Crowds expected in open areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

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FILE – In this April 22, 2021, file photo, provided by the National Park Service, shows a smoldering tree in Sequoia National Park, Calif. The giant sequoia was found smoldering and smoking in an area of the park burned by the 2020 Castle Fire. At least a tenth of the world’s mature giant sequoias were destroyed by a single California wildfire that tore through the southern Sierra Nevada last year, according to a draft report prepared by scientists with the National Park Service. (Tony Caprio/National Park Service via AP, File)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Portions of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are expected to be packed for the holiday weekend, and park officials are urging people to plan ahead.

Visitors can enter Kings Canyon National Park at the Highway 180 entrance and enjoy the Grant Grove area, most of which is open. In Azalea Campground, 20 sites are available for first-come, first-served camping. Temperatures below freezing are expected overnight.

Highway 180 into Cedar Grove is closed for the season at Hume Lake Road, and Generals Highway leading toward Sequoia National Park is closed at Highway 180, officials said.

It is not possible to drive between the parks.

Some areas of Sequoia National Park are open, but access to the Giant Forest, Lodgepole and the General Sherman Tree is closed. Those wanting to see giant sequoias should not enter the Sequoia National Park Entrance Station in Three Rivers, officials said.

Generals Highway is open between the entrance station and the Hospital Rock Picnic Area, about 6 miles inside the park.

Many trails and river access points remain closed due to fire risks and damage. The Middle Fork Trail is open, and Potwisha Campground is open for first-come, first-served camping. There is limited parking in open areas of the foothills, and delays or temporary closures should be expected.

Click here for more information on open areas and facilities.

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