Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,247.00 ft (989.69 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
11.40 mi (18.35 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Embark on a scenic and invigorating hike from the Hospital Rock Picnic Area to the stunning Marble Falls in Sequoia National Park. This 11.5 mile out-and-back route takes you on the Potwisha Hospital Rock Trail, parallel to the MIddle Fork Kaweah River, to the Marble Falls Trailhead and up to Marble Falls and back. Ideal for those seeking to explore the lower elevations of Sequoia National Park, the hike presents a rich tapestry of flora, serene river views, and the mesmerizing beauty of Marble Falls. It’s a journey that balances natural wonder with physical challenge, making it a rewarding experience for hikers.

Your adventure begins at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area, where you’ll find not only ample parking but also interesting historical sites, including Native American rock art. From here, access the connecting Potwisha Trail, which gently introduces you to the park’s lower elevation habitats.

The trail gradually ascends, revealing diverse ecosystems and offering picturesque views of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River. As you transition onto the Marble Falls Trail, the path becomes more challenging with switchbacks and steep sections. Along the way, the landscape is dotted with a vibrant display of wildflowers in the spring, enhancing the visual appeal of the hike.

The sound of rushing water signals your approach to Marble Falls, a spectacular series of cascades over smooth, marble-like rocks. The falls provide a tranquil and scenic backdrop for rest and reflection before you retrace your steps back to the Hospital Rock Picnic Area.

FLORA AND FAUNA
The journey offers a chance to witness the park’s varied plant life, from oak woodlands to chaparral and riparian zones. Keep an eye out for wildlife, including mule deer, black bears, and numerous bird species.

PARKING

Available at the Hospital Rock Picnic Area. It's recommended to arrive early, especially during peak season, to ensure parking availability.

CAMPING AND PERMITS
While day hiking does not require special permits, those wishing to camp in Sequoia National Park must use designated campgrounds such as Potwisha, with reservations highly recommended. Visit the National Park Service website for the most current information on camping reservations and regulations.

SAFETY AND CONSIDERATIONS
 

  • The trail can be exposed and hot in the summer months; carry sufficient water and use sun protection.

  • Be prepared for weather changes and check forecasts before your hike.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic vistas. Incredible Mountain Scenery.

Cons

Some areas may get crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

2,704.00 ft (824.18 m)

Highest point

3,551.00 ft (1,082.34 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Wildlife
Near lake or river
Big vistas
Bird watching
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

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