Friday, May 11, 2012


Thursday, May 10 – Having taken yesterday off from exploring (We needed a day of rest.), we headed to Kings Canyon this morning.

North Dome...8,717'

This canyon was carved to a depth of 8,000 feet by the Kings River, making it one of the deepest in North America – even deeper than the Grand Canyon.

The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (Highway 180) winds its way through the canyon, uncovering many wonderful stops.

If you have a weak stomach, don't try this.
windy road

Kings Canyon reminded us of being in Colorado.

Lookout Peak

There is a big section of Giant Sequoia Trees at the beginning, but they are technically in Sequoia National Forest, not Kings Canyon. This area has more rugged mountains, with many pine trees, rivers, hiking trails, and beautiful high vistas, than you see in Sequoia NP.

Looking down at Kings River.

So much beauty!

General Grant Tree…third largest on the Earth.
Height: 268 ft.; Weight: 1,254 tons; Age: 1,700 yrs.; Volume: 46,608 cu. ft.
Oh is the General Grant tree!

You drive for many miles through switch-backs climbing up the mountains and then back down to the King River before reaching Kings Canyon. The River is gorgeous! The many rapids, waterfalls, and clear clean water awes you with its immense power. There are frequent warning signs about being cautious around the river.

Kings River warning

The number one cause of accidental death in the park is a result of people falling in the river. The water is very cold and the current is ferocious!

Kings River 7

Grizzly Falls
Girzzly Falls

Roaring River Falls
Roaring River Falls

There is a beautiful suspension bridge that carries hikers over to the meadows. We were hoping to see some bear here, but no such luck. We were surprised that in most areas of the park we were often the only visitors present. Occasionally, there were others but it felt like the park was all ours!

suspension bridge

Many people suggested not to miss Panorama Point but unfortunately, it was not yet open. Surprisingly, all the roads were open - this area received far fewer inches of snow than normal – but most of the campgrounds and some vistas were still closed.

We had a wonderful day and another very long mountain drive. We climbed from 443 feet above sea level at the base of the mountains to over 6801 feet at the mountain top. Thank goodness we were in our Honda CRV and not the motor home. We agreed on the drive home, if you had to choose only one stop, visit Sequoia NP but you won't be disappointed with Kings Canyon.

If you would like to enjoy more photos from our visit, please click here.

Our next stop is Yosemite National Park, so stop back and hear our report on this nationally recognized gem!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day!