Hikes in Kings Canyon National Park

While perhaps not as famous as the other national parks California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains (Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park), Kings Canyon can sure compete with those other parks where it counts – natural beauty.

Highlights of Kings Canyon National Park

  • This 2-mile hike reaches a granite summit with 360-degree views over the Redwood Mountain Grove and Kings Canyon.
  • This 8.3-mile loop on Hart Tree Trail and Redwood Creek Trail passes tranquil streams and interesting sequoias in the Redwood Mountain Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.
  • This 0.5-mile hike reaches an exception Kings Canyon National Park overlook with views into Kings Canyon.
  • This 2.25-mile loop passes a small meadow and a large dead sequoia to reach Sequoia Lake Overlook in Kings Canyon National Park.
  • This 2-mile loop explores a quiet grove of sequoias near Kings Canyon National Park's Grant Grove and can combine with Dead Giant Loop Trail for 3.25-mile hike.
  • This 0.8-mile loop in the Grant Grove passes through a Fallen Monarch to reach the General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest sequoias.
  • This paved 0.3-mile hike in Kings canyon reaches a thundering little waterfall on a tributary of the Kings River.
  • This 5-mile loop is scenic and easy, exploring east from the backcountry gateway at Road's End along both sides of the South Fork Kings River in Kings Canyon.

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is split into two pieces.

One section contains Grant Grove, home of the General Grant Tree, the world’s third largest tree, and Redwood Mountains Grove, the world’s biggest giant sequoia grove (and a real hiker haven).

Another much larger section of the park contains Kings Canyon itself, where stunning snowy summits rise above 2,000-foot tall sheer canyon walls. There is only one road into this enormous backcountry playground, ending at Cedar Grove in the bottom of the canyon.

Before Kings Canyon National Park, there was General Grant National Park, established in 1890 (the same year as Sequoia National Park) to protect the giant sequoias in the Grant Grove. In 1940, Kings Canyon National Park was created, covering 720 square miles and absorbing General Grant National Park.

Kings Canyon National Park borders Sequoia National Park and the National Park Service manages the two parks like one massive 1,350 square mile entity. The combined parks have fourteen campgrounds to accommodate visitors and there are additional campgrounds in the Hume Lake Ranger District of Sequoia National Forest, which also borders the two national parks.

The scenic Generals Highway (Routes 180 and 198) is the main road through the park, passing the Redwood Mountain Grove and General Grant Grove before coming to an end at Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon.

Grant Grove is a 30-mile drive from the Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park (home of the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree), making it easy for hikers to visit the big trees in both parks. It is a longer drive down to Cedar Grove, but you can actually get a good a good view of Kings Canyon right near Grant Village at Panoramic Point.

