To find out if chains are required call the Park Road Conditions Report at (559) 565-3341 when recording starts press 1, wait for the 2nd recording.
>> SCROLL DOWN for info about snow chain requirements and usage.
Tire 'chain' rental near Sequoia Park entrance / Highway 198 in Three Rivers. There are many places that rent chains - these are the two best:
> Chevron Gas Station located in the heart of 3-Rivers – 6 miles to the Park entrance. 559-561-3835 [the best deal] $40.00 for 2 days with ($100. deposit) for all sizes. Cash or credit card.
> Totem Market & Gifts -1 mile west of the Sequoia Park entrance. 559-561-4463 / $28.00 per day (60.deposit) for 'passenger' cars and $51.00 per day (100.deposit) for trucks, SUVs etc. Cash or credit card.
Check out also the Weather in the Park (Click logo at the left). The weather differs because of the elevation. Mark's Tip: The temperature drops for 3 degrees for every 1,000 ft you go up. So this means that in the Giant Forest the air temperature will be 18 degrees less than in town.
Chain control is in effect in Sequoia and Kings Canyon when roads are snowy and slippery, which may be any time from now through March. State law requires all vehicles (including 4-wheel drive and all-wheel drive) to carry tire chains or cables when entering chain-control areas.
When entering a “chains required” area, which will be when traveling to the sequoia groves and snowplow areas, all vehicles must have chains or cables that fit properly and are in good repair. Practice installing them before you come to make sure they fit. When you drive with chains, the maximum speed limit is 25 mph, even if posted otherwise.
If you do not have chains, plan on renting or buying them before entering the park. Weather conditions in the mountains can change rapidly, and accordingly, so will road conditions and chain requirements. It might be sunny and blue sky when entering the park with chains not needed but by afternoon, there could be a snowstorm and chains required to get out of the forest safely.
Signs along the highway will indicate where you need to install chains and when they are required. Pull all the way off the road; roads can be slippery and you want to be out of the way of other vehicles.
Many car-rental contracts do not allow installation of tire chains or cables. Be sure you understand the limitations of your contract. Renting a four-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle may save you from having to install chains, even when you must carry them.
Put chains on the front tires of front-wheel-drive vehicles, and on the back tires of rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
There are more than a half dozen business in Three Rivers that rent or sell snow chains (cables). Watch for the signs.
R1: Snow tires or chains are required.Snow tires must have an imprint on the tire’s sidewall that shows M + S, M / S, or an image of a snowflake. They also must have a tread depth of at least 6/32 of an inch. Four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles must carry chains or cables in chain-control areas.R2: Four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or chains are required.Four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive vehicles must have snow tires on all four wheels (see R1 above), and must engage all wheels. Four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles must carry chains or cables in chain-control areas.R3: Chains are required on all vehicles.There are no exceptions.
A short video on visiting National Parks in the Sierra Nevada in the winter and the requirements for snow chains and cables. Produced by Bristlecone Media for Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks and Yosemite National Park
Need help installing show cables on your tires? This video will walk you through step-by-step on how to do it.
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