15 Best Things to Do in Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Kings Canyon National Park, CA
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Kings Canyon National Park is filled with vast mountains, gaping canyons, and world-famous sequoia trees.

You can find Kings Canyon National Park along the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California.

You can take in the beauty of Kings Canyon National Park from various spots.

Aside from these national parks, you’ll be surprised at the number of sights and activities in the area.

Here are the best things to do in Kings Canyon National Park, California:

See the Sierra Nevada Mountains at Kings Canyon National Park

Scenic view of Kings Canyon National Park
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It is a given that if you find yourself in Kings Canyon National Park that you need to stop by Kings Canyon National Park.

Kings Canyon National Park is within the mountains of Sierra Nevada.

It is famous for the giant sequoia trees that blanket the park grounds.

Aside from Grant Grove, park visitors may also visit Cedar Grove within the park to marvel at the gigantic granite cliffs.

Kings Canyon National Park houses many animals like bears and rattlesnakes, so keep an eye out for any wildlife that might pass your way.

Giant trees at Kings Canyon National Park
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The park is top-rated during winter when the sequoia trees are covered with snow.

If you want to stay overnight at the park, you can set up your camp at their numerous campsites.

You can either go through their walking trails or on a drive to take in the scenic views of the granite cliff faces and the Kings River.

If you have any questions during your stay, you can drop by their visitors' center to get guidance from the local park rangers.

Before you leave, you can stop by their gift shop to get some goodies to remember your trip.

Hikers at Kings Canyon National Park
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Witness the Grandeur of the General Grant Tree

Daytime view of the tall General Grant Tree
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Considered the nation’s Christmas tree, General Grant Tree is one of the top tourist destinations in Kings Canyon National Park.

You can visit the General Grant Tree at Kings Canyon National Park.

General Grant Tree is famous for being the tallest sequoia tree in the park and the second biggest sequoia tree in the world.

It is estimated to be around 1650 years of age.

Hikers at the base of General Grant Tree
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Hike through the paved trail at Grant Grove within Kings Canyon National Park to get a good look at the General Grant Tree.

Guests can explore the trails nearby to discover other sequoia trees and greenery.

There are also multiple points of interest near the tree, like the Gamlin Cabin and the Centennial Stump.

Stop by the General Grant Tree to witness a unique landmark of nature.

Take a Picture of the View at Kings Canyon Panoramic Point

Mountain views from Kings Canyon Panoramic Point
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Kings Canyon Panoramic Point is the ideal place to get a grand vista of the canyon.

You can find Kings Canyon Panoramic Point near the Kings Canyon Visitor Center.

This spot is famous for getting a view overlooking the Kings Canyon National Park and the many national forests nearby.

Tall trees at Kings Canyon Panoramic Point
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Tourists can spot many flora and fauna here, like foxtail pines and tiny chipmunks.

If you are into hiking, you can explore the challenging, unpaved trail near Park Ridge Fire Lookout.

Make a trip to Kings Canyon Panoramic Point to capture a snapshot of the canyon.

Catch Some Trout at Hume Lake

The waters of Hume Lake
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Hume Lake is a water reservoir located near Kings Canyon National Park.

You can visit Hume Lake along Generals Highway.

The lake is famous for its sandy coastline and beaches.

People often go trout fishing at the lake.

Boats are available for rent if you wish to go fishing in the middle of the lake.

Kayaks and canoes are also available for people to borrow if they want to row the waters of Hume Lake.

Wooden chairs overlooking Hume Lake
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Hume Lake is also known to be an idyllic place for camping, made more accessible by the nearby market and gas station.

Other activities that you can do near Hume Lake include a four-wheel off-road tour and a Ponderosa ropes course.

Guests are free to go mountain biking on the nearby trails.

There are also facilities for paintball if you want to compete with your friends.

Drop by Hume Lake if you want a peaceful day of fishing while having the option for intensive recreational activities.

Boats at Hume Lake
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Hike through the Sequoias at Redwood Canyon Trail

Hart tree along Redwood Canyon Trail
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The Redwood Canyon Trail is the canyon that allows you to take in the beauty of the sequoia trees.

The Redwood Canyon Trail has an extensive collection of ancient sequoia trees that grow along its path.

