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Free Traveling Guides » States » California » High Sierras

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Kings Canyon National Park, California

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Kings Canyon National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range, adjoining Sequoia National Park. Kings Canyon is wilder and less visited than Sequoia, with a maze-like collection of canyons and a sprinkling of isolated lakes, which produce the perfect environment for self-guided exploration.

Kings Canyon has few big trees but compensates with a gaping canyon gored out of the rock by the Kings River as it cascades down from the High Sierra. The few established sights of the park are near the main roads, leaving the vast majority of the landscape unspoiled, but well within reach of willing hikers. To reach the main canyon proper, you have to pass through the hamlet of Grant Grove, where there is a useful visitor center.

Kings Canyon Highway descends from Grant Grove into the steep-sided Kings Canyon, cut by the furious action of the Kings River. Whether or not this is the deepest canyon in the United States, its wall sections of shining blue marble and the yellow marks of yucca plants are quite magnificent. Visitors are advised not to wade into the river - people have been washed away even when paddling close to the bank.

Just a mile further, Kings Canyon Road comes to an end at Copper Creek. The multitude of canyons and peaks which constitute the Kings River Sierra are networked by hiking paths, almost all best enjoyed when you have a tent, provisions and a wilderness permit from the ranger station.


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