Hiking Project Logo

Kings Canyon National Park

Area suggestions or local tips? Tell us!

Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Weather Averages


High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w/
 
J F M A M J J A S O N D

405 mi 651 km of trail 8 Featured Hikes

Gems 6 Gems Easy Trails 27 Trails Intermediate Trails 33 Trails Hard Trails 12 Trails

Nestled in the southern Sierra Nevadas, Kings Canyon lies next to Sequoia National Park, east of the San Joaquin Valley, and boasts a diverse and dramatic landscape with vast caverns, deep canyons, huge mountains, rugged foothills, and expansive forests. Visitor activities vary by season and elevation, which ranges from 1,370 to 14,494 feet.

Within Kings Canyon, you can experience this striking change in elevation from warm foothills to cold alpine peaks. Kings Canyon is a wide glacial valley featuring a lovely meandering river, beautiful waterfalls, spectacular tall cliffs, and green vibrant meadows. A few miles outside the park, Kings Canyon deepens and steepens becoming arguably the deepest canyon in North America for a short distance.

Also plunging far below the surface are stunning marble caverns, many with endemic cave fauna. This huge variation in the landscape contributes to the vast diversity of plants and animals in the park.

Visiting Tips

Kings Canyon is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, weather permitting.

Visitor Center
  • Kings Canyon Visitor Center - Open daily (all year): 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
  • Cedar Grove Visitor Center - Closed in winter. Open late May to late September: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
  • Roads End Wilderness Permit Station - Closed in winter. Open late May to late September: 7:00 a.m.- 3:45 p.m.
Fees and Passes
For more information on fees and passes, click here.

Because of the extreme elevation range in the parks, weather conditions vary greatly from area to area and day to day. Head to the Kings Canyon National Park page to double check weather conditions before heading out. Opening and closing dates for facilities and services may change due to weather or other circumstances.

Camping & Lodging

The park offers a variety of campgrounds throughout the park. A maximum of 6 people are allowed in standard sites, but group campsites are also available with a reservation. Be aware, most campgrounds fill up on Saturday nights from July through August. More information can be found here.

For those looking for a slightly less rustic option, lodging can be reserved at the John Muir Lodge, Cedar Grove Lodge, or the Grant Grove Cabins. More information can be found here.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

The Big Trees Shuttle runs daily from late May into September.
  • Grant Grove Loop - free
  • Fresno/Sanger Route - $15 round trip

Be sure to visit the Kings Canyon website for a list of the places you don't want to miss.

Other Activities

Whether you prefer a short stroll or a week in the wilderness, a quiet sunrise or a roaring river, Kings Canyon offers a wide range of activities and hundreds of miles of trails.

Areas Within Kings Canyon National Park

Gems in Kings Canyon National Park - 6

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Gems

gem Favorite Top of Glen Pass, looking north/east towards the Rae Lakes.

Glen Pass

(5) Lone Pine, CA
gem Favorite On our way to the Gen. Grant Tree

General Grant Tree

(12) Squaw V…, CA
gem Favorite Sierra Sunset from Panoramic Point - Kings Canyon NP.

Panorama Point

(6) Squaw V…, CA
gem Favorite Hart Tree - One of the 20 largest sequoias.

Hart Tree

(5) Three R…, CA
gem Favorite Hart Meadow

Hart Meadow

(1) Three R…, CA
gem Favorite Redwood Cabin.

Redwood Cabin

(1) Three R…, CA

Featured Hikes in Kings Canyon National Park - 8

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Hikes

Favorite Rae Lakes, Pacific Crest Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.
Intermediate/Difficult

Rae Lakes Loop

40.4 mi 65.0 km • Loop • 6,971 ft Ascent 2124.75 m Ascent

(18) Squaw V…, CA
Favorite A view down to Bishop Lake and Saddlerock Lake from the trail just below Bishop Pass.
Intermediate/Difficult

North Lake to South Lake Loop

55.0 mi 88.5 km • Point to Point • 9,037 ft Ascent 2754.56 m Ascent

(6) West Bi…, CA
Favorite Hart Tree - One of the 20 largest sequoias.
Intermediate

Redwood Mountain Grove: Hart Trail & Sugar Bowl Trail Loops

9.9 mi 16.0 km • Loop • 1,929 ft Ascent 587.85 m Ascent

(15) Three R…, CA
Favorite Palmer Mountain
Intermediate

Mist Falls

8.2 mi 13.1 km • Out and Back • 805 ft Ascent 245.38 m Ascent

(17) Squaw V…, CA
Favorite Kings River
Easy/Intermediate

Zumwalt Meadows Loop Trail

1.3 mi 2.0 km • Point to Point • 104 ft Ascent 31.7 m Ascent

(15) Squaw V…, CA
Favorite Lower Tent Meadow
Intermediate/Difficult

Copper Creek Trail

13.4 mi 21.6 km • Out and Back • 5,263 ft Ascent 1604.11 m Ascent

(3) Squaw V…, CA
Favorite Scarring from fires on ancient sequoias beside the service road.
Easy/Intermediate

