The Cedar Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park offers easy trails alongs the Kings River, and steeper trails that climb into wilderness. Maps and descriptions of the trails in this area are sold at visitor center book stores in Cedar Grove, Lodgepole, the Foothills (Ash Mountain), and Grant Grove.
Please be aware that pets are not allowed on any trails in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
The road that leads into Cedar Grove, Highway 180, is maintained by Caltrans and is only open seasonally. It's generally open from the fourth Friday of April to the second Monday of November. Some Cedar Grove facilities open later and close earlier, so be prepared if you visit there in spring or fall.
This 1.5-mile (2.4 km) trail passes high granite walls, lush meadows, and the Kings River. Trailhead parking is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east of Cedar Grove Village road. Purchase a trail guide at the visitor center. Allow 1 hour. Spring of 2017 saw heavy rains and river flooding damage portions of this trail. From the parking area, over the bridge, and to the boardwalk, the river washed away hardened surfaces, so some spots are now more difficult for wheelchair travel. The boardwalk remains passable, but beyond that, where the trail paralleled the river, the river washed over the trail leaving softened, more uneven surfaces. Repairs are being planned, possibly starting as early as September.
Roaring River Falls
A very short, shady walk to a powerful waterfall rushing through a granite chute. 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the Village road. Paved, relatively accessible. In 2017, the paving was improved and the steepest grades were reduced.
During the Roaring 20s, a Santa Barbara businessman commissioned lavish fishing expeditions here, storing gear in this small cabin. A short walk from a turnout 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Cedar Grove Village road.
Don Cecil Trail
The Don Cecil Trail climbs the relatively cool north-facing slope of the canyon. This historic trail was the major access route to Cedar Grove prior to the completion of Highway 180 in 1939.
Sheep Creek Cascade
A moderately strenuous hike up the forested Don Cecil Trail provides views of the Monarch Divide and leads to a shady glen on Sheep Creek. This two-mile round trip takes about 1 1/2 hours and gains 600' in elevation.
Beyond Sheep Creek, the climb to Lookout Peak provides an incredible panorama of the park's backcountry. This strenuous, all-day hike is 13 miles round trip and climbs some 4000' to the summit.
Hotel Creek Trail
The cool of the morning is the best time to hike this trail, which climbs up the relatively dry, south-facing side of the canyon.
Cedar Grove Overlook
The trail switchbacks up through chaparral to a forested ridge and a rocky outcrop. This strenuous hike will reward you with a gorgeous view up and down Kings Canyon. A round trip of 5 miles with a 1200' elevation gain, this hike takes 3-4 hours to complete.
Hotel Creek - Lewis Creek Loop
If you continue 1-1/4 mile past the turn-off to Cedar Grove Overlook, the Hotel Creek Trail drops down to join the Lewis Creek Trail. This area was burned in 1980, in one of the largest fires these parks have experienced in recent years. The last 2 miles, from the Lewis Creek Trailhead back to your starting point, follow a trail above the roadway. This 8-mile round trip takes an average of 5 hours and gains 1200' to the highest point.
This sandy trail follows the glaciated South Fork Canyon through forest and chaparral, past an impressive show of rapids and cascades, to one of the largest waterfalls in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The first part of this 8-mile round trip is relatively flat; during the last mile to the falls, the trail gains 600'. The average time for this trip is 4 to 5 hours.
Last updated: February 8, 2018