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Sugar Bowl - Redwood Creek Loop

Kings Canyon National Park

Sugar Bowl - Redwood Creek Loop is a 6.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Stony Creek Village, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,522 feet Route Type: Loop


mountain biking

nature trips


bird watching







wild flowers


no dogs

1 month ago

Beautiful hike!! The access road to trailhead was not something I I would try in a golf (adding 4 total miles to hike). The access road was very icy for the first 1/4 of the mile after that it is drivable. Anyways back to the hike! Enter though a stand of sequoias that follows through to the top of the mountain. The trees are amazing, but we did have to hike around some blow down trees on the trail. The hike has great Mountain View and finishes off following the creek at the bottom of the mountain. Be on the lookout for bears! We saw lots of bear poop.

5 months ago

October 11, great time of year for this hike. I did Sugarbowl trail down to the creek, spent the night along the water, then hiked out Hart trail. Beautiful hike among the giant trees. No bugs, few people, cold at night, but gorgeous during the day.

Beautiful hike. Great views, a few creeks and lots of forest. Go start early to avoid any heat during the summer.

8 months ago

Trail was great! Didn’t see a single person the whole hike which made it nice! Great views and some awesome trees look at! Definitely recommend!

Got on the trail very early—about 5:30am. Amazing sunrise views. Saw eight mule deer along the way. Loved it.

9 months ago

Really nice trail, though I agree it seems closer to 8 miles than 6 miles. We went early and only ran into 1 other group at the very end. Redwoods are beautiful and the wildflowers are out. We did have to scramble over quite a few downed trees on the trail, but they were all pretty easy to get over. Trail was dry or will be in another day or two. The creek at the bottom of drainage is a nice place for lunch or snack. Did see a lot of poison oak along trail, so you may want to have long pants on and not shorts.

9 months ago

Such a great hike. Some thundering happening while on the trails. The trees are absolutely amazing and almost unreal. Saw one deer on the trail. Definitely feels like a long trail than 6.5 miles. Felt more like an 8 mile hike. Still worth the trek! Will definitely do it again!

Mon Dec 10 2018

This is a great loop, especially for backpacking. We went in early december, these are a few notes for anyone else going in winter: The forest road to the trailhead is a dirt road that isn't plowed, so unless you're very confident in snow you'll probably want to park at Quail Flats and hike approx 2 miles in to the trailhead. It's an easy walk in, but adds some climbing to the hike out. As of december 2018, the creek was flowing well - easy to filter water from it. The trail can be a little hard to follow in some places, and as you come up to the trailhead on the redwood creek side, the de facto trail strays a little way from the mapped trail, but you do eventually get there. There are a bunch of workable spots for camping near the creek. Lastly, the trail was slushy during the day, so waterproof boots are definitely a good idea.

Sun Nov 11 2018

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!!!!!!!

Sun Nov 04 2018

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.

Thu Oct 18 2018

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.

Wed Sep 05 2018

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!

Mon Sep 03 2018

Great Labor day hike from 3pm-7pm. Felt longer than 6.5 miles though. Just couple of locations with mosquitoes but not bothersome. We started from teh redwood creek to sugar bush to complete the loop. The views were astounding. Sequoia trees were mesmerizing specially the first half of the trail starting from sugar bush. Take plenty of water and wear long sleeeves & pants as there are areas with very narrow trail surrounded by short bushes.

Tue Aug 07 2018

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.

Tue Jun 05 2018

Great hike! The creek canyon is far more lush than the Giant Forest area and was very peaceful. No mosquitos yet as of first week of June. The climb out of the canyon has great views despite all the smog, and the Sugar Bowl grove of sequoias was really stunning. Still a lot of wildflowers on the hill walking back down to the parking lot as well. Saw more hikers than I was expecting on a Monday but by no means crowded. The road still has some deep ruts and potholes in places but if you are careful you could avoid them in a sedan.

Tue Jun 05 2018

Good hikes. Lots of beautiful trees and scenery. Was really foggy so it has a creepy forest feel and we could not see 15 ft ahead of us. Very enjoyable. Much more than 6.5 miles however. I would say more like 8.

