The Copper Creek Trail begins six miles past Cedar Grove on Highway 180. The road ends at the trailhead. This trail leads into the backcountry of Kings Canyon National Park. It can be used in conjunction with several other trails to create a long backpacking trek.
The trail begins at an elevation of 5,050 feet in Kings Canyon. The first mile of the trail is uphill on switchbacks as the path climbs the northern Kings Canyon wall. Views of Kings Canyon are spectacular on this portion of the trail. The trail surface is well-maintained. Soon after the first set of switchbacks on the trail you'll cross a small creek that empties into Copper Creek. At this crossing the elevation is approximately 6,800 feet.
The trail continues to climb past the first mile, but not as steeply. It parallels Copper Creek, which lies slightly east, for several miles. The next stream crossing occurs at approximately two and a half miles. The trail continues to climb, entering Lower Tent Meadow a short distance beyond the second stream crossing. This is a good place for camping.
Following the trail northward, it parallels Copper Creek for another mile then leads out of the drainage. The trail veers to the west and switchbacks to an elevation of 10,347 feet. Crossing the divide the Copper Creek Trail descends into Granite Basin. The next four miles of the trail are relatively flat with only slight changes in elevation. In the middle of this flat area is a spur trail leading westward about one mile to Granite Lake. No fires are permitted in Granite Basin or anywhere above 10,000 feet.
The trail leads northward following Granite Creek. It crossed Granite Pass, elevation 10,673 feet, then descends slightly into the Dougherty Creek basin. Approximately two and a half miles from Granite Pass the trail ends at a trail junction with Lewis Creek Trail.
Directions: From Big Stump Entrance, Travel north on Highway 180 approximately 40 miles to the roads end. The trailhead lies on the northern side of the road.
Elevation: 5,050 feet
Ending Elevation: 9,550 feet
Elevation Gain: 5,300 feet
Distance: 16 miles
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Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, California
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