Nearly half the campsites in Kings Canyon National Park will be closed over the Memorial Day holiday due to tree hazards, including the popular Sunset Campground, U.S. Park Service officials said Monday.
The Sunset Campground, which has 150 spaces in the Grant Grove area, will remain closed until the Park Service can remove pine trees that have been killed by the bark beetle infestation, which was exacerbated by the five-year drought. Heavy winter snows at the 6,500-foot elevation of Grant Grove have also left cleanup work to be done.
Sunset is one campground that takes reservations, but those made for May 24 to June 7 have been cancelled, and no new reservations are being taken.
Camping will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at Azalea Campground (40 spaces) in Grant Grove and Sheep Creek (101) and Sentinel (38) campgrounds in Cedar Grove. However, not all those spaces will be available due to winter cleanup still being done.
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Kings Canyon officials expect a strong turnout of visitors over the upcoming holiday weekend. They say finding a campsite “will be very challenging.”
“We truly regret the inconvenience caused by the delayed opening, but it’s a necessary measure to decrease risk to visitors,” said Jason Wilkins, acting superintendent of Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks.
For more information, go to the Kings Canyon National Park website.