Kings Canyon and Sequoia Wilderness Hikes Sierra Nevada California


- Arrow Pk-Muro Blanco
- Beans Dinkey 2002
- Bear Lakes
- Bench Valley 1989
- Bench Valley 2017
- Blackcap Basin
- Center Basin-Junction Pass
- Central Great Western Divide
- Cliff Creek Lakes
- Confusion Lake
- Courtright-Cedar Grove
- Courtright-North Lake
- Coyote Lakes
- Davis Lakes
- Deerhorn Saddle
- Dinkey Lakes
- Dumbbell Lakes
- E. LeConte/White Divide
- Elizabeth Pass Loop
- Enchanted Gorge
- Finger Peak Loop
- Five Lakes Basins
- Five Lakes 1990
- Gardiner Basin
- Geography 195
- Glacier Ridge
- High Route Part I
- "High Route" South
- High Sierra Trail
- Hiking 2018
- Hikes 2019
- Hiking 2020
- Hiking 2021
- Indian Lakes
- John Muir Trail
- Kaweah Basin
- Kaweah Middle Fork
- Kern Basin II
- Kern Basin I
- Kern-Kaweah Country
- Lost Lake Loop
- McGee Lakes
- Monarch Divide
- Mount Brewer Loop
- Mount Kaweah
- Mt Whitney Day Hike
- Post Corral Lakes
- Nine Lake Basin
- Rae Lakes Loop
- Rae Lakes Loop 1987
- Red Mountain Basin
- Red Rock Basin
- Roaring River Country
- Shotgun Farewell
- Silliman-Pterodactyl
- Southern GWD Loop
- Tablelands
- Thunder Col
- Triple Divide Loop I
- Triple Divide Loop II
- Trips 2015
- Trips 2016
- W. LeConte/White Divide
- Woodchuck Country

- About the Author
- The Wilderness Experience
- Wildflowers
- Mount Fuji
- Troop 152 Trek
- Cedros Island
- San Hipolito Geology
- Trail Personality

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Welcome to a collection of Kings Canyon and Sequoia trip reports. On these pages you will find trip descriptions and photos of hikes both on and off trail through the spectacular wilderness of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Join more than 8000 others who enjoy discussing the Sierra Nevada at High Sierra Topix.

Are you trying to locate a trip near a particular trailhead? Visit the Hikes by Trailhead page. It includes an INDEX MAP of most of the trailheads mentioned on this website and five maps showing locations of all or parts of many of the hikes listed here.

Also, a list of most trip reports on this website is found (by location from north to south) on the Hikes by Trailhead page .

A map is usually included in each of the following trip logs as well. View sekihiker's observations

Trip Logs with Photos of
Kings Canyon and Sequoia Wilderness Hikes
by Bill Finch

Hikes 2021
(Two trips in August in the John Muir Wilderness)
All trips were in Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, still focusing on a study of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Hikes 2020
(Two trips in August in the John Muir Wilderness)
Just happy to be able to get into the mountains after hip surgery on June 5, still focusing on a study of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Hikes 2019
(June through September trips, mostly in John Muir Wilderness)
visits to the Shorthair Plateau, Dinkey Lakes, Minaret Lake, and a few day hikes, mostly in search of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Hikes 2018
(July, and August trips, mostly in John Muir Wilderness)
visits to Duck and Chain Lakes, Dinkey Lakes, Grinnell Lake, Twin and Geraldine Lakes, and Crown Lake, mostly in search of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Bench Valley 2017
(August/September 2017, 4 days, 38 miles, 1 pass / 7 photos, 715 words, map)
a quick trip to an area that takes a lot of work to get to, in search of Lewisia leeana, a flowering plant rare in most of the Sierra

Trips 2016
(June, July, and August trips, mostly in John Muir Wilderness)
visits to Spanish Lake, Woodchuck Lake, Chinquapin Lakes, and Spanish Mountain in search of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Trips 2015
(June, July, and August trips, mostly in John Muir Wilderness)
visits to Woodchuck Country, Old Pipe Lake, Geraldine Lakes, Blackcap Basin, and Maxson Lake in search of the rare plant, Lewisia leeana

Elizabeth Pass Loop
(August 2014, 5 days, 33 miles, 4 passes / 20 photos, 1400 words, map)
cross country on the Tableland to Lonely Lake and Elizabeth Pass and a return via the High Sierra Trail

