Kings Canyon National park is located in east-central California, about 200 miles north of Los Angeles. The park is located in the center of Sierra Nevada, a scenic area in the state. Kings Canyon National park stretches across central California. The forest covers an area of 629 square miles. Adjacent to north and northwest is Sequoia National Parks, and to the east is Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the state. Yosemite National Park is located about 40 miles northwest and western. The park is administered jointly with Sequoia National Parks.
Park is not only big physically, but big as in popular. The largest and oldest trees in the World and the giant sequoia trees are scattered throughout the park. Kings Canyon National park was established in 1940 to preserve its beauty and splendor as well as the special animals that live here. The Giant Sequoia National Monument in the center of that park, as well as the vast Federal wilderness, is a tourist attraction, and the monument was inaugurated in the year 2000. General Grant National Park was later merged with Sequoia National Park. It is located southwest of King Canyon National Park and covers an area of 722 square miles.
Kings Canyon National park History and Present
The park is bordered on the east by the Sierran crest and on the North from Goethe Mount, down to Junction Peak, at the boundary with Sequoia National Park. There are several passes to enter the park, including Bishop Pass, Taboose Pass, Sawmill Pass, and Kearsarge Pass are main ones. Mount Agassiz is located on the Sierra Crest along the eastern edge of the park, and Surrounding it are four mountains over 14,000 feet hight. The highest point in the park is Palisade Hill, which stands at 14,428 feet.There are mountain peaks throughout the park, and has of the most inaccessible terrain in the entire park. The park is surrounded by high mountain lakes, and there is also a rough ground called the Goddard Divide, LeConte Divide and Black Divide.
There are two main highways entering the Kings Canyon National park.
At present this road is known as the General Expressway that enters the park. Expressway 198 was built in the 1920s to access the park from the southwest. This is also known as the southwest entrance. Highway 180 is the best route for large RV’s. There are a number of by-passes throughout the park for slow-moving vehicles and may have rough spots. Highway 180 enters the park from the Fresno area while Highway 198 enters the park from the southwest via Three Rivers.
Located in the San Joaquin Valley, this Canyon National Park is divided into two parts. This was named the western part and the eastern part. This western part around Grant Grove is used as a visitor’s home. The eastern part, which inherits a large part of the park, is almost entirely wilderness. Although not crowded with tourists, it consisted of the middle part of the Kings River and the deep valleys. The Cedar Grove section in the opening area of the park is the only accessible section on the east side, and expressway 180 is used to access it. Although most of the park is forested, much of the eastern section consists of alpine regions above the tree line.
Most of the mountains and canyons, as in other parts of the Sierra Nevada, are formed from igneous intrusive rocks such as granite, diorite, and monzonite. Although it is thought to have existed 100 million years ago, the Sierra is a young mountain range. The western part of the mountain range is seeply sloping and the area bordering the Owens Valley is vertical. Many cave systems are also formed in the rock layers, including Boyden Cave along the South Fork of the Kings River.
The melting of the Ice Ages glacial s has given the mountains their current shape. Large valley glaciers move as far as 71 km down the South and Middle Forks of the Kings River. Glacial and granite mountains, similar to the northern part of the Yosemite Valley, are in the Great Valley. At the southern fork of the Kings River lies a similar valley in the vast Sierra wilderness, above the vast plantations and forests of giant sequoia. There is a purple granite species in this valley and its height is between 2500 and 5000, and while the depth of the valley is considerably more than a mile.
A number of major Sierra rivers have their origins in the park, and the South Folk Kings Rivers has a prominent place. The eastern boundary of the park starts near the Taboose Pass and flows through the southern half. The Middle Fork Kings River originates near Mount Powell and drains most of the park’s northern half. At the northern end of the Esserma, a section of the San Joaquin River flows. Most of the park’s borders are formed by the watershed divides between river basins.
The General Sherman Tree is the largest tree in the park and is thought to be 2,300 to 2,700 years old. Spread over 3,100 acres, Mountain Redwood is home to about 15,000 large trees.
Giant Sequoia trees in the park can reach 300 feet tall and are really the main attraction for the park. One of the most interesting places to view giant trees is Grants Grove. Besides the big trees of sequoias, the park’s forests contain sugar and ponderosa pine, white fir, and incense cedar. Animal life includes deer, black bears, bighorn sheep, and squirrels, and other small mammals. The park is black bear habitat.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are open all year. The parks have a combined 24 campgrounds including group campgrounds. Dump stations are located at Potwisha, Lodgepole, Princess, and Dorst Creek campgrounds. Only Potwisha and Azalea campgrounds are open all year. Because the elevation of the parks ranges from 1,500 feet to nearly 15,000 feet, visitors can expect to find stunningly diverse habitats and dramatic climate changes to mark topographical transitions. Usually, snow-free only from late June until late October.
The bottom of the valley is diversified with flowery meadows and groves and flats. Between the walls of the valley are abundant ice-carved ridges and basins. There are small lakes and grasslands all over the place, and the park is home to many endemic animals. From the bottom of the valley to the end there are glorious rocks and mountains, and during the monsoon season, these areas glow with snow. The slopes are prone to floods and earthquakes, and there arefarms in every valley in the area.
People have inhabited what is now Kings Canyon National Park for about 5,000–8,000 years. The Paiutes peoples inhabits the area around Mono Lake on the east, and they mainly use birds and deer for food. They created trade routes connecting the Owens Valley of the Sierra Nevada. Later Yokuts people and Monos people lived in differnt parts of the park. Indigenous populations suffered greatly after the arrival of the Europeans in the 19th century, and today, only a small portion remains.
Kings Canyon National Park has many trails. A portion of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail runs along the eastern side of the park. The scenic Mineral King area in the southern part of the park was added in 1978. This area preserves most of the other groves of big trees not already federally protected. From there, trails lead to the high-alpine wilderness or down beneath the surface to quiet limestone caverns. The park’s most spectacular feature is Kings Canyon on the South Fork Kings River.
Kings Canyon National Park offers excellent service, and there is free WiFi at Grant Village. There are three gas stations in the park. Kings Canyon Lodge, Hume Lake, and Stony Creek Village. Diesel is available at the last two. A number of hiking trails radiate from the valley. The parks cover a large geographic area, therefore. Kings Canyon National Park runs southward until splitting off eastward to terminate on Mount Whitney.