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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.

This place is beautiful and peaceful! It starts off at a waterfall. Looks a little to dangerous to get in. There are lots of nats and mosquitos since you’re walking along a pretty little river but, my bug spray from Walmart worked just fine. I fell in love with the meadow , there’s a wood walkway that takes you through it. We recorded 6.8 miles because we walked the whole thing and went around a extra loop at the end(by accident). My son is 9, it was his first hike and he did very well! This place is definitely a must see. (Also someone stole my go-pro from the bridge please return it

Great short hike, easy to do with children and on a hot day you can even swim in the river. Atleast at Thus moment, half august.

Short walk to waterfall, easy to do and some nice views.

Nice easy hike that’s relatively flat the entire way. The highlight of this trail is Bailey’s Bridge. Lots of sandy river bed areas to enjoy a break and a swim. We started at the trailhead by the Road’s End ranger station and went up to Mist Falls. After descending from Mist Falls, we decided to return by taking the other half of the loop on the south side of the river. Lots of gnats and mosquitoes though.

Great hike overall. Especially loved the constant change of scenery. We saw a brown bear and her cub on the way up, was incredible! The only downside were the bugs, so bring repellent.

hiking
2 days ago

Started at Zumwalt Meadow and extended our hike to include the trail to Bailey’s bridge. From Bailey’s bridge, we began the climb to Mist Falls. We encountered gnats and mosquitoes throughout the entire 12.8 miles. More pleasant wildlife encounters included a bear, a mule train, and a snake. Although the granite stairway to Mist Falls was tough, it was totally worth it to see waterfall.

hiking
3 days ago

the nuisance of bugs was minor compared to the overall hike. great views. just challenging enough. looking forward to exploring the other trails in the area

backpacking
5 days ago

Made this Clockwise hike with Dan M (previous review). I’d like to emphasize our selection of camp sights as I felt ours was a great way to enjoy the best part of this loop. If you’re hiking the Rae Lakes Loop why not spend some time at Rae Lakes?

Day 1 - Ranger Station to Upper Paradise

Day 2 - Upper to Dollar Lake. Sure, with an early start, you can make it Rae Lakes, but this would be a tough ~14 mile day with ~3,600’ of elevation gain putting you at Rae late afternoon when most of the better Camp sites are taken. And then since you can only stay 1 night at Rae you’re out the next morning having only spent the evening and night at the best part of this trail.

Day 3 - Dollar to Rae Lakes. This is a short 4 mile hike. The crown jewel of this hike is Rae Lakes. The Dollar Lake stop puts you at Rae before noon, with your choice of any Campsite. We selected the little peninsula in the NW corner of Upper Rae just to the east of the little strait or stream connecting Upper and Middle. We were able to relax here all day, swimming in both Upper and Middle, fishing, talking with the exhausted clockwise hikers coming from Upper and the counterclockwise hikers coming thru the pass. Also enjoyed talking with all the JMT’ers and PCT’ers. This was an awesome, relaxing, well-needed restful day for some Hikers from Louisiana (elevation 12 feet).

Day 4 - Rae to Sphinx - up early to enjoy the views from Glen pass at dawn. It’s all down hill (stairs) from here. This is about 14 miles. You can make it all the way but for us it would’ve been late and we didn’t want to drive the 2 hours back to Fresno on that winding mountain road at dusk.

Day 5 - Sphinx back to the Ranger Station.

If you have 4 nights I recommend this itinerary. If we had to do it over again we perhaps make Day 4 shorter and Day 5 longer.

All in all a great hike! Enjoy.

hiking
6 days ago

We were a group consisting of two 50 year old boys and three 20ish year old men. We did the loop clockwise camping 4 nights. Camping spots were Upper Paradise, Dollar Lake, Upper Rae Lake, and Spynx.
River crossing at Upper was fine as we utilized a log jam roughly 200 yards downstream from the bridge location. The only issues we had was with water filtration due to our filter choices but it did slow us down to enjoy the views and catch our breath. We carried each one liter and I would recommend 2 liters for the pass as its a long haul over to the next fill up area. I would also recommend an early start for the pass as it does get warm fast. We started at 6 A.M. to cross over Glen. Saw bears at upper and spynx.

