This is a popular hike to Kings Creek Falls
with its viewing platforms. As a bonus, on the way back, one hikes next to Kings Creek Cascades
, a steep, fast set of cascades that drop over 200 feet in less than a quarter mile. And there are several overlooks with great views far into the distance, of the mountains and Juniper Lake to the east.
Kings Creek Falls
Out and Back starts and ends along the park road at a well marked trailhead. From the trailhead sign, head down the steps on Kings Creek Trail
into the fir forest. Flat at first, the trail runs along Kings Creek that is to the right/south. Lower Kings Creek Meadows with the creek running through them are soon passed. Sifford Lakes Trail
is passed on the right at the 0.4 mile mark.
At the 0.6 mile mark a trail fork is reached. Both directions of the fork rejoin later. Continue on Kings Creek Trail
, by going left at this fork. One can NOT go right at this fork - the right fork is Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
, a one-way, narrow exposed stair step trail down along Kings Creek Cascades
. When returning from Kings Creek Falls
, one will take Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
For the next half mile, the trail descends past some rocky overlooks with great views, and then winds down through the fir forest to meet up again with Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
at the 1.1 mile mark. Continuing on in the forest along Kings Creek, a few large cascades/mini waterfalls are passed before reaching Bench Lake Trail
on the right/south at the 1.3 mile mark. Almost immediately after Bench Lake Trail
, one comes to Kings Creek Falls
. Rocky outcrops with viewing platforms provide a place to see the falls drop their entire 40+ feet. This is a great place to take a break, admire the falls and surrounding beauty, and snack.
When ready to leave Kings Creek Falls
, head back the way you came, on Kings Creek Trail
for 0.3 miles, passing Bench Lake Trail
on the way, before arriving at the trail fork where Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
splits off to the left. Go left here onto Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
Now on Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
, after a very short stretch in fir forest that passes a large cascade/mini-waterfall, a preview of what's ahead, the trail pops out of the forest onto rock next to Kings Creek. Up ahead one can see Kings Creek cascading fast and steeply, down the lengthy Kings Creek Cascades
, and the trail going up the rock face with stairs built into it, next to the cascades. This dramatic stretch of trail lasts for almost a quarter mile. The views into the distance to the east and down the cascades, get better and better with each step up the stairs. Just make sure to stop before looking so you don't step off the trail by mistake.
After about a quarter mile, Kings Creek Cascades Foot Trail
ends as it rejoins Kings Creek Trail
. Go left onto Kings Creek Trail
here, and retrace your steps back to the trailhead to finish this awesome hike.
Fir forest with thin undergrowth. Meadows. Rocky outcrops. Wildflowers.