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18 Top Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations

Last updated on May 9th, 2022 at 07:38 am

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is open, summer, spring, and fall. It’s one of the best places I had the chance to visit. Most of the places in the park are open for visitors. You will get to enjoy the great weather and incredible vistas. When you are at the park, you also can visit Sequoia National Park as there is a road joining the two. I was able to navigate through it quickly and could choose one boondocking spot to include Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park.

If you are wondering whether you should visit this park, then the answer is yes. I highly recommend it because of the many things to enjoy there including the deep valleys and the skyscraping trees. There are also rock outcroppings that are very distinctive and not forgetting the serene environment. This place is a must-visit for anyone that enjoys the outdoors. Make sure you make a reservation before you go so that you are well prepared and have all the essential information.

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History of Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park is a fantastic scenic area located at the Sierra Nevada Mountains in East-Central California. It was initially established in 1890 and named General Grant National Park. The park was expanded and then given the name Kings Canyon National Park on March 4 the year 1940. It is adjacent to Sequoia National Park, and the two parks are under the same administration. The park covers 722 square miles, and just like the other parks surrounding it, it also has big groves of trees. The trees include Cedar and Sequoias.

This park got its name from the Kings Canyon feature on the South Fork Kings River and was carved by glacial action. The Kings Canyon National Park is also well known for its magnificent trails. If you get to visit the park and you love hiking, then you should try out some of the ones listed below.

18 Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations

1. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking – Kirch Flat Campground – Sierra National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.882134, -119.149674
Elevation: 1026′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road in is Paved. Kirch Flat Campground – Sierra National Forest is open Year Round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 30′. You may stay 14 Nights at Kirch Flat Campground – Sierra National Forest.

2. Free Kings Canyon National Park Camping Spots – North Fork Confluence

Address
Fresno, California
GPS: 36.873207, -119.134056
Elevation: 975′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

Dispersed camping at the confluence of the North Fork Kings River and Kings River. Fishing, camping and whitewater rafting are popular in this area. You may stay 14 Nights at North Fork Confluence.

3. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations – Camp 4 1/2 – Sequoia National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.865379, -119.122551
Elevation: 1379′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 0.7 miles from a paved road. Camp 4 1/2 – Sequoia National Forest is open Year Round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25′. You may stay 14 Nights at Camp 4 1/2 – Sequoia National Forest.

4. Free Kings Canyon National Park Camping Spots – Gravel Flat Campground – Sierra National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.86049, -119.11884
Elevation: 1278′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 1 miles from a paved road. Gravel Flat Campground – Sierra National Forest is open Year Round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25′. You may stay 14 Nights at Gravel Flat Campground – Sierra

5. Free Kings Canyon National Park RV Parking – Pirate Cove – Sequoia National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.859112, -119.104172
Elevation: 1080′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

The road in is Dirt and 2 miles from a paved road. Pirate Cove – Sequoia National Forest is open Year Round. You may stay 14 Nights at Pirate Cove – Sequoia National Forest.

6. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking – Mill Flat Campground

Address
GPS: 36.8592, -119.096802

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

The road in is Dirt and 3 miles from a paved road. Mill Flat Campground is open Year Round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25′. You may stay 14 Nights at Mill Flat Campground. Sierra National Forest Located along the Kings River and Mill Creek. Most sites have shade. Elevation: 1000′ Trash bins provided at the Bailey Bridge. No cell phone coverage in the area. Pay phone is available at Balch Camp.

7. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations – Bear Wallow Camping Area

36.85758, -119.09101

Address
Garnet Dike
Shaver Lake, California
GPS: 36.85758, -119.09101
Elevation: 1089′

Management: Public – Forest Service (Official)

Bear Wallow Camping Area is open year round. There are 1-5 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 25 feet. You may stay 14 at Bear Wallow Camping Area. Great place for camping in spring and fall. Very hot during summer months. Please pack out all garbage. No cell phone coverage in the area.

8. Free Kings Canyon National Park Camping Spots – Oak Flats Put In – Sequoia National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.860279, -119.083145
Elevation: 1149′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

Oak Flats Put In – Sequoia National Forest is open Year Round. There are 16-29 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 Nights at Oak Flats Put In – Sequoia National Forest.

9. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking – Mule Rock – Sequoia National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.861172, -119.075333
Elevation: 1365′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

Mule Rock – Sequoia National Forest is open Year Round. You may stay 14 Nights at Mule Rock – Sequoia National Forest. Dispersed camping in the Sequoia National Forest along the Kings River. No facilities. Located just above Mule Hole on the river.

10. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations – Hermit’s Hole – Sequoia National Forest

Address
Clovis, California
GPS: 36.862408, -119.048126
Elevation: 1274′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Official)

Hermit’s Hole – Sequoia National Forest is open Year Round. You may stay 14 Nights at Hermit’s Hole – Sequoia National Forest. Free Camping on the King’s River in the Sequoia National Forest. Fire permits are required. No garbage service, pack out what you bring in.

11. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Spots – Dinky Creek Road

Address
Dinkey Creek Road
Shaver Lake, California
GPS: 37.096035, -119.296593
Elevation: 5743′

Management: Public – Forest Service (USDA) (Unofficial)

Free boondocking (dry camping) in the tress alongside Dinky Creek Road. This area is packed during the height of the season. Rangers visit regularly and will enforce the 14 day rule.

12. Kings Canyon National Park – Summit Camping Area

Address
50725-50741 Dinkey Creek Road
Shaver Lake, California
GPS: 37.082028, -119.198972
Elevation: 6532′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Summit camping area is a great place for those who enjoy rustic camping. Toilets, water, and garbage service are not provided at this site. The site contains one picnic table and rock fire ring.

13. Free Kings Canyon National Park Camping Spots – Fence Meadow Camping Area

Address
Auberry, California
GPS: 36.979158, -119.178844
Elevation: 4685′

Management: Public – Forest Service (Official)
The road in is Gravel and Way Far miles from a paved road. Fence Meadow Camping Area is open Year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 15 feet. You may stay 14 at Fence Meadow Camping Area.

14. Free Kings Canyon National Park RV Parking- Ross Crossing Camping Area

Address
Auberry, California
GPS: 36.987453, -119.124327
Elevation: 4232′

Management: Public – Forest Service (Official)

The road in is Paved. Ross Crossing Camping Area is open year round. There are 6-15 campsites at this location and the maximum RV length is 15 feet. You may stay 16 days at Ross Crossing Camping Area.

15. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking – Converse Mountain

Address
Miramonte, California
GPS: 36.80346, -118.93472
Elevation: 5919′

Management: Public – Forest Service (Unofficial)

Just off 180 at the intersection of Hume Lake. Looks like a dirt trail but isn’t bad to drive, Subaru towing a trailer had no problem. Opens up to a decent campsite for a tent or two. Rock fire pit.

16. Free Kings Canyon National Park Dispersed Camping Spots – Sequoia NF Pullout

Address
Dunlap, California
GPS: 36.742673, -119.058442

Management: Public – Forest Service

The maximum RV length at Sequoia NF pullout is unlimited. We camped overnight here after visiting Kings Canyon NP rather than driving back down the hill.

17. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking – Millwood OHV

Address
US Frst Service Road 13597
Miramonte, California
GPS: 36.745055, -119.004564
Elevation: 5095′

Management: Public – Forest Service

Millwood OHV is open May-Oct. Free Dispersed camping in the Sequoia National Forest’s Hume Lake Ranger District. First come -> first camped. No reservations are accepted.

18. Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations – OHV Area – Pull-offs and Dispersed Camping

Address
Miramonte, California
GPS: 36.73202, -119.00143
Elevation: 5449′

Management: Public – Forest Service (Unofficial)

The road in is Gravel and 1 miles from a paved road. Shortly after leaving Sequoia national park, there is a road that says ohv staging area and YMCA camp Sequoia. I took the left fork towards the ohv area on a gravel road, then drove up the road a half mile on forestry land, then slept on a pull off. Quiet, and amazing views!