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

hiking
6 days ago

Not much of a hike, or even a walk to be quite honest, but the waterfalls are pretty and definitely worth stopping for if you happen to be driving by.

A short walk to a pretty waterfall. Nothing to go out of your way for but worth stopping if you happen to be driving by. I'm sure we would have been more impressed if not for the fact that we had just finished the stunning Rae Lakes hike, which made everything else pale in comparison.

A short, easy walk that doesn't offer the magnificent views that you get if you hike further out but it is a pleasant way to spend an hour or two, watching birds or just enjoying the lush green meadow between the rock cliffs. Definitely worth stopping by if you are in the area.

backpacking
6 days ago

I've read somewhere that this is the most often done hike in the High Sierra and it is easy to see why. You really get the taste of just about everything here - from lush meadows, pleasant forests and swift rivers with waterfalls to snowy mountain passes and crystal lakes, and all that beauty in a loop that can be done in a couple of days! You really can't go any better than this.
We did our hike in the clockwise direction in 3 and a 1/2 days and it wouldn't be that difficult to do it in 3 if needed.
On the first day, we started from the permit station at around 10am and reached the Upper Paradise by mid-afternoon. The bridge over the river is still out and we met several groups of people who turned back at the sight of the river that needs to be forded. That said, with hiking poles for extra support and sandals or water-shoes to give you some grip, we didn't really feel that it would be quite that bad. Mid-June, the water reached to just around the upper part of my thighs (I'm 6'1") and I'm sure that later in summer, it will be lower than that (if you're not unlucky with rain).
On the second day, first thing in the morning, we forded the river and hiked up to where the trail meets the PCT/JMT (in the upper right "corner" on the map) and followed those to the Upper Rae Lake where we set up camp at around 5 or 6pm. This was by far the most strenuous day of the hike with 3600+ feet of elevation gain and quite a few up-and-down bits, especially in the first part, which added some extra feet to boot. Nevertheless, the views along this section are just spectacular as you slowly ascend above the treeline, and the lakes themselves are simply breath-taking.
On the third day, we started with the first light in order to reach Glen pass before the sun would soften the snow, making it more difficult and dangerous to walk on. Especially since we didn't have any micro-spikes or snow-axes, we were a bit worried but, as it turns out, with hiking poles and sturdy boots, the pass was nowhere near as bad as we had feared. Later in summer, things are bound to get even easier, but I would definitely think twice about doing this when there is a lot of snow. After you reach the pass, it's all downhill from there and there was no snow at all on the southern side, making the descent a walk in the park. We reached Charlotte Meadows by around 3:30pm and for a moment we debated whether to stick to the plan and set up camp there or hike all the way back to the car. In the end, we decided to take it easy and spent the rest of the afternoon bird-watching, but it's easy to see how one could make it from the Lakes back to the permit station in a day, albeit a fairly hard one.
On the fourth day, it only took a couple of hours to get to the end.
So, in summary, this hike is definitely right there in the top best hikes that I've ever done and I can happily recommend it to anyone who likes the outdoors and is not afraid of backpacking.
As other have said, the clockwise direction seemed easier with the ascent being more gradual, and I also felt that it worked better in terms of dividing the trail into manageable sections in a way that you get to camp by the lakes, which I can't recommend enough.
Finally, while on the trail, particularly in the lower sections, keep an eye out for rattlesnakes - we encountered two, and one of them let us get within striking distance before it started rattling, all coiled up and scary as hell. We froze and it slithered backwards off the trail while still coiled (I didn't even know that they can do that!) never once taking it's eyes off us, so no harm done, but it did scare me a lot. We haven't seen any bears but plenty of deer, a variety of lizards, birds, some marmots and a pika at the top of Glen Pass.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike and fairly cool on an early August day when it was broiling at lower elevations. No bugs on the mountain and not too bad along the creek - but enough that repellent would have made it more enjoyable. Mostly we had the trail to ourselves. The number of old-growth trees is astounding.

