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Kings Canyon Waterfall

Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, Nevada

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Kings Canyon Waterfall

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  • An informational kiosk marks the parking area for the trail.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
  • The trail begins on the stone steps.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
  • Immediately after starting the trail, veer left at this signed fork to begin taking a wide switchback up toward the falls.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
  • Climb to views over the base of the Eastern Sierra and views over the Carson Valley.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
  • One final dry stretch leads to the sound of the falls.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
  • Kings Canyon Waterfall.- Kings Canyon Waterfall
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
One of few waterfalls in Nevada. Easy hike.
Cons: 
No shade.
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Region:
Reno + East Lake Tahoe Area, NV
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
175.00 ft (53.34 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
0.75 mi (1.21 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,455.00 ft (1,662.68 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Unlike in California, waterfalls are a rarity in Nevada. The few that are in this part of the state, like Hunter Creek Falls and Galena Falls along the Mount Rose Summit Trail, generally require a hike to reach. The 30-foot falls in Kings Canyon just west of Carson City does require a hike to access, but that hike is a relatively short 0.75-mile round-trip walk with about 175 feet in elevation gain on a clear trail. It's a popular jaunt for locals and a great reason to stop in Carson on your drive through.

The current trail, which has a single wide switchback, was recently constructed to replace the previous scrambling route that was polluting Carson City's drinking water supply with rocky debris. It is part of a network of trails being built in the area. For those who want to pad the distance of their hike, you can continue climbing the trail past the falls and create a 2-mile loop back to the parking area.

Otherwise, the hike to the falls is relatively short and manageable for most ability levels; however, there is no shade until you reach the falls, so the hike can get hot during summer afternoons.

The months shortly after the spring snowmelt are the best time to visit, when the falls can have a pretty powerful flow. This flow slows to a relative trickle following the hot summer months.

While there are a couple informational signs at the trailhead, no water or amenities are available.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(106 within a 30 mile radius)

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