Kings Canyon in One Day
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Kings Canyon in One Day
Enter the park via Route 180, having spent the night in Fresno. Better yet, wake up already in Grant Grove Village, perhaps in the John Muir Lodge. Stock up for a picnic with takeout food from the Grant Grove Restaurant, or purchase prepackaged food from the nearby store. Drive less than a mile to see the General Grant Tree, as well as the other sequoias in compact General Grant Grove. Provided it is no later than mid-morning, motor on up to the short trail at Panoramic Point, for a great view of Hume Lake and the High Sierra beyond.
Return to Route 180 and head east on what is also known as the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. Be sure to pull off at an overlook or two as you approach the canyon, which begins near Boyden Cavern. Check out the caverns if you don't mind postponing lunch, but otherwise continue to Cedar Grove Village (having taken 10 minutes for a gander at Grizzly Falls along the way). Eat at a table by the South Fork of the Kings River, or on the deck off the Cedar Grove Snack Bar. Now you are ready for the day's highlight, a stroll about Zumwalt Meadow, which is a few miles past the village.
After you have enjoyed that short trail and the views it offers of Grand Sentinel and North Dome, you might as well go the extra mile to Road's End, where backpackers embark for the High Sierra wilderness. Make the return trip—with a quick stop at Roaring River Falls —past Grant Grove and briefly onto southbound Generals Highway. Pull over at the Redwood Mountain Overlook and use binoculars to look down upon the world's largest sequoia grove, then drive another couple of miles to the Kings Canyon Overlook, where you can survey some of what you have done today. If you've made reservations and have time, have a late dinner at the Wuksachi Lodge.
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