Zumwalt Meadow In California

Here is everything you need to know about the Zumwalt Meadow:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: California
  • Length: 1.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Grass
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website: https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/zumwalt-meadow-trail.htm

Zumwalt Meadow, located in Kings Canyon National Park in California, holds a rich historical significance. The meadow was named after Major Lafayette Zumwalt, who served as the first superintendent of Kings Canyon National Park from 1909 to 1916. Major Zumwalt played a crucial role in the establishment and development of the park, and the meadow was named in his honor to commemorate his contributions.

The history of Zumwalt Meadow dates back even further, as it was once inhabited by Native American tribes. The area was home to the Monachee people, who utilized the meadow for hunting, gathering, and as a seasonal campsite. The Monachee people had a deep connection with the land and its resources, relying on the meadow’s abundant wildlife and plant life for sustenance.

During the late 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region. The meadow became a popular destination for cattle ranchers, who utilized the lush grasses for grazing their livestock. The establishment of Kings Canyon National Park in 1940 aimed to preserve the natural beauty and historical significance of places like Zumwalt Meadow, protecting it from further development and ensuring its preservation for future generations to enjoy.

Today, Zumwalt Meadow stands as a testament to the rich history of the area, showcasing the cultural and natural heritage that has shaped the region over centuries. Visitors can explore the meadow’s tranquil beauty, walk along its winding trails, and immerse themselves in the historical significance of this remarkable place.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Roaring River Trailhead: This is the main access point to Zumwalt Meadow. It is located near the Roaring River Falls and provides parking facilities for visitors.

2. Road’s End Trailhead: Another popular access point to Zumwalt Meadow is the Road’s End Trailhead. It is located at the end of the Generals Highway and offers parking facilities and access to various trails, including the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail.

3. Cedar Grove Village: Cedar Grove Village serves as a starting point for many visitors exploring Zumwalt Meadow. It provides parking facilities and access to the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail.

4. Kings Canyon Visitor Center: The Kings Canyon Visitor Center is located near Cedar Grove Village and serves as an information center for visitors. It provides parking facilities and access to the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail.

5. Roaring River Ranger Station: The Roaring River Ranger Station is another access point to Zumwalt Meadow. It offers parking facilities and access to the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail.

6. Zumwalt Meadow Parking Area: There is a designated parking area specifically for Zumwalt Meadow visitors. It provides easy access to the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Zumwalt Meadow. However, it is always recommended to check with the park authorities for the most up-to-date information on access points and trail conditions.

Transportation Available

1. Kings Canyon Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to various destinations within Kings Canyon National Park.
2. Sequoia Shuttle – Shuttle service offering transportation to and from Sequoia National Park and surrounding areas.
3. Private Car Services – Local private car services available for hire, providing personalized transportation options.
4. Ride-Sharing Apps – Popular ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft operate in the area, offering convenient transportation solutions.
5. Rental Car Companies – Various rental car companies provide options for independent transportation in the vicinity of Zumwalt Meadow.
6. Taxi Services – Local taxi companies offering transportation services within the area.
7. Bicycle Rentals – Nearby rental shops offering bicycles for exploring the surroundings at your own pace.
8. Hiking Trails – Numerous hiking trails in the area provide an alternative means of transportation for outdoor enthusiasts.


The amenities available at Zumwalt Meadow include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available for visitors to use.

2. Parking: There is a parking lot available for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Zumwalt Meadow does not have camping sites within the meadow itself. However, there are nearby campgrounds such as Sentinel Campground and Dorst Creek Campground in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park.

4. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas within Zumwalt Meadow where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack surrounded by the beautiful scenery.

5. Hiking Trails: Zumwalt Meadow offers various hiking trails, including a loop trail that takes visitors through the meadow and along the Kings River.

6. Scenic Views: The meadow provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains, including the towering granite walls of the Kings Canyon.

7. Wildlife Viewing: Visitors may have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as deer, squirrels, birds, and occasionally bears.

8. Interpretive Signs: Throughout the meadow, there are interpretive signs that provide information about the natural and cultural history of the area.

