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Copper Creek Trail, Kings Canyon National Park

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
Actually, a wooded area, Lower Tent Meadow is the first camping on the Copper Creek Trail. – NPS

ADA Accessibility Notes

This is a dirt trail, which is narrow and winding. It may be steep, slippery, wet, and rocky in some areas and will not accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, or bicycles.

Distance: 9 miles (14 km) one way
Elevation: 5,000 - 10,700 ft.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Time: 2-4 days round trip (not including stops for rest or picture taking)

Vast mountain vistas, pristine alpine lakes, a relentless aerobic workout, and remote wilderness solitude await hikers of the Copper Creek Trail in Kings Canyon National Park. In the first seven miles, the trail climbs almost 5,350 feet along Copper Creek before surmounting a lateral moraine and descending into beautiful Granite Basin, a gently sloping bowl full of scenic tarns and wildflower-bedecked meadows.

The trail starts on the north side of the overnight parking area at Roads End in Kings Canyon. After a set of sandy switchbacks up an open hillside with nice views of Grand Sentinel, the trail settles into a steady climb along Copper Creek. Four miles from the trailhead, hikers pass Lower Tent Meadow—the first and only real campsites before Granite Basin. After three more miles of steep trail, hikers surmount the lateral moraine and descend to Granite Basin. Campers will need to leave the trail here to find camping. Those headed further continue along the trail as it skirts Granite Basin and begins the steep climb to Granite Pass.

Hikers will be tempted to stop at the top of the pass for beautiful views south over Granite Basin to the Great Western Divide and north to the remote Middle Fork Canyon and Goddard Divide beyond. The reward for 10 miles of relentless climbing spreads out ahead—almost limitless choices for cross-country travel or peaceful camping near lightly visited alpine lakes.

For more information, contact the Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Wilderness Office: Phone (559) 565-3766, Fax (559) 565-4239, E-mail SEKI_Wilderness_Office@nps.gov.

Help us keep this place beautiful. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints. Please pack out your trash.

Know the Bear Facts! Whether staying in the picnic area or going for a longer hike, always store food away from bears. Use large, brown bear-proof boxes to store food and scented items. Never leave food or scented items unattended.

Be Safe! Bring plenty of drinking water and snacks/lunch. Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction, as well as long pants (due to ticks and poison oak). Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bring insect repellent.

Eco-Friendly Notes

This trail traverses land managed as wilderness where natural processes are allowed to unfold. Please use Leave No Trace principles when hiking this trail.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not permitted on any trails within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but are allowed 100 feet from roads in developed areas (picnic areas, campgrounds, and roads). Where allowed, pets must be on leashes no longer than 6 feet in length. Never leave pets in cars when it is warm, or they overheat quickly. Pets must not be left unattended in the parking area or in vehicles.

Trail Distance

9 miles (14 km) one way.

Vertical Gain or Loss

Over 5,000 feet.