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Mist Trail (Kings Canyon)

June 03, 2017

This hike is down into Kings Canyon National Park, all the way to Road’s End past Cedar Grove. We wanted to get to the trailhead around 10am, hoping to beat the early afternoon rush. On our way into the canyon, a large hawk flew right alongside us, presumably looking for his breakfast.

We got out of our car at the trailhead to find that the mosquitoes were already intense. Little did we know it would only get worse from here. The mosquitoes began to get worse by the minute as we descended down into the canyon. The trail cut between a mix of ferns and pools of standing water, making a haven for the bugs to feast on hikers.

Granite walls form the canyons around the Mist Trail
Granite walls form the canyons around the Mist Trail

After the first flooded section the trail went up into an open meadow and then began to follow the South Fork Kings River from above. The river was raging this year with all the snow from the previous winter now melting away.

South Fork Kings River
South Fork Kings River

At one point the overflowing water from the river overtook the trail, at which point I took off my shoes and waded through cold, knee-high water to get back on the dry path. There were a few other instances of this on the trail, but instead of wading through water we decided to go slightly off-trail to stay dry.

Top of Mist Falls
Top of Mist Falls

We finally made it to Mist Falls after following the Kings River for most of the trail. After getting a few pictures, we found a nice place to relax and grab a snack before returning back down the trail. But before we would get back up, an overly friendly black bear came over to try and say hi. I tried to get some pictures, but before I could switch camera lenses he was about 10 feet away. After yelling at him, he backed off and we all agreed it was probably a good time to start hiking again.