Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Best trails for seeing Kings Canyon’s sights

General Grant Tree
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Among the best ways to see Kings Canyon National Park’s top sights is via a day hike. Just four short trails will allow you to enjoy each of the park’s highlights – the world’s second largest sequoia tree, the deepest river-cut canyon in the United States, an expansive cave system, and a powerful waterfall.

World’s second largest sequoia tree
Standing more than 26 stories tall and with a circumference a third of a football field in size, the General Grant tree is the world’s second largest sequoia. You can see it on the General Grant Tree Trail, a 0.8-miles loop that passes through a fallen monarch in a sequoia grove.

Kings Canyon
At 8,200-feet deep, Kings Canyon is the nation’s deepest river-cut canyon. The out-and-back 0.5-mile Panoramic Point Trail leads to an impressive overlook of the lush canyon.

Boyden Cavern
Kings Canyon boasts several cave systems, one of which is Boyden Cavern. This cave can be accessed in the adjacent Giant Sequoia National Monument, west of the national park. A licensed guide company gives 45-minute tours from May to mid-November.

Roaring River Falls
The paved out-and-back 0.3-miles (one-way) Roaring River Falls Trail reaches a thundering little waterfall on a tributary of the Kings River. Though diminutive, you’ll be impressed by the violence of the falls in spring and the emerald pool below it as the flow softens in late summer.

Learn more about national park day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at America’s National Parks guidebook.