Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Walking & Hiking Trails

Grant Grove

General Grant Tree Trail (easy)

Distance 0.5-mile

0.5-mile, half-hour round-trip; self-guiding loop trail; trailhead: Grant Tree parking area, one mile northwest of visitor center; 50-foot elevation gain. 

Interpretive signs describe the forest features on this pleasant hike to the General Grant Tree, officially designated as "The Nation's Christmas Tree," and the only living National Shrine. A pamphlet is available for a small charge at visitor centers. (Partial accessibility) –

Grant Grove

General Grant Tree Trail (easy)

Distance 0.5-mile

0.5-mile, half-hour round-trip; self-guiding loop trail; trailhead: Grant Tree parking area, one mile northwest of visitor center; 50-foot elevation gain.

Interpretive signs describe the forest features on this pleasant hike to the General Grant Tree, officially designated as "The Nation's Christmas Tree," and the only living National Shrine. A pamphlet is available for a small charge at visitor centers. (Partial accessibility) —

North Grove Loop (easy)

Distance 0.5-mile

0.5-mile, half-hour round-trip; loop trail; trailhead: end of lower Grant Tree parking area; 400-foot elevation change.

This trail follows an old road through groves of giant sequoia, sugar pine, white fir and dogwood. Sequoias thrive in the wet meadow and a large dead sequoia shows marks of a fire long ago.

Big Stump Trail (easy) 

Distance 1 mile

One mile, one-hour round-trip; self-guiding trail; trailhead: picnic area near Kings Canyon's Big Stump entrance; 200-foot elevation gain.

The trail traverses an area cut for timber in the 1880s where early lumberjacks threatened to eliminate giant sequoias. 

Park Ridge Trail (easy)

Distance 4.7 miles

4.7 miles, three hours round-trip; trailhead: Panoramic Point parking area; 200-foot elevation gain.

From Grant Grove Village, drive the narrow, steep, 2.5-mile road east to Panoramic Point. Begin the hike by walking south along a 0.25-mile ridge for vistas of valleys and peaks towering east of Grant Grove. On a clear day, you can see Hume Lake in Sequoia National Park, San Joaquin Valley and Coast Range 100 miles away. Return via the dirt fire road or retrace your steps.

(Note: The road to Panoramic Point is closed in winter.)

Sunset Trail (fairly strenuous) 

Distance 6 miles

Six miles, three to four hours round-trip; trailhead: across road from Grant Grove Visitor Center; 1,400-foot -elevation gain. 

Views of forest, rocks, streams and waterfalls await. Take the trail that runs to left below the highway, skirting the campground. After 1.25 miles, follow South Boundary Trail to Viola Falls. At the paved road, walk to the right to see the old park entrance which is opposite Camp Redwood. Return the same way or follow the old road up to the General Grant Tree parking area and take the trail to the visitor center.

Cedar Grove

Zumwalt Meadow (easy)

Distance 1.5 miles

1.5 miles, one hour round-trip; self-guiding loop trail; trailhead: Zumwalt Meadow parking area, one mile before Roads End; 50-foot elevation gain. 

You can purchase a brochure at the trailhead or visitor center. After crossing a bridge and walking left for 100 yards, take the trail to the right for a bird's-eye view of the scenic meadow from a high trail and, looping back for a shaded, close-up look at the meadow from along the banks of the South Fork of the Kings River. Ponderosa pine, sugar pine and incense cedar scent the air. You can see the Grand Sentinel and North Dome which rise on opposite sides of the canyon. D. K. Zumwalt, a railway attorney, was instrumental in saving this area in the early 1900s.

Mist Falls-Paradise Valley Trail (moderately strenuous)

Distance 8 miles

Eight miles, three to five hours round-trip; self-guiding trail; trailhead: Roads End short-term parking area; 1,500-foot elevation gain.

One of the most popular backpacking trails to the Kings Canyon high country, this hike is named for two destinations along the trail. The shorter hike goes to Mist Falls and returns while the longer one continues on to Paradise Valley (14 miles round-trip, six to eight miles one way; moderately strenuous; 1,500-foot elevation gain). Hiking is hot and dry, especially in late morning and afternoon, for the first two miles to Bubbs Creek bridge. At the bridge, the trail forks. The right path goes up Bubbs Creek and into the back-country. Keep going straight ahead for Mist Falls and Paradise Valley. Ascend three miles up switchbacks to Paradise Valley. The trail becomes an easy grade, meandering three miles through the valley, eventually linking with John Muir Trail at Upper Woods Creek. Return via the same trail in reverse.