To enjoy truly stunning scenery and nature at its very finest, a trip to Kings Canyon National Park in California will never disappoint. Established in 1940, the park covers 461,901 acres (186,925 hectares) and is closely linked, by geography and by park management, with the Sequoia National Park. Although there’s a wealth of things to see here, its main feature is its groves of giant sequoias, particularly the General Grant Grove.
The park has some of the largest sequoia trees in the world and includes the Redwood Mountain Grove, the largest natural grove of sequoias still in existence. The General Grant Grove contains the General Grant Tree, the third largest tree in the world; thought to be 1,650 years old; and named for General Ulysses S Grant.
The park also hosts vast acres of mostly old growth, mixed conifer forest and is easily accessible from paved highways.
Kings Canyon National Park is located on the Sierra Nevada mountain range, meaning it is made up of mountains and canyons which make for a very dramatic landscape.
The spectacular trees can be enjoyed as part of many trails through the park. There’s a wide range of difficulty to suit every age and ability. Rock climbing, horseback riding and cave tours are also available, as are skiing and snowshoeing in winter. There are rivers for kayaking, wading, swimming and fishing, but see warnings below.
The rivers here, especially during spring and early summer, can be extremely hazardous with slippery rocks and strong currents as well as ice-cold temperatures. Although popular, kayaking is high risk and requires advanced skills from those attempting this.