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Hike to Mist Falls

Sierra, California

4.5/5
based on 2 reviews

Details

Distance

9 miles

Elevation Gain

600 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Matt Purciel

Hike to one of the largest waterfalls in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. If you only have a day to explore the beauty of Kings Canyon this is the trail to hike. 

The trailhead starts at Roads' End (the end of Hwy 180). Take the Bubbs Creek/Kanawyer Loop Trail and hike east. For the first three miles the trail is relatively flat through an open pine forest. Make sure to look up as there are some great views of the valley. The granite walls on both sides of the river rise a couple thousand feet above the canyon floor, making Kings Canyon feel like an enclosed oasis not unlike Yosemite Valley. After the first mile and a half, the forest get denser and trail begins to gain some elevation.

In about two miles there's the first trail junction, take the trail to your left. The trail becomes narrower but after a brief climb it continues through a pine/cedar forest alongside the rushing woods creek. 

At the third mile the trail begins to climb along some dramatic cascades in the boulder-strewn river, until reaching Mist Falls at mile 4.5. The falls are quite impressive: the river rushes down a steep, smooth granite slope before cascading over a cliff. The giant waterwheel does create a lot of mist which is perfect to cool off after a good hike. I suggest take the trail to the brink of the falls and a get view of the mist and the forest below.

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Features

Hiking
Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildlife

Reviews

This trail is a perfect day hike, 9 miles round trip and the first and last 1.5 miles is totally flat. The falls are beautiful, lots of access points to a really clear creek

Can't stress enough about wearing bug spray. But be careful, in late summer, the smell may attract bees to you and may be a nuisance. The scenery is beautiful, and the hike is very easy. Especially the first quarter before turning past Buck Peak into Woods Canyon. The rest is a slow climb up the canyon, getting progressively steeper the further you are along the trail. You will see beautiful wetlands, dense forest, meadows, and several cascades before reaching Mist Falls. I really liked the hike, except for when sitting down for lunch, we were swarmed by 20-30 bees. Be careful if you are allergic like I am.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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