15 Amazing Things To Do In Kings Canyon National Park

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Kings Canyon National Park
Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash

Kings Canyon National Park is a terrific spot to explore and enjoy nature. It features towering cliffs, deep canyons, and lush forests. This majestic park is located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California

Visiting Kings Canyon is a wholesome lifetime experience and all the wanderlust out there should visit this scenic beauty. To truly experience this wonderful place, we have listed below all the amazing things to do and places to see with many useful tips.

1. Some Quick Facts to Know 

Nearest city: Fresno, California

Establishment year: 1940

Size: 461,901 acres

Highest peak: Mount Whitney, 14,494 feet

Longest trail: SEKI loop (154.7 m)

Kings Canyon National Park lies towards the north of Sequoia National Park, and both of these parks are collectively managed by the National Park Service.

Though in fairness these two specific parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon are regulated as one park. As they are considered and regulated as one park so only one entrance fee is required to visit both of these parks.

Kings Canyon National Park
Photo by Polina Kuzovkova on Unsplash

2. Do you know Why it is called Kings Canyon National Park?

Kings Canyon National Park is renowned for its vast meadows, high mountains, deep canyons, and a variety of fauna. Giant Sequoias, among the world’s oldest living trees, can be seen in Kings Canyon National Park.

Kings Canyon National Park has a long and storied history. The Mono people were the initial inhabitants of the region, and they remained there for many generations before European settlers arrived.

They gave the canyon the name of a Spanish king, and the name has stuck ever since.

The area was utilized for mining and logging in the late 1800s. The logging business had a significant impact on the ecology, and environmentalists didn’t start to realize how important it was to protect the region until the early 1900s.

Since then, outdoor enthusiasts have made the park one of their favorite hangouts.

The development of Kings Canyon National Park is evidence of the value of preservation and the splendor of nature.

3. Amazing Things to Do at Kings Canyon National Park

Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the Kings Canyon National Park is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon peaks
Photo by Pablo García Saldaña on Unsplash

3.1 Hike General Grant’s Trail

The General Grant trail is the shortest, measuring 1.1 kilometers, and is located near Cedar Grove, California. Hikers regard it as a fairly easy route that is also less congested than other routes. This trail takes approximately 14 minutes to complete, making it a highly convenient route to use.

3.2 Sooth your heart in Zumwalt Meadow

Zumwalt Meadow provides visitors with a spectacular blend of fascinating scenery, the soft echo of the Kings River, an effervescent meadow, wildlife sightings, and an easy walk appropriate for people of all ages.

The iconic walk in the Cedar Grove region encapsulates and sums up everything great about Kings Canyon. This short circle hike begins and ends half a mile west of the Roads End parking area.

The River and Kanawyer Trails can also be accessed from this parking area. The River Trail includes the meadow loop. As a result, you will hear the soothing and hypnotic sounds of the King River rushing through the lush woods.

Zumwalt Meadow
Photo by Daniel Mors on Unsplash

3.3 Take in the scenic beauty of Roaring River Falls

Roaring river falls in a different section of Kings Canyon. After reaching Grant Grove, continue on the scenic Kings Canyon route for roughly 52 kilometers.

You will be traveling through breathtaking scenery that will be a visual feast for your eyes! The parking area is located after crossing the Roaring River bridge.

You may easily park your vehicles there and then continue on your lovely riverside journey that will live on in your hearts and imaginations forever.

After some hiking, you will arrive at the much-awaited scenic splendor of your excursion, the lovely and tranquil waterfalls.

3.4 Enjoy the North Grove Loop

The Giant Sequoias North Grove Loop is located on the west side of Kings Canyon National Park. You might be in the same state of surprise since, as soon as you pass the General Grant Tree, a new thrilling trail awaits.

The trail itself, which is surrounded by redwoods, is a relaxing experience for hikers.

3.5 Explore Boyden Cavern

Boyden Cavern is a cave near the foot of Kings Canyon that requires an adventurous drive to access. When you arrive at the cave, look for signs pointing to Boyden Cavern.

It’s 125 feet above the river, and it’s a fun hike. This hike is one of the most attractive in the Kings Canyon since it rises above the Kings River and offers spectacular vistas.

3.6 Feel the thrill in Big Baldy Ridge

The John Muir Wilderness includes the Big Baldy Ridge Trail. The ridge is about 8 miles long and climbs to a height of 9,845 feet.

You will see many wildflowers and unusual geological formations along the journey, as well as beautiful views of the Great Western Divide, Mt. Brewer, and other summits.

3.7 Observe the National Shrine

The General Grant Tree is a giant sequoia in California’s Kings Canyon National Park.

