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Trailheads & Transportation

Primary trailheads

The termini of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route are:

These trailheads are both on the High Sierra’s western side and are separated by one intersection and a 2-hour drive on two-lane, paved, winding mountain highways. It’s also a 2-hour drive to each trailhead from the nearest city and airport, Fresno. From southern California, there is a more direct route to Lodgepole through Visalia, a smaller Central Valley city.

From the High Sierra’s east side, the route is best accessed from:

These trailheads are located 30 minutes west of the small towns of Independence and Bishop, respectively.

Secondary trailheads

There are other feasible access points on the west and east side of the Sierra, but none that are as direct. Notably:

Consider these points only if wilderness permits for the primary access points are unavailable and/or if the KCHBR comprises only a small portion of your overall itinerary.

Even if you do not access the KCHBR via these secondary points, they are worth identifying beforehand on a large-scale recreation map in the event of a self-rescue or bailout.

Transportation and trailhead permits

The Kings Canyon High Basin Route Guide includes comprehensive information about transportation options and about the permit systems in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and surrounding National Forests.

7 Comments

  1. Roz Naylor on August 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    We are planning a trip from Mineral King trailhead to Roads End.
    Is there a shuttle service we can reserve that will take us from Roads End back to our car at Mineral King? (and is it possible to park at Mineral King?)

    Thank you!

    • Andrew Skurka on August 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      You can leave your car at Mineral King, so long as you have a dash tag from the local ranger station.

      That said, this would be a REALLY hard hitch, and I don’t know of any commercial drivers that service it. Mineral King is WAY up there.

      Honestly, I’d rethink the route.

  2. Stuart on February 24, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Do you know a way to get a ride from the Road’s End trail head to Fresno? We will be coming south on the JMT and heading out there. Thanks, Stuart

    • Andrew Skurka on February 24, 2019 at 12:34 pm

      There’s no public transit to Road’s End. You’ll have to hitch out of there, or somehow arrange for a private shuttle.

      If you can hitch to Lodgepole (2 hrs from Road’s End), you can use the free park shuttle to get to the Giant Forest Museum, and then take a commercial shuttle to Visalia, from where there are some public transit options to Fresno. It’d be much faster to hitch straight to Fresno — it’s 2 hours from Road’s End to the airport.

      The park website has some more info, https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/directions.htm

    • Howard Ratzlaff on July 9, 2019 at 8:56 am

      We help shuttle To/From Roads End (Kanawyers,CA). Check on Fresno.craigslist

      https://fresno.craigslist.org/rid/d/backpackers-ride-to-cedar-grove-roads/6919972046.html

  3. Stuart on February 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Thank you, Andrew. I was thinking about hitchhiking. I’ve done the loop once before but you;dn’t recall how many people might be leaving the trailhead (for Fresno) on a Friday afternoon, when we will be there. Any sense for that? Really appreciate your guidance!

  4. Dan Varda on July 11, 2019 at 3:44 am

    Curious about hitchhiking from Onion Valley trailhead (kearsarge) to Taboose trailhead. Was going to do a loop starting at Taboose. How hard would it be it get a ride?

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