Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia Shuttle plans changes to service

January 26, 2011, 8:14 am

The Sequoia Shuttle will operate for the first time during the winter providing bus service inside Sequoia National Park during Presidents Day weekend in February.

And that's not the only change planned to the popular shuttle service this year.

Plans include offering "early bird" service from Visalia to the park for people who want to do early-morning hikes as well as for providing rides to work for park employees living in the lower Valley.

Also in the works are plans to restrict cars from the road to Moro Rock over the summer, requiring visitors to take in-park shuttles to the popular attraction, Monty Cox, Visalia's transit division manager, told a meeting of the Tulare County Association of Government Tuesday during their meeting Monday.

Cox said riders have been asking for the changes, and the National Park Service and the City of Visalia — which operate the Sequoia Shuttle — are trying to oblige.

The free shuttles operating in the park Presidents Day weekend, Feb. 19-21, will have only three stops: Lodgepole Village, the lower parking lot for the General Sherman Tree and the Wuksachi Lodge parking lot.

From those areas, people can walk to snowshoe and cross-country ski trails, but there will be no stops at other winter trails or at the Wolverton snow play area, said Colleen Bathe, Sequoia's chief of interpretation, education and partnerships.

For now, park officials want to see how popular this first winter shuttle service is before deciding whether to add stops or days of service in the future, she said.

In addition to the planned Presidents' Day weekend service, Cox told the TCAG members that there also are plans to operate during spring break, April 16-May 1, and during the Mothers Day weekend, May 7-8.