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Kings River

The trail meadows gently along the lower Kings River, below spectacular granite formations.

photo: Kings River South Fork. Photo by Upsilon Andromedae wiki.

Length: 3.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Type: Backcountry
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Bicycling (on pavement)
Bicycling (off pavement)
Dogs - On leash
Equestrian - Riding
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation

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Location: Rural, In Sierra National Forest, begins at Garnet Dike Campground.
State(s): California
Counties: Madera
Longitude: -119.02849
Latitude: 36.86413

Driving Directions

From the Highway 99/ Fresno Area, take Highway 180 east from Fresno; it will turn into Trimmer Springs Road as it heads into the foothills. Follow Trimmer Springs Road east until it crosses the Kings River twice; after the second crossing on the Bailey bridge, go right where the road turns to gravel and rock, entering the Kings River Special Management Area, and follow it until it dead ends at Granite Dike trailhead. There is a small parking area. Caution is advised when travelling along the last section of road as it is steep in some sections and is often one-lane with limited sight-distance. Springtime brings heavy traffic on weekends and holidays, so be very careful when making this drive. Approximate driving time from Fresno is about one and a half hours but it can be up to two hours depending on conditions


The Kings River is one of the most stunning rivers of the Sierra Nevada, forming the border between the Sierra and Sequoia National Forests and originating in the high country of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks. Within the Sierra National Forest, elevations along the river range from 800 feet at Pine Flat Reservoir to over 10,000 feet at Spanish Mountain. A variety of vegetation types can be observed due to the geographic location and extreme topography of the Kings River area; annual grasslands to riparian woodlands to ponderosa pine forests can be seen along this hike. Granitic, metamorphic, and carbonate soils contribute to the diversity of plant species that can be seen in this area.

he Kings River Trail follows the river upstream for approximately six miles, first traversing grasslands and riverbanks with Mexican poppies, globe gilia, caterpillar phacelia, and blazing stars. Riparian vegetation is resplendent with California sycamores, buttonwillow, and western spicebush, among others. Interspersed throughout are common species like bush lupine, fiddlenecks, popcorn flowers, and red maids. In areas with carbonate soils (limestone), the Kings River buckwheat may be found. Recommended viewing time is from March to May. November is a good time to see the Kings River buckwheat. The trail eventually winds up the slope and dead-ends in a drainage above the river.

Additional Details

Width: 36 inches.
Primary Surface: Not Available
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: Not Available
Elevation High Point: Not Available
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Marty Schramm
Recreation Manager
Sierra National Forest
1600 Tollhouse Rd.
Clovis, CA 93611 -532
(559) 855-5355



Kings River South Fork. Photo by Upsilon Andromedae wiki.

Kings River South Fork. Photo by Upsilon Andromedae wiki.

Kings River Middle Fork. Photo by Kurt Minard wiki.

Kings River Middle Fork. Photo by Kurt Minard wiki.


Kings River Bend. Photo by Gemini2525 wiki.

Kings River Bend. Photo by Gemini2525 wiki.


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