Just two miles down the road from the Cedar Grove Visitor Center in Kings Canyon National Park, we saw the sign for Knapp’s Cabin, the oldest building in Cedar Grove. I’m a big fan of historic and abandoned builds so of course we had to stop.
During the Roaring Twenties, wealthy Santa Barbara businessman George Owen Knapp took elaborate summer camping trips to this region of the Sierras. In 1925, he built this simple, one-room, wood-shingled cabin, just downstream from the confluence of the Roaring River, to store gear in during his fishing and camping excursions in Kings Canyon.
When Knapp stopped camping in 1928, he also stopped using the cabin. Now the cabin did see occasional use until the creation of Kings Canyon National Park in 1940, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the National Park Service assumed maintenance of the cabin.
From the roadside pullout, a short, easy trail leads 100 yards from the highway to the hidden cabin, now known as Knapp’s Cabin. The cabin is in surprising good shape and you can go inside.
Before continuing down the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway to Roaring River Falls, Zumwalt Meadow, and Road’s End, we also stopped at the Canyon View Overlook. Like the Kings Canyon Overlook, the views from this overlook are obstructed by trees. The difference here is that you can see over the trees into the gorgeous canyon.
Know Before You Go
- The Knapp Cabin was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is located between Cedar Grove and Road’s End in Kings Canyon Valley.
- Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park are basically treated as the same park — even the National Park Service combined both parks into one website.
- The combined area of these two parks is 865,952 acres with most of that area being wilderness backcountry.
- The parks are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Occasionally, winter storms will close roads leading into the parks until they can be plowed.
- Admission fees are good for seven days and both parks. They are $35.00/vehicle, $30.00/motorcycle, $20.00/individual entry on foot or bicycle, $15.00/person for a non-commercial group.
- There are five free admission days: the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the first day of National Park Week, the National Park Service Birthday, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.
- Visitor centers, ranger stations, and a museum offer opportunities to explore the nature and history of these parks, watch park films, and get trip-planning information. Park stores within visitor centers offer books and other products related to the park.
- Weather varies a lot by season and elevation, which ranges from 1,370 feet to 14,494 feet. Bring layers and be prepared!
- Cell service is not available in most areas. You may get service in Grant Grove and at the Foothills Visitor Center. WiFi is available at the Foothills Visitor Center, the Grant Grove Visitor Center, and in the lobby of Wuksachi Lodge.
- Pets are not permitted on any trails at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. In campgrounds and picnic areas, pets must be kept on a leash of no more than six feet at all times.