OverviewCedar Grove is the area at the base of Kings Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park, CA. From here there are many different trailheads on which one can embark including Woods Creek, Bubb's Creek, Don Cecil, Copper Creek, and Lewis Creek. These trails lead to some of the most beautiful wilderness locales in the Sierra Nevada.
Cedar Grove is typically open May through November (weather-depending) and has car campgrounds, a group campground, a small lodge, market, snack counter, showers and laundry facilities, a visitor center, and a pack station. Gasoline can be found within about 20 miles. Please read on for all the details...
Getting ThereCedar Grove is near the end of Hwy 180 in Kings Canyon National Park. Hwy 180 intersects with Hwy 99 near Fresno. From here travel east to the park entrance near Grant Grove. Continue straight through Grant Grove and it is about 1 hour further to Cedar Grove. Shortly afterwards the road ends at appropriately named "Roads End". Hwy 180 is open to Cedar Grove mid-May through mid-November, weather depending. In the wintertime it may be closed either at Yucca Point or the turn-off to Hume Lake (Tenmile Road).
For Road Conditions, call (559) 565-3341
Red TapeThere is a $20 entrance fee to Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. You can also buy an $80 America the Beautiful Federal Lands Recreation Pass good for entrance to all National Parks, National Forests, BLM, US Fish & Wildlife, and Bureau of Reclamation sites for one year from date of purchase. If you're disabled, you may want to get an Access Pass which are free and good for a lifetime. If you're 62 years of age or older, a Senior Pass can be purchased for $10 and they're also good for a lifetime. Click here for more info on fees and passes.
(Please note: Existing National Park Passes and Golden Age/Access/and Eagle Passes will be honored until they expire.)
Backcountry permits (also called wilderness permits) can be obtained from the Road's End Ranger Station. Approximately 75% of the daily trailhead quota may be reserved. Permits for unreserved spaces are available on a first-come, first served basis. If you reserve a permit, the $15 backcountry camping fee must be submitted with the reservation request.
Reserved permits may be picked up after 1:00 the afternoon preceding the beginning of the hike, and will be held until 9:00 the morning of the hike. If you know you will be delayed, call the ranger station to hold your reserved permit.
First-come permits may also be obtained beginning 1:00 pm the day before the start of the trip. More openings may be available after 9:00 the morning of the trip if there are unclaimed reservations.
Permits will not be written late in the afternoon since distances to the first campground on most trails mean hiking for several hours.
General backcountry use guidelines for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks:
Maximum party size is 15.
Maximum number of stock is 20.
No pets allowed on trails.
Campfires are restricted in many areas of the parks.
Food must be stored so that it is inaccessible to bears. Canisters are required in some areas.
No camping within 100 feet (33 meters) of lakes or streams.
It is the responsibility of every hiker to know, understand and practice all minimum impact regulations and Leave No Trace ethics.
Click here to make a Wilderness Permit Reservation
Camping & Lodging
Open as needed May to October.
Location: In Cedar Grove area near the Kings River. Elevation 4600 feet (1402m).
Amenities: Flush toilets, pay phone at the village (1/4 mile/.4 km). 1/4 mile (.4km) from market, restaurant, showers, laundry, & horseback riding. Ranger programs nearby in July & August. One metal, bear-proof food-storage box provided at each campsite: 48" long x 34" deep x 28" high.
Fee: 23 sites at $18/night and 5 sites for groups 7-15 at $35/night.
Open as needed May to October.
Location: In the Cedar Grove area, down in the canyon along the Kings River. Elevation 4600 feet (1402m).
Amenities: 120 sites, flush toilets, pay phone in the village (3/4 mile/1.2 km). 3/4-mile (1.2km) from market, restaurant, gift shop, showers, laundry, & horseback riding. Ranger programs in July & August. One metal, bear-proof food-storage box provided at each campsite: 48" long x 34" deep x 28" high.
Open late April to mid-November.
Location: In the Cedar Grove area, down in the canyon along the Middle Fork of the Kings River. At 4600-foot (1402m) elevation under open stands of evergreen trees.
Amenities: 82 sites, flush toilets, pay phone in the village (1/4 mile/.4 km). Within 1/4-mile (.4km): market, restaurant, gift shop,showers, laundry, & horseback riding. Ranger programs July-early September. The road to this area closes in mid-November. One metal, bear-proof food-storage box provided at each campsite: 48" long x 34" deep x 28" high. There are several additional boxes for sites to share.
Open as needed May to October.
Location: In the Cedar Grove area, down in the canyon near the Kings River. Elevation 4600 feet (1402m).
Amenities: 111 sites, flush toilets, pay phone in the village (1/2 mile/.8 km). 1/2-mile (.8km) from showers, laundry, restaurant, market, gift shop, horseback riding. Ranger programs in July & August. One metal, bear-proof food-storage box provided at each campsite: 48" long x 34" deep x 28" high. There are several additional boxes for sites to share.
Canyon View Campground (elevation 4635 ft): 1/2 mile east of Cedar Grove Visitor Center. Store and showers nearby. Four sites available (A, B, C and D). Only one site per organization per day. Each site holds 20-40 people, with a fee of $40 per night per site. RVs and trailers must camp in regular campsites nearby.