Tue May 15 2018

We did this trail in May. Took us about 4 and a half hours. It was clearly marked and very well maintained. We did have to crawl over a couple of downed trees but it was before Memorial Day which begins the busy season, the NPS had already cleared out most everything else in the trail, We really took our time to stop and take pics and enjoy it. It was beautiful, the redwoods were stunning and the dogwoods were blooming, just MAGIC! The canyon views were breathtaking. It was a Saturday and we met a few other hikers but not many. We want to try Hart next!

Tue Apr 24 2018

Was a beautiful, relatively easy trail with multiple large groves of Sequoias. Greatly enjoyed this hike!

Sat Mar 31 2018

Quite the hike. My 10 y/o, 12 y/o, wife and myself completed this March 31, 2018. We had a low clearance vehicle so we used a parking lot a good ways above the road in and hiked down to the road and off to the trail. Absolutely zero people from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lots of snow still so it was nice and tough but magical underneath all those beautiful trees. Bucket list type spot!!

Sun Nov 19 2017

I chose this hike because the reviews said it was a good place to get away from any crowds, and it definitely did not disappoint! I only saw one other person on the trail. The dirt road leading down to the trailhead is a little sketch, I briefly got stuck in a pothole on the way back up to the main road, but I still managed in my '97 Camry so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just take it slow and steady. No snow yet, and today was sunny and warm. The fall colors of the oaks were a beautiful backdrop for the towering sequoias, and you even get some panoramic views of the surrounding canyon. Loved this hike!

Sun Nov 05 2017

If you like sequoias and don't like the crowds this is the hike for you. We ran into two people all day. The were some views(all of big baldy and redwood canyon). There was sequoias the entire hike but you will know when you enter the sugarbowl. Redwood canyon itself is nice. You get to hike along a creek for a little while and the fall colors on the oaks were a nice shade of red and yellow. This was a great fall hike!

Sun Oct 22 2017

Great hike away from the crowds. We only saw 4 other people on the trail. There was grove after grove of Sequoias. It really was amazing to be in the middle of such large trees and the still quite of nature. Such a blessing to be able to experience such an amazing place!

Fri Sep 29 2017

Hiked this and Hart Tree as a loop, and camped at the trail junction. The trail goes past grove after grove of sequoias, and there are many great places to camp. Also, since the temperature has been dropping, there were no bugs!

Tue Sep 26 2017

Great loop hike, completed it in around 4 hours!! The gravel road in did have a few ruts but nothing impassible saw a mustang creep through it! Amazing sequoias trees all over An great views!! Great place to come make yourself feel small An humble!!! An also recommend taking the loop counter clockwise!!! And another big plus only passed three other folks the whole hike!! Whoa what a magical day!!!

Sat Sep 23 2017

This is a great trail in the Redwoods. We did not have bug issues as it was in the 40's temperature wise. If coming by way of Badger to the forrest road, you need a higher clearance car. The road has some washout areas and larger rocks.

Sun Jul 30 2017

As part of a Trinity Alps-King's Canyon trail maintenance crew this loop trail was our project for roughly a month back in April/May of 2015, and it's still one of my favorite trails in the King's Canyon area

Tue Jul 25 2017

My sister and I finished this trail in about 5 hours - we took several breaks. The trail itself is not difficult, but has some ups and downs, with plenty of time to recover before the next incline. If you want to see sequoia trees, this is the trail for you. There were plenty of groves on the top side, and a few down near the creek. Bring some bug spray.

Fri Jul 07 2017

Second time doing this hike! One of the biggest freestanding giant sequoia groves left I believe. If you want to see some beautiful trees without having to deal with large crowds then this is the hike!

Sun Jul 02 2017

We did this hike yesterday. It was great. Very peaceful. Lots of ups and downs, not too hard but definitely a work out if you keep a good pace, which we do. Beautiful views from many spots and lots of shade throughout most of the hike. Lots of wildflowers.

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