South Fork Kings River



From Fresno Drive east from highway 99 onto highway 180 in Fresno. Continue on 180 west until you reach Kings Canyon.


The South Fork Kings River

The headwaters of the South Fork Kings River are located in Kings Canyon National Park in the backcountry above Cedar Grove. As watersheds go, the South Fork is afforded the best wilderness protection in the country being inside a National Park. From Roads End Permit Station, the South Fork of the Kings flows through one of the most impressive canyons on the entire west slope of the Sierra's until it's confluence with the main stem of the Kings River .

Wild and Scenic South Fork Kings River flows through Kings Canyon National Park in California

Kings Canyon National Park encompasses some of the most rugged portions of the Sierra Nevada. From the highest peaks east of the park, Ice Age glaciers descended to carve one of the country's deepest canyons. From Roads End to Boyden Cave, the canyon displays a classic U-shaped profile characteristic of glacial gouging. Downstream of Boyden Cave, the South Fork flows more of a V-shaped canyon. Besides the steep terrain, the highway runs up above the river as you head west from Boyden leaving no easy access routes to the river.

Tree roots exposed along the South Fork of the Kings River

Wild Trout on the South Fork Kings

Fish biologists consider the Kings River to be one of the finest wild rainbow trout fisheries in the state. Within Kings Canyon park boundaries, the South Fork is not managed. Read - the National Park Service has halted the practice of planting trout. That said, the opportunity to catch wild trout exists here.

The Roaring Fork feeds the South Fork Kings River

Fishing Regulations

The South Fork of the Kings River, from its confluence with Copper Creek downstream to the Highway 180 crossing at Boyden Cave is open to anglers all year. That said, road access to this section will be a major barrier from November to late April as the Park Service generally closes the gate at Kings Canyon Lodge each year.