Explore the most popular birding trails in Kings Canyon National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My 2 kids, 10yr old granddaughter and I went on this beautiful backpack trip Oct 19-21/2018. We had perfect weather 65 during the day, and hi 30's at night. Gravel road to parking lot was perfect, looked as though it had been recently redone.
Leaving the parking lot, we went on the left trail choosing to go down hill to where we would camp. It was about 2.5 miles to the bottom, and a beautiful hike. There is a stream about a mile down the trail, and it goes close to the trail the rest of the way to the bottom. Take note, there are very few places to set up camp.
We came back going left coming back the approx 4.5 mi back to the parking lot. There are no streams or water sources all the way back. We had a great time!!!! Beautiful hike, saw 4 deer, 2 coming into our camp site at about 8PM on our second night. LOVED IT ALL!!!!!!!

Love this area! I started the Sugar Bowl loop and then finished on the Hart Tree side for the longer 10 mile hike. I'm glad I went this direction but would like to try it in reverse sometime. Both sides offer excellent views and the hiking is not too difficult. I highly recommend doing this hike in the fall, the dogwood trees are stunning this time of year! The drive down to the trailhead is just a gravel road, you shouldn't have any trouble getting down there unless it's snowy. Totally worth your time to enjoy the giants on these trails!

We did this hike on 10/6/18. We hiked counterclockwise from the trailhead. It was overcast and cool when we started and we finished in the rain. The sun did come out occasionally to light up the sequoias and they’re the star of this hike. The sugar bowl itself is just unreal. Huge trees everywhere. It was surreal. There were a couple of sections of the trail that afforded views of big baldy and little baldy, which could be very nice but they were obscured by the clouds when we hiked it. Clouds or not, the magnificent trees are an experience unto themselves. After the sugarbowl, and you'll know you're in it because every tree you can see is a sequoia, it's a long downhill jog to the canyon floor, then a long uphill slog back to the trailhead. There aren't many sequoias on the downward section but they grow more numerous on the way up and out of the canyon. Outstanding hike.

We hiked this around noon on 10/4/18. Temperature was in the mid-50s and it was sunny. Unfortunately, we couldn't do the entire loop because of trail closure for trail repairs. It's flat, the meadows looked like a wheat field as far as color and height. The part of the trail that was open followed a river which was pleasant. Short hike, nice views, would've liked to do the whole loop though as I think the trail that was closed would've had better photographic opportunities.

hiking
11 days ago

It was 45 F when we started this hike at 0830 on 10/4/18. It had poured rain the previous day and ice warnings were in the forecast which I think scared everyone away. We saw no one on the way up and only a handful of people on the way back. The temperature never got warm enough to where the bugs were a problem even though we were prepared with head nets and bug spray. The first part of the hike was through the valley with gorgeous views on either side. After the junction to the Bubb's creek trail the trail begins a gradual ascent up to the falls. There is a section where you come out of the trees and you have unimpeded views of the canyon that are pretty spectacular. If you're a photographer, a wide angle lens is a must (or take multiple photos and stitch them together in post, or just take a panorama w/ your camera phone). Right before we got to the falls ran into a cinnamon colored black bear and her cub. That was a treat. The falls themselves are not spectacular as far as falls go, but it's a convenient turn around point. On the return we followed the Bubbs Creek trail across the river then took the spur back to the trailhead. Not as scenic as the trail coming out, but it was flat and easy. A pretty easy hike with a high ROE (return on effort).

We hiked this trail on a very cloudy day. This didn't give us the opportunity for many views, but it was very awesome to be in such dense fog the whole way. The hike is not difficult by any stretch, but has some sloping sections. We never did find the Fallen Goliath, but the other destinations on the loop were quite interesting. The road to the trailhead is not paved, but we did it with no problem in a Corolla. They are currently in the process of putting new gravel down, making the road even more manageable. Overall would recommend as a good hike near the Grant Grove area of the park.

hiking
16 days ago

A very good trail with moderate traffic. Went on a Saturday morning and continued along the same trail until Paradise Valley. The extra bit was well worth it, with very good views and a nice calm part of the Kings River. Did not see any bears, although we heard one growling nearby.

The best kind of suck in the world

Really gorgeous trail. I saw a few bear paw prints so I was whistling/singing throughout since I was alone. (I am overcoming my fear of bears, ok.) I saw only one other person while hiking, and the parking lot never even got to close to half full. Someone else mentioned to remember to look up when you’re in the canyon. Take that advice. The trail was easy to follow. I completed the trail in 2.5 hours and my iPhone recorded just under 7 miles.

Hiked 10/11/18. As great as advertised. Arrived at the trailhead around 8:30am. Plenty of spaces available. Bugs weren’t a problem. We extended the hike an extra mile+ after the falls. That added quite a bit of elevation gain. Ran into a mama bear and her cub cruising down the middle of the trail and heard another just off trail.

