Kings Canyon Trail

Carson City, Nevada

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6 Reviews
2 out of 5
This trail begins at the intersection of King Street and Mountain Street, 0.4 miles west of US 395, and heads west from the suburbs of Carson City toward the Carson Mountain Range. Traveling on paved King Street, the road soon becomes Kings Canyon Road. After approximately 1.6 miles, you can see evidence of the Waterfall Wildfire from July 2004 on the surrounding landscape. In the fire, 8,799 acres were burned, and 31 homes, 3 businesses, 32 out buildings, and 51 vehicles were lost or damaged. It is believed the fire started as a result of an escaped campfire. Special Attractions: Chance to travel the route of a historic emigrant trail. Expansive views south over the Carson Valley from the shelf road. Exciting, challenging 4WD road.

Kings Canyon Trail Professional Review and Guide

"This trail begins at the intersection of King Street and Mountain Street, 0.4 miles west of US 395, and heads west from the suburbs of Carson City toward the Carson Mountain Range. Traveling on paved King Street, the road soon becomes Kings Canyon Road.

After approximately 1.6 miles, you can see evidence of the Waterfall Wildfire from July 2004 on the surrounding landscape. In the fire, 8,799 acres were burned, and 31 homes, 3 businesses, 32 out buildings, and 51 vehicles were lost or damaged. It is believed the fire started as a result of an escaped campfire. Special Attractions: Chance to travel the route of a historic emigrant trail. Expansive views south over the Carson Valley from the shelf road. Exciting, challenging 4WD road."

Activity Type: Off-Highway Drives
Nearby City: Carson City
Distance: 11.9
Trail Type: Shuttle
Difficulty: Difficult
Duration: 1.25 hours
Season: Best April to September
Local Contacts: Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

Kings Canyon Trail Reviews

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icon6 Total
11/18/2017
I decided to attempt this trail on a sunny late winter afternoon, after several unusually abundant days of rain. The start of the trail is fairly bumpy, with small rocks unavoidably scattered throughout. Your first challenge is roughly 1/8th of the way through, as you'll reach some deep ruts and corrugations. At this point, I shifted into low range, and it was no issue to my 4 door Wrangler on 32" tires. Lines can easily be picked to avoid any bottoming out. Later however, about 1/6th of the way through, you'll reach some deep ungulations that did put my skid plates to minor use, as I approached them at roughly 10 mph, and could have avoided contact had I slowed down. Another set of 'waves' will greet you about 1/4 of the way through, as well as the occasional rut/wash out. Small patches of snow will begin to appear at this point, pending on the season and recent weather of course. Nearing half way through, I had to pass between some narrow foliage, that did do its fair share of brushing against my Jeep. But honestly, if a scratch or two bothers you, you've picked the wrong hobby. Gorgeous views of the valley below present themselves with grassy patches and copious pine trees. You definitely get the vibe that bears are abound. The scenery is quite beautiful. I wish I could have completed this trail, but I reached a large boulder blocking me from proceeding about half way through. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but it measures about 3ft by 2 ft in size and would likely require 37" tires and reinforced rock sliders to crawl over without damage. The boulder is unfortunately positioned at a narrow point in the trail, thus eliminating the possibility to go around it. I used 4th gear/low from the first obstacle onward. No use of the differential locks was required for the duration I was able to traverse.
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7/23/2017
First of all: 4x4 is mandatory on this trail. Completed the trail in a stock Lexus GX470 (Similar to 2003-2008 4runner) with 30.5 inch tires. Ended up banging up my running boards at one section. Also have a lot of pin striping because the trail gets really narrow in certain sections and bushes have grown. But it is doable in a stock 4x4 with a short wheel base and narrow body (or if you don't mind running board / panel damage.) Really good trail to push yours and your rigs limits at an intermediate level. ATV or dirt bike would be better for this trail.
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10/5/2016
A nice scenic trail. From the parking lot it is about 10 miles uphill to Spooner Summit. It took me about 45 minutes but I am usually quite fast so expect about 1:30 including time for some photos. I am local so I've done it a few times in previous years. I was wondering what happened with the trail as other reviews mentioned some problems and difficult or even dangerous spots. But I did not find any big changes. It is still an easy trail (3/10) for most of its length with just one more difficult spot (5/10) in the middle of the trail which gives the trail a medium difficulty. First you must get over some boulders, then there is a narrow spot which is probably the issue mentioned in some other reviews. That's the reason why I strongly do not recommend this trail for inexperienced drivers or when the trail is wet or covered with snow or ice. it can be really dangerous. If the weather is fine, the trail is dry and you have some experience with similar trails (for example from Colorado), you will be probably O.K. I did this trail in a modified 2DR Wrangler Rubicon with 35" tires. But I did not need lockers and I am sure that you can do it in any Jeep size rig with a low range transfer case if you do not mind a few paint scratches. The first ca 3 miles and the last 3 miles can be done in almost any 4x4 or maybe even 2wd with a higher clearance.
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Comments
5/26/2016
Did this in my Jeep. 35's and a 3 inch lift. Previous review is accurate. Pin striping possible. One spot has an unnerving drop off that is washed out by drainage. One of your tires will probably drop into the v cut by the water, that then drops off a few hundred feet.Trail is also slightly off camber towards the drop. Had no choice but to get across because I didn't want to drive forever in reverse. It is doable for sure, just probably not worth the risk.
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8/24/2015
Wish I had read this review first. This trail has a wash out with rocks that makes passage with an off-road truck impossible. Not sure a jeep could do it without getting scratched.
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Comments
6/9/2013
This trail is actually only suitable for ATVs because it is so narrow and on a cliff. You will not enjoy this trail in a Jeep, and I would say the trail is outright dangerous in anything larger.
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Jun 2018