A Quick list of best Day hikes out of the Cedar Grove trail system in Sequoia National Park
This 0.8 miles (1.3 km) trail passes high granite walls, lush meadows, and the Kings River. Once a loop trail, natural flooding in 2019 washed away sections of the trail passing through the meadow and paralelling the river. Today the trail crosses the Kings River via an expansion bridge, then offers views of the meadow from a trail passing through wooded areas and talus slopes. Beyond the meadow trail, the trail merges with the Kanawyer Loop trail, continuing another 0.8 miles (1.3 km) towards Road’s End and Muir Rock. Trailhead parking is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) east of Cedar Grove Village.
Accessibility: From the parking area, the trail to the expansion bridge is relatively level and may be suitable for some wheelchair users. Surfaces are unpaved, and both sandy and not firmly packed in some places.
Roaring River Falls
A very short, shady walk to a powerful waterfall rushing through a granite chute. Start at the parking area 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the Village road. Paved, relatively accessible. In 2017, the paving was improved and the steepest grades were reduced.
During the Roaring 20s, a Santa Barbara businessman commissioned lavish fishing expeditions here, storing gear in this small cabin. A short walk from a turnout 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Cedar Grove Village road.
Don Cecil Trail
The Don Cecil Trail climbs the relatively cool north-facing slope of the canyon. This historic trail was the major access route to Cedar Grove prior to the completion of Highway 180 in 1939. Park near the Cedar Grove visitor center, an access trail leads to the trailhead across Highway 180.
Sheep Creek Cascade
A moderately strenuous hike up the forested Don Cecil Trail provides views of the Monarch Divide and leads to a shady glen on Sheep Creek. This two-mile round trip takes about 1 1/2 hours and gains 600′ in elevation. Park near the Cedar Grove visitor center, an access trail leads to the trailhead across Highway 180.
Beyond Sheep Creek, the climb to Lookout Peak provides an incredible panorama of the park’s backcountry. This strenuous, all-day hike is 13 miles round trip and climbs some 4000′ to the summit. Park near the Cedar Grove visitor center, an access trail leads to the trailhead across Highway 180.
Hotel Creek Trail
The cool of the morning is the best time to hike this trail, which climbs up the relatively dry, south-facing side of the canyon. To reach the trailhead, drive past the Cedar Grove Visitor Center and Village and turn right at the fork.
Cedar Grove Overlook
The trail switchbacks up through chaparral to a forested ridge and a rocky outcrop. This strenuous hike will reward you with a gorgeous view up and down Kings Canyon. A round trip of 5 miles with a 1200′ elevation gain, this hike takes 3-4 hours to complete. To reach the trailhead, drive past the Cedar Grove Visitor Center and Village and turn right at the fork.
Hotel Creek – Lewis Creek Loop
If you continue 1-1/4 mile past the turn-off to Cedar Grove Overlook, the Hotel Creek Trail drops down to join the Lewis Creek Trail. This area was burned in 1980, in one of the largest fires these parks have experienced in recent years. The last 2 miles, from the Lewis Creek Trailhead back to your starting point, follow a trail above the roadway. This 8-mile round trip takes an average of 5 hours and gains 1200′ to the highest point.
This sandy trail follows the glaciated South Fork Canyon through forest and chaparral, past an impressive show of rapids and cascades, to one of the largest waterfalls in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. The first part of this 8-mile round trip is relatively flat; during the last mile to the falls, the trail gains 600′. The average time for this trip is 4 to 5 hours. Park at Road’s End and start at the trailhead just past the Road’s End Permit Station.
*** Image courtesy of the NPS Photo Services