As you hike through the trail, you can notice the thousand-year-old sequoia trees that are endemic to the area, some of which have been damaged by fires.

Check out the Hart Tree and the Fallen Goliath as you go through the Redwood Canyon Trail.

The Hart Tree is the biggest tree within the grove, and the Fallen Goliath is the largest tree felled in the area.

Stop by Barton’s Post Camp to see what a logging site from the 1800s looks like.

Hike through the Sugar Bowl Loop to enjoy the extensive collection of young sequoia trees.

Keep an eye out for groups of cattle that sometimes find themselves along the trail.

Visit Redwood Canyon Trail for a unique look at the natural sequoia trees.

Hike among the Wildlife at Sequoia National Park

Welcome sign of Sequoia National Park
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Sequoia National Park is a national park beside Kings Canyon National Park that you need to cross off your bucket list when you find yourself in Kings Canyon National Park.

Sequoia National Park is within the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

This national park has several sequoias and redwoods towering over the park grounds.

The trees have an elevation of over 5,000 feet.

The park is also famous for its underground Crystal Cave, where you can marvel at the streams and natural rock formations.

Giant sequoias at Sequoia National Park
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Grab a snapshot of Tunnel Tree, a giant tree cut down to make way for people to pass.

You can spot many animals, such as deer, chipmunks, and even bears living in the park.

Visit Sequoia National Park for unforgettable vistas and gorgeous hiking trails.

A car approaching the tunnel tree at Sequoia National Park
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Overcome Your Fear of Heights at Moro Rock Trail

Hiking steps leading to Moro Rock's summit
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The Moro Rock Trail is one of the more popular trails in the canyon that gives you a good look at Moro Rock, a dome-shaped granite rock formation.

You can explore the Moro Rock trail at Sequoia National park.

The trail is famous for its namesake, Moro Rock, which hikers can find at the trail's end.

It is an elevated granite rock formation with a great view of the canyon.

Some signs along the trail highlight its history and the significance of Moro Rock.

Scenic view from Moro Rock Trail's summit
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Authorities recommend that trail goers start hiking in the afternoon to reach the trail's end by sunset.

You must climb several stairs to reach the top, but guard rails keep you safe.

Once you reach Moro Rock, take photos of the impressive sunset view.

Get some well-deserved rest at the several benches posted in the area.

Visit Moro Rock Trail for a grand canyon view, as long as you don’t fear heights.

Marrow passageway along Moro Rock Trail
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Plan Your Trip at the Foothills Visitor Center

The Foothills Visitor Center is your stop to get all the information you need about sequoia trees and the wildlife found in the canyon.

You can find the Foothills Visitor Center along General’s Highway at Sequoia National park.

Stop by the center first if you visit Sequoia National Park, as the center offers information and maps of the surrounding area.

This is incredibly helpful when you go hiking within the park grounds.

The visitor center also exhibits flora and fauna within the park grounds.

If you have an emergency or physical injury, the Foothills Visitor center can provide first aid while you await further assistance.

Before you do anything else in Sequoia National Park, stop by the Foothills Visitor Center.

Marvel at the President Tree along the Congress Trail

Signage of Congress Trail
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The Congress Trail is another trail that hikers can enjoy near Kings Canyon.

You can start the trail at Sequoia National Park.

The trail is 2.7 miles long and begins with the General Sherman Tree.

You won’t miss it, as it is the largest tree on the planet.

The President tree along Congress Trail
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Once you go through the trail, you can observe the numerous sequoia trees that fill the grounds.

A notable tree you will pass is the President Tree, also known as Warren Harding Tree, the fifth largest tree in the world and the third tallest in the park.

Make your way through the Congress Trail to get a chance to look at the tallest living trees in the world.

Get Some Perspective at the General Sherman Tree

Daytime view of the General Sherman Tree
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The General Sherman Tree is an ancient giant sequoia tree that you must check out in Kings Canyon National Park.

Visit the tree at Sequoia National Park.

General Sherman is the largest tree on Earth by volume.

It is the largest living single-stem tree on the planet and is estimated to be around two thousand years old.

Name sign of the General Sherman Tree
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A paved trail leads visitors toward the tree.

Bears roam the area, so exercise caution while going to the tree.

Make time in your itinerary for the General Sherman Tree.