Please note that amenities may be subject to change or seasonal availability, so it is always a good idea to check with the park authorities for the most up-to-date information.

Nearby Services

1. Cedar Grove Lodge – Rustic lodge offering comfortable accommodations near Zumwalt Meadow.
2. John Muir Lodge – Cozy lodge with modern amenities located close to Zumwalt Meadow.
3. Grant Grove Village – Convenient lodging and dining options near Zumwalt Meadow.
4. Montecito Sequoia Lodge – Family-friendly lodge nestled in the mountains near Zumwalt Meadow.
5. Wuksachi Lodge – Lodge offering stunning views and easy access to Zumwalt Meadow.
6. Cedar Grove Market – Nearby market providing groceries and basic supplies.
7. Grant Grove Restaurant – On-site restaurant serving delicious meals near Zumwalt Meadow.
8. Montecito Sequoia Dining Room – Dining room offering tasty meals with a view of the surrounding nature.
9. Cedar Grove Snack Bar – Casual eatery providing quick bites near Zumwalt Meadow.
10. Kings Canyon Visitor Center – Visitor center offering information and assistance in case of emergencies near Zumwalt Meadow.

Zumwalt Meadow Difficulty Notes

The Zumwalt Meadow, located in Kings Canyon National Park, offers a moderate difficulty level for hikers. The trail is approximately 1.5 miles long and features a well-maintained path that winds through lush meadows, towering sequoias, and along the banks of the Kings River. While there are some slight inclines and uneven terrain, the trail is generally accessible for most hikers. The difficulty level may increase slightly during wet seasons when the trail can become muddy or slippery. Overall, the Zumwalt Meadow provides a pleasant and manageable hiking experience for those looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

Features And Attractions

The Zumwalt Meadow is located in Kings Canyon National Park in California. Here are some scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks that can be found along the Zumwalt Meadow:

1. Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail: This 1.5-mile loop trail offers stunning views of the meadow, granite cliffs, and the Kings River. It is a popular spot for hiking and photography.

2. Kings River: The Zumwalt Meadow is situated along the Kings River, which flows through the meadow. The river offers beautiful views and is a great spot for fishing and picnicking.

3. Granite Cliffs: The meadow is surrounded by towering granite cliffs, providing a dramatic backdrop to the scenic landscape. These cliffs are a sight to behold and are often photographed by visitors.

4. Wildlife: The Zumwalt Meadow is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, marmots, squirrels, and various bird species. Visitors can often spot these animals while exploring the meadow.

5. Historical Significance: The area around Zumwalt Meadow has historical significance as it was once inhabited by Native American tribes. The meadow and its surroundings have cultural importance and are a reminder of the region’s rich history.

6. Wildflowers: During the spring and summer months, the meadow comes alive with vibrant wildflowers. Lupines, Indian paintbrush, and other colorful blooms can be seen dotting the landscape, adding to its natural beauty.

7. Suspension Bridge: As you hike the Zumwalt Meadow Loop Trail, you’ll come across a suspension bridge that crosses the Kings River. This bridge offers a unique perspective of the surrounding scenery and is a popular spot for photos.

8. Picnic Areas: There are designated picnic areas near the meadow where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal amidst the beautiful surroundings. These areas provide a peaceful setting for a picnic with family or friends.

9. Photography Opportunities: The Zumwalt Meadow offers numerous photography opportunities, with its stunning views, wildlife, and natural features. Photographers will find plenty of subjects to capture in this picturesque location.

10. Geological Formations: The meadow is surrounded by interesting geological formations, including glacially-carved granite and moraines. These formations provide insight into the area’s geological history and add to its scenic appeal.

Overall, the Zumwalt Meadow is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, hikers, photographers, and anyone seeking a serene and picturesque experience in Kings Canyon National Park.

Usage Guidelines

Not available.

Seasonal Information

Zumwalt Meadow, located in Kings Canyon National Park, is a stunning natural attraction that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While the meadow is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting. The spring and summer months, from April to September, are particularly popular due to the pleasant weather and the vibrant display of wildflowers that blanket the meadow. During this time, visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the well-maintained trails, take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks, and witness the meadow come alive with a variety of bird species.

