Activities For Dogs In Kings Canyon National Park

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Introduction

Located near California's Sierra Nevada mountain range, Kings Canyon National Park has long stood as one of the Golden State's most popular landmarks and tourists attractions for decades. Fortunately for dog lovers, Kings Canyon is also a very dog-friendly area that encourages visitors to brings pets of all shapes and sizes to the park grounds. There's a plethora of beautiful sights and sounds for visitors to appreciate at the park, so we'll be discussing some of the most popular trails that will allow you to see said sights below.  Kings Canyon is located close to the Sequoia National Park as well, meaning that you can visit both parks concurrently if you so choose.

Big Trees Trail

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Leash
Navigational Equipment
Backpack
Water
First Aid Kit
waste bags
Activity description
The Big Trees Trail is one of the easiest trails that you can embark on with your dog because it was created with the intent of being accessible to toddlers and the elderly. The Big Trees Trail won't take you up to any high points of elevation either as it is very low to the ground. Those looking for a more challenging trail to walk through may want to look past the Big Trees Trail, but those who are looking for a calm, relaxing, easy going trail needn't look elsewhere. You don't really even need to bring too many supplies as well - enough water for yourself and your dog to stay hydrated is about it. You can also walk along this trail in whichever weather suits your fancy due to its low difficulty.
Step
1
The lay of the land
You can find maps of the trail online and in person at the park. You'll want to get a hold of a map and spend some time studying it in order to plan your trip, accounting for the time it will take to go to and from your endpoint. This trail is already very straightforward as is, but it always helps to have more tools at your disposal during trips like these.
Step
2
Tree Posing
Along the trail, you'll notice that there will be a few areas with special markings around them. These are some of the designated areas that have been etched out for visitors to take photos next to some of the park's oldest trees. Strike a pose with your pup and take tons of pictures while the two of you are traversing along this trail. If you're going to take your shots with a DSLR, we'd recommend adjusting your settings to shoot in shady areas as the trees will block much of the sun's light.
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Trail of 100 Giants

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
60 min
Items needed
Leash
Water and snacks
First Aid Kit
Waste Bags
Activity description
Despite the somewhat grandiose name, the Trail of 100 Giants is a fairly tame and easy going trail. Many visitors have described it to be more akin to a nature walking trail than a hiking trail, so you probably won't work up much of a sweat while travelling through this area. The wildlife that lives in this area mostly consists of thrushes and squirrels, which means that you and your dog will be perfectly safe along this trail. The trail only costs around $5 to access due to parking fees but it's free otherwise. You're encouraged to visit this trail during any kind of weather that suits your preferences as it typically doesn't rain or snow hard enough in California to be a concern.
Step
1
Visualize, then execute
Before setting foot on the trail, you'll want to know where your endpoint is, how long it will take you to reach it, and how long it will take to walk back from it. The Trail of 100 Giants has a lot of distinct landmarks, so you can always use one of those as your endpoint. Being a very simple and intuitive trail, you can also just follow the trail to and fro.
Step
2
Plan a pretty picnic
The Trail of 100 Giants also has a wide area near the trail that visitors can use to host picnics and such. The groundskeepers only ask that you clean up after yourself when you finish having your picnic, but otherwise, they're more than happy to accommodate you. Each picnic area comes with a grill, vault toilets, and a picnic table so you really just have to bring your own food. FYI, the areas are doled out on a first come, first serve basis. While on the Trail of 100 Giants, or anywhere else in the park for that matter, keep your pup with you at all times; don't let them venture out and bother other hikers.
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Packsaddle Cave Trail

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Sunny Day
Expensive
Hard
60 min
Items needed
Leash
First Aid Kit
Food and Water
Spelunking Gear
Waste Bags
Activity description
Though this trail's name doesn't really sound all that intimidating, this is definitely the most difficult trail on this guide. As you'd expect from a route called the "Packsaddle Cave Trail," hikers will be taken up some fairly steep terrain and through an authentic cave system before they reach the end of this trail. It's about five miles long and has an elevation gain of around 1,706 feet. This one definitely isn't for the faint of heart, so don't attempt it if you and your dog don't have experience hiking through elevated terrain. The equipment you'll need to successfully complete this trail can get a bit pricey (a good saving helmet alone can cost around $100) but you won't want to skimp out on quality here. We also advise only trying this trail out during sunny periods of the year, to reduce the possibility of getting caught up in a mudslide.
Step
1
Equipment check
Whether you've just bought the equipment you plan on using for the trip or if you've had it for decades, you'll want to perform an equipment check on everything you plan on bringing to make sure that it's functioning properly. This goes for any articles of clothing you'll be wearing during the trip as well; clothes with a lot of tears and holes in them are best left at home. Make sure your dog's leash is in tip-top shape and pack doggy booties as well.
Step
2
Caving etiquette
Though the cave system you'll be travelling through is relatively small in comparison to some of the larger ones out there, you'll still be traversing through a type of terrain that most don't encounter on a daily basis. Here are a few tips to ensure that you and your party get through the system safely; tip #1 - hold your light high (disregard this tip if you're light is attached to a helmet.) Tip #2, try not to touch the walls of the cave if you can't see what you're touching. And tip #3, don't put your fingers in your mouth if you do touch anything, as there's a lot of bacteria and fungi in your average cave. Tip #4, keep your dog within arms reach the entire time, and if this adventure proves to be too much, end the day and come back when your dog is on a playdate.
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More Fun Ideas...

Picnics at the Park

Kings Canyon has plenty of open space that you can use to hold picnics and the like with your pet. In these open grasslands, you'll be able to appreciate the natural beauty of the environment as well as appreciate the sounds and songs of the park's natural flora and fauna.

Check out the Campgrounds

The campgrounds in Kings Canyon are great places to spend a few nights with your family and friends - including your dog. As one might expect, there isn't a lot of light pollution in the skies above Kings Canyon so you'll be able to see the stars and planets if you hold your head up towards the sky.

Conclusion

Kings Canyon is an absolutely massive park - it's one of those places that feel as if there's always something new to discover every time you visit. If you're the adventurous sort who loves visiting places that have an almost mystical feel to them, then you'll definitely want to visit the Kings Canyon national park as well as the neighboring Sequoia national park. If you're the type of person who's into intense, physically demanding activities like mountain hiking and rock climbing, then Kings Canyon may be right up your alley as well. Basically, there's something for everyone and their dog at the Kings Canyon so plan to visit as soon as you can!