Sequoia in the Winter
Winter in Sequoia national Park is a beautiful and peaceful event to behold. Cool Pacific rains and thick coastal mists paint Sequoia's foothills a vibrant green and silence the higher elevations in a deep blanket of pure winter snow.
The winter season generally lasts from mid-November to mid-April. The weather in and around the park can be tricky and unpredictable during this time, but with careful planning and precaution, you can enjoy a fun, enlightening, and safe vacation during this season of beauty and quiet solitude in Sequoia Park.
Winter is a great time to explore some of the lower elevations in Sequoia. You should not miss the opportunity to see the magnificent Sequoia groves clothed in the radiance of a fresh fallen snow.
Sequoia Winter Fun
As winter takes hold of the region and transforms Sequoia Park into a magical winter wonderland of frost and ice, the familiar summer hiking trails disappear under a mantle of cloud-like powder. The snow can pile up to six feet deep in the higher elevations of Sequoia Park forcing explorers and adventurers to trade in their hiking boots and mountain bikes for snowshoes and cross country skis.
There are approximately 50 miles of marked cross-country trails. Rental equipment (including snowshoes) and lessons are available for skiers of all ages. There is also a special snow-play area near Wolverton which has been set aside especially for children to sled and have fun playing in the snow.
Winter can be a great time for wildlife viewing inside the park. The black bears are for the most part hibernating in the higher elevations, although you might get lucky and spot one still milling about in the lower elevations.
On the other hand winter can be a superb time to spot mule deer foraging the valley floors for food. Other common wildlife sightings include masked raccoons, the vibrant Stellar Jay, the raucous raven and the chickadee. Jackrabbits and deer mice are often seen scurrying about early in the mornings, but you have to rise early to catch these elusive critters because they are primarily nocturnal and once the sun begins to raise they dash off to their dens to sleep away the daylight hours.
If you plan ahead and schedule your time in the park accordingly, you can catch a park sponsored activity such as one of the Park Services Naturalists programs, at the Wuksachi Lodge, or even a guided snowshoe hike through the beautiful snow-filled Sequoia backcountry.