Distance: 10 miles (16 km)
Elevation: 6,250 - 6,900 ft.
Time: 5-8 hours round trip (not including stops for rest or picture taking)
Quiet forest trails, hundreds of giant sequoias, pleasant streams, and nice views await hikers in the Redwood Canyon area of Kings Canyon National Park. The Redwood Canyon contains the largest of all sequoia groves and the largest area of old-growth sequoia trees in the world. Hikers also see signs of many fires—some recent, some ancient. Prescribed fires have been used in portions of this grove to reduce fuel, restoring the forest more closely to the condition it was 100 years ago. Look for young sequoias in these burned areas, as giant sequoias reproduce most successfully after fire.
The Redwood Mountain Loop combines two trails—the Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Trail and the Sugar Bowl Trail to make a 10-mile loop. The Redwood Canyon Trailhead is 6.5 miles from the Grant Grove Visitor Center. From Grant Grove, drive 5 miles south on the Generals Highway, turn right at Quail Flat onto a rough dirt road. Continue for 1.5 miles to Redwood Saddle, and follow the left fork to the parking area.
The Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Trail provides numerous vista points and a taste of the human history that are part of the Redwood Canyon experience. From the trailhead, follow the old dirt road .3 miles to the trail sign. Turning left and crossing fern-lined Redwood Creek, Barton’s Post Camp marks the remains of an old logging site from the 1800s. The trail continues past lovely Hart Meadow and though Tunnel Tree, a hollowed out giant sequoia. At 3.2 miles hikers reach a spur trail to the largest tree in the grove, the Hart Tree. After passing a small waterfall, hikers soon encounter the Fallen Goliath. The trail then descends to the Redwood Canyon Trail leading to Big Springs (another 3 mile spur) and shortly the junction to the Sugar Bowl Loop.
Sometimes referred to as the “grove within a grove,” The Sugar Bowl Trail is particularly enjoyable because of the high density of young sequoias. From the bottom of the canyon, hikers ascend through dense thickets of young sequoias. Switchbacks provide increasingly good views of the canyon. At the top of the ridge is the Sugar Bowl Grove—possibly the densest concentration of sequoias in the world. The beautiful trail then follows the wildflower bedecked ridge back to the parking lot at Redwood Saddle.
For more information, contact the Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Wilderness Office: Phone (559) 565-3766, Fax (559) 565-4239, E-mail SEKI_Wilderness_Office@nps.gov.
Help us keep this place beautiful. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints. Please pack out your trash.
Know the Bear Facts! Whether staying in the picnic area or going for a longer hike, always store food away from bears. Use large, brown bear-proof boxes to store food and scented items. Never leave food or scented items unattended.
Be Safe! Bring plenty of drinking water and snacks/lunch. Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction, as well as long pants (due to ticks and poison oak). Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bring insect repellent.
Additional Notes: In addition, the following special restrictions apply:
- Maximum group size is 10 people.
- Maximum stay is two nights.
- No camping within one mile (1.6 km) of the trailhead.
- No wood fires are permitted in Redwood Canyon; bring a backpacking stove.
- Bears are frequently seen in this area. There are no bear boxes in Redwood Canyon. You must store your food in a bear-proof canister or hang it according to the counter-balance method.
- Cattle occasionally wander into Redwood Canyon from grazing allotments on the adjacent Sequoia National Forest. If you see cattle in Redwood Canyon, please notify a park ranger.