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Old 06-24-2015, 08:49 AM   #1
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Kings Canyon Trip Questions

Greetings,

I'm planning a trip in July to the Cedar grove campgrounds in Kings canyon N.P.
This will be the maiden voyage for our recently purchased 30 foot 2012 classic trailer pulled by my 2015 chevy 3/4 ton duramax diesel P/U. My wife is nervous about the drive in on Hwy 180 to the campground. Can anyone comment on how hairy that road wold be for a 30 footer? Also, any estimate for driving time to the campground once we turnoff the main Hwy in Visalia ? (taking Hwy99 to 198 to 63 to the 180)

Thanks for any reply----

Marc Laxineta DVM
Marc Laxineta DVM Equine Veterinarian Murrieta Temecula
marc@robovet.net
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:40 PM   #2
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Never have pulled a 30 footer up there (or anywhere else), but the road is paved and well maintained all the way, and I had no problems with my 23 footer. Sounds like you are well prepared with your tow vehicle. When I've driven to Cedar Grove, I've always come from Fresno, but 2-3 hours should do it.
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thanks !!
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:35 PM   #4
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We've camped in Cedar Grove many times, in tents, a small (21') motor home, and a tent trailer. My only comment is that sites for a 30' trailer would be limited to the few pull-throughs. They do not take reservations, so it's first come first served. If try to arrive on a Sunday afternoon or Monday or Tuesday. A couple of turns on the road might be kind of hairy, but I think it's doable. We're thinking of taking our 23' Airstream down there after Labor Day. Enjoy your adventure!
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Old 06-24-2015, 08:52 PM   #5
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Enjoy. Kings and Sequoia are two of our favorites.
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:16 PM   #6
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Welcome to our neck of the woods. We can offer an overnight stay in Visalia on our street (dead end) if that makes your trip easier.

As far as getting to Kings Canyon, 63 out of Visalia to 180 is good but there is a trick to that. See the attached image. You should take 63 until American Av. Turn west for a bit until you turn north on Cove Rd. Continue north to 180. This allows you to avoid an intense section of 63.

Another camping option very near Kings Canyon is Princess Campground. Continue on the 180 through the top part of Kings Canyon as you are heading into the canyon itself. It is right before the turnoff to Hume Lake. It is a NFS campground, very nice and it will take reservations. Check it out. https://www.campendium.com/princess

Have fun!
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:20 PM   #7
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Forgot about the drive. We have taken our 31' up there once with our 2003 F250. Nice gradual drive but steady. Should not be a problem and it will get cooler on the way up! Your wife will be on the dropoff side on the way up but hillside on the way down (the way my wife prefers it). There are a few opportunities for diesel, Squaw Valley just past the 63 junction (a Valero I think) and Hume Lake Christian Camp near KCNP (very pricey).
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Old 06-25-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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As others have already said, Hwy 180 into the park is good. But do NOT attempt to enter or leave the park via Hwy 198 to or from Visalia. There are several steep and extremely sharp switchbacks on 198 and trailers are not advised. These are first gear turns on my motorcycle. Should be beautiful up there. You may want to call ahead to check on the availability of water given the current drought conditions. And, keep an eye on news of any forest fires in the area. None presently, but they can develop literally in a flash and change a relaxing vacation into a real adventure.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:03 PM   #9
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Nomad518 makes a good point re: 198. i lived in that area for many years and my friend used to drive a garbage truck up and down for the park service. his route was Giant Forest to cedar Grove. There are 250 switchbacks with extremely sharp turns which I would be very hesitant in a 31' ter. Take the highway out of Fresno 180 I believe it is. From Visalia just head out to 99 and head North to 180. Going down into KC is awesome and spectacular. It's amazing to me how lightly traveled KC is compared to the rest of California Natl. parks. Take the Boyden cave tour while there and there is a trailhead just off the trail to the cave that takes you back into a canyon, great swimming and not a bad hike. It is steep drop at some points but take your time as it's worth it.
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Old 06-25-2015, 01:38 PM   #10
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We came down 198 a few weeks ago with out truck and 22 ft AS . We headed down just after daylight to minimize the amount of oncoming traffic that might be cutting corners in the switch backs . It is quite steep and required many miles of second gear to hold back without using the brakes. A very beautiful road , but would definitely recommend 180 with your trailer .
ps , second gear on our manual transmission .
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:38 PM   #11
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When we were there several years ago, we were more concerned about the drivers in the rental RVs. They had a tough time understanding that their half of the road was not in the middle. As mentioned above, campsites are tight. You will definitely be glad to have, AND use, your engine (jake) brake on the downhills. It will save lots of wear on your brakes.
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:22 PM   #12
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I agree with Nomad, check about fires. One year, we went all the way to Cedar Grove, but the smoke from a smoldering lightning fire was so overwhelming that we immediately turned around and headed back to Grant Grove. Also, it can get to 100 degrees in Cedar Grove in July (no hook-ups and tent camping neighbors will not appreciate your genies running all day). Grant Grove, on the other hand, because of altitude, is usually temperate, and there are more sites that can accommodate your rig. Don't get me wrong, I love Cedar Grove on the beautiful Kings River-have been there in at least 50 of my 70 years.
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Old 06-25-2015, 10:20 PM   #13
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Thanks to everyone for the great information. Hope I can help you guys in the future
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Old 07-05-2015, 03:00 PM   #14
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We were just there a week ago. We stayed at Princess campground. Puts you in the middle of Sequoia and Kings Canyon.
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