California Vacation 2011: Tokopah Falls

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After spending the late morning and early afternoon in the Kings River Canyon, and after making a quick stop to see the General Grant Tree (more on that in my next post), we made it to our final planned destination for the day: Lodgepole Village. There were two reasons for visiting this area. First, I wanted to check out the gift shop and get another “cancellation” for my National Parks Passport. Second, we wanted to take the “short” hike to see Tokopah Falls. We were partially successful.

Tokopah Falls was a recommendation from our Foothills Visitor Center connection. The hike to Tokopah was much shorter compared with hikes to other falls, yet it was just as beautiful. Sounded good to us.

When we arrived at Lodgepole Village, it was packed. There is a campground right there, and it’s clearly a popular place. We headed to the Visitor Center first. We got directions to the Tokopah Falls trailhead, but there was no cancellation station 🙁 When we were talking about the trail to the falls, another woman said it was an easy hike with only one slight incline. Sounded more than doable now that it was creeping towards 5:30pm.

Before going to the trailhead, we tried hitting up the gift store. Holy people! After being run into – and not necessarily accidentally – by more than one person, I decided that I didn’t need anything that badly. Shopping was really letting me down 🙁

Disappointed and a little angry, we headed to the trailhead for our 1.7 mile hike to the falls.

The trail runs alongside the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River.
Kaweah River

Deer #1

Marmot! We love marmots!

Seriously, that was the longest 1.7 miles ever! The trail just kept going and going and going. While not a difficult trail, there were a lot more upward portions than we were led to believe. We started to get concerned when we had yet to reach the falls and the sun was setting quickly. We hauled it and finally reached the end.

Tokopah Falls

It was actually a very pretty area, and I wish we had planned better so we could have enjoyed it a little longer.

We had a couple more wildlife sightings on the return hike. Deja vu.




We got back to the car and were able to make it out through the construction before the sun was completely down. Before settling into yet another hotel, we hit up the River View Restaurant for dinner again. I really liked that place  🙂

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