A nature lover’s paradise in the central Sierra Nevada mountains.
Kings Canyon National Park
Kings Canyon National Park protects the largest remaining natural grove of giant sequoias in the world and the glacial canyons at the headwaters of the South and Middle Forks of the Kings River and South Fork of the San Joaquin River. The General Grant Tree is the largest sequoia in the park and the second largest tree in the world. Kings Canyon lies north of Sequoia National Park.
Kings Canyon is one of the deepest canyons in the United States. Unlike the Grand Canyon, the bottom of Kings Canyon is accessible by Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. Nevertheless, it is the least visited of the three national parks in Sierra Nevada – both Yosemite and Sequoia have more visitors.
Open / Close / Reopening Status of Kings Canyon National Park due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Last Updated: May 2, 2020
Home to the General Grant Tree, which has an estimated age of 1800-2000 years.
A thriving meadow that was cleared of giant sequoias in the 19th century, leaving only stumps. The Boole Tree was the only one spared and is now named for the lumber mill owner who saved it.
Also known as Boyden Cave, it is an impressive cavern filled with stalactites and stalagmites. Tours of the cavern are available hourly. Bring a light jacket as it is only 53 degrees Fahrenheit inside.
A secluded area an hour’s drive from Grant Grove accessible only from late Spring to early Fall that has scattered stands of cedar trees.
Kings Canyon National Park History
General Grant National Park was established in 1890 to protect the sequoia trees in General Grant Grove. It measured only four square miles. It was reorganized under the name of Kings Canyon National Park in 1940 when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt expanded the protections to include Kings Canyon. General Grant National Park was the fourth to be created by Congress. Later in the year, Congress would also create Yosemite National Park.
How long does it take to drive through Kings Canyon?
It takes a little over an hour to drive from Grant Grove to the end of the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway without stopping. In total, it takes about 2 hours and 15 minutes to make the round trip without stops. When we made the drive in June 2019, we stopped at the General Grant Tree, Hume Lake (campsite detour), Grizzly Falls, Cedar Grove and Zumwalt Meadows. This added a couple hours to the trip.
Can I take my dog to Kings Canyon?
Pets are permitted in campgrounds and picnic areas in Kings Canyon but they must remain on a leash at all times and (except for service animals) are not permitted on any trails. Pets are allowed on trails in the nearby national forest lands as well as Giant Sequoia National Monument.
What is there to do in Kings Canyon?
waterfalls, wildlife, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, Muir Rock and sequoia trees.
Are there bears in Kings Canyon?
Yes. There are hundreds of black bears between Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park.
Recent Bird Sightings
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