Circling one of the most beautiful meadows in the Sierra frontcountry, the Zumwalt Meadow Loop packs in quite a bit of scenery for a short family-friendly trail. Nestled between North Dome and the Grand Sentinel, two of Kings Canyon’s most impressive granite formations, verdant Zumwalt Meadow is a picturesque and open oasis on a canyon floor that is mostly covered by incense cedar and pine forest.
From the parking area/Highway 180, head west for Zumwalt Meadow, crossing the wooden suspension bridge. Once across the Kings River, head left/east to link up with the loop trail. Choose either the clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. The trail on the meadow’s northern edge follows level terrain and boardwalks to minimize impact on the sensitive meadow ecosystem. There is also a pleasant overlook with benches. The portion of the loop on the south side of the meadow becomes slightly more rugged, but only for a short climb. The trail gains roughly 60 feet of elevation as it passes granite boulders, offering sweeping vistas of the meadow below North Dome.