Traffic Congestion

cars wait in a long line on the road
During the summer and holiday weekends, traffic in the parks can cause delays

NPS Photo - Joshua Schultz

During summer and on holiday weekends, you may encounter lines of cars at park entrance stations. Once you're in the park it may be difficult to find parking at popular areas.

Before You Arrive at the Entrance

  • Arrive on weekdays, early in the day, or both.
  • Pay your entrance fee or purchase a pass online before you arrive. If you already have a pass, have it in hand when you get to the station, along with your i.d. card. If you reach the station without paying in advance, have your credit card ready.
  • Fill your gasoline tank before you get to the park entrance.
  • There are no restrooms at the entrance stations, and lines sometimes develop at restrooms at the first visitor center inside Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
  • Have snacks and water in your vehicle in case you have to wait, and be prepared with everything you will need once you're inside the parks.

Once in the Parks

  • The best way to get around the Giant Forest and Lodgepole areas of the park is to take the free shuttle. The shuttle can take you back to your car at the end of the day.
  • Congestion on roads and in parking lots is heaviest in Grant Grove (Kings Canyon National Park) and in the Giant Forest (Sequoia National Park). It is especially heavy on weekends.
  • Parking lots near popular features often fill by noon, and sometimes earlier.
  • Store food properly as soon as you arrive, especially at campgrounds and picnic areas. Increased bear activity means food storage is extremely important. Use metal food storage boxes to store food and all scented items wherever they're available. If there are no boxes, keep food and scented items in your trunk. At picnic areas, keep all food within arm's reach.
  • Do not stop or park on any plants. Along roadsides, park only in designated paved turnouts and pull off the road completely.
  • During days of heavy traffic, park rangers may temporarily divert you away from certain parking lots.

Last updated: June 14, 2024

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47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271


559 565-3341

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