Post Corral Lakes
(September 2013, 4 days, 35 miles, 1 pass / 11 photos, 1480 words, map)
a visit of most of the lakes at the headwaters of Post Corral Creek in the John Muir Wilderness

Shotgun Farewell
(September 2012, 4 days, 31 miles, 3 passes / 47 photos, 2 videos, 2200 words, map)
a Fall trip into spectacular country in southern Sequoia National Park and northern Golden Trout Wilderness

Deerhorn Saddle
(September 2012, 5 days, 40 miles, 1 pass / 24 photos, 2 videos, 1130 words, map)
another wet trip in the Summer of 2012, I think I would go over Deerhorn Saddle in the other direction next time

Nine Lake Basin
(August 2012, 6 days, 50 miles, 2 passes / 21 photos, 1250 words, map)
into the Nine Lake Basin off the High Sierra Trail - tried to climb Kaweah Queen, but thunderstorms got in the way

Woodchuck Country
(June 2012, 4 days, 25 miles, no passes / 13 photos, 720 words, map)
abundant flowers, beautiful scenery, and numerous camping opportunities await those who visit this part of the John Muir Wilderness

Kaweah Middle Fork
(May 2012, 3 days, 20 miles, no passes / 26 photos, 649 words, map)
a great early season hike, Granite Creek was too swift for a safe ford in order to continue up the trail to Redwood Meadow

Lost Lake Loop
(September 2010, 4 days, 26 miles, 4 passes / 15 photos, 698 words, map)
this is a popular area since it can be reached from several trail heads but it is a worthwhile destination nonetheless

McGee Lakes
(August 2007, 4 days, 37 miles, 1 pass / 13 photos, 527 words, map)
I had looked forward to this trip for at least 20 years and I wasn't disappointed

Mount Kaweah
(June 2007, 5 days, 52 miles, 2 passes / 11 photos, 424 words)
I finally got around to climbing Mt Kaweah and the trip doubled as preparation for a climb of Mount Fuji

Indian Lakes
(August 2006, 5 days, 30 miles, 1 pass / 17 photos, 1506 words, map)
this trip report to one of my favorite areas is written from the point of view of Beans, my dog hiking companion

Glacier Ridge
(August 2006, 5 days, 48 miles, 3 passes / 24 photos, 1897 words, map)
Phil Arnot's book describes this hike which is a classic one that visits almost virgin territory

Red Rock Basin
(July 2006, 3 days, 21 miles / 21 photos, 1213 words, map)
this was an easy, early season trip in the John Muir Wilderness with my canine companion, Beans

Southern GWD Loop
(July 2006, 5 days, 51 miles, 3 passes / 31 photos, 1658 words, map)
this popular loop is often begun in Mineral King but I began it at Crescent Meadow

Center Basin-Junction Pass
(July 2004, 4 days, 42 miles, 3 passes / 20 photos, 1247 words, map)
this route travels through seldom visited Center Basin and over Junction Pass which was on the JMT until Forester Pass was completed

(July 2004, 4 days, 44 miles, 3 passes / 23 photos, 834 words, map)
this popular route has been featured in guidebooks, is mostly on trail, and includes some interesting cross-country hiking at the end

Thunder Col
(August 2003, 5 days, 33 miles, 5 passes / 19 photos, 659 words, map)
this trip passes on the west and east sides of the northernmost Great Western Divide with solitude galore

Five Lakes Basins
(July 2003, 4 days, 27 miles, 3 passes / 19 photos, 989 words, map, profiles)
out of Mineral King, three lake studded basins are surrounded by beautiful scenery in a rugged setting

Rae Lakes Loop
(July 2003, 4 days, 38 miles, 1 pass / 27 photos, 485 words, map)
probably the most popular loop in Sequoia Kings Canyon, lots of people, but loads of fine scenery

Blackcap Basin
(June 2003, 4 days, 43 miles, 4 passes / 19 photos, 1051 words, map, profiles)
an early season hike to an area with spectacular scenery and no sign of another soul for four days

Beans Dinkey 2002
(28-30 June 2002, 3 days, 10 miles / 14 photos, map)
Beans, my hiking companion of more than 10 years, takes her first multiday hike to Dinkey Lakes with me and my daughters Jane and Susan

High Route Part I
(July-August 2001, 7 days, 75 miles, 11 passes / 20 photos, 790 words, map)
this is the first leg of Steve Roper's well-planned alternative to the JMT that travels close to the Sierra crest

