Plan your visit to
Kings Canyon National Park
Giants in the Park
The two parks are actually staffed with the same rangers and utilize the same visitor’s center, but there is so much more to Kings Canyon National Park than just that fact. Kings Canyon National Park was established as a national park in 1940 and since its inception, it has brought in well over half a million visitors annually to the sprawling 461,901 acres of land covered with giant trees and many other attractions throughout the park.
Each national park throughout North America has its very own unique aspect that make it a special place to visit. When you visit Kings Canyon National Park you are sure to discover that the rock climbing excursions within this park are what makes it so unique. Many rock climbing locations can lack on quality of climb because of the structure of the rocks themselves. They can crumble causing climbers to become injured during the process, but the climbing rocks at Kings Canyon National Park are among the highest quality around. There are however some things that you will want to know before embarking on your rock climbing journey.
Safety is the park ranger’s number one concern so never overestimate your individual skills. There are different climbs ranging from easy to difficult so only go on the climbs that you can actually accomplish safely. From time to time certain climbing areas may be closed. The visitor’s center will be able to tell you of these closures and for your own safety, never climb in a closed area. Also, to maintain the park rock climbing experiences for future climbers, the rangers ask that you clean up after yourself and leave the rock even cleaner than how you found it.
Trust the Rangers
All the hiking trails within Kings Canyon National Park are lovingly maintained by the park rangers that patrol the areas. Some of the trails are more difficult than others, so if you have any worries about how your family will fare on a particular hike, you can always ask the rangers. They even have many ranger led hikes that give you the opportunity to go on a guided tour and learn much more about the park than what you would learn if you simply went on your own. These ranger led hikes are quite popular among guests that may be new to the park and the schedule of these hikes is accessible at the visitor’s center.
Hiking is a fun way to see the park, but temperatures can get quite hot during the summer and you may not be equipped for a swim in one of the watering spots throughout the park, but there is another alternative to cool off from the hot sun. Crystal Cave within Kings Canyon National Park is regularly toured throughout the day. The temperatures within the cave are on average, 50 F. The beautiful formations are true crowd pleasers and the average 45-minute tour will give you the opportunity you may need to cool off from the heat of a hot summer day. The cave is closed during the winter months, but you can call the visitor’s center or stop by on your visit for current schedule and ticket prices.
Things to Know
Kings Canyon National Park does charge an entrance fee, but the best thing about it is the fact that the onetime fee is good for a full 7 days and allows you access to both Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. The current fees are $30 per passenger vehicle, $20 for motorcycles, and $15 for individuals. There is also an option to purchase an annual pass for $50 that allows your entire family entry into the park for an entire year. It is quite a good value if you plan on regularly visiting the area.
Camping in Kings Canyon National Park is quite a popular thing to do. For that reason, most of the sites fill up very quickly. It is recommended that you arrive early in order to get the spot you want. There are quite a few campgrounds within the park and the fees vary by campsite and the amenities you require. Camping fees start at $20 per site and go up from there.
When camping in Kings Canyon National Park you will want to always be aware of your surroundings. Bears are in the park and therefore each campsite has metal food storage boxes to keep the bears from making off with your precious supplies. Use these for everything that may contain the scent of food and always clean up after yourself leaving no trace that you and your family were ever there.