Park access on Highway 180 closed until spring

The Sequoia National Forest closes off the road leading up to Hume Lake and Cedar Grove until April 2023

DUNLAP, CALIF. –  The National Park planned to close the same Highway twice in the same month, attributing the closures to winter weather.

On Nov. 6, the Sequoia National Forest officials decided to close Highway 180, which falls between the Hume Lake cutoff and Cedar Grove. This was due to an anticipated storm, but the closure will be lifted on Nov. 10. However, just four days later on Nov. 14, Highway 180 will undergo another road closure from CalTrans that will last until mid-April of next year, which is a common practice during winter months, according to public information officer Elizabeth Yelton.

“Normally around mid-November is when the wet weather comes in, and [Highway] 180 starts to get snow on it and becomes kind of dangerous for the roadway to be open,” Yelton said.

Yelton said that the incoming storms and adverse weather can seriously impact drivers, often subjecting them to falling rocks or trees. It also raises concern for the snow and ice conditions on the roads. Drivers that wish to enter the National Park can still utilize the Tulare County entrance, Highway 198.

During the winter months, where thunderstorms are common in the high-elevation areas of the parks, most Forest Service-administered roads in the District will be closed for public safety, resource protection and to provide winter recreation opportunities, according to the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument press release.

Snowmobiling is also limited to many roads within the parks during winter, which adds to reasons why road closures have to be enforced. People visiting the National Parks are encouraged to come prepared for cold weather by bringing snow chains, extra winter clothing, a flashlight with fresh batteries, food, and water in case they find themselves stuck in the mountains due to unfriendly road conditions.

Start typing and press Enter to search