Kings Canyon National Park is named for the deepest canyon in North America. Reaching up to 8,200 feet deep, Kings Canyon, cut by the Kings River, is even deeper than the Grand Canyon.
The Kings Canyon Scenic Byway connects the Grant Grove area of the national park in the High-Sierra, with the Cedar Grove area of the park on the floor of the canyon. Between the two, it leaves the national park temporarily and passes through Giant Sequoia National Monument.
The road drops 4,000 feet on it’s way to the canyon floor and around every turn, it delivers spectacular, panoramic views of chaparral, cacti, yucca, folded rocks, and metamorphic rock walls. After being a little disappointed by the views at the Kings Canyon Overlook, we were excited to reach a scenic viewpoint with an actual view!
The Junction View Overlook
The Junction View Overlook perched on the edge of the mountain alongside the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the most popular overlooks on this scenic drive in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
It offers stunning views of the confluences of the Middle and South Forks of the Kings River and the entrance of Kings Canyon.
A sign at the viewpoint points out notable mountain peaks like Spanish Mountain (10,051 feet), Crown Rock (9,342 feet), Obelisk (9,700 feet), Mount Harrington (11,008 feet), and University Peak (13,632 feet). It also shared some facts about the geologic history of the area.
Know Before You Go
- Junction View Overlook is a scenic viewpoint on Highway 180 (the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway) in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
- 328,315 acre Giant Sequoia National Monument was designated by President Clinton in April 2000. It is administered by the U.S. Forest Service as part of the Sequoia National Forest and includes 38 giant sequoia groves.
- Giant Sequoia National Monument is split into two separate sections. The northern section surrounds General Grant Grove and other parts of Kings Canyon National Park. The southern section, which includes Long Meadow Grove, is directly south of Sequoia National Park, surrounding the eastern half of the Tule River Indian Reservation.
- Notable spots in the Northern portion of the national monument are Indian Basin Grove and Princess Campground, Converse Basin Grove, and the Boole Tree.
- Notable spots in the Southern portion of the national monument, are Belknap Grove, Tule River Canyon, Trail of 100 Giants, and Freeman Creek Grove.