Oct 10, 2012

National Parks- Kings Canyon, The rugged beauty of nature

Located in Southern Sierra Nevada range, California, Kings Canyon National Park is known for its rugged scenery, high mountains and deep canyons. Beautiful waterfalls and mysterious caverns add to the beauty of it. This national park is adjacent to the Sequoia National Park which is popular for its ancient and giant sequoia trees. Springtime wildflowers make this place a heaven.

Grizzly and Roaring River Falls
As I have mentioned in earlier posts I have visited these national parks several times and have hiked several trails. There are couple of waterfalls here in this park. I drove on Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (Hwy 180) to stop at the Grizzly waterfalls ... Sometimes, I wonder somebody say ... we saw enough waterfalls, no more ... how could anybody use such an offensive phrase for waterfalls? In my opinion, it is just not possible to get bored with waterfalls. I can spend a whole day near a waterfall, watching the water falling, photographing, swimming and so on ... Late in summer Grizzly Falls was not in its full glory but wasn't disappointing either. Easily accessible and very pleasant ... and no crowd :) ...

Roaring River Falls is another waterfalls on Kings Canyon road. Wow! what a name ? It definitely was a roar of the water, even in the late summer there was so much force in the water :) A very short walk in the woods on a paved road opens up into a magnificent scenery. I could sit there whole day watching it.

Mist Falls ... which is accessible only by a 9.2 miles round trip hike on a flat terrain. Most of the trail is along side of the roaring river. Being an easy hike it is very popular, and feels like all the visitors to the park are here on this trail.  It wasn't the soft, dreamy, mystical mist ... it was mist of an angry, ferocious, roaring waterfalls. Water was flowing and falling with reckless force over the granite boulders, the droplets splashed over a distance. It was beautiful and scarry ... water looked so crazy ... relentlessly jumping and falling ... screaming and roaring ... hardly I could take any pictures because of the water falling on the lens ... I couldn't sit there for a long ... not that I was scared of waterfalls but, hungry mosquitoes ...  The hike was pleasant though ...

I thought of taking some rest at Zumwalt meadow nearby ... they were not in swarms but, mosquitoes made me feel their existence :) After feeding few of them I went to see some giant trees in General Grant Grove. Had a short walk around interpretive trail. It was wonderful sight of giant trees around ... 

General Grant ... Second largest tree in the world and is proclaimed as Nation's (USA) Christmas tree. It is declared as a National Shrine- a memorial to those who died in the war (info from wiki) ... The tree is 1,650 years old. It is 81.7m tall and the circumference at the base is 107.5ft. The volume is 46,608 cubic feet ... it seems ... the amount of fuel of the same volume as this tree is enough for a mid-size car to go around the earth 350 times !! Hmmm ... It stood big, among the other giants ...

Tunnel Log ... There are many giant sequoia trees which died and fell due to natural causes ... one of which still amusing us being a Tunnel ... One can walk without bending through this log. These trees have immune mechanism for rotting and the dead wood can survive for long.
Though not inside the park boundary but, at the edge on Kings Canyon Scenic Byway there is a beautiful Boyden cavern which is a must visit. The beautiful stalactites and stalagmites steal the show. The entry is through ranger-led-guided tours for a nominal fee. There is a short climb to the entrance of the cave from parking area.

There are numerous opportunities for hiking, camping, and backcountry backpacking here in this bear country.  Bears roam freely and could be sighted easily when hiking less crowded trails. Springtime is best for backpacking trips and wildflowers everywhere ease out the fatigue.

It was almost 7:30PM time to drive back to our hotel at Three Rivers on a winding steep graded road. We stopped for a while to watch the Sun disappear behind the hills ... leaving the soft colors behind which faded into the dark soon after ... 

The drive through the Kings canyon National Park was an incredible experience. Between the high towering granite peaks, driving on a two-lane winding road on the edge of the mountains, overlooking the deep rugged canyon, listening to the roar of King's river ...

Map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Leave a comment to share your thoughts :)

For more posts on National Parks of USA click HERE.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


  1. Nice narration, Kusum. The place definitely looks rugged and beautiful.


  2. The bridge in the valley in the first photo, reminds me of the lords of the rings. The mountains look so huge and the bridge so tiny.

    And that tree, really I didnot even notice the person in pink there. Huge, and indeed great. The tunnel looked man made until you mentioned it. How come these don't rot, during rains? The stalgamites are seriously nature's breathtaking beauty.

    1. Thanks Jenny! Imagine when bridge looks so tiny then what about humans! :) Yeah, the trees are magnificent! They don't rot and may be that is the secret of long life!

  3. Very informative. The tree trunks are amazing.

    1. Thank you Mr. PNS. Yes, these ancient beings are wonderful!

  4. Your posts are always a delight, Kusum:)

    1. Thank you Bhatia Ji. That is one of the best things I have heard today!

  5. Lovely scenery at the park and the tree is so huge,
    we have a few big tree in Malaysia too,
    hope to take some shots soon.

    1. Thanks Thomas! Eager to see the big trees from Malaysia!


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