Explore June trip with Kristina - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Wonderful trail. Day hiked to lower paradise valley and back with my sister. First half is pretty mild but after mist falls it’s pretty much uphill in the sun with switch backs. You get an amazing view of tumbling water the whole way, beautiful deep green pools surrounded by a relentlessly torrential river. Stopped at the Bailey bridge on the way back to roads end for a awesome swim in a deep green pool and some crazy English kids were jumping from the bridge and the rock! Note that the smoke from the Ferguson fire was noticeable (did the hike Friday 8/3) so things were a little hazy

Great hike! Started from the Road's End Trailhead and initially only wanted to go to Mist Falls, but my friends and I were feeling ambitious and made our way to Lower Paradise Valley. Like others have mentioned, there's certain sections of the hike where there is no shade and the sun just beats you down. Also, there's mosquitos early on the hike when you start hiking along the river. Besides that, the hike was amazing! Pretty minor elevation gain to Mist Falls, but the hike to Lower Paradise is more steep and rocky. Mist Falls Trail was amazing to see and you can go off trail and get closer to the falls. Lower Paradise Valley has a different feel that Mist Falls and a lot more calm. The valley is a great place to filter water especially if you plan to head back to the Road's End Trailhead.

Get your permit for the trailhead and at the ranger office per wilderness area They do want to know your loosely projected itinerary, but you're not held to it. If you are starting on the east side, get one from an Inyo ranger station, even if you plan to cross into Yosemite. If starting in Tuolumne, get a Yosemite permit, etc. I did the Minaret Creek, Ediza, Garnet, Thousand Island loop from Silver Lake with side trips to Davis Lakes, Alger Lakes, Koip Peak, Lake Catherine, Nydiver. Phenomenal.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail. We completed this hike mid June and it was fantastic. The canyon walls tower over the trail and don’t even look real. Bugs were minimal but we used deet. We ran into two deer and didn’t encounter any bears... though given the terrain, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was common.

Pat Ribotto - I'm a little confused on the ANYO Permit request for overnighting on the Loop. Did you get permits for all the areas your traveled on this Loop or was just one needed that included all areas on the loop.

Great early season/beginner backpacker hike! We hiked up past Mist Falls to camp at Lower Paradise Valley on May 4th. Lots of steps but beautiful views along the way! The campsite has a large, flat, forested area very close to the South fork of the Kings River. Bear box/locker provided! It was cool in the 40s at night but there was a designated campfire area we took advantage of.
The following day we day hiked up through Middle Paradise Valley (where there is a rustic toilet!). This was much flatter than the previous days hike but also had some sandy sections were the trail was a little hard to find...we made it to Upper Paradise Falls to see the bridge washed out (we didn’t take the time to look but rumor has it there may be a log crossing in the area...?)
The third day we hiked back and saw a rattlesnake! Saw a handful of hikers along the way. No bears. Only a few bugs. Can’t wait to do the Rae’s Lakes Loop now!

backpacking
9 months ago

October, 2017- Did an overnighter at campsite 1 (~6.5 miles in). Daytime temps low 70s, nighttime temps low 30s. Views were slightly obscured by nearby prescribed fire, but the morning sunlight made for some impressive lighting. We were lucky to come within 10 ft and 60 ft of two black bears- one on the way in and one on the way out (both of them were quick to get away from us). Also, a fawn and doe visited our campsite.
Overall a great overnight hike that I highly recommend.

backpacking
9 months ago

Truly beautiful view. The way up is an excessive amount of rock stairs which is tough if you are not an experienced hiker. We saw a bear 20ft from the trail pass the falls, which are also incredible. The stream takes you all the way to the campsite

backpacking
10 months ago

Did this hike in July 27-28, 2017. It took half a day each way. Camped at Paradise Valley. Loved it. Fairly strenuous if you leave after noon -- to get to the campsite you have to move at a fairly brisk pace, although it is fairly easy up to Mist Falls. Saw two rattlesnakes, so be alert!

