The Paradise Ridge Trail begins on the northern side of Mineral King Road at Atwell Mill Campground. The route leads north into the Middle Fork Kaweah drainage. It can be used in conjunction with several other trails for a backpacking trip with shuttles.
The trail begins at Atwell Mill and immediately ascends the Mineral King valley wall. The first half mile ascends steeply through a conifer forest. The switchbacks begin to widen slightly and the smaller trees make room for larger sequoias as the trail reaches the ridge top. This initial climb provides sweeping views of the East Fork Kaweah River below and the Great Western Divide to the east.
To reach the ridge top, 8,500 feet, is approximately three miles. At the top of the Paradise Ridge the trail forks. The left fork leads westward approximately two miles following the ridge to the summit of Paradise Peak, 9,362 feet.
The right side of the fork leads northward descending into the Castle Creek drainage. The trail descends from the ridgeline then traverses the basin remaining close to 8,000 feet. Approximately three miles north of Paradise Ridge the trail begins to descend before crossing the ridgeline dividing Cliff Creek and Castle Creek. In a half mile the trail crosses the ridge and begins its steep descent to Cliff Creek.
From the ridgeline the descent to Cliff Creek is slightly longer than one mile. The path crosses the creek at an elevation of 5,520 feet. It ascends out of the valley and ends at the Cliff Creek Trail at 6,080 feet, in Redwood Meadow.
Directions: From Lookout Point Entrance, Follow Mineral King Road eastward to Atwell Mill Campground. Drive a quarter mile past the campground to the Hockett Trail Parking Area. Park your car there then walk to the trailhead on the northern side of the road.
Elevation: 6,500 feet
Ending Elevation: 6,080 feet
Distance: 9 miles
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