Monarch Divide
(July 2001, 3 days, 29 miles, 4 passes / 24 photos, 805 words, map)
with more than 6500 feet of elevation gain on the first day, this is not a trip for the faint of heart

Red Mountain Basin
(June 2001, 3 days, 39 miles, / 30 photos, 1100 words)
the greater Red Mountain Basin contains many lakes and on this early season trip and I tried to visit as many of them as I could

Confusion Lake
(August 2000, 4 days, 39 miles, 2 passes / 15 photos, 1400 words, maps and profiles)
a delightful trip through a lovely area, including a cross country visit to Confusion Lake which is perched on the LeConte Divide

Mount Whitney Day Hike
(September 1999, 1 day, 22 miles, 2 passes / 15 photos, 1250 words)
daughter Jane, SeKi Hiker Club friend Bill Holst and I spend a beautiful Fall Saturday summiting the highest peak in the lower 48

Arrow Peak - Muro Blanco
(August 1999, 5 days, 40 miles, 1 pass / 15 photos, 1650 words)
a tour of the divide between Woods Creek and the South Fork of the Kings River with a climb of Arrow Peak and return via the canyon of the Muro Blanco

Central Great Western Divide
(July 1999, 4.5 days, 50 miles, 3 passes / 12 photos, 1650 words)
through Cloud Canyon and Colby Pass country with visits to the summits of Centennial, Milestone, and Midway Mountains

Davis Lakes
(August 1998, 4.5 days, 57 miles, 3 passes / 37 photos, 1885 words)
Hell for Sure Pass - twice! Beautiful scenery on the tributaries of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River that flow through Goddard Canyon and Evolution Canyon

Dinkey Lakes
(July 1998, 3 days, 9 miles, no passes, no sweat / 19 photos, 900 words)
a quick tour through the Sierra's finest pocket wilderness in a heavy snow year (not very many people)

High Sierra Trail
(August 1997, 7 days, 107 miles, 2 passes / 39 photos, 2170 words)
the finest traverse of the southern Sierra Nevada, this hike: crosses the the Great Western Divide at Kaweah Gap; visits Big Arroyo, Chagoopa Plateau, and Kern Canyon; and culminates on the summit of Mt Whitney

Enchanted Gorge
(August 1996, 5 days, 62 miles, 2 passes / 18 photos, 1220 words, map)
described in some guidebooks as the most remote canyon in the Sierra Nevada, the area that this trip explores remains wild and virtually untouched to this day

Dumbbell Lakes
(August 1996, 6 days, 66 miles, 9 passes / 10 photos, 400 words, map)
the first part of Steve Roper's High Route is traversed in this hike which leaves the High Route in Lake Basin and travels through remote Dumbbell Lakes basin

Roaring River Country
(July 1994, 6 days, 33 miles, 3 passes / 12 photos, 1306 words, map)
there is a lot of cross country travel during this trip and the chance to meet a cougar

"High Route" South
(August 1992, 6 days, 45 miles, 9 passes / 13 photos, 1020 words, map)
an attempt to capture the spirit of Roper's pioneering High Route, this trip extends the High Route south to Mineral King, crossing nine passes in the process

Kaweah Basin
(August 1992, 3 days, 53 miles, 5 passes / 11 photos, 550 words, map)
another remote and rarely visited mountain paradise, amazingly, Kaweah Basin can be visited in a (challenging) three day trek which passes over three major cross country passes

Kern Basin II
(August 1992, 3 days, 31 miles, 2 passes / 7 photos, 557 words, map)
this was my second attempt to see how quickly I could get in and out of the Kern Basin from Cedar Grove

West LeConte/White Divide
(July 1992, 3 days, 46 miles, 2 passes / 10 photos, 500 words)
a cross country trek on the west side of the divide that forms the western boundary of northernmost Kings Canyon National Park

Kern Basin I
(July 1992, 3 days, 37 miles, 2 passes / 13 photos, 917 words, map)
this was my first attempt to see how quickly I could get in and out of the Kern Basin from Cedar Grove

East LeConte/White Divide
(August 1991, 4 days, 54 miles, 3 passes / 17 photos, 940 words)
a relatively "gentle" hike involving enough cross country travel to take you into remote wilderness with no particularly technical challenges and many opportunities for side trips