Highly recommend clockwise. Took me 4-1/2 days— hiked out the morning of the fifth day. There was a flash flood at the washed-out (former) Paradise Bridge- I heard some people got stranded for hours on an island in the middle of the river. A couple guys went out to rescue them— was touch-and-go. It was a little scary and also inconvenient, with rushing brown water you could not filter because it would clog/ jam up your water filter.

No-one told any of us there is a log jam- not even 1/8 of a mile downstream- which features a huge tree you can waltz across the river on. This info would have come in handy for a lot of people that day.

This is one of the most stunning hikes you will ever experience... but you’ll have to work for it.

hiking
8 days ago

Started about 3pm, made it to Upper Tent Meadow a bit before dark - glad we didn't try to make it to the top, it is steep! We had good conditions, but it is clear this trail can be incredibly hot and dry. Upper Tent Meadow has spots for only three or four 1-2 person tents - there is nowhere flat to setup larger tents.

Camped the next night at an incredible site on the ridge just above the tarn just below Grouse Lake. Highly recommended - and, like Upper Tent Meadows, limited to just three 1-2 person tents.

Such a beautiful hike surrounded by towering granite walls and the sound of the river accompanying us along the way. Very easy walk although we recorded 4.9 miles and 387 ft of elevation. A minor negative were the gnats that seemed immune to bug spray. Highly recommend this hike that all fitness levels can enjoy. 8/4/2018

backpacking
9 days ago

Amazing and beautiful place to backpack! So glad I was able to do this one! I did a four night loop with my son’s scout troop. Other reviews have covered most of the info, but I would emphasize that you watch out for bears and rattlesnakes (we encountered a Mom and cub on trial and two rattlers during our hike.). I’d also emphasize that it seems like people are not exaggerating when they say counter clockwise is tougher: we did clockwise and as we went along I was grateful every step toward the end that I was descending that section and not ascending. There’s plenty of water everywhere and a lot of space to camp and the main sites and those have bear boxes for stuff that may not fit in your bear can. Also, be prepared for the oft encountered Sierra thunderstorms and rain.

Great hike! You get a little bit of everything with this hike and you are almost always within ear shot of the river. When you get to the falls, the mist from it is quite invigorating and refreshing!

we did this with a small modification, going from Zumwalt Meadows trailhead to roaring river falls. luckily we had someone that was willing to drive the car back to the Roaring River Falls Trail head and meet us at the falls. from RRF trail head the trail is paved and a gentle incline, super easy.

the longer walk (1.8 mi) from Zumwalt Meadows at points we had to stop to make sure we were still on the trail. this was still an easy hike. Stroll along the Kings River, amazing views of the canyon walls. we were lucky enough to see a bear along the lightly trafficed trail. I would do this again, especially in the spring when the river and falls are really Roaring.

10 days ago

nice spot to eat lunch and enjoy a waterfall even into August. you can see the falls from the parking lot. so, not a hike but a great opportunity to get up close and feel the mist coming off the falls.

Loved this one!

nature trips
11 days ago

Beautiful!!! This is perfect, short and easy hike specially for children and people who aren't true hikers. My 7 and 9yr olds enjoyed this adventure where they learned about ferns and what the largest tree in the world looks like, the majestic Sequoia!!!

backpacking
11 days ago

Great loop gets a little busy at the suspension bridge but you get a great mix of loop hikers and through hikers that can chat around a campfire

Nice hike with lots of shade and beautiful redwoods to look at. We did the loop trail towards Hart tree ending with the Canyon. For this particular route I'd rate 3 stars. The last part of the hike descending down the canyon and immediately back up is a little kick in the butt especially after you've been on the trail ~5-6 miles in 95-100 degree weather. It definitely made it much less enjoyable for me as I was more focused on just completing the hike to go back to the car and drinking a beer vs being able to take in the scenery and surrounding. If we had done the opposite loop starting with the canyon first and then the Hart tree, I would've rated that hike a 4 star and would recommend doing the loop in that direction.

