Kings Canyon National Park

Description

A spectacular V-shaped canyon of granite and blue marble, even deeper than the Grand Canyon, gives Kings Canyon its name. Carved by the South Fork of the Kings River, Kings Canyon is, at 6,600 feet, one of the deepest canyons in North America. Add to that the stands of Giant Sequoia in Grant Grove and the tens of thousands of acres of backcountry spanning the lofty crest of the Sierra Nevada, and you have one of the most beautiful and wild parks in the nation. Administered jointly with Sequoia National Park, directly to the south, the two parks offer visitors a wide range of outdoor activities and facilities, from comfortable driving tours to over 800 miles of rugged high-mountain trails. Grant Grove, home to General Grant, the "Nation's Christmas Tree," was established as General Grant National Park in 1890, mere days after its neighbor Sequoia was designated as America's second national park. Like Sequoia, it was formed to protect what remained of the stately groves of Giant Sequoia, threatened by logging operations. In 1940, the area was renamed Kings Canyon National Park with the Cedar Grove and surrounding Sierra wilderness portions added in 1965.What to see and do: Begin your visit to Kings Canyon at the Grant Grove Visitor Center, where you'll find interpretive displays and a fifteen-minute slide presentation on the natural and cultural history of the area. Be sure to pick up a copy of The Visitor Guide, the park newspaper. Then go out and explore. The General Grant Tree, only slightly smaller than the massive General Sherman Tree in Sequoia (the earth's largest living tree, in terms of sheer volume), is one mile northwest of the visitor center. The General Grant is a living shrine, dedicated to all Americans who have died in the cause of freedom. Trails lead from here to the North Grove, Sequoia Lake Overlook, and the Dead Giant. Be sure to visit Big Stump Basin where the forest is regenerating after devastating logging operations in the late 19th century claimed an ancient Sequoia grove. Before continuing to the canyon, drive up to Panoramic Point for breathtaking views of the high Sierra. Lodging, campgrounds, stables, and food services are located in and around Grant Grove Village. Kings Canyon reaches its deepest point at the foot of Spanish Mountain in the Sequoia National Forest north of Grant Grove and west of the national park. The Kings Canyon Highway passes through the canyon, which in spring adds the vivid yellow of wildflowers to the blue marble of its walls. The route, closed by the threat of rock slides from November to April, leads to Cedar Grove, a glaciated valley surrounded by the canyon's lofty granite walls. The Cedar Grove Visitor Center, situated within convenient distance of lodging, campgrounds, and food services, is the information center for this part of the park. You can find maps and trail guides there, and rangers are on hand to answer questions. Along the park road, which ends at a loop called, appropriately, "Roads End," you can take advantage of pullouts with breathtaking views of Kings Canyon. Easy hikes to Roaring River Falls and around Zumwalt Meadow offer glimpses into the canyon's unparalleled beauty. Roads End is the jumping-off point for many of the trails that lead into the eastern park wilderness and the high Sierra crests. From here, you can follow several paths that intersect with the popular and strenuous Pacific Crest Trail. If you don't want to trek overnight into the backcountry, you can still choose from a wide variety of day hikes, some easy and less than a mile long, and some, like the Don Cecil Trail to Lookout Peak, a strenuous 13-mile round-trip. Although the road into Cedar Grove is closed in winter, Grant Grove remains open and available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Snowshoes and ski equipment can be rented at the Grant Grove market. In winter, the great trees are draped in a heavy mantle of snow, and a quiet, lovely scene awaits the visitor.

Address

47050 Generals Hwy
East on CA 180 from CA 99
Three Rivers, CA 93271

Lat/Long

36.73979900, -118.96199800
Visit Website
(559) 565-3341

Add a Photo

You must be logged in to add photos.
×

Vote for

You can only vote once for each town every 24 hours. You can vote again in

Vote for 2013 Best Small Town

Vote!

Are you a DMO or CVB?
Explore "Best Town Travels" – Rand McNally’s new map-based digital travel guides for your website plus an iPhone and Facebook app! Learn More

×

Thank you for Voting!

Promote , by sharing your vote or writing a review.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter or Write a Review
×