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Kings Creek Falls Out and Back

Intermediate
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Scenic run to spectacular cascades and a waterfall.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.1

KM

84%

Runnable

7,281' 2,219 m

High

6,823' 2,080 m

Low

460' 140 m

Up

467' 142 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers

One Way Only: This is designated as a directional trail.

Overview

This is a popular run to Kings Creek Falls with its viewing platforms. As a bonus, on the way back, one runs next to Kings Creek Cascades, a steep, fast set of cascades that drop over 200 feet in less than a quarter mile. And there are several overlooks with great views far into the distance, of the mountains and Juniper Lake to the east.

Description

Kings Creek Falls Out and Back starts and ends along the park road at a well marked trailhead. From the trailhead sign, head down the steps on Kings Creek Trail into the fir forest. Flat at first, the trail runs along Kings Creek that is to the right/south. Lower Kings Creek Meadows with the creek running through them are soon passed. Sifford Lakes Trail is passed on the right at the 0.4 mile mark.

At the 0.6 mile mark a trail fork is reached. Both directions of the fork rejoin later. Continue on Kings Creek Trail, by going left at this fork. One can NOT go right at this fork - the right fork is Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail, a one-way, narrow exposed stair step trail down along Kings Creek Cascades. When returning from Kings Creek Falls, one will take Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail.

For the next half mile, the trail descends past some rocky overlooks with great views, and then winds down through the fir forest to meet up again with Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail at the 1.1 mile mark. Continuing on in the forest along Kings Creek, a few large cascades/mini waterfalls are passed before reaching Bench Lake Trail on the right/south at the 1.3 mile mark. Almost immediately after Bench Lake Trail, one comes to Kings Creek Falls. Rocky outcrops with viewing platforms provide a place to see the falls drop their entire 40+ feet. This is a great place to take a break, admire the falls and surrounding beauty, and snack.

When ready to leave Kings Creek Falls, head back the way you came, on Kings Creek Trail for 0.3 miles, passing Bench Lake Trail on the way, before arriving at the trail fork where Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail splits off to the left. Go left here onto Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail.

Now on Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail, after a very short stretch in fir forest that passes a large cascade/mini-waterfall, a preview of what's ahead, the trail pops out of the forest onto rock next to Kings Creek. Up ahead one can see Kings Creek cascading fast and steeply, down the lengthy Kings Creek Cascades, and the trail going up the rock face with stairs built into it, next to the cascades. This dramatic stretch of trail lasts for almost a quarter mile. The views into the distance to the east and down the cascades, get better and better with each step up the stairs. Just make sure to stop before looking so you don't step off the trail by mistake.

After about a quarter mile, Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail ends as it rejoins Kings Creek Trail. Go left onto Kings Creek Trail here, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead to finish this awesome run.

Flora & Fauna

Fir forest with thin undergrowth. Meadows. Rocky outcrops. Wildflowers.

History & Background

Kings Creek plunges 40-50 feet over Kings Creek Falls.

Before plunging over Kings Creek Falls, there are many cascades and mini-waterfalls along Kings Creek. The most dramatic cascades are Kings Creek Cascades that are almost a quarter mile long as they drops over 200 feet. Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail climbs next to these massive cascades.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#3467

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#523

in California

#3,467

Overall
13 Views Last Month
135 Since Jul 4, 2020
Intermediate

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Photos

Kings Creek cascades down steeply and swiftly as Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail climbs the stairs next to the creek. Beautiful mountain views into the distance to the east here.
Jul 3, 2020 near Chester, CA
Looking up from the base of Kings Creek Falls.
Jul 6, 2020 near Chester, CA
Looking south from the trail to Kings Creek Falls.
Jul 6, 2020 near Chester, CA
The Kings Creek Valley is below and mountains stretch forever into the distance including Mt. Hoffman, 7,833 ft., (center right). Juniper Lake is in the distance at the extreme right. Looking east from high on Kings Creek Trail.
Jul 3, 2020 near Chester, CA
Kings Creek Falls
May 30, 2018 near Chester, CA
Kings Creek Falls
May 30, 2018 near Chester, CA

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