The Kings Creek Trail begins along Highway 89 between South Summit Lake Campground and Kings Creek Campground. The first mile and a half of this trail is very popular and can be crowded. Beyond Kings Creek Falls you'll find solitude and a connection to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Begin your hike at 7,286 feet along Highway 89 where Kings Creek crosses the highway from Upper Meadows. The route descends along the creek and through meadows surrounding the stream to a trail junction at four tenths of a mile. The trail joining Kings Creek Trail from the right is the end of a loop from Sifford Lakes. Keep to the main trail (left).
A half mile from the trailhead you'll reach another junction. Both of the trails at this fork lead eventually to Kings Creek Falls. The left side is an alternative route for equestrians, being less steep than that to the right. The right side of the fork follows Kings Creek closely. A stairway has been cut out of the rock along this steep section of stream called the Cascades. Once past this steep section of trail the left fork joins the main path again.
From this point it is a quarter mile to the falls. The trail continues to descend, but on a more moderate grade. A few hundred feet before you reach the falls you'll notice a trail leading southward across Kings Creek. This trail leads past Bench Lake and to the Drakesbad region of the park.
Continuing on the main trail, a guard rail, constructed to keep hikers from the edge of Kings Creek Falls, will alert you to this destination. This is one of the most popular sights in the park. If you are continuing beyond the falls you'll do some climbing immediately beyond the crowds. This climb lasts only 110 feet until you begin descending. Within a half mile of the falls you'll enter into a new drainage through the headwaters, which consist of several springs. You'll pass three of these springs as you cross the creeklets flowing eastward from them.
Soon the trail reaches the stream into which the springs drain and a meadow. The trail winds around the southern side of the meadow and begins to veer southward from the stream. Seven tenths of a mile from the meadow the trail turns northward and crosses the small drainage. After the stream crossing you'll skirt the eastern side of a treeless meadow and turn eastward. Beyond the meadow, Summit Creek Trail joins your trail from the north. At this point you're walking on the northern bank of Kings Creek. The trail crosses a small tributary then Kings Creek, before paralleling the southern bank of the creek for the last half mile to the Pacific Crest Trail. The Kings Creek Trail junction on the Pacific Crest Trail occurs at an elevation of 6,000 feet.
Directions: From Northwest Entrance, Drive southeast on the park road, Highway 89, 17 miles to the Kings Creek Falls turnout.
Elevation: 7,286 feet
Ending Elevation: 6,000 feet
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