hiking
11 months ago

I'm not sure if they were flies or mosquitoes (they weren't biting), but not even they could prevent this from being a great hike.

hiking
11 months ago

Bring a face net to keep all flies out of your face, but otherwise it's a beautiful hike!

hiking
11 months ago

We were prepared for the mosquitoes. I had brought head nets and plenty of water. Even had a chance to do a little fishing. It was so serene and beautiful. We even were lucky enough to hike up with a Park Ranger to Mist falls. Who had some great information about the wildlife in the area before we continued on to lower Paradise valley. We also got a chance to see some deer on our way back. The weather was ideal for this wonderful journey!

backpacking
11 months ago

Are dogs really allowed on this trail? I thought dogs can't go anywhere within the national parks.

backpacking
Thursday, August 10, 2017

Did this hike as part of backpacking the Rae Lakes Loop. I would highly recommend doing the loop - it's beautiful! Here is a trip report with pictures and logistical info: https://backpackersreview.wordpress.com/trip-reports/rae-lakes-loop/

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

What a ride!

For anyone interested in hiking Kings Canyon NP from Roads End Permit Station I have an update as of 5/25. If you are looking for a trip free of snow(ish) then this may be your ticket!

I hiked to upper paradise valley this week. This is accessed from the woods creek trail head. Mist Falls is a beauty to behold.

The trail and campsites are mostly clear of snow with the exception of a large avalanche 5 and a half miles up the trail. Not too difficult to pass.

The real challenge is a series of flooded sections just below the lower paradise valley. A massive log jam has made it rather diffcult to pass with water ranging from 2 to 4 feet deep. The current is negliable in these sections but i recomend being preapred to scale a lot of boulders or carry your pack above your head if you want to make it through. That water was inhumanly cold...

The campsites were in decent condition. I recommend a meadow between middle and upper paradise for gorgeous views. Check near the aspen trees to the right by the river for some flat ground and easy access to water.

Rae lakes is completely buried in snow according to the rangers 15+. Both of the bridges north of paradise valley are out with no word on when they will be repaired. Crossing via other means is severly discouraged as two lives have already been lost to the swift currents this year. As a bonus the view next to mist falls was breathtaking in its ferocity.

Reach out to the park for up to date info and permit info.

https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/wilderness_permits.htm

Call and plan sooner than later!!!

hiking
Monday, May 29, 2017

I hiked this trail on May 28. The flow of water was awe inspiring (probably more so than later months because of the melting snow). After a short switchback above the Mist Fall, there was a 200-ft section that was covered by packed snow as well as a few 100-ft sections where the trail was flooded and you would have to scramble over boulders. Other than that, the trail remains relatively flat rest of the way up to the Paradise Valley.

hiking
Sunday, May 28, 2017

Part of the trails before paradise valley was covered in packed snow and after that it was flooded but it was a nice hike

Monday, May 22, 2017

Do people really go back there or is it just you and Tom Harrison? I plan to hike from Mammoth Lakes to either the valley or Wawona via Fernandez Pass

