Check before you go: Winter Storm Warning for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks March 1-3, 2024


Whether you're a casual day hiker, backpacker or determined mountaineer headed for the summit of Mount Whitney, there's a trail for you. More than 800 miles of marked trails may be accessed from 25 trailheads across the parks. Trails below 10,000 feet are normally snow-free by midsummer. 

In Kings Canyon National park your journeys will take you to the deepest canyon in North America, a trail of stumps where logging once took place and beautiful scenic views. John Muir once called Kings Canyon National Park, "a rival to Yosemite." 

General Grant Tree Trail: On this hike you'll see the General Grant Tree, settled in the middle of the Grant Grove. Along the 0.3 mile you'll pass by other named trees and features as well, including Gamlin Cabin, the Fallen Monarch and the Centennial Stump. Interpretive signs on this trail describe the forest features on this pleasant walk. (Partial accessibility)

North Grove Loop: Travel through groves of giant sequoia, sugar pine, white fir and dogwood. This lightly traveled, 1.5 mile trail provides an opportunity for a close look at the big trees. You'll enjoy a quiet walk past meadows and creeks, through mixed conifer and sequoia forest. For additional adventure, take a detour on "Dead Giant Loop Trail" and see where a fire tore through the grove at one time.

Big Stump Trail: The trail traverses an area cut for timber in the 1880s, when early lumberjacks threatened to eliminate giant sequoias. Huge sequoia stumps are visible along the trail and some have ladders to help you walk across the surface. This trail is 1 mile long and takes roughly an hour to complete.

Park Ridge Trail: Boasting stunning views of the of the valley far below, this ridge parallels the road to Panoramic Point. On a clear day, you can see Hume Lake in Sequoia National Forest, San Joaquin Valley and Coast Range 100 miles away. Though this trail is nearly 5 miles long, it is classified as easy since the dirt path is fairly level.

Sunset Trail: This trail provides views of forest, rocks, streams, two waterfalls and a lake. It also passes Viola Falls and the old park entrance near Camp Redwood. This 6 mile trek is fairly strenuous and rises 1,400 feet in elevation. Make sure to carve out at least 3.5 hours for this adventure.

Buena Vista Peak: The Buena Vista Peak Trail is a great option for people who want a short hike to a spectacular vista. This hike is only two miles round trip and has an elevation gain of 400 feet. The trail leads you through a mixed conifer forest and wildflowers, winding past giant granite boulders. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views.

You can find the trail head along Generals Highway, near the Kings Canyon overlook.

Zumwalt Meadow: This trail provides scenic views of the meadow which was named for D.K. Zumwalt, a railway attorney who was instrumental in saving area. The trail is a scenic, 1.5 mile self-guided trail that circles the area and offers magnicicent views of high granite walls, verdant meadows and the free-flowing Kings River. With it's flat, gentle trails, the meadow is great for kids and makes an ideal introduction to the park. 

Mist Falls-Paradise Valley Trail: This popular backpacking trail is named for its two main destinations. You can head back after reaching Mist Falls (4 mi.) or continue on to Paradise Valley (6.5 mi.). This gorgeous trail features close proximity to the thunderous Kings River, cool thickets of cedars and ponderosa pines and stunning views down canyon toward the Sphinx, the best of Kings Canyon. 

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