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Middle Fork Kaweah Trail

Difficult
 4.6 (5)

A ridge side trail through chaparral landscape and views of the High Sierras.


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.5

KM

Point to Point

6,116' 1,864 m

High

2,868' 874 m

Low

4,195' 1,279 m

Up

947' 289 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

39%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly 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.

Description

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

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.

Flora & Fauna

Lots of wildflowers and blooming California Buckeye in spring. Very abundant wildlife from birds, squirrels, lizards, and even black bears.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hubbard Gravlee

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#6053

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
40%
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#505

in California

#6,053

Overall
84 Views Last Month
5,869 Since Sep 8, 2015
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Photos

The wildflowers were abundant when I hiked this in April. Lots of poppies and buckeye.
Apr 3, 2016 near Three R…, CA
The first good vista of the Great Western Divide and Eagle Scout Peak.
Apr 3, 2016 near Three R…, CA
The eastern side of Castle Rocks.
Apr 3, 2016 near Three R…, CA
Mehrten Creek. There are some campsites here.
Apr 3, 2016 near Three R…, CA
The Middle Fork Kaweah River flows peacefully in the spring and summer.
Apr 2, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Moro Rock from the trail.
Apr 3, 2016 near Three R…, CA

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Check-Ins

May 21, 2018
Ernie Gochez
Apr 17, 2018
Lauren Argueta
Sunny, trail covered with melting snow, 3 large stream crossings, camped near bridge on the third, hung hammocks near junction, out &back in 2 days 13mi
May 20, 2017
Laura Navarro
Buck Creek campsite. 10mi
May 18, 2017
Matthew Herring
May 5, 2017
Mario Krstic
Apr 30, 2017
Jon Steurer
9.5 Out and Back. Paradise Creek to Trail Splits. Camped down a hill at a site with already cut firewood. We added more before leaving. 19mi
Apr 1, 2016
Hubbard Gravlee
Went out to Bear Paw Connector and camped. 9.5mi — 4h 40m