Kings Canyon National Park is separated into two distinct areas: Grant Grove in the High Sierras and Cedar Grove deep in Kings Canyon. After spending an afternoon adventuring in Grant Grove, visiting the Kings Canyon Visitor Center, hiking the General Grant Tree Trail, driving out to Panoramic Point, and hiking the Big Stump Loop Trail; and spending the morning driving the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway through Giant Sequoia National Monument, stopping at Kings Canyon Overlook, Junction View Overlook, Boyden Cavern, and Grizzly Falls, we reentered Kings Canyon National Park to explore Cedar Grove.
The Cedar Grove region of the national park is a glaciated valley that features towering cliffs, stunning waterfalls, majestic meadows, and the turbulent Kings River.
- There are two towering rock formations in Cedar Grove: North Dome stands 8,717 feet tall and Grand Sentinel stands 8,518 feet tall.
- There is also a bevy of hiking trails, from easy and flat trails along the Kings River, to steep and strenuous trails into the wilderness.
Cedar Grove Village
Our first stop was Cedar Grove Village, which has campgrounds and a lodge, market, gift shop, showers, and snack shop. Cedar Grove Market sells everything from groceries and camping supplies to souvenirs and bear-proof food containers.
We just had a huge picnic lunch, so we weren’t all that hungry, but it was INSANELY HOT so Brian and Natalie got ice cream cones!
Cedar Grove Visitor Center
Our next stop was the Cedar Grove Visitor Center, which provides visitors information about the Cedar Grove region of Kings Canyon National Park. Here you can chat with a ranger, pick up maps and guidebooks, and buy books, souvenirs, apparel, and even games.
Know Before You Go
About Cedar Grove Village:
- Cedar Grove Village and Visitor Center in Kings Canyon National Park is located on Highway 180, 30 miles east of Grant Grove next to Sentinel Campground.
- The Visitor Center is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Cedar Grove Market, with food, camping supplies, and gifts, is open daily from 0:00 am to 10:00 pm.
- Cedar Grove Picnic Areas can be found at Convict Flat and Grizzly Falls. Both are open seasonally and have restrooms but may be closed periodically due to bear activity.
- Highway 180 is maintained by Caltrans and is only open seasonally from the end of April to the middle of November.
About Kings Canyon National Park:
- 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 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.