The Sheep Creek Cascade was probably more morable for the scenery along the hiking trail than it was for the waterfall itself. It was a rather obscure waterfall that I only became aware of after looking at the park literature making a mention of it. It wasn’t in any of my guidebooks at the time.
We didn’t have to walk the entire length of the trail to see the cascade. We only needed to walk about 1.6 miles return from the trailhead near the Cedar Grove Lodge area (near the Sentinel Campground) to the bridge by the falls.
After crossing Hwy 180, we then hiked uphill before crossing another road and then climbing some more. Since the trail went uphill for quite a ways, we were able to get nice views of the Monarch Divide rising above the line of pine trees at the base of the valley. Before we knew it, we made it to the bridge by the cascade.
Signs discouraged swimming in the water by this cascade because it turned out that Sheep Creek supplied the drinking water for the facilities at the Cedar Grove Lodge area (where the Cedar Grove campground was also located). The trail to the falls followed an old shepherds route called the Don Cecil Trail. I reckon this was how the cascade and the creek got its name.
On the return hike to the trailhead, we were treated to gorgeous views of Kings Canyon (perhaps better than the signed Canyon View pullout down below at the Hwy 180). I believe it was probably due to the higher vantage point so the trees weren’t as much in the way as at the roadside lookout point.
As stated earlier, the trailhead is near the Cedar Grove Lodge area. It’s in the Sentinel Campground turnoff (on your left) as you enter the Cedar Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park along Hwy 180. Park your car in this complex, then cross Hwy 180 to pick up the signed trail as it ascends.
The Cedar Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park is about 2 hours drive east of Fresno along Hwy 180. Fresno is about 3.5 hours drive north of Los Angeles via a combination of the I-5 north and Hwy 99 north.
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