Hiking Kings Creek Falls Trail

Kings Creek falls

Start: Kings Creek Falls Trailhead
Round Trip Distance: 2.4 along creek
3.0 miles along horse trail
Round Trip Time: 2 hours
Terrain: gradual 700 foot descent along horse trail, steeper rockier descent via creek edge
Elevation: 7300 feet

 
New! Kings Creek Trail Work - No View of Falls
The Kings Creek Falls overlook will be closed June through October 2015 for renovation. During this time, the falls overlook and cascade trail section will be closed. Hikers may access views of the upper cascades, but not Kings Creek Falls, via the horse loop.

Horse and Stock Closure
The Kings Creek Trail section that passes the overlook (see map below) is closed to horses and stock to ensure trail worker safety. Horse and stock users may use the Bench or Sifford lakes trails to access Corral Meadow or Warner Valley.

Renovation Summary
The overlook renovation includes replacement of the existing guard wire with a wood guardrail and the addition of two elevated viewing pads for increased views and safety (see sample drawing). The cascades section renovation includes reconstruction of the stone staircases that lead down to the overlook from the north loop junction.

Overlook Renovation (Area closed) June - October 2015
Cascades Section Renovation (Section closed)
Summer 2015 - 2017
Overlook Reopening
Summer 2016
Cascades Section Reopening
Summer 2018
 
Kings Creek Trail Closure Trail Map

Kings Creek Trail work closure map

 
Mill Creek falls

An Alternative Waterfall: Mill Creek Falls
The Mill Creek Falls trail provides access to another scenic waterfall in the park. The 3.2-mile round-trip hike begins outside the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Enjoy a rolling hike through red fir forest above Mill Creek and excellent views of a 75-foot waterfall.

 
The Trail
There are two ways to reach the falls from the trailhead, via the horse trail or along the creek/cascades. The cascades section of the trail is closed (see trail work above). The trail along the creek is steep and rocky and should not be attempted if you aren't prepared to scramble across large rocks along the creek. The horse trail route is a slower and steadier descent, much easier on the knees. Hiking boots are recommended for both routes. The trail continues past the falls and can be used to access the Warner Valley via the Pacific Crest Trail.

The Scenery
The Kings Creek Falls trail leads to a large roaring waterfall draped in ferns and other green plants which thrive off the mist generated by the falls. Depending on the time of year you hike to the falls you may see Fawn Lilies or Satin-leaf Lupines in full bloom. As you get closer to the falls notice the deep bending of many of the large California Red Firs (see gallery below). Due to its elevation the Kings Creek Falls trail can be covered in 15 feet or more of snow in the winter, the immense weight of this snowpack bends the trees as they grow upwards towards the sun. As this snow melts the abundance of water in the area supports many difference species of plants and animals. The Kings Creek Trail is a great area to catch a glimpse of Lassen's various wildlife such as Clark's Nutcrackers and mule deer.
 

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