It is the third-biggest tree in the world and the park’s largest tree. This giant tree is estimated to be between 1,650 and 1,750 years old, at 268 feet (82 m) tall and 107 feet in circumference (33 m).

This giant tree is the only living organism declared as a “national shrine” by the US Congress.

3.8 Go camping in Cedar Grove for more Fun & Scenic Views

Cedar Grove is a famous camping area in Kings Canyon National Park. It is nestled in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, surrounded by towering granite peaks, lush forests, and gushing waterfalls.

Cedar Grove is known for its breathtaking views of the Kings River and is an excellent location for fishing, hiking, and exploring.

Sentinel Campground, located nearby, is a smaller, more rustic campground that is available seasonally.

3.9 Explore in Kings Canyon scenic Byway

The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is a 45-mile road that runs through the park, passing some of the most stunning sites in the area.

You’ll be able to enjoy stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, deep valleys cut out by the Kings River, and the park’s lush woods as you drive.

Along the route, you may see some of the park’s unique animals, such as black bears and mule deer.

Some of the park’s most popular attractions can also be found along the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. The General Grant Tree is one of the most popular stops. Hiking to the top of the Kings Canyon Rim is also an option.

3.10 Get to know the ancient Redwood Mountain Grove

Redwood Mountain Grove, located in the heart of Kings Canyon National Park, is a breathtaking location for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike.

The grove is home to some of the world’s oldest and tallest redwood trees, some of which are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. The tallest tree in the grove is reported to be over 300 feet tall.

This gorgeous grove of ancient redwood trees has something for everyone, whether you’re a hiker, camper, or photographer.

3.11 Capture beautiful moments in Mist Falls

Mist Falls is located in Kings River Canyon, a deep and narrow ravine. The waterfall consists of a succession of rapids that flow down a sheer cliff face and into the Kings River below. The falls’ overall height is almost 200 feet, making it one of the park’s tallest waterfalls.

Hikers go to Mist Falls because the walk to the falls is quite easy and provides spectacular views of the canyon. The trailhead is near the Cedar Grove Visitor Center and the round trip distance is around two miles. Hikers will be rewarded with views of the Kings River, as well as the canyon’s high cliffs and granite walls, along the way.

The mist formed by the falls can be seen for kilometres and is very breathtaking. The mist is often so dense that it is difficult to see the falls themselves.

The views of the canyon and the falls are just breathtaking, and the mist created by the falls is a sight to remember.

3.12 Relax in Hume Lake

One of the most popular attractions in Kings Canyon National Park is Hume Lake. Hume Lake is a picturesque alpine lake on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, surrounded by towering pines and granite cliffs.

Several rivers flow from nearby mountains into the lake, providing a plenty of cool water for trout and other fish species.

Anglers can throw their lines along the shoreline or simply relax and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Hume Lake
Photo by James Gibson on Unsplash

3.13 Go rock climbing in Cedar Grove Overlook

Cedar Grove Overlook is a popular destination in Kings Canyon National Park. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views that extend from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to distant peaks and valleys below.

The viewpoint also gives easy access to local trails and other park attractions. The greatest time to visit Cedar Grove Overlook is at sunrise or sunset, when the colours glow against a backdrop of jagged mountains and lush trees.

Cedar Grove has plenty of picnic tables where tourists may enjoy their lunches while taking in the amazing views from this high vantage point. Cedar Grove’s large granite cliffs make it a great place for rock climbing enthusiasts as well as hikers looking to explore more difficult terrain without travelling too far away from civilization.

Cedar Grove Overlook, with its breathtaking vistas and conveniently accessible paths, is an ideal location for seeing the beauty and grandeur of Kings Canyon National Park.

3.14 Visit Kings Canyon visitor Center

Participate in guided walks, birdwatching excursions, and other outdoor activities conducted by knowledgeable guides who know everything there is to know about this extraordinary area. You can even rent camping equipment from the facility and spend the night in some of California’s most stunning countryside!

After a full day of touring, walk over to Grant Grove Village, which is only a few kilometres away from the Visitor Center.

There are numerous restaurants and shops to pick from in this area. Remember to buy some keepsakes at the gift store!

3.15 Spot wildlife in General Grant Grove Trail

This easy 1.5-mile loop takes you through the beautiful Giant Sequoia groves of General Grant Grove and provides stunning views of the surrounding environment.

The path travels among enormous sequoias, providing numerous opportunities to enjoy their majesty. Keep a look out for other species such as deer and birds that may be lurking in these ancient woods as you trek along this peaceful trail.

Kings Canyon National Park
Photo by Y S on Unsplash

4. Top places to Stay In & Near Kings Canyon National Park

4.1 Cedar Grove Lodge

Cedar Grove Lodge sits at the end of a winding road that descends down into Kings Canyon. The lodge itself is perched on a lovely slope overlooking the Kings River Valley, giving guests breathtaking views from nearly every window.

