Summary: Panoramic Point in Kings Canyon National Park offers sweeping (although not really spectacular) views over the peaks of the Monarch Divide and Tombstone Ridge.

A paved (accessible) path ascends gently from the carpark at the of Panoramic Point Road though tall forest. There are no views from the trail, but it’s a pleasant and easy walk.

At the end of the trail are some sweeping views over the Sierra Nevada mountains and Hume Lake, a small historic lake in Sequoia National Forest, which was created in 1908 using a rare multiple-arch dam.

An information panel points out the peaks of the peaks of the Monarch Divide and Tombstone Ridge that you can see in the distance, west to east (left to right): Spanish Mountain (10,051 feet), the Obelisk (9,700 feet), Mount McGee (12,969 feet), Mount Goddard (12,568 feet), Kettle Dome (9,446 feet), North Palisade (14,242 feet), and Eagle Peak (9,645 feet). 

Before you stretches the Sierra Nevada… the Snow Range. Geologists interpret the topography of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Region – the high mountains and deep canyons, the rocks, the hills and valleys – as the result of forces operating over millions of years. Tremendous earth upheavals, erosion, the movement of ponderous glaciers and raging rivers, the winds and changing temperatures – all have had a part in sculpturing the vast region.

Ages ago, a huge block of the earth’s crust 40-80 miles wide and 430 miles long, was uplifted steeply on the east and gradually tilted westward in several major stages. The tilting increased downcutting of the rivers, which carves the canyons and defined the peaks. Alpine glaciers further outlined the sharp peaks and molded the canyons. Although reduced to only a fraction of their former size, glaciers continue to modify these mountains, adding beauty and adornment to the land. North Palisade Glacier, the park’s largest, lies behind North Palisade (34 miles distance on the Sierra Crest).

National Parks Service (NPS) informational panel

You can return the same way, or return via a different path to form a loop.

Getting to Panoramic Point in Kings Canyon National Park

The Panoramic Point trailhead is at the end of Panoramic Point Road, which is off Generals Highway. There is accessible parking, restrooms, and picnic tables at the carpark. The turn-off to Panoramic Point Road is 59 miles from Fresno via Route 180, and 5.7 miles (15min) from the Big Stump Entrance Station.

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