fun to do kids kings canyon national park california   Travel for Kids
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Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon California

In Kings Canyon National Park (including Giant Sequoia National Monument), kids can hike through peaceful meadows along the Kings River, explore a cavern, go horseback riding through the pine forests, swim at Hume Lake, and stare in awe at giant sequoia trees rising into the sky.

Tip: The road from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove is closed from November to late April.

 

Kings Canyon Visitor Center – In the Discovery Room, play in a tent, check out different kinds of poop for black bears, marmots, deer etc. and identify different animal tracks for bobcats, Stellar jays, wolverine, raccoons, black bears and gray foxes (animals that live here in the Sierra), plus a model of Kings Canyon. Pick up the map to the General Grant Tree Trail and other trail  maps for the parks.

    General Grant Grove
General Grant Tree
    General Grant Tree Trail – This paved nature trail is a half mile loop through the giant sequoias, open year round (it's fun to see the tree with snow on the ground). Tip: In summer, the General Grant Tree is very popular and parking is limited, so come before noon (and avoid the tour bus crowds).
   

- General Grant Tree – The General Grant Tree is the third largest tree on earth, as tall as a 27 story building, and 2,000 years old.

   

- Gamlin Cabin – Step in a log cabin, hand built by the Gamlin brothers in 1872.

     

- Fallen Monarch – Kids will want to run through the Fallen Monarch tree lying on the ground,  and naturally hollowed out by fire. The Gamlin brothers lived inside the tree until they built their own cabin (check out the hole in the roof for cooking).

      Columbine picnic area – There's plenty of picnic tables at Columbine, so have a picnic lunch in the shade under the trees. The parking is limited at Columbine, but is within walking distance (a longish walk) from the Grant Tree parking.
      Grant Grove Stables – Go for one and two hour trail rides through the sequoia forests and up along the North Boundary Trail. Summers, for kids 7 and up.
Hume Lake
 

Hume Lake - Sandy Cove – At Sandy Cove, it's the perfect place for kids to wade, play on the long sandy beaches and swim in the lake (no lifeguards). Bring your beach umbrellas, inner tubes, picnic lunch or dinner, and spend the afternoon by the lake.

    Hume Lake Trail – Take the Hume Lake Trail that goes left over the bridge and around Hume Lake, easy for everyone in the family.
   

Boyden Cavern – Explore the glories of Boyden Cavern, where you'll see the Pancake Room (hmmm tasty), Drapery Room with "soda straws" and stalactites like curtains, the Bat Grotto (with sleeping bats), and an underground stream.  Tours are 45 min., it's a 5 minute walk up to the cave, no baby backpacks. April to November.

   

Cedar Grove & around – Cedar Grove is situated on the valley floor of Kings Canyon, surrounded by dramatic peaks almost a mile high. It's a great place to camp, and if you have teens or older kids, there are marvelous hikes into the high country – to Bubbs Creek, Mist Falls and Lower Paradise Valley.

Roaring River Falls
    Roaring River Falls – It's just a five or ten minute walk up a paved trail (okay for strollers) to a rushing waterfall, cascading over a smooth rock into a deep, emerald green pool. There's a picnic table next to the parking lot.
      Zumwalt Meadow Trail – Take the 1.5 mile nature trail around the meadow. You'll see bit of every sort of Sierra scenery – huge granite boulders, lush meadow with wildflowers in summer, fern covered forest, and the rushing waters of the Kings River. Pick up the trail brochure at the trailhead, with information about 18 different stops along the loop trail, highlighting the plants, rocks, and different habitats.
      Trail rides – Cedar Grove Pack Station has one hour trail rides through the Kings Canyon valley, and longer overnight trips.
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