It's not exactly off the beaten path, but most people arriving at Kings Canyon from Fresno on Hwy 180 don't stop to appreciate the scenery. From the hotter regions of the San Joaquin Valley, the road winds up through the foothills, passing many beautiful valleys. The scenery here is drier and more arid than the scenery farther up, but it is still pleasant. You can get out of the car every now and then to take in the scene, view a few waterfalls, or photograph some wildflowers. The road continues to climb, and soon reaches the conifer-covered slopes of Grant Grove around 6000 ft.
This is a bumpy gravel road that leads 6 miles from near Roaring River Falls back to Cedar Grove. The one-way road takes between 20-30 minutes to drive, and is somewhat uncomfortable, but it offers a few good views of the valley.
One of John Muir's haunts. Apparently, Muir liked to come to this spot and sit on the rock and contemplate Kings River and the surrounding walls of granite. Muir said that Kings Canyon was a valley that rivaled that of Yosemite to the north. I cannot completely agree with Muir because Yosemite's beauty is unparalleled, but Kings Canyon has tranquility on its side.
Check out some of the waterfalls just off of the road as you get toward the bottom of the canyon!
I was there in early June and the waterfalls were roaring.