Middle Fork Kaweah Trail is a 27.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length27.8 miElevation gain5,705 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingCross-country skiingHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsSnowshoeingBird watchingrunningForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeSnowWashed outFeeNo dogs
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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. The gate is closed as of 11/26/20 so you'll have to do a couple miles of roadwalk and park at hospital rock. The first 3 miles to Panther Creek are fairly easy. This is the first place with campsites along the trail. Shortly after passing Panther Creek the trail increases in difficulty, climbing from roughly 4,000' to 4,800' in about 1.5 miles to Mehrten Creek. This creek has a few camp sites and is in tree cover with views of the valley below Castle Rocks and the Middle Fork River. Continuing on, the trail ascends and descends for the next 2 1/4 miles, crossing 3 unnamed drainages, with a campsite and fire ring in tree cover at the third drainage. After another 1/2 mile the trail ends at the 9.4 mile mark at a fork. This fork is not marked, but the left climbs up to Bearpaw Meadow and the High Sierra Trail while the right leads to Redwood Meadow. Heading right, the trail descends to an area with an obvious campsite in tree cover with a fire ring, log seats, and water access. There are multiple places to camp in this area. This trail follows the river for its duration but there is no river access until this point due to the steep banks. There are creeks along the way with flowing water and some of them collect in pools that would be nice to take a dip in during warmer months.

There is not a traditional parking lot, but there is room for nine or so vehicles with bear boxes at the trailhead.

Sequoia & Kings National Park Mailing Address: 47050 Generals Highway Three Rivers, CA 93271 Phone:(559) 565-3341 Recorded information is available 24 hours a day. Park staff answers calls on weekdays from 8:15 am - 4:15 pm.

The ability to hike as little as 3 miles and camp in the wilderness makes this an excellent destination for families. The trail becomes markedly more difficult after Panther Creek. Wilderness permits are required for overnight use.

Take the General's Highway toward Buckeye Flat campground. There is a fork to a dirt road on the left that will take you to the trailhead.

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Reviews (13)
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Completed (30)
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Ryan D
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 27, 2020
BackpackingGreat!No shadeOver grown

The gate is closed as of 11/26/20 so you'll have to do a couple miles of roadwalk and park at hospital rock. Spent a night at panther creek. Great views during the whole hike. Trail was a little overgrown in spots but easy to follow. not much shade until about 3 miles in from the trailhead. There was water just after the trailhead and at panther creek.

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Tyler armes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 26, 2020
Hiking

Can anyone recommend some loops that are dog friendly? Would love to do a 2-5 day with my dog and need some help finding an suitable hike for an active dog

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Amber Emery
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 3, 2018
Camping

Went for a 3 day, 2 night camping trip with the Boyfriend. It was incredible. Beautiful views with every step! Be ready to get your feet wet if you are planning on hiking out to Redwood Meadow! The water is so crisp and refreshing to drink (with a LifeStraw) but it doesn't feel to good when you get wet. We built our basecamp on a quiet little peninsula near where the Panther Creek and Middle Fork creek merge. It was so peaceful I didn't want to leave!

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Bryan Aldrete
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 14, 2018
Backpacking

The trail was a nice and challenging trail. My first backpacking trip/trail. Two nights two days. Parked at Buckeye campground and hike up to the trailhead. Hit the trail up this April of 2018. Before the rain the river crossings weren’t bad. After a night of rain they were impossible. Waited for the river to die down a bit and crossed. The trail is well blazed and has nice views along the whole trail. AllTrails Pro did not really work out there though. Only downside.

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Hunter Whittaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 15, 2018

Perfect time of year to be on this trail. I took it to Panther Creek and camped there on a Saturday night. Lots of spots to tarp/tent or hang. Excellent weather(70/40) with nice snowy views to the east. Water was plentiful, but none of the creek crossings to that point had any deep water. The road to the trailhead/Buckeye Flat campground is closed at this point for the winter but do not let that stop you from jumping on this awesome trail. You’ll need to park at the picnic area on Sherman’s Highway at the intersection of Buckeye Flat. It tacks on an additional two miles but was along the river and I encountered many mule deer along the way. When the road forks, go left on the rough road. The gate on the right goes to Buckeye Flat campground and Paradise trail. Happy hiking!

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Kelli Randell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2017
Backpacking
First to Review

Completed a two night, three day trip up to the campsite where Granite Creek joins Middle Fork Kaweah River (approximately 12 miles). Our ultimate goal was Redwood Meadow, but we decided that fording the river at the spot 2 miles north was not safe so we weren't able to see it. Due to all the snowmelt the creeks are at full strength, and the trail requires multiple creek crossings (one of which you must ford - Mehrten Creek), so bring something to dry off with. Trail itself has multiple fallen trees blocking the path, but none that are show stoppers. Lots of mosquitos!

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Kathryn Burns
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Hiking
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Wendi Anderson
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Hiking
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Jason Killian
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Backpacking
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Jason Killian
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Backpacking
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Ryan Wiesman
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Backpacking
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Katie Garrett
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Sco Pre
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Hiking
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