Enjoy a Meal by the Waterfall at the Grizzly Falls Picnic Area

View of the falls at Grizzly Falls Picnic Area
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Grizzly Falls Picnic Area is one of the best picnic spots if you plan on having a meal while enjoying the great American outdoors.

You can find Grizzly Falls along Kings River and Kings Canyon.

This spot is famous for locals and tourists going on a peaceful picnic.

You can find picnic tables near the provided parking lot.

People admiring the falls from Grizzly Falls Picnic Area
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The waterfall that flows into the Kings River is a popular site in the area.

Take a dip in the river and walk into the waterfall to escape the Nevada sun.

There is signage in the picnic area that talks about the waterfall and the surrounding area.

Insert Grizzly Falls Picnic Area into your schedule for a great picnic spot with access to the Kings River.

Cascades of Grizzly Falls Picnic Area
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Camp Out at the Inyo National Forest

The grounds of Inyo National Forest
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Inyo National Forest is a national forest that covers the eastern part of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

You can access the forest at Pacu Lane.

The forest is a famous spot for fishing, as it provides access to Mammoth Lake.

Inyo National Forest is an ideal place to immerse yourself in the surrounding area's various meadows, lakes, and snow-capped mountains.

The forest has designated campgrounds for people that want to stay overnight.

If you are planning to hike, several trails run through the forest.

There are trails with barely any elevation that are easier for amateur hikers, and there are trails with an incline for people looking for a challenge.

Check out Inyo National Forest to go fishing and for their scenic camping grounds.

Get Insight into the Sequoias at Giant Forest Museum

Exterior of the Giant Forest Museum
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The Giant Forest Museum is a museum that showcases the ecology of the giant sequoia trees found around Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.

You can drop by the Giant Forest Museum on Generals Highway.

This place is best known as a place to learn more about the sequoia trees that fill the area.

They also have exhibits that record the human history of Kings Canyon National Park.

The grounds of Giant Forest Museum
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Park rangers in the museum can provide insightful information about the surrounding trees and wildlife.

The museum has a free shuttle service if you need to access other park points.

A gift shop is within the museum for any memorabilia related to Kings Canyon National Park.

Visit the Giant Forest Museum if you’re curious about the sequoia trees around you.

Climb the Mountains at Yosemite National Park

Taft point at Yosemite National Park
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Yosemite National Park is another notable national park around the Sierra Nevada Mountain area.

The park grounds came under protection in 1864.

Yosemite National Park is famous for its large sequoia trees, some thousands of years old.

The waters of Yosemite National Park
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Aside from the sequoia trees, guests often visit the gorgeous Bridal Veil Falls.

Visit the spring park to catch the fall's full strength as the snow from the mountaintops flows below.

If you are interested in mountain climbing, you can head up the cliffs of El Capitan.

It is also the tallest granite monolith in the world and is a great place to view the granite mountaintops surrounding the area.

Gorgeous waterfall at Yosemite National Park
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Stop by Yosemite Village to find a variety of eateries, shops, and lodges where you can stay overnight.

Near the village, park guests can spot the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery, where you can find vintage images of the canyon landscape.

Don’t forget to bring your snow chains if you plan to visit Yosemite Village during the winter.

Museum of the Yosemite village at Yosemite National Park
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Take in the Vistas at Glacier Point

A hiker at Glacier Point
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Glacier Point is a stopover to consider if you’d like to get some photos of the valley.

You can find Glacier Point along Glacier Point Road.

Glacier Point is south of Yosemite Valley and has an elevation of 7214 feet.

Tourists often visit this spot to get a picturesque view of Yosemite valley.

You can visit Glacier Point during the evening to get a grand view of the night sky and to go stargazing.

Daytime view of Glacier Point
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Glacier Point has a gift shop if you want to buy souvenirs.

If you have questions, you can go to the visitor center, where park rangers can walk you through the area's topography.

Avoid Glacier Point during the winter, though; the spot closes to prevent accidents due to heavy snowfall.

Hikers enjoying the views from Glacier Point
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Final Thoughts

Kings Canyon National Park is the place to witness the grandeur of the towering sequoia trees.

There are countless places to choose from if you are looking to go camping, hiking, or just in the mood for a relaxing picnic.

Thanks to this list of the best things to do in Kings Canyon National Park, you should enjoy a memorable stay.

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