backpacking
Monday, February 13, 2017

My wife and I hiked this loop last July and it is one my favs for sure. The Ritter Range is something to see. I mapped out this route myself and it turned out to be a good one. We were going to spend 6 nights, but we cut it short by one night as we had done all we wanted to anyway. Starting at Silver Lake, it climbs steady to Agnew Lake, then another pretty good climb from there to Gem Lake. It mellows out a bit after Gem Lake as it follows Rush creek thru the woods towards Waugh Lake A really nice stretch right there. One last little pitch to get up to Waugh Lake and then a nice walk around the north side of the lake. We made this our first nights spot. There weren't a ton of camp spots, but there are a few as you get to the west end of the lake. Pretty windy all day our first day, and that night as well. The next day we packed up and were headed for Garnet Lake as our next stop. Once on the JMT, we started our climb to Island Pass. What a great view from up there in all directions. Great photos from this spot. Then down to 1000 Island Lake. All the lakes were great. Each one with it's own character to it. The view of Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak just kept changing the further south we walked along the JMT. Then we did another little up and down stretch between 1000 Island Lake and Garnet Lake. Finding a nice spot to camp at Garnet lake was a little more difficult. I did find what looked to be a possibility on Google earth before we left home, and that's where we wound up. No shade, but it had all the other criteria. Close to water, a level spot for the tent and privacy. The next mornings reflection shots on the lake were perfect. Worth getting up early for. From Garnet we hiked along the JMT until the cutoff to Ediza Lake. That was our 3rd and 4th nights destination. Again, found my camp spot from my research on Google earth. Great spot and we enjoyed our 2 nights there. On our off day, we hiked up to Iceberg Lake, and hoped to get to Cecile as well. But the amount of snow along the south east shore of Iceberg was such that I wasn't risking a slide into the lake. We settled for that as being our furthest point on this trip. Incredible spot with the Minarets right in your face . Then back to our campsite after and I wanted to do one more jaunt. So up towards Banner and Ritter I went. My wife bowed out of this one. Another incredible spot to be standing right below these two peaks. Water pouring down everywhere from above. Had the place to myself. High country at its best. The next day we packed up and headed down Shadow creek all the way to the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River. We crossed the bridge over the river and then got on the river trail north. We hiked all the way to the Clark Lakes that day. A long haul, and Agnew pass at the very end was something we hadn't planned on. Super steep and really kicked our butts. I again found our camp spot from previous searches on Google earth. Great spot with a huge view. The next morning we hiked back to our truck down a really steep trail, back past Agnew Lake on the opposite side , and then back to Silver Lake on the last 2 miles or so that we had been on before. Great loop. Another Sierra hike off the list. This area of the Ansel Adams Wilderness is a must do!!

hiking
Monday, October 24, 2016

everything you could possibly get on a day hike. panorama views, rivers, waterfalls, thick forests, south facing granite switchbacks, gnarled mountain peaks. all around perfect hike.

backpacking
Tuesday, August 09, 2016

It took us 6 days to do the 40 miles with 4 passes. The trail was in excellent condition, thanks to NPS and NFS trail crews. We especially enjoyed trail from Merced Pass to Fernandez Pass. Nice views of Banner, Ritter and Minarets from Post Peak Pass. NFS in Oakhurst has wilderness permits and rents bear canisters, call them for availability, and they have maps to Quartz Mountain trailhead (almost 2 hrs of driving on dirt roads)

hiking
Thursday, July 21, 2016

best

hiking
Monday, August 03, 2015

Beautiful!

hiking
Thursday, January 01, 2015

did this with the Rea lakes loop. BEAUTIFUL

We recently did a varient of this loop on a three-night backpacking trip. We left from Summit Lake, went by the Twin Lakes and stopped at Rainbow Lake. Then we went to Butte lake via Cinder Cone (neither of which is a part of the trail this page is for). The next day we went to Snag lake and the net day we left. We did not go to Horseshoe Lake and the loop we did was 25 or 26 miles.
The trail from Summit to Rainbow is a fairly easy five miles and I posted a review with photos of that on the Rainbow Lake trail page.
The trail around Snag Lake is pretty flat but is covered in scores of downed trees which must be gone over, around or under. There are also two tricky creek crossings.
On our travels we saw a Yellow-Bellied Marmot, many Black Tailed Deer, Bald Eagles, Western Tanagers, Mountain Bluebirds, American Goldfinches, Killdeer, Sindpipers (and a sandpiper nest), and more.
This was a great location to hike some long miles since the trails are all pretty gentle. The hike out of Snag Lake toward Rainbow Lake is strenuous for a mile but otherwise the whole hike was easy for my children. We saw very few other people on the trails and we saw no other backpackers. The lakes were peaceful and our trip was relaxing. We will have many wonderful memories from this hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

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