After stopping in the Kings Canyon Visitor Center in Grant Grove Village and hiking the General Grant Tree Trail, we drove out to Panoramic Point. It was a 2.4 mile drive along the narrow, winding Panoramic Point Road to the trailhead.
Panoramic Point is a stunning scenic viewpoint northeast of Grant Grove.
Panoramic Point Trail is a paved, 0.25 mile, out-and-back trail that gains 100 feet in elevation and totals 0.5 mile round trip. At the top of the trail, a rocky outcropping opens up to breathtaking northeastern views that look out over the Sierra Nevada wilderness, Kings Canyon, and Hume Lake 2,300 feet below.
The view was incredible but I think we all had more fun playing on the rocks and snapping silly photos!
Know Before You Go
About Panoramic Point:
- Panoramic Point is marked on the Kings Canyon National Park map but there are no signs along Panoramic Point Road to point you in the right direction. To reach the viewpoint, follow the narrow road on the left of John Muir Lodge for 2.0 miles until you reach the parking area at the end of the road. This road closes in the winter.
- Panoramic Point Picnic Area has a restroom, accessible picnic tables, and bear boxes but no grills or water.
- From Panoramic Point, the Park Ridge Trail heads south up the ridge 2.4 miles to the Park Ridge Fire Lookout Tower.
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 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.