Paralleling the South Fork of the Kings River between Zumwalt Meadow and Roaring River Falls, the River Trail offers a nice little tour through a quieter section of the Cedar Grove/Road’s End area. This lesser known trail sees fewer people than some of the other sites in the area, so it’s a good bet to find some solitude, at least until you get to either end. The trail meanders along the south bank of the river below the canyon walls that tower above on both sides as it makes its way through ponderosa pine forest. Signs of fire from past burning are evident through much of the forest. Hearty trees and new growth suggests the canyon floor here has stood through many fires before, and it likely hasn’t seen the last.
The River Trail can be picked up at either Roaring River Falls in the west or Zumwalt Meadow to the east. The trail drops in elevation just slightly from east to west. From the Zumwalt Meadow parking area, head west crossing the suspension bridge and then go right to stay on the River Trail (heading left takes you to Zumwalt Meadow). Alternately, from the Roaring River Falls parking area, head up the paved path toward the falls and head left at the River Trailhead sign.