Select Page


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.

Youth Groups Invited to Apply to Lassen Volcano Adventure Camp

Sierra Rec Magazine - National Park News - March 20, 2019 - Lassen Volcanic National Park and its partner Lassen Park Foundation invite youth groups to plan their night under the stars at the Volcano Adventure Camp this summer. Lassen Park Foundation will accept applications for grants to cover the cost of a trip to the youth camping facility in Lassen Volcanic through April 2. “In 2018 we welcomed 484 youth to camp, hike, learn, and connect to nature and each other,” said Superintendent Jim Richardson. “We are looking forward to hosting yet another group of young adventurers in the Volcano Adventure Camp’s third season.” Any organization or school assisting underserved youth is eligible to apply for a grant up to $1,000. Groups with non-profit status may require a non-profit fiscal sponsor. Park admission and campground fees are waived for grant recipients and grant funds are available to pay for camping and hiking equipment, water bottles, food (groups must prepare their own food), and transportation. The camp is outfitted with dormitory-style tent cabins, picnic pavilions, showers, vault toilets, and running water.  A stay at Volcano Adventure Camp includes ranger and/or group-led talks, hikes, and activities. Participants learn how to camp, explore park trails, and learn about park topics like volcanology, glaciation, astrobiology, fire ecology, and climate. Volcano Adventure Camp will operate June 12 through September 22, weather permitting. More information and a link to the application can be found at and Groups that would like to stay at the Volcano Adventure Camp but do not require a grant may apply through a separate reservation application that will be available...

National Park Foundation and Winnebago Industries Announce New Partnership Supporting America’s National Parks

FOREST CITY — For more than six decades, Winnebago Industries has created products that enable customers to explore America’s national parks. Today, Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO), a leading outdoor lifestyle product manufacturer, strengthened that connection by announcing a multi-year partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official nonprofit partner of the National Park Service, in support of the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque movement. This public awareness campaign inspires people of all backgrounds and abilities to discover and share their own unique connections to America’s national parks. “Our purpose, throughout our Winnebago, Grand Design and Chris-Craft families, is to help our customers explore the outdoor lifestyle, enabling extraordinary experiences as they travel, live, work and play,” said Winnebago Industries President and CEO Michael Happe. “We firmly believe that America’s national parks offer unparalleled opportunities to experience the beauty of nature and the depth of our shared heritage at some of the most scenic and historic locations in the United States. It is an honor to support the work of the National Park Foundation in pursuit of our shared goal, to connect more people with transformative outdoor experiences.” With more than 400 national parks across the U.S., Winnebago and the Winnebago Industries Foundation will help raise awareness about parks less traveled and also lend support to NPF’s Open OutDoors for Kids program, which connects young people to national parks through meaningful, educational, and engaging activities. “This partnership not only brings parks to people by raising awareness, it also literally brings people to parks,” said National Park Foundation President Will Shafroth. “The National Park Foundation is pleased to partner with Winnebago Industries and...

Death Valley Hosts Record 1,678,660 Visitors in 2018

Has the general public finally realized the stunning beauty of Death Valley DEATH VALLEY, CA –Death Valley National Park’s visitation has doubled in the past 9 years and increased by 30% over the past year. In 2018, a record 1,678,660 people recreated in the park.  “It’s really exciting to see so many people from around the world experiencing and appreciating the beauty of Death Valley National Park,” said Superintendent Mike Reynolds.  While it might be logical to assume the desert park’s visitation is highest in winter, visitation is actually relatively constant year-round. Last year’s busiest month was August, with 182,929 visits. However, summer visits tend to be quick stops between Las Vegas and Yosemite National Park. By contrast, only 80,396 people visited the park in January, but many of these people stayed to enjoy the park for multiple days.  “Some people visit in the summer in spite of the heat, because that is the only time they can travel. Others come to Death Valley in the summer precisely because it is the hottest place on Earth,” said Reynolds.  Death Valley’s visitation has been increasing for more than a decade. In addition to this trend, 2018’s numbers represent more accurate counting, because data from the traffic counter on Daylight Pass Road are now included.  More detailed information about visitation at all National Park Service units can be found at the NPS social sciences webpage. Death Valley National Park is the homeland of the Timbisha Shoshone and preserves natural and cultural resources, exceptional wilderness, scenery, and learning experiences within the nation’s largest conserved desert landscape and some of the most extreme...

Joshua Tree National Park will sponsor a five week, Youth Conservation Corps program

Youth Conservation Corps 2019 - Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National Park News, March 15, 2019  - This summer, Joshua Tree National Park will sponsor a five week, Youth Conservation Corps program. Youths between the ages of 15 and 18 are encouraged to apply. To be eligible, applicants may not reach their 19th birthday during the program. Applicants are selected through a random lottery, but the crew will be composed evenly of male and female selectees. Selected applicants will start work on July 15, 2019, and continue in the program until August 15, 2019. Corps members will earn the hourly California Minimum Wage. Work hours are Monday through Friday from 7 am until 3:30 pm, with every other Friday off. No housing is available. Participants must be able to commit to the entire dates of the program to take part. The program provides young people of the community with excellent hands-on work experience. Work will be labor intensive and performed throughout the park. Proposed projects include trail construction and maintenance, resource habitat improvement, and engaging the public through educational activities. Education, job development and youth training are truly an investment we can all make in the futures of our children. Application forms are available from Joshua Tree National Park Headquarters in Twentynine Palms, as well as Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms High schools. The application form must be returned or postmarked to Human Resources, Joshua Tree National Park, 74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277 and marked “YCC 2019”, no later than April 19th, 2019.  For more information about the program, and to get an application,...

