John Muir considered Kings Canyon as a rival to Yosemite Valley. The view of the canyon is breathtaking and a portal to extensive hiking opportunities. Home to granite peaks and wild rivers, giant sequoia groves and the General Grant Tree (the world's second largest), Kings Canyon National Park should be on every hikers "to do" list.
I recently completed a backpacking trip along the John Muir Trail. The scenery is amazing. If this isn't the most beautiful long-distance trail in the country, it has to be on the short list. I started at the Cottonwood Pass campground and hiked northbound. It took two days to reach the JMT from the Cottonwood Pass area. My entire trip ended up being around 240 miles long.
Videos of each day can be found on my YouTube channel. I also have some videos about the gear I used and food I packed on the trip. A link to the video for day one is posted below. Mt. Whitney is day three if you want to jump to that one. I just posted day 11, which was in the Selden Pass area. This was the most beautiful area on the trail in my opinion. Enjoy!
Lukka m. on Rae Lakes Trail
I couldn't agree more with all the reviews here. Wish I had made my trip longer, but condensed the trip into 3 days as we went clockwise from Road's End. Stunning wilderness, many breathtaking views, gorgeous lake views and pristine wildlife. We encountered a total of 5 bears, so don't be foolish an enter without a bear canister (they're required for a reason). I only wish I had taken more time to venture off trail.
Honestly, this is a butt kicker. Since it was rated as easy I took a first timer with me. This should probably be considered a moderate trail. It does get you tired after a while since it's literally always going up. The views at the top are incredible. It is so worth it, we stayed at the top for a while! The views are just incredible. The trail didn't really take us that long to get it done but it did get us really tired
Jessica W. on Road's End to the Bailey Bridge
Good length, mostly flat. Very nice access to streams and creeks. Greenery made me feel like I was in Jurassic Park. Actual dirt trail feels like you're walking in sand which can be tiring. Other than that it was enjoyable.
Amazing escape from civilization. Constantly surrounded by stunning views.
We spent five days, traveling clockwise around the loop. Saw a mamma black bear and cub five miles in. Camping two nights around the Rae Lakes allowed for a day hike around 60-lakes basin. Fish were definitely biting in the Rae Lakes, but we were releasing those little guys. There were some excellent swimming holes as we exited through junction meadows. ...body surf on your air mattress at your own risk. If you want to hear our insane list of meals and cocktails, feel free to hit me up.
The 1st mile will definitely warm you up. Really enjoyable out and back trail. The view from the peak is well worth the effort to get there. The elevation change from the floor of the San Joaquin Valley to the 10K+ was noticeable. Expect other hikes to join you at the peak but was not crowded by any means
Hate to say it but this was my least favorite hike we did in the Sierra Nevada's, Besides been "Eaten Alive" ( & Yes we did have spray on, It didn't seem to matter) Views were nothing spectacular, Neither was the waterfall. Granted we did just come from Yosemite, so maybe we were spoiled. Just found the whole hike disappointing, was expecting much more with the good rating it received, Maybe the trail gets better above the falls. but if that's as far as your going, you might wanna look for something else to do. Roaring River Falls was a better falls
Great hike with lots of entertainment. The drive in is beautiful. The hike is just long enough to feel like you got a good workout without being totally exhausted. The falls are beautiful and the mist is refreshing. We have usually seen some sort of wildlife in the trail...momma bear with cubs, snakes .... pay attention to both sides of the trail and the rocks on the trail. Last time I saw a baby snake swimming from shore to a rock near the falls. AND yes as other posters have said - bring bug spray!
Did this hike yesterday, it was fantastic! Definitely got a good workout in and the views were stunning. We didn't start the hike until 12:30 which I don't necessarily recommend because the first couple miles are in mostly direct sunlight. Once we got into the forest it cooled off but BEWARE-BRING BUG SPRAY. I did not have any bug spray on and I got about 50 bites on my arms and face, it was terrible. There were points where I felt like I was being swarmed. We took a cat nap just below mist falls on the rocks near the river and some water falls. Totally peaceful. My favorite part of this hike was looking back at the view from the top of the switchbacks. So beautiful! I definitely recommend this hike to everyone. On the way back down just before the split in the trail, I ran into a small black bear. Other than my heart racing, it was completely fine, I climbed down onto some rocks and let the bear climb up the hill and out of range. I also saw a few mellow deer. This hike would be great for wildlife and bird watchers. Next time I am bringing my fishing pole as we saw lots of brown trout in the river.