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Hiking Trails in Sequoia & Kings Canyon

These two parks are hiking paradises, particularly in the summer. There is a huge variety of hikes, ranging from short walks to sequoia trees or waterfalls to world class backcountry hikes of a week or more. Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states, is a popular, and difficult, backpacking hike. Below, we describe some of the shorter and more popular hikes in the park. We hope to add some of the longer hikes in the future, but it would take a lifetime to see them all. Hiking distances given below are total, roundtrip distances unless otherwise stated. Difficulties are only a general guideline, for an adult in good condition, and do not take into account trail length. We strongly recommend you also have a good Sequoia & Kings Canyon Trail Map with you.

Congress Trail

  • Trail Length: 2.0+ miles loop
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Traffic: Heavy
  • Finding the Trailhead: This hike begins off of the Sherman Tree Trail. This short trail leads down from the new Sherman Tree parking area to the General Sherman Tree itself, and then on to the handicapped parking area and shuttle stop below. The Sherman Tree parking area is located on a side road off of Generals Highway 19.4 miles from the Ash Mountain Entrance.

The Hike: From above at the General Sherman parking area, the Sherman Tree Trail adds about a third of a mile to the hike, but its all downhill. The shuttle can be caught at the bottom to return to the parking area. The Congress Trail itself is a 2.0 loop and is probably the best trail in either park for sequoia viewing. It leads past an almost unimaginable number of the trees, including several named groups such as the House and Senate Groups, hence the name of the trail. If you plan to do one big tree hike, this is the one. A much longer extension of this hike is also available, named the Trail of the Sequoias, and adds another 4 miles to the loop.

Moro Rock

  • Trail Length: 0.5 miles out and back
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Traffic: Heavy
  • Finding the Trailhead: This hike begins from the Moro Rock parking area, located along the Moro Rock side road off of Generals Highway 16.6 miles from the Ash Mountain Entrance.

The Hike: This is a short but steep climb, much of it on stairs, to the top of Moro Rock. From there, a great panoramic vista unfolds of the Sierra Range.

Roaring River Falls

  • Trail Length: 0.3 miles out and back
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Traffic: Moderate
  • Finding the Trailhead: This hike begins from the Roaring River Falls parking area, located along the Kings Canyon Scenic Drive 35.5 miles from the Big Stump Entrance.

The Hike: This short and easy paved walk stretches the definition of the word hike, but the destination is spectacular enough to warrant it. Roaring River Falls is a powerful drop of water in all but the lowest water flows. In peak snowmelt, it is frightening.

Tokopah Falls

  • Trail Length: 3.8 miles out and back
  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Traffic: Moderate
  • Finding the Trailhead: This hike begins within the Lodgepole Campground. If you are not staying in the campground, there is a large day use parking area located near the trailhead.

The Hike: The trail climbs gently along the Marble Fork Kaweah River and through the forest, never getting steep. The trail gets rocky as it approaches the very tall Tokopah Falls. Golden marmots are a frequent sight in the area, as are black bears.

Zumwalt Meadow

  • Trail Length: 0.8 miles out and back
  • Trail Difficulty: Easy
  • Trail Traffic: Moderate
  • Finding the Trailhead: This hike begins from the Zumwalt Meadow parking area, located along the Kings Canyon Scenic Drive 37.1 miles from the Big Stump Entrance.

The Hike: This is an easy and beautiful walk along Zumwalt Meadow and the Roaring River. It is one of the more scenic easy walks in Kings Canyon and highly recommended.

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