Three Rivers Journals

California's Hidden Gem: Kings Canyon National Park

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A July 2003 trip to Three Rivers by jimransier

Cedar Grove Campgrounds Photo, Three Rivers, California More Photos
Quote: Kings Canyon National Park, situated in some of the most remote wilderness in the California Sierras, might be the state's best kept secret. With so much attention going to Yosemite farther north, this hidden gem has Yosemite's spectacular scenery without the spectacular crowds.

California's Hidden Gem: Kings Canyon National Park

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Overview

Kings Canyon - Kings Canyon National Park Photo, California, United States
Quote:
Nestled in the southern Sierras, Kings Canyon National Park is the epitome of a best-kept secret. Spectacular scenery, rugged wilderness, awe-inspiring valleys, and raging rivers are just some of the fantastic characteristics of this unique park. With Yosemite and its huge crowds a few hundred miles north, and Sequoia National Park butting up against Kings Canyon, it is easy to see how the park gets lost in the bustle of things. Most commonly referred to as Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park, these two parks have a common history. Sequoia National Park, the second oldest national park in the U.S., was created on September 25, 1890. General Grant National Park was created on October 1, 1890,...Read More

Cedar Grove Campgrounds

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Hotel

Cedar Grove Campgrounds Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
Best Things Nearby:This area is the only area of the national park that is accessible by road. Some nearby sites include Grizzly Falls, Boyden Cave, Zumwalt Meadow, Muir Rock, and Mist Falls. All of these locations are great day trip destinations from Cedar Grove. Additionally, all High Sierra trail access is located at Road’s End, about 10 miles east of Cedar Grove.Best Things About the Resort:Perhaps the best thing about this campground complex is the lack of crowds, which also holds true for the entire national park. If you have ever visited a popular national park, such as Yosemite, you are constantly around a thousand people, even when visiting during the middle of the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 17, 2004

Cedar Grove Campgrounds
Cedar Grove
Kings Canyon National Park, California
1(800) 365-CAMP

Roaring River Falls

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Attraction

Roaring River Falls Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
Roaring River Falls is a natural place to visit while in the canyon simply because of how accessible it is to the main highway. The 30-foot cascade can range from overflowing to subdued, depending on what time of year and how much snow melt is feeding the river. To get to the falls follow the main highway east, about 5 miles beyond Cedar Grove. The parking lot is well-marked and may be full depending on what time you are there. If the lot is full, there is overflow parking about 100 feet west of the main parking lot (turn around in the lot to get there). During my visit, the falls were somewhere between zestful and mellow. As inviting as the pool of water below the falls w...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 19, 2004

Roaring River Falls

Kings Canyon National Park, California

Muir Rock

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Attraction | "Swimming at Muir Rock"

Muir Rock Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
Road’s End…the highway in Kings Canyon ends 15 miles east of Cedar Grove, and it is appropriately named Road’s End. From Road’s End parking lot, there is a short trail to the river and you will quickly see a large granite rock. This rock is larger than a two-story house, and if you happen to be visiting on a summer day, it will have kids and adults jumping off of it into the river below. Believe it or not, this rock has history. Before Kings Canyon was a national park, John Muir used to stand on this massive slab of granite. Speaking to an audience of lawmakers, conservationists, and businessmen, Muir made passionate pleas to protect the valley just as his loved Yosemite had been pr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2004

Muir Rock

Kings Canyon National Park, California

Mist Falls

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Attraction

Mist Falls Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
Yosemite Falls: majestic. Niagara Falls: powerful. Angel Falls: towering. Every waterfall has a personality depending on the time of year, and the viewer. There are those who say that if you have seen one waterfall, you have seen them all. Nonsense! I like to think that each waterfall is unique; that each display of falling water is a glimpse of the force that makes our country (and planet) so beautiful and mysterious. Located in the heart of the park, Mist Falls gathers its name for the obvious reason. Even during my July visit, it was difficult to get close to the falls due to the heavy amount of mist coming from the main falls. The waterfall is certainly not a "Yosemite-style...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 30, 2004

Mist Falls

Kings Canyon National Park, California

Grizzly Falls

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Attraction

Grizzly Falls Photo, Three Rivers, California
Quote:
Grizzly Falls is one of those places you drive past wondering if it will be worth stopping to see. Luckily it is! Highway 180 is the only way to access Kings Canyon by car, and just before you enter the park, you will pass the sign and parking for Grizzly Falls. If you have 15 minutes to spare, this is a great stop to stretch your legs and take a few pictures. The parking lot has a restroom and trash receptacles, and you can see the falls from the parking lot. Don’t be lazy and stay in your car though. A very short walk up the trail and you are put at the base of the waterfall. The foliage includes ferns and a little moss, with a bunch of oak-like trees mixed in with a few evergre...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 31, 2004

Grizzly Falls

Kings Canyon National Park, California

About the Writer

jimransier

jimransier
San Diego, California

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