on the 15th of each month at 7:00 AM Pacific or 10:00 AM Eastern.

Remember to adjust your clock accurately, start the reservation process and be ready to “Book These Dates” the moment the on-sale begins!

If you book on: You can make Yosemite reservations for arrival dates between:
January 15th – January 16th and June 14th
February 15th – February 16th and July 14th
March 15th – March 16th and August 14th
April 15th – April 16th and September 14th
May 15th – May 16th and October 14th
June 15th – June 16th and November 14th
July 15th – July 16th and December 14th
August 15th – August 16th and January 14th
September 15th – September 16th and February 14th
October 15th – October 16th and March 14th
November 15th – November 16th and April 14th
December 15th- December 16th and May 14th

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