December 07, 2015

Explore the Underrated: Hiking and Rafting in Kings Canyon

The often underrated Kings Canyon National Park is a spectacular 8,000-foot (2,400 m) deep glacial valley and is pervaded by Kings River. Kings River is the mightiest of California's famous whitewater rivers and has its source high in the Southern Sierra Nevada, consisting of three forks.

The Middle and South Forks start in Kings Canyon National Park, while the North Fork starts in the John Muir Wilderness. Kings River passes 125 miles (201 km) through a breathtaking landscape of narrow canyons and scenic meadows.

Watch the video below and listen to the river's mighty roar to sense the overwhelming power that shaped beautiful Kings Canyon. This video was taken from Junction View, where the Middle and South Forks of the river converge to form the main Kings River that divides the Sierra and the Sequoia National Forests.

Hiking near Kings River:
Zumwalt Meadow, a well-known hiker's delight in Kings Canyon National Park, offers something rare in the parks, namely a fairly level hike! The 1.5-mile Zumwalt Meadows Trail passes high granite walls, lush meadows and the Kings River.

Rafting on Kings River:
Pine Flat Reservoir
Put-in: Garnet Dike Campground
Take-out: Kirch Flat Campground
Difficulty: Class III
Length: 9.5 miles
(Find more details on this and other whitewater rafting in California at C-W-R and California Creeks)