Inside, guests will find pleasant rooms with all the amenities of home, such as fireplaces and individual balconies or patios. In addition to these advantages, Cedar Grove Lodge has an on-site restaurant offering delectable local cuisine and offers complimentary breakfast each morning.

4.2 John Muir Lodge

For visitors who want to discover the spectacular majesty of the park, John Muir Lodge is the ideal spot to stay.

The lodge’s location on the Kings River’s bank offers visitors breathtaking views of the canyon and the mountains that surround it.

There are many amenities available at the lodge, including a restaurant, bar, and lounge. Delicious meals cooked with fresh, regional ingredients are served at the restaurant.

The bar serves a variety of craft wines and beers in addition to specialty drinks. The lounge is a fantastic location to unwind and take in the canyon views.

4.3 Redwood Mountain Lodge

California’s Kings Canyon National Park is home to the unassuming, family-run Redwood Mountain Lodge.

Cabins, RV sites, and tent sites are just a few of the lodging options available at the resort. The lodge is located in a picturesque area surrounded by soaring redwood trees and green meadows.

4.4 Sequoia High Sierra Camp

This camp offers comfortable cabins with all the necessary facilities and is located close to Grant Grove Village in Kings Canyon National Park.

During your stay, enjoy stunning views of the mountains around while lounging by their outdoor fire pits or hiking the nearby trails.

5. Best Way to Reach Kings Canyon National Park

Driving is the most excellent way to get to Kings Canyon National Park. Since you can establish your timetable and enjoy the beauty along the route.

Furthermore, there is no public transit available because the park is situated in a remote section of California.

The nearest major city is Fresno, which is roughly 70 miles from the park’s entrance.

  • If driving is not an option for you, there are numerous other ways to travel to Kings Canyon National Park.
  • You can fly into either Visalia Municipal Airport or Fresno-Yosemite International Airport (FAT) near the park (VIS).
  • You can also take a train or bus from Bakersfield or Merced to Grant Grove Village Station, which is adjacent to the park’s entrance station on Highway 180 East.

6. Some Mind-blowing Facts

  • Sequoia and kings canyon national parks together make up one of the largest protected areas in the contiguous United States at 865,964 acres (3,508 km²).
  • Sequoia and kings canyon national parks contain five of the ten highest peaks in California including Mount Whitney which is 14,494 feet (4,418 m) tall and is the tallest peak within U.S. borders outside Alaska.
  • Sequoia and kings canyon national parks feature some of the world’s largest trees with some reaching over 300 ft (91 m) tall and 26 ft (8 m) wide at their base!
  • Sequoia and kings canyon national parks feature some of the world’s largest trees with some reaching over 300 ft (91 m) tall and 26 ft (8 m) wide at their base!
  • Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks contain some of the most diverse ecosystems in North America ranging from alpine meadows to deep canyons and old-growth forests!

7. Insider Tips

  • Moro Rock is a granite dome in Sequoia National Park that offers stunning views from its summit at 6500 feet (1980 m).
  • Cedar Grove is an area in Kings Canyon National Park with spectacular views and dramatic waterfalls like Grizzly Falls which cascades down 300 feet (91 m)!
  • Crystal Cave is a marble cave located in Sequoia National Park that was discovered by two boys in 1918 and can only be accessed through guided tours offered by the park service during summer months.
  • There are over 400 species of wildflowers in sequoia and kings canyon national parks including the rare Sierra shooting star which blooms in the late spring/early summer months.
  • Sequoia and kings Canyon national parks national parks are subject to extreme weather conditions with temperatures ranging from below freezing during winter months to over 100 F (37 C) during summer months!

8. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. How to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks in one day?

Yes, it is possible to travel to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in one day. . It is recommended that visitors allow at least two days to visit both parks to fully experience all of their offerings.

Q2. Why are sequoia trees so big?

Sequoia trees are so big because they have evolved to thrive in a variety of environments, from arid deserts to wet coastal forests. They grow very quickly and can reach immense heights due to their deep root systems that allow them to access water and nutrients from far below the surface.

Q3. What are the best rivers to visit in Kings Canyon National Park?

Kings River, Middle Fork Kings River, South Fork Kings River and Roaring River Falls are some of the best rivers to visit in Kings Canyon National Park.

9. End note

Kings Canyon National Park is home to many beautiful and majestic sights. Visitors can explore the vast forests, hike to the top of mountains, and visit the many rivers and streams. Be sure to visit the Kings Canyon Visitor Center to learn more about the park and get the most out of your visit.

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