Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike
Seeking a family-friendly adventure in the Kings Canyon National Park? The Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike is an easy-going adventure that exhibits a diversity of scenery as it meanders along the South Fork of Kings River through woodlands and lush meadows hidden amongst the towering granite crests of Cedar Grove.
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Route Description for Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike
The Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Trail casts spellbinding views of the granite oasis bisected by Kings River. Hike beneath the shade of mixed coniferous forests, wander past colorful meadows, and revel in the scene of a mesmerizing cascade. Offering breathtaking scenery, this route is well-traveled, so expect to share the trail. Those seeking a more tranquil experience are encouraged to head out in the early morning.
Though tempting, especially on a hot summer’s day, swimming beneath the Roaring River Falls is not suggested. The punchbowl-shaped pool is deceiving; though it may appear calm, there are dangerous currents beneath the surface that can drag you under. Additionally, the rocks that frame the pool are slippery—so explore with caution. Note entrance to the park costs $35USD per vehicle or $20USD per person for pedestrians or cyclists.
Get out into the great outdoors and marvel at the beauty of the granite wonderland along the Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls. This peaceful nature walk is great for families and novice hikers alike. Closed in the winter season, this route is best explored in the spring when Zumwalt meadows are abundant with vibrant wildflowers, and the rivers rush with snow-melt! Pack a picnic and have lunch overlooking the meadow and make sure your camera is charged before heading out!
Your adventure along the Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls begins from the Roaring River Trailhead off the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway. Setting out from here, you will be guided south along the Roaring River Falls Trail. This section of the route will likely be the busiest as you wander to the Roaring River Falls. Admire the scene of the towering granite walls bisected by the Roaring River and surging cascade.
When you are through reveling in the hypnotic chute, merge onto the Zumwalt Meadow to Roaring River Falls Trail. This section of the path will lead you northeastward through the mixed woodlands. Enjoy the shade of the red firs, incense cedars, and pines as you wander. Eventually, the pathway will approach the South Fork of Kings River, which boasts a calming ambiance with the sounds of the gurgling waters.
The path will then cross a footbridge over a snow-melt creek. Here you will encounter an intersection, keep right, and you will be diverted onto the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail. Enjoy the scene of the luxuriant meadow and the nearby granite crests that loom above the valley. When you reach the following junction, take the River Trail to the route’s end. From here, turn around and retrace your footing back to the trailhead.
Roaring River Falls
The Roaring River Falls is a 12 m cascade that surges through the granite gorge adorned with lush conifers into the punchbowl-shaped pool. This shaded waterfall boasts the best scenery in the spring when the snow-melt runs into the Roaring River, intensifying the water that rushes through the canyon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the Roaring River Falls?
The Roaring River Falls is located in the Kings Canyon National Park off the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.
Can you swim at the Roaring River Falls?
Swimming at the Roaring River Falls is not recommended as the rocks are slippery and the currents below the surface of the water can easily drag you under.
Insider Hints for Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike
- Be mindful of your footing around fast-moving water
- Swim at your own risk and only after peak run-off season
- Pack plenty of sunscreen and water as much of the route is exposed
- Head out in the Spring to enjoy the waterfall at its fullest
- Bug spray is a must!
Getting to the Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike Trailhead
The Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike is accessed via the Roaring River Trailhead off the Kings Canyon Scenic Byway.
Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls Hike Elevation Graph
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