King’s Canyon waterfall a Carson City treasure
Getting there: Take King Street in Carson City west about just under 3 miles, and the pavement ends at the parking area. A kiosk stands at the trailhead with useful information and a map of the area.
Trails: Waterfall trail: 0.6 miles round-trip
Lower Waterfall Loop: 2.2 miles
Upper Waterfall Loop: 4.4 miles
Waterfalls are amazing. They are a spectacle to see the wonder of liquid rushing down an incline as gravity does its job. Lucky for our area, we don’t have to go far to see this.
One of Carson City’s top destinations is the Kings Canyon Waterfall. A spectacle to see no matter the season, the waterfall is popular with residents and visitors. But right now could be the best time to check out the waterfall with the snow melting from the mountains.
The waterfall is easily accessible. It’s just a short 0.3 mile hike that gains about 140 feet of elevation. The elevation gain is gradual and shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone.
Beyond the waterfall, Kings Canyon offers a multitude of options. It’s the perfect place to go to get away from town for a bit and get some exercise. With a few different trail options, it’s hard to get bored here.
Kings Canyon has been a frequent place for myself to enjoy nature. I’ve hiked the lower falls loop trail more times than I can count. I’ve hiked the upper falls loop trail a few times going from both directions (heading south, or left, first is easier and more enjoyable).
Be warned coming here — it can get crowded. The easy accessibility does bring quite the crowd. On a recent Sunday afternoon, the parking lot was filled and cars were lined up and down the road. I’m not sure if most people get past the waterfalls though. There is a decent amount of people who will do the 2.2 mile loop, however. And while I was doing the 4.4 mile loop, I came across a few ambitious hikers as well. There’s also a trail connecting Kings Canyon to Ash Canyon, to the north. This is a popular mountain biking trail and you’ll see bikers throughout most of the area on any given day.
All along the southern part of the trail there are sheep grazing as well. I could see their tracks while ascending, but never saw any. As I started to get into the trail, I started hearing each of them saying “baa.” They must have woken up from a nap because what was silence turned into hundreds of sheep baa-ing. I didn’t see them for long though as the trail twisted on.
The joys of going deeper into the canyon is getting closer to the tree line where you can start to see the differences in vegetation and growth. It’s a luxury having the trees provide shade as the days get hotter. All along the creek that feeds the waterfalls, you see thick bushes and much more life than what grows on the sides of the hills.
The climax of the longer hike brings you to another waterfall. It’s not quite as immaculate, but the water is just as powerful. With moss blanketing the surrounding rocks and the brush thick with growth, it isn’t what comes to mind when people think of Nevada.
The sights, sounds, and smells — they all come together at Kings Canyon. From the soft silence away from civilization to the thunderous crash of water. The flora decorates the landscape and provides a pleasant aroma. The place does its best to satisfy all the senses.
The waterfall was one of the first places a friend of mine showed me, and I’ll always appreciate that as one of my favorite places to visit.
Kyler Klix is a designer and occasional contributer at the Nevada Appeal. If you’d like to talk about nature or upcoming concerts, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org