Roaring River Falls

Kings Canyon National Park / Cedar Grove, California, USA

About Roaring River Falls


Hiking Distance: 0.4 miles round trip; wheelchair
Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Date first visited: 2002-04-27
Date last visited: 2005-05-27

Waterfall Latitude: 36.78053
Waterfall Longitude: -118.62149

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Roaring River Falls is one of those rare waterfalls where it seems like less is more.

We’ve seen this waterfall gush during the Spring on two occasions when its plunge pool was a frothing white mess. And the pool’s depth rose to such a degree that the falls’ reported height of 15ft seemed like an overestimate.

Clearly under this condition, all that we were able to do was to gawk at the loud and powerful waterfall and be glad that we were nowhere near getting swept away by the torrent.

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Roaring River Falls in pleasant Summer flow

Then, we came here during the late Summer in 2004 when the falls was considerably less turbulent. In fact, the plunge pool was attractively clear and colorful, and the falls appeared to be taller given the lower plunge pool depth.

The photograph you see at the top of this page was the waterfall in just this state!

The Short Trails to Roaring River Falls

The main walk to the falls was on a paved, wheelchair-accessible 1/4-mile path along the east side of the Roaring River.

The walk ended at a lookout behind some of the rocks that would protect us from the fury of the Roaring River in high flow.

In low flow, it looked like plenty of folks had no problems scrambling onto rocks or even getting a little wet in the river.

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Roaring River Falls as seen from the opposite side of the river

On the opposite side of the Roaring River, there was a less developed path that followed the west bank of the Roaring River (just past the bridge over the Roaring River).

This path climbed a bit towards a separate overlook with a more distant and rockier view of Roaring River Falls. I believe this path was also 1/4-mile round trip.

Authorities

Roaring River Falls is in Kings Canyon National Park. For information or inquiries about this area as well as current conditions, visit the NPS website.

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You can find this waterfall in the Cedar Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park near the Hwy 180 Road’s End. It’s roughly 2 hours drive east of Fresno (which itself is about 3.5 hours drive north of Los Angeles). The car park is 3 miles past the Cedar Grove Campground just beyond the bridge over Roaring River on the right (about a stop before Zumwalt Meadow).

Left to right sweep of the raging waterfall in Spring. Please excuse the poor quality as this is a real ancient video.

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Tagged with: kings canyon, cedar grove, 180, fresno county, roaring river, zumwalt meadow, wheelchair

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