All rivers in Sequoia and Kings Canyon are potentially dangerous and require great care. The most dangerous times are during spring and early summer when melting snow from the mountains makes river waters swift, icy cold, and extremely hazardous.
If you do swim:
Fishing is permitted during the season; a California fishing license is required for ages 16 & up. Learn more about fishing and fishing regulations or ask at any visitor center.
The South Fork of the Kings River is closed to all watercraft from the confluence of Bubbs Creek to the Kings Canyon National Park border.
Boating the rivers in these parks is extremely hazardous. Kayaking is popular on some rivers in the parks, but involves high risk and requires advanced skills. There are no beginner kayaking rivers in the parks. Motorized crafts are not permitted.
If Your River Trip Includes an Overnight Stay
Wilderness permits are always required for all overnight travel unless you stay in the park's campgrounds. From Memorial Day weekend to late September, quotas limit the number of people allowed to begin trips each day on each trail and reservations are recommended.
Wild & Scenic Rivers
In these parks, three stretches of river are designated "wild and scenic," one each on the Kern River, the Middle Fork of the Kings River, and the South Fork of the Kings River. They are part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, which preserves free-flowing rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values.
Last updated: October 27, 2022