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking

This collection of trails in Kings Canyon National Park lists hikes from north to south and west to east. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these trails. Below the table is an interpretive map showing the location of each hike.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Roaring River Falls in Kings Canyon National Park264Roaring River Falls
This paved out and back hike reaches a thundering little waterfall on a tributary of the Kings River.
0.3 miles
25 feet
36.783747,
-118.622121
Kanawyer Loop Trail Kings Canyon National Park266Kanawyer Loop Trail
This loop is scenic and easy, exploring east from the backcountry gateway at Road's End along both sides of the South Fork Kings River in Kings Canyon.
5 miles
125 feet
36.794663,
-118.582941
Panoramic Point in Kings Canyon National Park270Panoramic Point
This short out and back hike reaches an exception overlook with views into Kings Canyon.
0.5 miles
100 feet
36.753793,
-118.946754
North Boundary Trail in Kings Canyon National Park280North Boundary Trail
This lollipop loop hike starts on the trail between Grant Grove and Grant Village and passes the General Grant Tree to reach a 2.75-mile loop through the pine forest north of the Grant Grove.
3.55 miles
375 feet
36.746811,
-118.972595
Grant Tree Trail Kings Canyon National Park284General Grant Tree Trail
This loop in the Grant Grove passes through a Fallen Monarch to reach the General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest sequoias.
0.8 miles
50 feet
36.747,
-118.973128
North Grove Trail in Kings Canyon National Park286North Grove Trail
This loop explores a quiet grove of sequoias near the crowded Grant Grove and can combine with Dead Giant Loop Trail for 3.25-mile hike.
2 miles
350 feet
36.747103,
-118.974642
Dead Giant Loop Trail in Kings Canyon National Park288Dead Giant Loop Trail
This loop passes a small meadow and a large dead sequoia to reach Sequoia Lake Overlook and can combine with nearby North Grove Trail for 3.25-mile hike.
2.25 miles
300 feet
36.747103,
-118.974642
Grant Village to Grant Grove Trail Kings Canyon National Park290Grant Village to Grant Grove Trail
This mile-long trail connects the visitor center at Grant Village with the parking lot at Grant Grove, passing through Azalea Campground to reach giant sequoias, including the General Grant Tree.
2 miles
250 feet
36.740049,
-118.963588
Buena Vista Peak in Kings Canyon National Park295Buena Vista Peak
This out and back hike reaches a granite summit with 360-degree views over the Redwood Mountain Grove and Kings Canyon.
2 miles
420 feet
36.718234,
-118.896935
Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Loop in Kings Canyon National Park297Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Loop
This loop on Hart Tree Trail and Redwood Creek Trail passes tranquil streams and interesting sequoias in the Redwood Mountain Grove.
8.3 miles
925 feet
36.707444,
-118.92093
View Sierra Nevada trails and campgrounds in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Kings Canyon National Park on the Hike Finder Map
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Columbia Rock Yosemite National Park Columbia Rock Viewpoint Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite Valley looks great from the bottom up, the top down, and even the middle out. For this neither-up-nor-down view over Yosemite Valley, visit Columbia Rock, a viewpoint on Yosemite Falls Trail perched about thousand feet up the north wall of Yosemite Valley. The hike from Camp 4 up to Columbia Rock is 2.2 miles round trip with 985 feet of elevation change. Of course, continuing up... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 2.2 miles · Elevation change: 985 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 31, 2018
Washburn Point Overlook Glacier Point Road Viewpoint Yosemite National Park California
Glacier Point is probably the most incredibly viewpoint in Yosemite National Park (rivaled closely by Tunnel View), but it isn't the only viewpoint along Glacier Point Road. Washburn Point is located 3/4 of a miles from the end of Glacier Point Road, south of Glacier Point. Its vistas are similar to Glacier Point, and since you have to pass Washburn Point to get out to Glacier Point, it's... Read more.
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By: Published: Last updated: January 30, 2018
Wildcat Falls Trail Yosemite National Park Wildcat Creek Falls Path Waterfall Hike California
Is it possible to have a Yosemite National Park waterfall all to yourself? Yes! The odds of waterfall solitude are pretty low when you go to Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, or Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall along the Mist Trail, but unheralded Wildcat Falls is different. Although this multi-tier waterfall is about 650 feet tall, only the bottom 50-foot tall cascade at the base of Wildcat Falls... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.15 miles · Elevation change: 15 feet
By: Published: Last updated: September 10, 2018
Yosemite Falls Trail Yosemite National Park Upper Yosemite Fall Hike Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite Falls is incredibly beautiful and incredibly big. It is the tallest waterfall in North America, the 5th tallest waterfall in the world, and a star along the north wall of Yosemite Valley. Hiking to Yosemite Falls is one of the greatest things visitors can do in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Falls drops a total of 2,425 feet, beginning with the cliff-leaping 1,430-foot Upper... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Waterfalls · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 7 miles · Elevation change: 2715 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 31, 2018
Housekeeping Camp Yosemite National Park Lodging Accommodations Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite National Park receives four million visitors per year, filling the park's campgrounds and hotels. When all the campsites are reserved and the hotels have no vacancies (or list prices that are uncomfortably high), consider a middle option provided at Housekeeping Camp in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Housekeeping Camp offers 3-walled units with canvas roofs and flaps – imagine... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: September 10, 2018