Trail Run Project Logo

South Fork (Paradise)

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

10.0 mile 16.0 kilometer point to point
92% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,128' 649 m
Descent: -239' -73 m
High: 6,933' 2,113 m
Low: 5,042' 1,537 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Tilman Giese

A demanding but rewarding hike up the South Fork Kings River with stunning views of Kings Canyon National Park

Tilman Giese

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

Need to Know

Permit required for any overnight backcountry trips.

Description

The trails start at the Road's End ranger station heading east further up Kings Canyon. The first 2 miles are fairly flat and easy on a wide trail in an open valley with pine trees and occasional wildflowers. The South Fork Kings River is close by to the right but not accessible until you reach the Bailey Bridge at 2 miles. The trail turns north here staying on the western side of the river and ascending steadily over the next 4 miles. At first, you are still covered by trees, but soon enough as you get to higher elevations and more rocky surfaces, the trail opens up providing you with stunning views south towards Palmer Mountain. You'll get one of the best views at roughly 3.6 miles where the trail is somewhat exposed heading over a larger and steeper rock slope. The next highlight is just ahead at 4.2 miles: Mist Falls. This 100 foot waterfall can be viewed both from the bottom through the trees as well as from the top. Be careful however as the top of the waterfall is made of slippery slickrock.

The next mile is probably the steepest on the entire trail. Turn around occasionally for a break and a rewarding view down the valley. At roughly 6 miles - as you reach Paradise Valley - the trail becomes much flatter again. There are a few marked camp sites right as you enter the valley. The way through Paradise Valley is pleasantly green with meadows and wildflowers and access to the river in a number of places. As you leave Paradise Valley at about 8.5 miles, the trail get steeper again. You reach the confluence of Woods Creek and the South Fork Kings River at 10 miles. There are plenty of camp sites not too far from the river.

The bridge across the South Fork Kings River washed out during the winter of 2016/17. Construction of a replacement bridge is not scheduled before 2020.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 6 votes

#1

in Cedar Grove

#275

Overall
  5.0 from 6 votes
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#1

in Cedar Grove

#29

in California

#275

Overall
12 Views Last Month
907 Since Apr 26, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
25%
50%
25%
0%

Photos

Palmer Mountain
Apr 26, 2019 near Big Pine, CA
Towering mountains on either side of the trail up the South Fork Kings River
Apr 26, 2019 near Big Pine, CA
Top of Mist Falls
Apr 26, 2019 near Big Pine, CA
Another view of Mist Falls.
Mar 14, 2016 near Big Pine, CA
Looking down from the top of Mist Falls
May 29, 2015 near Big Pine, CA
The Bubbs Creek Trail offers beautiful rocky views.
Jun 2, 2017 near Squaw V…, CA

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running