However, it’s important to note that Zumwalt Meadow experiences seasonal closures during the winter months. Typically, from October to March, the meadow is closed to visitors due to heavy snowfall and potentially hazardous conditions. The closure is in place to ensure the safety of visitors and to protect the delicate ecosystem of the meadow. During this time, the meadow transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered trees and frozen streams, making it a picturesque sight for those who enjoy winter activities such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

To make the most of your visit to Zumwalt Meadow, it is advisable to check the park’s website or contact the visitor center for the most up-to-date information on closures and trail conditions. Additionally, it’s worth noting that the meadow can get crowded during peak season, so arriving early in the day or visiting on weekdays can help you avoid the crowds and fully appreciate the tranquility of this natural gem. Whether you choose to visit in the spring when the meadow bursts with life or during the winter when it is transformed into a serene winter landscape, Zumwalt Meadow promises a memorable experience for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces are available near the Zumwalt Meadow entrance for easy access.
2. Paved Pathways: The main trail through Zumwalt Meadow is paved, allowing wheelchair users to navigate the area comfortably.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located near the parking area for convenience.
4. Benches and Rest Areas: Several benches and rest areas are strategically placed along the trail, providing opportunities for wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the scenery.
5. Interpretive Signs: Informational signs along the trail are designed to be easily readable and accessible for individuals with disabilities.
6. Assistance Animals: Service animals are welcome in the Zumwalt Meadow area to provide assistance to visitors with disabilities.
7. Accessible Picnic Area: A wheelchair-accessible picnic area is available near the parking lot, allowing visitors to enjoy a meal surrounded by nature.
8. Accessible Shuttle Service: A shuttle service is available for visitors with mobility challenges, providing transportation to and from Zumwalt Meadow.
9. Audio Description: Audio description services may be available upon request, providing additional information and descriptions of the surroundings for individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessibility Information: The park provides detailed accessibility information on their website, including maps and resources for visitors with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Slippery trails – Exercise caution while walking on the trails as they can be slippery, especially during wet weather.
2. River crossings – Be careful when crossing the river as water levels can vary and currents may be strong.
3. Wildlife encounters – Keep a safe distance from wildlife and do not approach or feed them.
4. Poison oak – Be aware of poison oak in the area and avoid contact to prevent allergic reactions.
5. Falling rocks – Stay alert for falling rocks, especially in steep areas or after heavy rainfall.
6. Flash floods – Be aware of the risk of flash floods during heavy rain or thunderstorms and seek higher ground if necessary.
7. Extreme weather conditions – Be prepared for sudden changes in weather, including high winds, thunderstorms, or extreme temperatures.
8. Limited cell phone reception – Expect limited or no cell phone reception in certain areas of the meadow.
9. Hiking alone – It is recommended to hike with a partner or inform someone about your plans when hiking alone.
10. Trail closures – Check for any trail closures or advisories before visiting the Zumwalt Meadow.

Conservation Notes

The Zumwalt Meadow, located in Kings Canyon National Park in California, is considered to have a stable conservation status. It is classified as a protected area within the national park system, ensuring its preservation and safeguarding its natural resources. The meadow is managed by the National Park Service, which implements various conservation measures to maintain its ecological integrity.

The conservation status of Zumwalt Meadow is primarily focused on preserving its unique and diverse ecosystem. The meadow is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including rare and sensitive ones. Efforts are made to protect and restore the native vegetation, ensuring the survival of these species and maintaining the overall biodiversity of the area. The National Park Service closely monitors the meadow’s ecological health, conducting regular assessments and implementing management strategies to mitigate any potential threats.

Conservation efforts also extend to the preservation of the meadow’s natural features and scenic beauty. The Zumwalt Meadow is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Kings River that flows through it and the surrounding granite cliffs. Measures are taken to prevent any human-induced damage, such as erosion or pollution, that could degrade the aesthetic value of the meadow. Additionally, visitor access is carefully managed to minimize any negative impacts on the delicate ecosystem, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Zumwalt Meadow.

Leave a Comment