Kings Wild and Scenic River

Area Status: Open

The Kings River has distinct qualities that inherently earned protection status for its unique attributes and features.  The Kings River and Kings River Canyon area have received four federal & state designations, including the Kings River Special Management Area, the Wild & Scenic River, California Wilderness, and the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.  Together, they insure this special place will be managed to protect the cultural, natural, biological, recreational, and scenic resources for future generations.

The Kings River was designated as a Wild & Scenic River on November 3, 1987. The Middle Fork’s headwater begins above LeConte Canyon around 13,300 feet near Mt Powell and downstream to its junction with the main stem. The South Fork’s headwater begins near Mt Bolton Brown at 13,400 feet and then downstream to the junction.The designation continues is from the junction of the Middle Fork and the South Fork downstream to an elevation of 1,595 feet above mean sea level near Pine Flat Reservoir.

The entire Middle and South Forks, which are largely in Kings Canyon National Park.  Beginning in their glacial lakes above timberline, the river flows through deep, steep-sided canyons, over falls and cataracts, eventually becoming an outstanding whitewater rafting river in its lower reaches in the Sequoia National Forest.  Geology, scenery, recreation, fish, wildlife, and history are all significant aspects to this magnificent river corridor.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: For Hume Lake Ranger District recreation information, please call 559-338-2251.


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities