Grant's Grove is the first area you encounter as you enter King's Canyon and contains the world's second largest tree, the General Grant. It's a 30-45 minute drive north of the Giant Forest area in Sequoia NP and is more like Sequoia than the rest of King's Canyon park.
The last stop in the Cedar Grove area is Roads End a slender valley walled in by sheer, high, granite walls. Here you will either have to turn around and go the way you came, or take one of the three backcountry trails that pass this spot.
To me, Zumwalt Meadows is by far the most beautiful part of the park. This lush, green meadow and wetland is nestled between steep granite cliffs and traversed by Copper Creek and Granite Creek. The walk along the trail and the boardwalk loop is very tranquil and peaceful; the silence only pierced by the calls of wildlife and the occasional exclamations of your fellow travelers. The trail through the meadow is a 1.5 mile wheelchair accessible loop.
Kings Canyon has long been a very popular place to escape the fast pace and rigors of modern life and relax into a slower pace. One of the people discovering the joys of that slower pace was Santa Barbara businessman George O. Knapp who used to conduct luxurious camping, fishing and hunting trips into Kings Canyon. The building you see here was a cabin he built to store equipment used on these excursions. The cabin was built in the 1920s and is the oldest building in the Cedar Grove part of the park. The last two photos show the natural beauty of this location. The walk to the cabin is short and easy; but not handicapped accessible.
One of the first overlooks after entering Kings Canyon National Park from the Giant Sequoia National Monument is the Kings Canyon Viewpoint. This viewpoint offers a nice look up Kings Canyon as it traverses between Grand Sentinel Peak and North Dome. The wide "U" shape of the canyon supports the theory Kings Canyon was formed by glacial activities.
Snowmelt from peaks in the Monarch Wilderness like Mount Harrington feed Grizzly Lake which in turn flows down Grizzly Falls. This water flows down the Kings River into the San Joaquin Valley, providing the vital resource to one of the most important agricultural areas in the state.
Another place to stop along the route to the Cedar Grove part of Kings Canyon is Boyden Cavern. Entrance to the caverns is $13 for adults; $6.50 for kids 3 to 13; and frees for children under 3. There is a gift shop with snacks and drinks, a picnic area and restrooms here. The South Fork Kings River runs by the caverns. Please note that there is a short but steep trail to the caverns. I did not go in the caverns, my curiosity was not worth the $13.
The South Fork of the Kings River follows along the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. There are a few places to stop and take pictures of this pretty river. My favorite is the one by the bridge just beyond Grizzly Falls.
Historic Kings Canyon Lodge has been a popular place to stay in Giant Sequoia National Monument for many years. The lodge is independently owned and is located along the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway on the way to the Cedar Grove part of the park. The double gravity gas pumps on display at the lodge are from 1928 and are the oldest ones in the United States.
A little farther along the road after the Converse Basin Grove Overlook is the Junction View Overlook. This is another view that shows the parks claim to some of the most magnificent scenery in the world is not just bragging.
Converse Basin Grove was the largest grove of sequoias in existence but was heavily logged in 1897 and 1907. Today the grove is protected and the trees will not be logged again. The grove is in the western part of Sequoia National Monument.
Straddling the road between Kings Canyon National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument is an overlook that shows the Redwood Mountain Grove to the south and a great panoramic view of the national monument, and in the far distance, another part of Kings Canyon. The view to the north is the second largest piece of land with no roads traversing it. The view is great, however, the weather did not allow for much of a view when I was there. The Redwood Mountain Grove stretches from Mount Baldy to Redwood Mountain and is the world's largest grove of the world's largest trees.
Israel Gamlin built this cabin in 1872 on 160 acres of land he and his brother filed a timber claim for. They lived here until 1878. When General Grant National Park was established in 1890 the cabin was used as a storage house for the U. S. Cavalry who patrolled the park until 1913 and later as the quarters for the first manager of the park.
This 24 foot diameter tree was cut down in 1875 and a piece of the stump was exhibited at the centennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1876. It took 2 men 9 days to cut down the tree. People attending the centennial celebration did not believe the exhibit was actually from one tree and called it a "California Hoax".
This fallen monarch fell an undetermined number of years ago. The high tannin content of the sequoia makes the trees immune to the effects of insects and bacteria that cause decay. It is impossible to determine if this tree was hollowed out by fire before it fell or after. The trunk has been used as: a shelter; a saloon; a stable for cavalry horses, and other things.