Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
1,045.00 ft (318.52 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.00 mi (4.83 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.

While the scenic Kings Canyon Waterfall is one of the outdoor highlights of the Carson City area, it also tends to be a popular spot. And if most visitors are happy to stick with the relatively shorter hike to access this well known waterfall, lying further up the canyon in a cool shady pine grove just above the treeline in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is another less frequented waterfall. With a steep, shadeless hike to reach it, visitors are almost assured that they will encounter none of the crowd found at the lower falls.

The path to the upper falls follows a steep forest road, climbing nearly 1000' over the 1.5 mile route to the falls. Quickly, hikers can turn around to take in Nevada's capitol city stretching along the valley floor to the Pine Nut Mountains in the east. The hike is rocky, can often be very sunny and hot, and is unforgiving until about a quarter mile short of the falls it reaches the treeline, and the heat and grade mellow out almost instantly.

A wooden footbridge crosses right over the top of the falls, which drops about 20 feet into the narrow canyon below. The falls lie on the recently-completed Ash To Kings Trail, which is a popular hiking and mountain bike trail weaving through the forest above the Carson Valley skyline.

After cooling off at the falls, retrace your route back to the trailhead. It will be much easier on the way down!

There is no water or amenities available at the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall
Spring

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

No crowds, Forest is much cooler than lower elevations

Cons

Steep!, No shade at lower elevations

Trailhead Elevation

5,410.00 ft (1,648.97 m)

Highest point

6,395.00 ft (1,949.20 m)

Net Elevation Gain

985.00 ft (300.23 m)

Features

Waterfalls
Wildlife
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.