Kings Canyon National Park Scenic Drive

Kings Canyon National Park Travel Blog

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Kings Canyon with Kings River cutting through in between

I woked up and packed up my tent at 630 am, ate some granola bars and peanuts. I was on my way at 7 am.  Didn’t even bother to heat up and cook on my backpacking stove because I was running short on water.  I had less than 1 liter left. Luckily I kept looking back and forth between the surroundings, and the pictures I took on my digital camera the day before for landmarks that will lead me back to the trail.  15 minutes later I found the trail.  I knew I was going back to the trailhead, I said forget going to Jennie Lakes and finishing the loop.  I’ll just do a scenic drive up Kings Canyon National Park and go back to Fresno. 2 hours into the trail, I met 2 couples apparently either going to Weaver or Jennie Lake, then it was just around 10 am by the time I got to my car.

Kings River with the Sierra Nevada backdrop

I drove up north on the 180, passed by Grant Grove Village  on the way to Cedar Grove and Roads End. It’s about 32 miles from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove, or less than an hour drive.  I passed by amazing mountain scenery, occasionally stopping on the side of the road to look at vistas of Kings Canyon.  The Canyon was formed by glaciers, and when the glaciers melted, the Kings River was created and carved the remainder of what we see today.  The road up to Cedar grove was winding, but nevertheless the towering granite mountain provided a scenic backdrop as I drove my car.  I stopped by Hume Lake, which was a man-made lake to hold logs back in the day, but now converted to a recreational lake.

Vista Point Kings Canyon
  I went to visit Roaring river falls, and followed a 1.6 mile trail to Zumwalt meadow. It took 35 minutes to reach the meadow, and another 35 minutes to walk back to my car. I should have started closer to Roads end, and the hike would have been much much closer to Zumwalt meadow. 

It was almost 3 pm. There was one more thing I had to check out.  That was to visit Roads end.  Roads end is pretty much as the name says the end of the road for Kings Canyon National Park.  But the best hiking spots can be found around this area. And the most famous 45 mile loop trail called Rae Lakes starts here.  The ranger station was close, but I asked one of the hikers, who happened to hike the Rae Lakes Loop in 2 days. He started Saturday morning, finished Sunday at 3 pm. I was surprised he did it so fast.  But then again he must have been quite experienced and fit at doing this.  Well my goal for next time is to do this trail.  Drove back home, followed some really slow cars, but made it in less than 2 hours.  I was sore as hell, but enjoyed my weekend trip very much.

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Kings Canyon with Kings River cutt…
Kings Canyon with Kings River cut…
Kings River with the Sierra Nevada…
Kings River with the Sierra Nevad…
Vista Point Kings Canyon
Vista Point Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon viewpoint
Kings Canyon viewpoint
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
One of the scenic stops on the sid…
One of the scenic stops on the si…
One of the scenic stops on the sid…
One of the scenic stops on the si…
Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon
Hume Lake
Hume Lake
Hume Lake
Hume Lake
Kings River
Kings River
Roaring River falls
Roaring River falls
Folling the river on a hike to Zum…
Folling the river on a hike to Zu…
Trail to Zumwalt meadow
Trail to Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Zumwalt meadow
Kings Canyon National Park
photo by: cotton_foam