While its cousins, Sequoia National Park and Yosemite, score far more attention, Kings Canyon National Park offers much in the way of hiking, camping, spectacular views and certain times of the year, wildflowers.

A recent day trip there treated us to the last remnants of the wildflower super blooms that made much of California a captivating canvas thanks to the winter snow and rain.

Established just before World War II, King’s Canyon is also a UNESCO-designated site for its unique collection of foliage interspersed with stunning views. If you are driving east from Fresno, you will drive through national forest before arriving near the Grant Grove of giant sequoias. This is a great place to stop, obviously, as the grove has one of the greatest collections of giant sequoias in California.

Keep driving farther, and you will be treated to public lands including the Sequoia National Monument and the larger section of Kings Canyon, which is a popular spot for camping. Be sure to account for all the times you will want to stop along the road: CA-180 in particular offers stunning views.

If you happen to travel through the San Joaquin Valley, Kings Canyon is an easy day trip from many of the towns. I recommend getting up early and driving a big circle, starting through King’s Canyon and eventually through Sequoia National Park, before making your way back to Highway 99. You can also just do the opposite route if you are farther south in Visalia or Kern County. Regardless of how you traipse through this stellar section of the Sierra Nevadas, take your time and enjoy the natural eye candy. And you are fortunate enough to visit during summer, make sure you make time to explore the Owens Valley, a short drive away.

Image credits: Leon Kaye

Wildflowers along CA-180

Wildflowers along CA-180

Kings Canyon National Park, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, travel, national park, public lands, hiking, Leon Kaye, wildflowers, super blooms

He sure enjoyed the view

Kings Canyon National Park, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, travel, national park, public lands, hiking, Leon Kaye, wildflowers, super blooms

Account for the times you will need to stop to enjoy vistas like this

Kings Canyon National Park, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, travel, national park, public lands, hiking, Leon Kaye, wildflowers, super blooms

All in all, a spectacular day

Kings River off in the distance An easy day trip from much of the San Joaquin Valley

Kings Canyon National Park, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, travel, national park, public lands, hiking, Leon Kaye, wildflowers, super blooms

Grant Grove near the entrance to Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon National Park, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, travel, national park, public lands, hiking, Leon Kaye, wildflowers, super blooms

Just a few of the wildflowers during the recent super blooms

Ruth McKenzie Table Mountain Reserve, Fresno, San Joaquin Valley, Super Blooms, wildflowers, Leon Kaye, travel, hiking, Sierra Foothills

Along a stream at the McKenzie Reserve

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.