Hiking during COVID-19 is a great way to be physically active, relieve stress, and get some fresh air and vitamin D. And — good news! — Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks reopened June 4 for day trips and hiking.
Fresno’s shelter-in-place order was lifted on May 26. Many businesses have re-opened, although with operational changes and safety measures in place for public health.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, while re-opened, also have changes that visitors should be aware of. Please visit their website for the most current updates before you head down the road.
Your health and safety — and the health and safety of others — is still top priority. So be sure to follow these CDC guidelines to protect yourself and others if you’re hiking during COVID-19:
With visitor centers, markets, and gift shops still closed, you’ll need to plan ahead for your trip to hike in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The National Park Service recommends having a trail map with you, whether you’re hiking long or short trails, unpaved or paved. You want to be prepared for potential unexpected detours where it can be easy to get lost.
You’ll find area information and maps posted outside the visitor centers. While you can snap a picture, you can’t take these maps with you in the park. And since they’re closed, you can’t buy a map in the visitor centers.
The better option is to buy trail maps through the Sequoia Parks Conservancy’s online store. Another option is visiting the Sequoia & Kings Canyon Park Atlas online to create and print custom maps before you go. Remember that cell phone service is limited in the park, so it’s better to have a hard copy of a map with you.
There’s also a free mobile app available. Search for NPS Sequoia & Kings Canyon in the Apple App and Google Play stores. You can use the app for maps, self-guided tours, and other information about park features and locations.
Because of the limited cell phone service in the park, you should download the app and/or maps before you leave home so you can use them when you don’t have cell phone service.