Amazing Drive, Love driving along the river

hiking
1 month ago

I’ve hiked this trail several times and love the scenery and views. It can be challenging though, with an aggressive grade, unpredictable afternoon rain showers and at certain times, heavy mosquito hatches that can eat you up. The cross country trek to Grouse Lake is especially worth the trip particularly if you enjoy fly fishing.

Right off we see a large bear with a deer going the opposite direction. Some insects, easy short walk.

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful and spectacular trail! Insects not a problem, no large wildlife sightings today.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was really fun, but definitely a challenge! You're quickly rewarded with the cascades at the very beginning and then it's a long way to the top! The streams and change of terrain along the way make the hike interesting. Ran into some gnats in some parts of the trail. I did not go all they way up to the lookout, but did make it to the summit meadow. The trail to the lookout is really non-existent once you get to that point. I definitely want to do the hike again, but start a bit earlier to leave plenty of time to enjoy the top. (I started the hike at noon and reached the bottom at 4:30.) It is really neat to think of the history of this particular path into the canyon while hiking along!

hiking
1 month ago

This beautiful trail with gently ascending switchbacks makes the 2,555 ft of elevation gain feel easy. Once you've reached the crest the views are stunning. There are multiple lakes along the way. It was quite windy near the the top the day we went.

Beautiful trail in the gorge by the river. No wildlife sitings, but fun nonetheless!

hiking
1 month ago

Read reviews here before driving to the park for this hike. They were right on. I sprayed myself with repellant as soon as I parked and had no problems all day. Could see others being driven off the trail by the bugs. Park in one of two lots at end of Road. This is an easy hike which you can make as difficult as you want by going uphill to the Falls and past. Talked with some other hikers and a seasonal ranger on the hike and it was great. There was no wind so it was going to get hot there in afternoon away from the water. Once to the Falls we were about to have lunch when a small bear visited the falls area and gave everyone a thrill. Trail up from falls is not easy and we decided to turn around and save the meadows to another day.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

hiking
1 month ago

You are ascending the whole way up. Make sure to save energy to make it up to the look out, difficult to fin the trail when you reach the top.

Hiked here couple days ago with my parents. We started the hike a little later than anticipated. Got some amazing pictures of the falls once we got to the destination. On the way back we were very fortunate and were able to see a couple owls and a black bear :). Great hike, and definitely recommend it to anybody.

Loved our hike! Perfect temperature and not too busy. Clearly marked and very easy hike. Huge issue with mosquitoes and flies at the trailhead and continued along the hike

hiking
1 month ago

Super nice trek - the first half is basically a stroll through the forest, the incline starts after the bridge at Bubbs Creek and goes up steadily about 8/900 feet of the next couple of miles. I came across a bear with her cub about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile before the falls, they stayed in the area around the trail for awhile, because they were still there when I came back a couple of hours later. Gnats and mosquitoes was a pest from about a mile in and almost all the way to the falls, bring a face/hat net, you will be happy you did. It was a rater hot day, even though most of this hike is in the shade of trees, I used about 4 liters of water - good thing the hike is right next to the river. An easy day hike and the beginning of the clock wise Rae Lakes Loop, most day hikers turn around at the falls.

on Lost Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, really a good workout if you start at the Rowell Meadow trailhead and do a out and back day hike.

The lake is spectacular with amazing rock formations rimming the bowl.

Absolutely no mosquitoes when I went on September 8, 2018.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice trail. Not super difficult. Be sure to bring a bug net and spray. The gnats are relentless.

Saw a bear and her cubs, so be aware.

on Mist Falls Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, decent amount of shades, beautiful mist fall was very refreshing. A lot of bugs especially in the morning from the moment you get out of a car. I encountered a mama bear followed by a bear cub.

Gorgeous short easy hike. The drive to get to the trail is long but has fantastic scenic views of the canyon. A must hike for Kings Canyon National Park.

hiking
2 months ago

Great short hike. Little elevation. Saw three rattle snakes by the boardwalk in Zumwalt Meadows.

Roaring River Falls in Late August does not have a lot of water but still pretty during Golden hour.

What a great trail, well marked and maintained. The hike is closer to 7.1 miles and takes over 4 hours. Be sure to stop often and look up and around..... the giant Sequoia’s are so beautiful and the views breathtaking.
We went on Labor Day, the parking lot was full but didn’t run into too many groups.
Started at the Sugar Bowl trail head, to the right, and made the loop. It was at least 20 degrees cooler up in Kings Canyon than in the valley. Since it’s summer, the small creeks were dry. However, there is a nice stream that runs along the last couple miles and I recommend sitting, cooling off your feet before the last mile, all uphill.
Looking forward to coming back in the Spring!

hiking
2 months ago

A very nice trail - not too hard either. I encountered two bear cubs, but no mother was seen. Scary, but fun! Ensure you bring bug spray, you will absolutely need it.

Besides the mosquitos and gnats it was great

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