Yosemite National Park Announces Late Seasonal Openings for Several Park Facilities

Significant damage from heavy winter snowpack has resulted in delayed openings Yosemite National Park announces that there will be late seasonal openings to facilities throughout the park. These late openings are due to the exceptionally heavy snowpack in Yosemite National Park and the subsequent extensive damage to many park facilities. Yosemite National Park experienced significant snowfall over the winter season. The March 1 snow survey showed that both the Merced and Tuolumne River drainages are measuring at approximately 143 percent of normal (the final snow survey of the year will be conducted on April 1). Several significant storm systems in January and February produced high levels of snow, which resulted in temporary road closures, rock and debris slides, and falling trees. Additionally, these storms resulted in extensive damage to facilities throughout the park. Damage to facilities includes trees falling on and damaging campground restrooms, utilities systems compromised, tent cabins damaged or destroyed, and falling trees impacting campsites, parking areas, hiking trails, and roads. Although the park will begin plowing the Glacier Point and Tioga Roads in April, neither road is anticipated to be open before Memorial Day. Extensive snow along Tioga Road portends a late opening, park visitors should plan accordingly. Photo Courtesy of Yosemite National Park Media For the latest updates on park programs and facilities, please visit Several facilities operated by Yosemite Hospitality, the park’s primary Concessioner, are also expected to open later than usual. For the latest information on concession-operated programs and facilities, please visit Park visitors should anticipate additional late openings, including the installation of the Half Dome cables, the Mariposa Grove Visitor Shuttle, and...

Yosemite National Park Announces that the 2019 Half Dome Preseason Lottery will Open on Wednesday, March 13, 2019

2019 preseason lottery for Half Dome permits will open at 7:00 am PDT on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Yosemite National Park, March 7, 2019 - Yosemite National Park announces that the 2019 preseason lottery for Half Dome permits will open at 7:00 am PDT on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. For the latest information on the Half Dome preseason lottery, please visit All hikers are required to have permits to ascend the subdome steps and the Half Dome cables seven days a week when the cables are up. Park Rangers install the Half Dome cables each spring and take them down each fall, based on weather and trail conditions. The cables are typically up from late May to early October. All day use hiking permits are distributed by lottery via, with the preseason lottery in the spring and daily lotteries during the hiking season. During the preseason lottery, 225 permits are available for each day that the cables are up. To include Half Dome as part of an overnight wilderness trip please visit All visitors planning to apply for permits to climb the Half Dome Cables are strongly encouraged to thoroughly read all information posted on Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome page and the “Cables on Half Dome” page managed by,, as there have been some new changes to the application process. The most accurate information will be posted on both the Yosemite National Park webpage and on...

NatureBridge Summer Backpacking Programs for Teens in Yosemite and Olympic National Parks Builds Future Scientists and Leaders

Registration is open for summer backpacking programs in Yosemite YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — February 28, 2019 —NatureBridge, the largest non-profit educational partner of theNational Park Service, leads life-changing backpacking programs for middle and high school students in Yosemite and Olympic National Parks each summer. These one-week and two-week programs offer the perfect mix of backpacking, science and adventure and give participants the opportunity to conduct field science investigations in two of the most iconic national parks in the country. NatureBridge Summer Backpacking programs are designed to develop future environmental leaders as they take students on a challenging physical and academic journey into spectacular wilderness. Students participate in a multi-day backpacking adventure, conduct hands-on science projects and develop their leadership skills. Supported by a new group of friends, students return home with a deeper connection to nature, empowered to pursue their interest in environmental science. Alumni students have used their NatureBridge summer backpacking experience and research for school capstone projects, college entrance essays and job resumes. “I learned about flexibility with new people, [I gained] a deeper understanding of the life in the forest, and I also learned that I am stronger than I have ever thought,” wrote India, a 2018 Summer Backpacking participant. Registration is open for Summer 2019, with programs available in June and July. NatureBridge is excited to expand its summer offerings this year to include trips for middle school students. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available! Students and parents who are interested are encouraged to contact Katie Draude, NatureBridge Summer Programs Manager, at 415-598-9832 or To learn more about NatureBridge’s Summer Backpacking visit About NatureBridge Founded in 1971, NatureBridge...

Yosemite National Park Impacted By Recent Winter Storms

Multiple park facilities damaged by significant snowfall earlier this week Sierra Rec Magazine - Yosemite National Park updates - February 9, 2019 - Multiple park facilities, housing units, and the park’s ski area have been significantly impacted by the significant snowfall the park received earlier this week. Yosemite Valley received approximately 18 to 24 inches of snow due to storms Monday through Wednesday. Yosemite’s high country saw several feet of new snow. The large snowfall amount caused several trees to topple, power outages, roads to temporarily close, damage to park campgrounds, and the temporary closure of the park’s ski area. No injuries occurred during the storm, and park personnel worked long hours to clear roads, ensure employee and visitor safety, and keep utility and other systems operating during the significant winter storms. Approximately 50 guest cabins at Half Dome Village and 50-70 concessioner housing units were damaged or destroyed. About 150 concession employees are impacted and arrangements are being made to provide them temporary housing. All visitor services at Half Dome Village are closed while damage assessments continue and repairs begin. Upper Pines Campground is closed, as trees fell on restrooms in the campground and it is not safe for visitors. It is expected to reopen in the next several days. Yosemite Ski and Snowboard area is closed as well. Please check the park and concessioner websites for updates on openings and operating hours. The National Park Service and the park concessioner are currently working together on damage assessments, alternative housing for employees, and repairing damage to park facilities. There is no financial estimate of damage or expected times...

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...

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.


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!

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 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 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

Become a Sierra REC Member

Thank You For Joining the REC Crew. Look for exciting opportunities coming soon to your email box.