Kings Canyon Scenic Byway

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Grizzly Falls

The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (Highway 180) provides the only vehicle route into Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in North America. Travel through many of the southern Sierra life zones, and experience the spectacular geology of Kings Canyon. The route begins near the Hume Lake Ranger Station in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada at 1,800 feet in elevation and climbs to 6,400 feet. At Kings Canyon National
Park, stop at the visitor center, or take a short hike to the General Grant Tree. The byway descends 2,700 feet to the Wild and Scenic Kings River. Take a guided tour of Boyden Cave, a magnificent limestone cavern beneath the massive 2,000-foot marble walls of the famous Portals of the Kings. Grizzly Falls is a great spot for a picnic lunch with a beautiful waterfall close to the road. The road ends at Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park. Travel time is about 2-3 hours. The section of the
byway just below the turn-off to Hume Lake closes for the winter, so plan your tour of Kings Canyon mid-May to mid-October.

Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is the only vehicle route into the Kings Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in North America. For 50 miles you will travel through many of the Southern Sierra life zones including several giant sequoia groves, and experience the spectacular geology of Kings Canyon. The route begins at the Hume Lake Ranger Station in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada and climbs 4,000 feet to Kings Canyon National Park where you can stop at the visitor center and take a short hike to the General Grant tree. The byway descends 2,700 feet to the wild and scenic Kings River. The section of the byway just below the turn off to Hume Lake closes for the winter so plan your tour mid May to mid October. The road ends at Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon National Park.

Kings Canyon Scenic Byway map

Converse Basin Grove. This grove is the largest contiguous grove in the world. It includes Boole Tree, one of the largest giant sequoia living, and Stump Meadow and Chicago Stump, all stark reminders of the late 1800s when the grove was privately owned. Among the stumps is the next generation of sequoias demonstrating the resilience of the species. Forest Roads 13S55 and 13S03 are dirt roads providing access to the Converse Basin. Visit in the summer when the road is dry or in winter visit the area by cross-country skis or snowshoes.

Hike the 3-mile trail to the Boole Tree. This tree was spared during the historic logging period because of its breath-taking size. This tree stands today as the largest sequoia in any National Forest and the 8th largest known sequoia in the world.

Indian Basin Grove. A paved, accessible interpretive trail leads the visitor through what was once a grove of ancient giants. The trail winds past enormous stumps left from an historic logging operation and the grove of young sequoias that have replaced the fallen giants. Princess campground is located next to the trail along Highway 180.

Millwood was once the location of a historic mill town. Today it serves as a staging area for Off Highway Vehicle enthusiasts. Remember not to disturb or remove historic and prehistoric artifacts. They are protected by law.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For Hume Lake Ranger District recreation information, please call 559-338-2251.
Operational Hours:  Closed November 13, 2017 until Spring 2018.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sequoia/recarea/?recid=79915