Grizzly Falls

Sequoia National Forest / near Cedar Grove / Fresno County, California, USA

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1
Grizzly Falls
Grizzly Falls is probably the most attractive waterfall on a typical tour into the Cedar Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park. Even though this waterfall is technically not in Kings Canyon (it belongs to Sequoia National Forest), it's close enough to the national park to associate it with the national park.

In any case, it drops rather dramatically some 75ft in close proximity to the Cedar Grove road. We've seen this waterfall in differing states over the multiple times we've visited this waterfall so we can appreciate how much timing can affect the experience.

For example, when we showed up during the Spring of 2005 (a heavy snowpack year), the falls was blasting spray so hard that it was very difficult to even stand in front of the falls for a clean look at it without trees blocking the way. Thus, photography under such conditions was quite a challenge.

During the late Summer of 2004, the falls narrowed into a thin, singular drop exposing much of the bare rock wall that would normally support Grizzly Creek. It was under this condition that we saw numerous people enjoying themselves in the plunge pool at the waterfall's base.

Then, we also saw the waterfall in April 2002 when the weather was cold enough from a late Winter storm to constrict Grizzly Creek in such a way that the falls had moderate flow. This was the ideal condition to stand before Grizzly Falls and take a full photo of it.

Finally, we have to say that since this was such an easy waterfall to visit, that also made it very popular. Thus, we realized that we couldn't have the waterfall to ourselves for any appreciable length of time. And since I'd imagine this would be a very short stop, you might also want to consider a visit to the nearby Boyden Cavern.

Directions: As mentioned above, the falls is on the Sequoia National Forest stretch of the Kings Canyon Highway (Hwy 180) between the Grant Grove and Cedar Grove sections of Kings Canyon National Park (Hwy 180). The car park is barely 6 miles before the Cedar Grove entrance. The car park seemed to accommodate quite a few cars with a few picnic tables to make it a decent picnic spot.

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Old school frontal photograph of Grizzly Falls in seemingly average flow in 2002
Looking up at what's left of Grizzly Falls in the late Summer of 2004
The colorfully lit interior of Boyden Cavern near Grizzly Falls
Driving the Kings Canyon Highway 180 towards Cedar Grove as the road follows a raging Kings RiverDriving the Kings Canyon Highway 180 towards Cedar Grove as the road follows a raging Kings River

Grizzly Falls seen from the car park through treesThe falls seen from the car park through trees in high flow

Trying to photograph Grizzly Falls in high flow from right in front of it, but mist was unavoidableTrying to photograph the falls in high flow from right in front of it, but mist was unavoidable

My mom looking at an angled and partial view of Grizzly Falls to avoid the mistMy mom looking at an angled and partial view of the falls to avoid the mist

Approaching Grizzly Falls in late Summer flowApproaching Grizzly Falls in late Summer flow

Some folks enjoying themselves by the plunge pool of Grizzly Falls in the late SummerSome folks enjoying themselves by the plunge pool of the falls in the late Summer

Approaching Grizzly Falls in moderate flow in April 2002Approaching the falls in moderate flow in April 2002

Grizzly Falls in moderate flow in April 2002The falls in moderate flow in April 2002

Another look at Grizzly Falls in April 2002Another look at the falls in April 2002

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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S.B. Not rated yet
I slipped and fell from Grizzly Falls 34 years ago. I have been a quadriplegic since. Please, use caution when visiting. Don't do something stupid. …

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