Top 10 Trails to Hike at Kings Canyon National Park

If you are already in Kings Canyon National park and looking for hiking trails, you are in the right place. The park has around 68 hiking trails, but I did not get to hike on all of them of course. I will list the top ten trails that I enjoyed the most so that you also have the opportunity to enjoy them. Make sure to book in advance and if you are using a motor vehicle, get a pass. Some of the hikes are easy; experienced hikers should only visit some moderate and some very hard.

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #1 – Mist Falls

1. Mist Falls Kings Canyon National Park RV Parking

I would rate this trail as moderate, and it is 8.7 miles long and has very heavy traffic. It is located in Hume, California, and you will get to experience features like waterfalls and mountain scenery. From May to October, you can choose to use this trail for backpacking and camping. The waterfall was charming and also the whole hike in general. The only thing I didn’t like were the bugs and gnats; make sure you carry insect repellant with you. We also got to see some snakes on the trail, but they immediately went back into the woods, so we were safe. Make sure that you are always aware of your surrounding, no matter how great the trail is.

Length: 8.7 mi
Elevation gain: 879 ft
Route type: Out & back

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #2 – Rae Lakes Trail

2. Rae Lakes Trail

This trail is rated as hard, and that is not a lie; it is 39 miles long and heavily trafficked. It is found near Cedar Grove, California, where there is also a lake that you will enjoy. Some of my favorite sections in this trail were Rae lakes and Paradise Valley.

Length: 39.1 mi
Elevation gain: 7,670 ft
Route type: Loop

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Forest, Lake, River, Views, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #3 – General Grant Loop Trail

3. General Grant Loop Trail Kings Canyon National Park Hiking

This is one of the most accessible trails I got the chance to go on. It is .07 miles long and heavily trafficked. It features a river, and no matter your skill level, you will love this trail. I found that the trail was well maintained, and I got to enjoy the National Christmas tree view. If you visit the Kings Canyon National park with your family, you should go on this trail. You will get to enjoy views like the fallen Monarch tree and the Gamlin Cabin.

Length: 0.7 mi
Elevation gain: 32 ft
Route type: Loop

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Forest

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #4 – Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls

4. Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls

I would rate this trail as easy as you can go on it with any skill level. It is 5.5 miles long and moderately trafficked. It is located near Sequoia National Park and features a waterfall. This trail is excellent for bird watching, hiking, fishing, and running. I love this trail, it is lovely, and it is a great place to go with your family. Some places are very rocky, so you have to be careful and wear the proper shoes. If you get too hot, there are many shady spots so that you can rest while you enjoy the views.

Length: 5.4 mi
Elevation gain: 419 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Fishing, Hiking, Bird watching, Running, Waterfall, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #5 – Paradise Valley Trail

5. Paradise Valley Trail Kings Canyon National Park Camping Spots

This trail was pretty hard, and we sweated a lot; it is 29.3 km long and should be hiked by people with experience. No matter the hardness of the hike, the view was to die for, starting with the waterfall. When we hiked, it was a bit warm, but we still made it up. The definite highlight was mist falls, and it was so breathtaking. Don’t also forget to bring bug spray because you will encounter lots of gnats. There is also some smoke as you go up, but it is worth it.

Length: 18.2 mi
Elevation gain: 2,506 ft
Route type: Out & back

Backpacking, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Waterfall, Wildflowers

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #6 – Roaring River Falls Trail

6. Roaring River Falls Trail Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations

Another easy trail that everyone can enjoy is the Roaring River Falls Trail. It is a on-third miles long and also features a waterfall that is great to view. Unlike other easy trails, this one is less crowded hence very serene. It is a bit rocky, so you have to look where you walk, but, overall, it is very spectacular. Don’t forget to carry plenty of water and wear proper shoes so that you can get to enjoy the place.

Length: 0.3 mi
Elevation gain: 26 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Walking, Partially paved, Waterfall

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #7 – Zumwalt Meadow Trail

7. Zumwalt Meadow Trail Free Kings Canyon National Park

This is also another easy trail to go on with your family. It is 2.4 km long and is located near Sequoia National Park. This trail also has stunning sceneries, and you can also opt to choose it for running. The trail was straightforward, and it also had a lot of shades where we got to pull to the side and relax.

