SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) –Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks saw 1.2 million visitors in 2020, a 35% decrease from 2019 due to temporary closures and restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires, according to the National Park Service.
While overall visitation has dropped, the parks have seen record visitation numbers since November, with holiday weekends reaching more than twice the visitors from previous years, said spokeswoman Sintia Kawasaki-Yee. Trails, overlooks and open spaces have provided safe ways for visitors to recreate responsibly, get fresh air and stay active.
“The record numbers we’ve been seeing the last few months lead us to believe that visitation this year will bounce back and possibly exceed previous years,” said Clay Jordan, Superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “It demonstrates people’s desire to get outdoors and experience the beauty of the Sierra Nevada. With more regional travel in the last year, we hope visitors from our local communities have been able to enjoy these parks which are just a drive away.”
Visitors to the parks and other federally managed lands are required to wear face masks when social distancing cannot be maintained, including narrow or busy trails, overlooks, and parking lots.
Kawasaki-Yee said other public health measures remain in effect and visitors should check the park website for details before visiting.