Reservations are made by mail or fax only:
Canyon View Group Sites
PO Box 926
Kings Canyon National Park, CA 93633
FAX: 559-565-4391 or 559-565-4390 (January-April)
FAX: 559-565-0314 (May-October)
Cedar Grove Lodge
Open: Late April to mid-October.
Phone reservations: 1-866-522-6966
Front desk 1-559-565-0100.
Details: 18 Rooms in a lodge in Cedar Grove Village, deep in the canyon of the Kings Canyon itself. Counter-service snack bar serves hotdogs and hamburgers and the like, small market and gift shop in building. Elevation 4600 feet (1402m).
TrailheadsBubbs Creek Trail (Road's End)
Steep then steady grade. Access to John Muir/Pacific Crest trails (JMT/PCT). Limit 1 night per camp area on JMT from Woods Creek to Glen Pass and in some neighboring areas. No campfires above 10,000' (3048 meters). Trailhead to begin the Rae Lakes Loop going counter-clockwise. See Woods Creek below. First campsite - Sphinx Creek (4 miles/6.4 km) Limit 25 people/day.
Woods Creek Trail (Road's End)
Steady moderate climb. Very busy trail. Vistas, rivers and high lakes. Access to JMT/PCT. Trailhead to begin the Rae Lakes Loop going clockwise. See Bubbs Creek above. Bubbs and Woods Creeks are popular horse-party trails. First campsite - Paradise Valley (6.5 miles/10.4 km) Limit 25 people/day.
Copper Creek Trail (Road's End)
Hot, steep climb; leave early in the day. Forests, vistas, alpine lakes. Access to Middle Fork of Kings River. No campfires in Granite Basin or above 10,000' (3048 meters). First campsite - Lower Tent Meadow (4 miles/6.4 km) Limit 20 people/day.
Lewis Creek Trail (Lewis Creek trailhead)
Hot, steep, dusty climb. Trail becomes difficult to follow north of Kennedy Pass. Forest, lakes and vistas. No campfires above 10,000' (3048 meters). First campsite - Frypan Meadow (5.5 miles/8.8 km) Limit 25 people/day.
Don Cecil Trail (Don Cecil trailhead)
The Don Cecil Trail climbs the relatively cool north-facing slope of the canyon. This historic trail was the major access route to Cedar Grove prior to the completion of Highway 180 in 1939.
Visitor Center, Ranger Station, and Pack StationVisitor Center at Cedar Grove is open daily 9am-5pm Memorial Day through Labor Day. Phone # (559) 565-3793. Books, maps, visitor information, a pay phone and first-aid available. Location: In Cedar Grove Village next to Sentinel Campground, on the floor of the Kings Canyon. Elevation 4600 feet (1410m).
Wilderness permits and bear canister rentals are available at the Road’s End Ranger Station, 6 miles (9.6 km) east of the Cedar Grove village. It is open daily 7am-3pm from Memorial Day through the end of September. Self-registration is available in early May and after September.
Cedar Grove Pack Station: East of Cedar Grove Village 1 mile on a side road. Rides from 1 hour to all day; backcountry spot or pack trips. Opens in May; exact date depends on weather. (559) 565-3464; information off season (559)337-2314.
Gasoline, food, ATM, showers, laundry, etc.The nearest gas stations are at Kings Canyon Lodge (between Grant Grove and Cedar Grove on Hwy 180) or Hume Lake (a short drive north of Hwy 180 on the Tenmile Road). Each are about 20 miles/40 minutes away from Cedar Grove. Gas is not cheap here so it is advised that you fill your car up in Fresno before you head up the mountain. At Hume Lake gas is available year-round, 24 hours/day with credit card. At Kings Canyon Lodge the hours are usually 9am-dark.
There is a snack bar at the Cedar Grove lodge serving things like hamburgers and hot dogs. Nothing fancy, but it will fill you up! Hours Weekdays 8-10:30am & 5-7pm; weekends 8am-2pm & 5-7pm.
The market next door has all the essentials but things like fuel for your stove have quite a markup! Best to come prepared but if you did forget something you'll probably find it at the market. They rent bear canisters here ($3 per day) and there is an ATM here as well. Hours daily 8am-7pm.
Showers and laundry facilities for hikers/campers are available for a modest fee at the Cedar Grove Lodge. Hours daily 8am-6pm (shower closed 1-3pm for cleaning). Get shower key at market. Laundry machines are coin operated and the last laundry load needs to be in by 1 hour before closing.
WeatherSummer in the middle elevations is characterized by warm days and cool evenings. These elevations receive an average of 40-45" (102-114 cm) of precipitation annually. Much of this falls during the winter, resulting in a deep blanket of snow from December to May. Sub-zero temperatures, however, are rare. In the summer, occasional afternoon thundershowers may occur.
Summer temperatures in Cedar Grove are generally hotter than the average for the middle elevations. Temperatures in mid-summer may reach the 90's (35-40 degrees C).
Middle Elevation (4,000-7,000') Temperatures (Fahrenheit/Celsius)
Jan extreme low -6/-21 average low 24/-4 average high 42/6 extreme high 68/20
May extreme low 13/-11 average low 36/2 average high 58/14 extreme high 83/28
Jul extreme low 34/1 average low 51/11 average high 76/24 extreme high 92/33
Sep extreme low 23/ -5 average low 45/ 7 average high 71/22 extreme high 90/32
National Weather Service Forecasts:
Tulare County Mountains
Yosemite to Kings Canyon