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Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

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sydney
posts: 147
reviews: 75
Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

In the process of planning itinerary for Rv Trip and realising we will be limited in where we can drive, as 28ft. Any advice on driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV or was wondering if there is any car rental places nearby where we could hire a car for the day.

So Cal
posts: 2,786
reviews: 64
1. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

No, there's nowhere to rent a car nearby. The closest place would be Clovis/Fresno, which sort of defeats the purpose of doing an RV trip.

The Park Service just updated the SeKi page's vehicle restrictions info. I don't think the road into the canyon was listed, but perhaps check for yourself. www.nps.gov/seki

It's a narrow, windy drive; do use the pullouts.

sydney
posts: 147
reviews: 75
2. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

Thank you, for your reply. We towed a car on our last RV trip , so didn't have to think about navigating Narrow scenic drives. Due to time restrictions .....Do you know if it's possible to drive half way down the canyon and have the space to turn the RV around, not going all the way to Cedar Grove?

Monterey, California
posts: 1,042
reviews: 22
3. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

You will be able to drive all the way from Grant Grove to Cedar Grove in a RV of that length.

Just make sure your brakes are in great condition.....

It is a steep descent in some places with some sharp turns but definitely one of the most spectacular drives in the entire Sierra.

It is 30 miles down into the heart of the Sierra one way.

Edited: 10:12 am, April 30, 2013
So Cal
posts: 2,786
reviews: 64
4. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

There's nowhere to turn an RV on the descent. (There are pictures of the drive here on TA.) Once you're at the bottom of the canyon, you could turn at any of the campgrounds, and maybe at Boyden Caverns, without going all the way to Cedar Grove. But again, why? If you've driven down, you may as well enjoy the place. Stop at the waterfalls (if there's parking room - I don't remember how large the lots are, but they're not big), enjoy a walk around Zumwalt Meadow, etc.

I don't remember how long you have to spend in SeKi - was it just one night? If so, you might want to spend it all in the sequoia groves up top and save the canyon for another visit.

Monterey, California
posts: 1,042
reviews: 22
5. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

PS: Gas availability is extremely limited.........research and fill up anywhere you can.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 36,216
reviews: 772
6. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

>> Just make sure your brakes are in great condition..... <<

Since th OP is from Australia, I'm assuming they'll be driving a rental.

I'm not familiar with this road, but if it is terribly steep . . . Blessedgreatly, are you familiar with using your lower gears in an automatic transmission? Do NOT depend solely upon your brakes!

sydney
posts: 147
reviews: 75
7. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

Thank you everyone for the advice , we have learnt the hard way about Rv brakes on Mountains.

We do have only one night staying at Lodgepole travelling to Wawona for the next night, don't mind getting there late , so hoping to explore Sequoia around Lodgepole where the Rv allows,and then time permitting doing part of Kings Canyon after reading how spectacular Kings Canyon is , we didn't want to miss out.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
posts: 10,233
reviews: 87
8. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

This would actually be a fairly intense, grueling journey (Lodgepole to Zumwalt to Wawona) in one day in a car. You will, I hope, have had time in Sequoia before your evening in Lodgepole.

Then you'll drive about one hour to get to Grants Grove (maybe you want to skip that). If there's gas at Stony Creek, get some. The road you'll be on at that point is one of the widest and least winding in that area, so enjoy it - but it's still a 35-40 mph road with an RV (and maximum 45 mph for anyone, and yes, it is enforced). There are some pull-outs but you probably won't need them until past Grants Grove.

No, you can't turn around much past the big overlook on the way to Cedar Grove. You can't miss it, it has RV parking (some) and a very large restroom building. Then, it's curves with no way to turn around nor would it be safe to do so, all the way down into Kings Canyon. Nevertheless, it will probably only take you about an another hour or a little more to get down to a place where you could turn around (but just driving past the river and not stopping, just making a u-turn and not looking around - well, you know yourselves best). To me, it's not that spectacular in Kings Canyon unless you get out and look around, listen to the rivers, look at some of the cataracts, etc. There are equally pretty meadows up above in the national forest - but since you're at Zumwalt/Road's End, do have a look around - at least stop for lunch or something.

Then, an hour plus a little back up to Grant's Grove. So three or four hours of mainly winding roads plus two hours for overlooks, pull-outs, gas and looking around (and that's not much time for any of those activities). Now, you've got 4-5 hours ahead of you to get to Wawona. Long day. With only about 2 hours of walking/looking.

The overlook is great, but the geology of Kings Canyon cannot be seen from there, you really do have to do the descent. If you filled up in Three Rivers and there was no gas at Stony Creek (but there probably will be), you should be fine on gas until you're closer to Fresno. Take a California map and do not rely on signage for the road from Fresno to Oakhurst. I do not know the current gas situation in Yosemite, but I'd gas up in Oakhurst just in case - which is why I'm saying it's a long day.

There are calmer, easier places to see which I hope you'll have already seen by your second day (you may have to take a shuttle to see them, depending on time of year.) General Sherman, Congress Trail, Round Meadow, Beetle Rock, Moro Rock, Crescent Meadow, Tharp's Log. Those are the main Sequoia sights.

The curves are nervewracking to some people, road is narrow, there's no visibility around curves, and you *must* stay on your side of the line and hope that everyone else does too. When you are coming back up, I believe you'll be on the outside most of the way, and that often slows an RV down.

I do understand your desire to see the Canyon, though. As long as you have plenty of more nights past Wawona for Yosemite, you should be okay - and if you don't mind a long day, you'll have seen some really wonderful territory.

So Cal
posts: 2,786
reviews: 64
9. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

Honestly, since you're heading to Yosemite, I would skip this drive, even though I agree its spectacular. I don't think it's worth giving up the opportunities in the Giant Forest, especially when you won't even have time to do anything in the canyon.

sydney
posts: 147
reviews: 75
10. Re: Driving Kings Canyon to Cedar Grove in an RV....????

thank you so much for all the details, I am slowly trying to work out an itinerary that will allow us to do it all !!!!

Maybe impossible, then the decision is what to give up?

I read the review below: What are your thoughts?

“Worth the Time”

Reviewed 3 August 2012

The quotes of a 2.5 hour drive time -- one way -- put us off doing this drive. It seemed the only way to make the drive is if you were going to stay in Cedar Grove, which we didn't have time to do. However, at the Grant Grove visitor center, the ranger told us the amazing vista views could be seen with a drive as far as Grizzly Bear Falls (about a 60- minute drive from Grant Grove). That would get us to the floor of the valley and that timing was doable.

The views on the drive were incredible! It seemed that every turn brought a new "oh, wow!" The road is windy but after having driven up 198 into Sequoia and General's Highway from Lodgepole to Grant Grove, it didn't seem so bad.

We stopped at Grizzly Bears Fall and had a picnic lunch. The waterfall was still plentiful and there's a huge rock where our kids got to practice their bouldering skills -- their favorite part of the entire trip.

The drive was well worth doing since we were able to do the entire round-trip in a few hours. Next time we visit, we'll look at staying in Cedar Grove area, so we can drive to Road's End.

Visited August 2012