Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
Need to Know
A lack of trail maintenance and the 2005 Comb Fire as well as the 2015 Rough Fire have left the trail in poor condition. Especially the first few miles are at times quite overgrown.
The trail starts left of the sign for Monarch Wilderness and begins ascending immediately. You quickly leave the forest cover and enter a burnt area that nature is rapidly reclaiming and that is now teeming with wildflowers. After about a third of a mile, you reach the first of several stretches of zigzags up the steep slope. Views of the Cedar Grove area and further into Kings Canyon National Park are the reward.
Cross Deer Cove Creek at 2 miles and continue the relentless ascent up the green slope. You reach Deer Cove Saddle at 3.5 miles with more stunning views of the valley you came from. The trail keeps ascending through numerous switchbacks. Past the 5 mile mark, the trail heads back into oak and manzanita forest and passes Wildman Meadow at 5.5 miles. Enjoy a short stretch of flat trail before the ascent continues.
Just short of 7 miles, a trail to the right leads to Frypan Meadow and into Kings Canyon National Park. Continue slightly left. Signs on the trees indicate that you are paralleling the national park boundary. Another trail joins from the right half a mile later which leads to the north of Frypan Meadow. Continue straight ahead.
Yet another half mile later, you need to cross the East Fork Grizzly Creek. Depending on the season and snow melt, this can be somewhat tricky, but trunks and boulders facilitate the crossing. Continue the final ascent along the creek. The trails turns sharply left at 9.2 miles and stays just below the tree line. Reach Grizzly Lakes half a mile later.
Flora & Fauna
Nature is reclaiming the burnt areas rapidly which leads to a spectacular wildflower display throughout the first half of the trail.
Shared By: Tilman Giese