Dead Giant Loop via Sunset Trail

1.8 mi 2.9 km • Out and Back • 315 ft Ascent 95.89 m Ascent

(2) Squaw V…, CA
Favorite Kings River
Easy/Intermediate

Zulema Meadow Trail to Roaring River Falls

3.5 mi 5.7 km • Out and Back • 243 ft Ascent 73.93 m Ascent

(1) Squaw V…, CA

Trails in Kings Canyon National Park - 64

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Trails

11.9 mi 19.1 km #1Bishop Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
11.9 mi 19.1 km Big Pine, CA 14 
7.6 mi 12.2 km #2Kearsarge Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Lone Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
7.6 mi 12.2 km Lone Pine, CA 13 
10.0 mi 16.0 km #3South Fork (Paradise)
Intermediate/Difficult
Squaw Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
10.0 mi 16.0 km Squaw Valley, CA
5.8 mi 9.3 km #4Woods Creek Trail
Intermediate
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate
5.8 mi 9.3 km Big Pine, CA
30.6 mi 49.2 km #5JMT: Segment 7 - Kearsage Pass Trail to Mt. Whitney
Intermediate/Difficult
Lone Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
30.6 mi 49.2 km Lone Pine, CA
11.0 mi 17.7 km #6Bubbs Creek Trail
Intermediate
Lone Pine, CA
Intermediate
11.0 mi 17.7 km Lone Pine, CA
29.6 mi 47.7 km #7JMT: Segment 5 - Muir Trail Ranch to Bishop Pass at LeConte Ca…
Intermediate/Difficult
West Bishop, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
29.6 mi 47.7 km West Bishop, CA
4.6 mi 7.4 km #8Sugar Bowl Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Three Rivers, CA
Easy/Intermediate
4.6 mi 7.4 km Three Rivers, CA
24.2 mi 38.9 km #9Middle Fork Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
24.2 mi 38.9 km Big Pine, CA
13.0 mi 21.0 km #10Simpson Meadow Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
13.0 mi 21.0 km Big Pine, CA
8.0 mi 12.9 km #11Goddard Canyon Trail
Intermediate
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate
8.0 mi 12.9 km Big Pine, CA
11.4 mi 18.3 km #12Blue Canyon Trail
Difficult
Squaw Valley, CA
Difficult
11.4 mi 18.3 km Squaw Valley, CA
20.5 mi 33.0 km #13Kennedy Canyon Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Squaw Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
20.5 mi 33.0 km Squaw Valley, CA
4.4 mi 7.1 km #14State Lakes Loop
Intermediate
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate
4.4 mi 7.1 km Big Pine, CA
43.3 mi 69.7 km #15JMT: Segment 6 - Bishop Pass at LeConte Canyon to Kearsage Pas…
Intermediate/Difficult
Big Pine, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
43.3 mi 69.7 km Big Pine, CA
2.8 mi 4.6 km #16Hotel Creek Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Squaw Valley, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
2.8 mi 4.6 km Squaw Valley, CA
0.6 mi 1.0 km #17Dead Giant Loop
Easy/Intermediate
Squaw Valley, CA
Easy/Intermediate
0.6 mi 1.0 km Squaw Valley, CA
0.7 mi 1.2 km #18Grant View Trail
Easy/Intermediate
Squaw Valley, CA
Easy/Intermediate
0.7 mi 1.2 km Squaw Valley, CA
0.5 mi 0.8 km #19General Grant Tree Trail
Easy
Squaw Valley, CA
Easy
0.5 mi 0.8 km Squaw Valley, CA 20 
4.9 mi 7.9 km #20Silliman Pass Trail
Intermediate/Difficult
Three Rivers, CA
Intermediate/Difficult
4.9 mi 7.9 km Three Rivers, CA

Photos of Kings Canyon National Park - 263

Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Add Your Photos

Rae Lakes, Pacific Crest Trail, Kings Canyon National Park.
Dec 30, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
Fin Dome from the PCT.
Feb 3, 2016 near Big Pine, CA
Fireman Lake is located off the PCT near Taboose Pass.
Mar 13, 2017 near Big Pine, CA
A view down to Bishop Lake and Saddlerock Lake from the trail just below Bishop Pass.
Jan 12, 2016 near Big Pine, CA
Hart Tree - One of the 20 largest sequoias.
Jan 31, 2016 near Three R…, CA
East Vidette from Junction Meadow.
Apr 30, 2019 near Lone Pine, CA
View from the final ascent to Glen Pass. You can see Diamond Peak and Black Mountains, and get glimpse of the Rae Lakes.
Apr 29, 2019 near Lone Pine, CA
The middle Rae Lake with Glen Pass in the far.
Apr 29, 2019 near Big Pine, CA

Classes & Events Near You

Find More Classes and Events

Shop REI Adventures

Find More REI Adventures


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking