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  • Writer's pictureMick McMurray

1 Day in Kings Canyon National Park

Updated: 6 days ago

King river flowing through the canyon with trees and cliffs
Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is a stunning natural wonder located in the southern Sierra Nevada range in California. This beautiful park features breathtaking granite cliffs, deep valleys, roaring rivers, and serene forests. With over 800,000 acres of pristine wilderness, Kings Canyon offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, and scenic drives. We love the drive from Grant Grove Village down through the canyon with its many pull-outs, waterfalls, and hikes. Whether you're a nature lover or an outdoor adventurer, Kings Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of California.

We have stayed in a lodge in Sequoia National Park before to explore these parks but our favorite times have been camping at the Sequoia Resort and RV Park.

It is a private RV park with 13 full hook-up sites and some cabins with its own small lake. It is on Hyw. 245 near Badger, Ca. and only 12 miles from Grant Grove Village in Kings Canyon and the Generals Highway in Sequoia. There are many campgrounds in the National Parks but we haven’t been lucky enough to get a site to fit our time frame on our trips.

Kings Canyon Guide Kings Canyon Hiking Guide

In Grant Grove Village you find the Visitors Center, a market, and a restaurant. The General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest living trees, is just a short drive down Grant Tree Road to a large parking lot and then a short hike. It is only a third of a mile walk on a paved path. It was proclaimed the Nation's Christmas Tree in 1926 by President Coolidge. This is a very popular area and gets crowded. I think this is as far into the park as some people get. They don't make the drive down into the canyon which is a beautiful drive.

To explore the depths of Kings Canyon, we took the scenic drive down The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway from the Village, which covers a distance of 35 miles. Along the way, we were rewarded with various viewpoints and pull-outs, offering stunning views of the canyon's awe-inspiring landscapes. Be sure to make stops at Grizzly Falls and Roaring River Falls, both of which were highlights of our journey. Grizzly Falls is conveniently located right off the road and can be accessed via a small parking lot. For a short but worthwhile hike, head over to Roaring River Falls, where a paved path leads to the cascading falls that tumble down between massive boulders.

Exploring the Zumwalt Meadows and Kanawyers area through hiking is a must-do when visiting. We took a short walk just west of the End of the Road parking lot leads to the magnificent Muir Rock, a massive granite formation that offers a breathtaking view. For those seeking a longer adventure into the backcountry, two popular trails are the Mist Falls Trail, a 7.8-mile out-and-back hike, and the Copper Creek Trail, which stretches for 27 miles. Both trails offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and are perfect for avid hikers and adventurers looking for a challenge.

If you're looking for a picturesque spot to enjoy a picnic lunch, look no further than the Cedar Grove area in the heart of the Kings Canyon National Park. Nestled along the banks of the South Fork Kings River, this unincorporated area is home to several amenities, including tables perfect for a midday meal, the Cedar Grove Lodge, a Visitors center, and a campground for those who want to extend their stay. Lorna loves the refreshing scent of the cedar trees.

In conclusion, Kings Canyon National Park is a true natural gem that offers a wide range of outdoor activities and stunning landscapes to explore. From the towering granite cliffs and roaring rivers to serene forests and breathtaking waterfalls, there's something for everyone in this beautiful park. Whether you prefer scenic drives, hiking, camping, fishing, or simply taking in the views, Kings Canyon has it all. Don't miss the chance to explore the depths of the canyon on the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway, visit the General Grant Tree, or enjoy a picnic lunch in Cedar Grove. With so much to see and do, Kings Canyon National Park is a must-visit destination for any nature lover or outdoor adventurer.

Go to the 2nd stop on this 9-stop National Park Road Trip, "The Giants in Sequoia National Park"

Lorna’s Tips and Lessons

This was a big trip for us for several reasons besides the joy of traveling. First, it was the first trip after I had completed my radiation treatment for cancer. We literally drove our trailer to the treatment center, rang the bell, and left on this trip. I had taken some vitamins and supplements before but never had to worry about taking medication on a regular basis before now. Now, I was taking medication that could be lifesaving. My recommendation for medication is to have it all labeled and in pill keepers. I had my whole six weeks in pill keepers that fit in a small lunch cooler. In the cooler, I also placed a list of the pills.

The second reason was that it was our first trip with our cat, Chuck. Chuck, the wonder cat was such a blessing to us. We were so nervous about traveling with him but he was a joy to travel with. Don’t miss the blog at the end of this trip on Traveling with Cats.


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