Hospital Rock to Potwisha Trail is a 4.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from October until May.

Length4.9 miElevation gain987 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingrunningRiverViewsWildflowersOver grownFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

Sequoia National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. This hike follows an ancient foothills trail that linked two Indian village sites. The trail parallels the Middle Fork Kaweah River from Hospital Rock to the Potwisha Campground. The path follows the north canyon wall on a shelf that hugs the hillside. Although very hot in the summer the Middle Fork Trail offers pleasant hiking the rest of the year. This short section of the trail offers fine views of the Middle Fork Kaweah River Canyon as well as periodic glimpses of Morro Rock and Castle Rocks. A fine cross section of foothill vegetation rewards hikers as they pass through zones of oak woodlands, chaparral and grasses. Late winter and early spring brings splashes of color from a pleasant array of windflowers.

Parking and restrooms as Hospital Rock and Potwisha

Follow Generals Highway to Hospital Rock parking lot, approximately 6.1 miles from the park entrance or Ash Maintain entrance

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (27)
Photos (51)
Recordings (16)
Completed (70)
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Fidy Cisneros
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HikingFeeGreat!

Great scenic trail timed it to enjoy sunset. Not recommend for kids. Leaves on trail can be slippery.

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Stacey Pownell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 30, 2020

This was a great hike to do if you only have a few hours but want to experience different aspects of the sequoias. The trail had very few people on it which was nice. We started at Hospital Rock parking lot and worked our way down to Potwisha. There were some areas where stickers were abundant but for the most part not too bad. This time of the year there are lots of leaves on the path which makes it slippery. I wouldn't recommend taking kids just because you are on a narrow Trail and often on the edge of the Hill and the added slipperiness of the leaves. We did not see any bears but plenty of semi fresh bear poop. We will definitely do this hike again.

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Bencherlie Long
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Hiking

The view was the same through out. We ran into a lot of sticklers. Wear long pants and avoid shorts. All cliffs and edges and no safety. Not recommended for beginners or children. Not children friendly at all. Do not hike during summer cause barely any shade. Bring water.

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John Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 23, 2020
Hiking

Hiked this trail late October, still very dry and dusty. There were some nice areas. When you come out of the trail back onto the paved road walk directly across the street for the river trail. Had a snack at the river before returning back to main trail. Was one bear encounter

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Alejandra Baglietto
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Hiking

Not kids friendly and we saw fresh bear poop. We had to turn around lids didn’t like it

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Sadhana Kamath
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HikingNo shade
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Francine Mejia
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Over grown

Lots of stickers, good hike but encountered 2 bears on this trail.

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Krista Davidson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 9, 2019
HikingBugsNo shade

lots of stickers. made the trail miserable.

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Kirstin Byszkowski
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HikingOver grown
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Jeri Brace
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HikingBugs
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Jeri Brace
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HikingMuddy

Awesome trail for beginners! This trail offers some nice views without having to drive far into Sequoia Park (which requires snow chains in winter). Lots of parking and a public restroom at Hospital Rock starting area. Not much shade on the trail, nicer to do when the weather is cool.

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Pamela Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 2, 2019
Hiking

It was definitely an easy hike. More like a stroll through a park. Hard to get that Wilderness feel, with hearing cars constantly. No wildlife.

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Ana Barnett
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Dustin Schrag
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definitely better trails out there. I went in April and almost got snagged up by a rattle snake 6 miles in. keep an eye out!

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Lori Lackey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2016
Hiking

Ive taken this trail a couple of times. the first was to backpack with friends about 10 years ago. we went 8 miles in, and then went down a trail the guys knew about to their campsite theyve been enjoying for 25 years or so. last summer, i took my daughter down it, to the first river crossing 3 miles....saw a bear, so didnt make it all the way to the water. The beginning of the trail was very hot, without much shade, but we enjoyed ourselves.

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Ashley Long
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 3, 2015
Hiking

This was my first hike in Sequoia, and it was amazing. I took off from hospital rock to panther Creek which is a 3 mi hike. Starts off downhill, crossed morro creek, then the fun starts. Half of this walk has no shade but the other half has forest cover. You really get to see morro rock at just about every angle on this hike. A lot of uphill so I would say it's a moderate skill tail but once you get to panther Creek omg, the view of kaweah river is gorgeous from the rocks. No river access but panther Creek is deep enough to swim around a little and enjoy the scenery, though it is freezing cold. Walk back is mostly downhill or you can continue on the trail ahead. I would read the other review before hand because it talked about a tail to the river, next time I come back I'm going to look for that trail to the river and camp, there is room for a few tents and place for a campfire at panther creek. Strenuous but well worth it.

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Dennis Parker
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Hiking
First to Review

It was an interesting return to the past to follow the same trail the Potwisha (a subset of the Monache) Indians used to connect their camps. You travel on the North side of the Middle Fork Kaweah River Canyon, about 250 feet above the river. There is no river access from this trail except for a branch trail near Potwisha Campground. The trail is mostly sunny, and very hot open terrain, interrupted by folds of side streams. These folds provide a shady relief from the sun. Black oaks, grasses, and chaparral are the vegetation zones you cross through. You cross the Generals Highway about 1.75 from Hospital Rock. On the South side of the Generals Highway, the black oak tress become groves offering a shady stroll. This is where I found most of the wildflowers and deer seen on the trail. This is where the river access trail is located, but you can only go to the rocks overlooking the river not gain river access. This trail should not be made in the middle of summer because of the heat, but in the early spring when the wildflowers and grasses are green and in bloom. The trail below the Generals Highway is traveled much more because of it's proximity to Potwisha Campground and the hope of river access and a swimming hole. Even though the trail is very seldom traveled and somewhat overgrown, it needs to be traveled just to relive our past.

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Brock Nunes
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Hiking
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Josh Erickson
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Hiking
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Charity Winsor
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Hiking
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AllTrails User
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Hiking
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Aldo Moises Amezcua Godinez
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Nature trips
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SONYA RIVERA
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Hiking
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Brad Hurley
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Hiking
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Wyatt Smith
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Hiking
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Sam Baxendale
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Hiking
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Somya Chauhan
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Hiking
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