Kings Canyon is one of the best NPs I've been in...simply stunning, grand walls of rock.

This trail is right in the middle of deep granite canyon walls and is an easy, serene walk along a gentle river and thru a vibrant green meadow with these majestic rock walls as the backdrop. Nothing this awesome should be that easy, but it is...your legs won't get much of a workout, but your eyes will!

hiking
14 days ago

Great trail! Can be heavily trafficked on certain days. Kings Canyon does not disappoint. Absolutely beautiful! Even with the smoky skies from California wildfires. Take bug spray, the mosquitoes can be relentless.

14 days ago

Loved this loop. We did it in 3 days and saw a few black bears. Bring bug spray.

backpacking
17 days ago

We are the “Intrepids” - a group of women aged 40-74 that love the outdoors and we embrace physical challenges. This hike is not for the timid nor those who are not in shape. We saw some frightening human behavior this past week.

We started out our counterclockwise hike up Bubb’s Creek last Thursday only to be turned around about 3 miles in by torrential rainfall and a lighting storm about noon. Since we planned for weather and wanted a layover day, the 24 hour layover in the Car Campground w a beer was an ok way to spend the night. Lesson: Do NOT let the early morning blue skies lull you into late starts. Get on the trail by 9am after you get your permit. On the bright side, the rain is a blessing. It’s predictable from about 1pm to 5pm and lasts about 3 hours. Our skies were very clear from any smoke from fires about 40 miles away in Yosemite. There was little to no dust to contend with. And be prepared for more visitors than normal. Yosemite is on fire and vacationers turned south to Kings Canyon it appears.

And let me add that I cannot imagine hiking this adventure clockwise. We loved our expanding approaches each day and the way down was painless and gradual compared to other places we’ve ended on a descent.

So we began again on Friday, July 20th. Early. 7:30am. We were greeted by a young black bear we saw the day before. She is about 75-100lbs and as cute as a button. She will do her bear thing and get out of your way; we watched her about 10-15 min each day. Once over the bridge the trail heads up and up to Sphinx Creek. This trek was much easier than anticipated as it’s short and the switchbacks are kind. We reached Sphinx campsite about 10am for a 45 min water and snack break. Not a cloud in the sky.... the way from here starts out flat and gradually ascends. As we would learn the whole trip, clouds would begin to build about 1130am. By about noon the group was tired and hot and the clouds were a blessing. There is a rattlesnake in this story I just don’t recall if it was Friday or Saturday that it slinked across the trail rattling at the forward group as they stepped by. Anyway the goal was Charlotte Creek and we arrived just in time to put up a 10x10ft tarp to stand under (there were 10 of us) while lightening struck all around us as we huddled beneath some shorter trees. The rains came like a monsoon about 1:30pm. We spent the next three hours singing and snacking while creating systems to keep our packs dry. We sat on bear vaults and took turns clearing the puddles of rain from the tarp. A small river formed under our feet it rained so hard. We watched drenched hikers all afternoon move up the trail non-plussed and others run down stating they were DONE w this weather. We felt a bit smug under the tiny tarp which we usually bring to create shade in the high country. About 430pm the rains subsided and the thunder grew more distant. Time to set up camp! We surveyed the area and noted that the rushing water had created flood patterns so we could pick good drier tent sites by reading the ground and debris deposits. Dinner was a special gyro recipe I’ve put together after years of hunting and gathering and drying veggies. Basically plain freeze-dried ground beef seasoned w oregano and mint and a dash of Lawrey’s over rice. Lots of rice. And topped w reconstituted sheep feta, tomatoes, olives, and red onions further enhanced w tzatziki sauce (yogurt, cucumbers and dill). We inhaled every bit and we were in bed by 830pm. Early start Saturday to Vidette Meadow. We agreed to wake up at 530am.

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