Mt Brewer Loop
(August 1991, 3 days, 28.5 miles, 2 passes / 20 photos, 1100 words)
a loop hike that visits East Lake and the Sphinx Lakes basin, the high point of this trip is the summit of Mount Brewer, the first major peak climbed in the southern Sierra Nevada

Triple Divide Loop II
(August 1991, 6 days, 64 miles, 7 passes / 18 photos, 1981 words, map)
this trip visits Kaweah and Milestone Basins, Cloud and Deadman Canyons, and includes summiting Triple Divide and Coppermine Peaks

Gardiner Basin
(July 1991, 5 days, 37 miles, 2 passes / 14 photos, 1215 words)
a loop hike that visits Gardiner Basin and Sixty Lake Basin, returning to the Cedar Grove trail head via the John Muir Trail and Woods Creek trails via Paradise Valley

Finger Peak Loop
(July 1990, 4 days, 50 miles, 4 passes / 15 photos, 715 words)
starting and ending in Woodchuck Country east of Wishon Reservoir, this trip visits the upper reaches of Goddard Creek and remote Blue Canyon

Five Lakes 1990
(July 1990, 3 days, 18 miles, 4 passes / 16 photos, 1468 words, map)
What do you do when it rains? Write haiku and enjoy the moments the best you can.

Triple Divide Loop I
(July 1990, 6 days, 51 miles, 6 passes / 25 photos, 1160 words)
this was the first of several trips designed to get to know the country around Triple Divide Peak located on the Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP Boundary

(August 1989, 1 day, 15 miles / 13 photos, 375 words, map)
this was my first visit to the Tablelands and included a climb up Alta Peak

Courtright-Cedar Grove
(August, 1989, 7 days, 81 miles, 5 passes / 19 photos, 850 words, map)
passing down Goddard and Gardiner Creeks, this hike just might cure your itch for bushwacking down remote canyons (it worked for me)

Bear Lakes
(July 1989, 3 days, 47 miles, 2 passes / 14 photos, 460 words, map)
just north of the Kings Canyon NP boundary, Bear Lakes basin is an area ideally suited to testing yourself on a rigorous solo through stark, yet alluring high country

Bench Valley 1989
(June 1989, 4 days, 47 miles, 2 passes / 9 photos, 663 words, map)
a first trip of the season to Bench Valley via Fall Creek, returning over Two Passes and through Red Mountain Basin

Geography 195
(August 1988, 8 days, 47 miles, 2 passes / 11 photos, 659 words, map)
a geography field trip from Sunset Meadow through Roaring River country to the Tableland and back

Courtright-North Lake
(July 1988, 6 days, 47 miles, 3 passes / 8 photos, 394 words, map)
climbs of Mt Reinstein, Mt Goddard and Mt Solomons during a stormy trans-Sierra

John Muir Trail
(August 1987, 13 days, 200 miles, 11 passes / 17 photos, 7970 words)
the classic sampler trip through the heart of the Sierra, walking this 200 plus mile trail leaves you with ideas for dozens of further trips in the wild country from Yosemite to Sequoia

Two Kings Loop
(July 1987, 4 days, 60 miles, 3 passes / 11 photos, 1007 words, map)
this hike began an attempt to section hike the JMT but netted less than 30 miles of JMT from a 74 mile hike (mileage from Starr's Guide)

Rae Lakes Loop 1987
(June 1987, 2 days, 38 miles, 1 pass / 12 photos, 580 words, map)
a spur of the moment trip on the most popular loop in Kings Canyon National Park

Coyote Lakes
(May/June 1974, 6 days, 46 miles, no passes / 16 photos, 941 words, map)
a blast from the past, lots of forest, a snake convention, Golden Trout Creek and Litttle Whitney Meadow, a little high country

Lakes of Cliff Creek
(May 1972, 3 days, 12 miles, 2 passes / 9 photos, 570 words)
I still have vivid memories of this, my first solo cross-country hike, an early season trip out of Mineral King to the lakes at the head of Cliff Creek

Kern Kaweah Country
(August 1970, 6 days, 60 miles, 3 passes / 16 photos, 1290 words)
fresh out of the Navy with a month left until school, I talked my friend Bryan into joining me on a trip to the Kern-Kaweah River of Sequoia NP

Note: most of the mileages above are from the mileage tool in TOPO! maps and are about 80% or 90% of the actual distances

15 September 2021