Sheep Creek Cascade

Kings Canyon National Park / Cedar Grove, California, USA

About Sheep Creek Cascade


Hiking Distance: 1.6 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

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

Waterfall Latitude: 36.78418
Waterfall Longitude: -118.68004

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The Sheep Creek Cascade was probably more memorable 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, and it wasn’t in any of my guidebooks at the time.

Don_Cecil_008_05272005 - Don Cecil Trail and the Sheep Creek Cascade
Don Cecil Trail and the Sheep Creek Cascade

We didn’t have to walk the entire length of the Don Cecil Trail to see the cascade.

We only needed to walk about 1.6 miles round trip from the trailhead by 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.

Don_Cecil_005_05272005 - Looking towards the snow-capped Monarch Divide from the Don Cecil Trail en route to the Sheep Creek Cascade
Looking towards the snow-capped Monarch Divide from the Don Cecil Trail en route to the Sheep Creek Cascade

Before we knew it, we made it to the bridge by the cascade.

Signs discouraged swimming in the water by Sheep Creek Cascade.

That was 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 Don Cecil Trail to the falls followed an old shepherds route. I reckon this was how the cascade and the creek got its name.

Don_Cecil_020_05272005 - On the return hike along the Don Cecil Trail with granite peaks and domes of Cedar Grove in the distance
On the return hike along the Don Cecil Trail with granite peaks and domes of Cedar Grove in the distance

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.

Authorities

Sheep Creek Cascade is in Kings Canyon National Park near Pinehurst in Fresno County, California. It is administered by the National Park Service. For information or inquiries about this area as well as current conditions, visit the NPS website.

Don_Cecil_001_05272005 - Signpost on the Don Cecil Trail
Don_Cecil_003_05272005 - Mom and Dad crossing the road to continue on the Don Cecil Trail
Don_Cecil_006_05272005 - Dad on the lush trail en route to the Sheep Creek Cascade on the Don Cecil Trail
Don_Cecil_012_05272005 - Looking down over the top of one of the larger drops of the Sheep Creek Cascade
Don_Cecil_014_05272005 - No swimming allowed here at Sheep Creek Cascade
Don_Cecil_016_05272005 - Direct look at part of the Sheep Creek Cascade as seen in late May 2005
Don_Cecil_017_05272005 - Contextual look at part of the Sheep Creek Cascade as seen from further down the trail during our visit in late May 2005
Don_Cecil_021_05272005 - Dad heading back downhill with dramatic Kings Canyon scenery in the background
Don_Cecil_023_05272005 - Focused on the granite peaks in the distance as seen from the Don Cecil Trail during the end of our short Sheep Creek Cascade excursion in late May 2005

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Sheep Creek Cascade was accessed from the Don Cecil Trailhead, which 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.

We parked in this complex, then crossed Hwy 180 to pick up the signed trail as it ascended.

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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Tagged with: cedar grove, kings canyon, fresno, sierra, california, waterfall, don cecil, shepherd, monarch divide



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