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Hiking & Walking: California

Quick Facts

Bubbs Creek Trail

Beginning Elevation: 5,035 Feet (1569.5 Meters) Highway 180 roads end
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain, One-way: 4,615 Feet (1438.6 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,650 Feet (3008.1 Meters) junction John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail
Length, One-way: 11 Miles (18.33 Kilometers) to John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail
Recommended Season: Summer
Usage: Moderate
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Bubbs Creek Trail leads eastward from the end of Highway 180 in Kings Canyon. It begins at 5,100 feet in the South Fork Kings River and follows the river's north shore to the confluence with Bubbs Creek. As Bubbs Creek pours into the South Fork Kings River the trail crosses the river and begins a steep ascent into the Bubbs Creek drainage.

Switchbacks along approximately two miles of the trail lead hikers to the bottom of the steep canyon that holds Bubbs Creek. The path continues to ascend to the source of the stream, but much more gently. A trail leading to the right (south) shortly after entering Bubbs Creek follows Sphinx Creek to Avalanche Pass. This fork in the trail is the site of the first backcounty campsite along this route.

The trail continues to follow Bubbs Creek upstream. Five and a half miles from Sphinx Creek is Junction Meadow and the trail leading to Lake Reflection. The elevation of this junction is approximately 8,150 feet. Bubbs Creek Trail continues eastward from Junction Meadow two and a quarter miles where it ends at the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail.

From the junction of the John Muir trail the Charlotte Lake backcountry ranger station is approximately three and a half miles north. The Bubbs Creek Trail is popular for stock pack trips. Its terminus lies a short distance west of the John Muir Wilderness and Inyo National Forest.

Directions from Cedar Grove Village: Drive eastward along Highway 180 to roads end. Find the trailhead near the ranger station at the eastern end of the parking area.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-May through Mid-October (NOTE: Trail may be snow covered during the Early Summer and Late Fall.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Neutral
Report: Went Sept 7-9, 2001. Annoyed by flies hovering around our faces(fortunately non-biting) for first 5 miles of hike. Fortunately insect problems went away after that(higher altitude). King's Canyon seems to differ from Yosemite in that you must 'hike in' to see the 'best stuff'. It wasn't a good year for snow, but there was still plenty of water in Bubbs; we thought it would be dry.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON General Parking Highway 180 roads end
ICON Backpacking Bubbs Creek Trail
ICON Dispersed Camping Bubbs Creek Trail - wilderness permit required
ICON Hiking & Walking Bubbs Creek Trail
ICON Bird Identification Bubbs Creek Trail
ICON Plant Identification Bubbs Creek Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Bubbs Creek Trail
ICON Viewing Scenery Bubbs Creek Trail

Related Activities
Mist Falls - This trail leads visitors to one of the largest waterfalls in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Be prepared for crowds on this path.

Woods Creek Trail - This hike is a steady moderate climb where vistas, rivers and high lakes are plentiful. The trail provides access to the John Muir and Pacific Crest trails.

More Information

Visitor Information:

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543


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