Length: 1.5 mi
Elevation gain: 157 ft
Route type: Out & back

Wheelchair friendly, Kid friendly, Stroller friendly, Hiking, Walking, Running, Partially paved, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #8 – Hart Tree, Fallen Goliath, Redwood Creek Loop

8. Hart Tree, Fallen Goliath, Redwood Creek Loop Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking Locations

In my opinion, this trail was moderate, it is 7.3 miles long, and it also features a waterfall. This trail offers several activities, to enjoy them with your family and friends. My friends and I did clockwise, but you can choose to go the other way round; I loved the trees the most. They were very majestic and worth the hike. If you get to start early as we did, you will have the trail all to yourself.

Length: 7.3 mi
Elevation gain: 1,305 ft
Route type: Loop

Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Waterfalls, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Historic site

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #9 – Big Baldy Ridge

9. Big Baldy Ridge Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking

I would rate this trail as moderate, and it is one of the best trails at the Kings Canyon National Park. One of its best features is the river, and also the road is very well maintained and in excellent condition. Some areas are very bumpy, steep, and narrow, so you have to be careful.

Length: 6.4 mi
Elevation gain: 1,423 ft
Route type: Out & back

Camping, Hiking, Bird watching, Wildflowers, Wildlife

Kings Canyon National Park Hiking Trail #10 – Grizzly Falls

10. Grizzly Falls Free Kings Canyon National Park Boondocking

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The last trail I enjoyed was the Grizzly Falls trail. it is an easy trail and measures one-tenth of a mile long. It features a waterfall and can be hiked by people of all skill levels. Don’t forget to carry a good camera and water shoes to get the whole experience. The waterfall gave us instant gratification, but you have to go early to find a good place to park.

Length: 0.1 mi
Elevation gain: 19 ft
Route type: Out & back

Kid friendly, Hiking, Walking, Forest, Waterfall

Places and Things to Do and See in Kings Canyon National Park

When a friend recommended that I visit this park, I was first skeptical because I did not know what to see or do and had no idea of all the places it offers. You will have to go there to experience for yourself, but there are several activities to participate in and different sites you will love. I am going to list some of them that I enjoyed a lot and am sure that you will enjoy them too.

Grant Grove Stables

This stables are located just ten minutes from the entrance, and we got to enjoy horseback rides. It was my first time riding a horse, but there was a guide with me all through day. It was a two-hour guided ride, and we went all through the forest, getting to experience the excellent views. This place is a definite visit if it is your first time there and you don’t know where to start.

Grant Grove

This grove is a must-visit; many trails led to the grove both around and through the trees and canyons. My wife and I used the dead giant loop, and we got to see some waterfalls and meadows while seeing the beautiful giants. There is also a nearby Grant grove village with a visitor center, and we found a gift shop and a market. You will also be able to find any information you want at the visitor center.

Boyden Cavern

The Boyden Cavern is a marble cave where I enjoyed stalactites, massive stalagmites, and even flowstone. The tour was approximately one hour long; the marble walls were 2000ft high. The cliffs were windy, and the whole experience was terrific. You have to book early, and walk-in tours are not guaranteed.

General Grant Tree

This tree is a must tree because it is named the second largest tree in the world. I love Christmas, so I was definitely in love with this tree, it was like a huge holiday tree and you will never forget seeing it. I think that is why the tree is nicknamed the nation’s Christmas tree. The trail to this tree is paved and is 1/3 mile long, and I also got to enjoy other features like Centennial Stump, Gamlin Cabin, and the Fallen Monarch while on this hike. If you visit the tree in December, you will get to join others honoring fallen armed services, and you get to lay a wreath down for them at the base of the tree.

Cedar Grove

I got the chance to drive down to the bottom part of Kings Canyon National park, and I was rewarded with the views. There were breathtaking rock formations, and the area was less crowded, unlike other parts. There were beautiful sceneries that I would recommend, and you can also choose to enjoy the hike as we did.

Zumwalt Meadow

The last place I visited was the Zumwalt meadow; it is found inside the Canyon and has high granite walls. It was one of my best hikes, it was 1.5 miles long, and we got to view the meadows, Canyon, rushing rivers, wildflowers, and giant trees. This is a place I would recommend; I enjoyed every bit of the hike.


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