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US National Parks

Kings Canyon National Park


Adjacent to Sequoia National Park, less than an hour away from the world's largest trees and surrounded by the highest mountains in the continental United States lies North America's deepest canyon - carved by the glaciers of the last ice age, Kings Canyon may not be as overwhelming in size as Grand Canyon, AZ, but with 8,200 feet it is half a mile deeper than the big one!

The stunning depth of Kings Canyon is not the only unknown fact of this park which is why we like to call it

xxxxxxxxxxThe Forgotten National Park.

Although founded separately and kept separately in terms of names, boundaries, entrance signs, and visitors centers, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are managed jointly which makes many visitors believe that they have seen it all after having been to the General Sherman Tree.

Well, there is a lot more!

Giant Sequoias

Kings Canyon National Park is split into two parts. The western part, originally called General Grant National Park, when it was founded in 1890, is open year round and contains two remarkable sequoia groves: Redwood Mountain Grove, the world's largest remaining sequoia grove and the smaller Grant Grove, home to some of the world's largest trees.

All trees in Grant Grove are magnificent, but some of them stand out even in this exclusive group. There is the General Grant Tree, the world's third largest living being and the tree with the largest girth; the Robert E. Lee Tree, the world's eleventh largest tree; and the Fallen Monarch, a giant trunk, once used as a hotel, a saloon and a stable.

Grant Grove parking lot with Robert E. Lee Tree.

General Grant Tree

Fallen Monarch

Robert E. Lee Tree
We have a lot more about those three trees. Click the pictures above to get there!

Ulysses S. Grant

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxThe Generals

The grove was discovered shortly after the Civil War which is why many of the trees here are named after Civil War Generals.

Only in Kings Canyon can the commanders of the Union and the Confederacy coexist in peace for eternity.

Robert E. Lee

Trying to catch the sun

Those trees are so old that sometimes the sun stops on its way to listen to their stories
Kings Canyon just before daybreak

xxxxxxxKings River

Kings Canyon National Scenic Byway - or Kings Canyon Road for short - connects the two parts of the National Park, running all the way from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove - the eastern part of the park.

From Boyden Cavern on, the road runs paralel to the Kings River. This part is open only from May through October, but Kings Canyon Road usually remains open whole year long at least up to Kings Canyon Lodge, offering stunning views at the Kings River on the bottom of the canyon.

xxxxxxxxxxxBack Country

The part beyond Kings Canyon Road is rough terrain suitable only for hard core hikers and cross country skiers.
Trails lead to the headwaters of the Kings and San Joaquin River and to some of the highest mountains in America. We haven't tested that part yet but we sure enjoyed everything else!

Kings Canyon offers the same experience as its famous neighbors Yosemite and Sequoia WITHOUT the tourist busses!

To bring up the rear: There are not many places where you can leave your car for a week ...
We found this
in a car at a
trail head
on a Friday

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