East Kennedy Lake

Cedar Grove, California

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Any route across the Monarch Divide, which separates the yawning gorges of South Fork and Middle Fork Kings River, is a significant physical challenge because of the tremendous elevation gain. The Lewis Creek Trail is no exception, requiring a stiff, 6,225-foot, 10-mile climb to Kennedy Pass. The south-facing trail starts low, climbs steeply, and is exposed to the sun the majority of the way—even with an early start the ascent can be a grueling scorcher. Despite the conditions, the scenery is superb and usually can be experienced sans crowds; the trail sees far fewer visitors than the Paradise Valley and Bubbs Creek Trails.

East Kennedy Lake Professional Review and Guide

"Any route across the Monarch Divide, which separates the yawning gorges of South Fork and Middle Fork Kings River, is a significant physical challenge because of the tremendous elevation gain. The Lewis Creek Trail is no exception, requiring a stiff, 6,225-foot, 10-mile climb to Kennedy Pass. The south-facing trail starts low, climbs steeply, and is exposed to the sun the majority of the way—even with an early start the ascent can be a grueling scorcher. Despite the conditions, the scenery is superb and usually can be experienced sans crowds; the trail sees far fewer visitors than the Paradise Valley and Bubbs Creek Trails."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Cedar Grove
Distance: 22
Elevation Gain: 7,280 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2–3 days
Season: July to mid-October
Local Contacts: Kings Canyon National Park
Local Maps: USGS’s Cedar Grove and Slide Bluffs

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Jun 2018