Kings Canyon Falls, Nevada

I love finding waterfalls in geographic locations that don’t necessarily conjure up the thought of waterfalls. I’ve mentioned before that Nevada is one of those places for me. There are waterfalls for those who look, though! There are a number in the area near Las Vegas (including First Creek and Lost Creek Falls), and one of my followers let me know about waterfalls in Lamoille Canyon near Elko (which I have added to my list of places to visit). If you live in the Reno/Carson City area, there are a few waterfalls near the cities, including the previously mentioned Hunter Creek Falls. In Carson City, there is also Kings Canyon Falls, a small, but beautiful and easy-to-visit waterfall.

It’s a very easy drive outside of Carson City’s downtown area (though you are still officially in Carson City based on boundaries). At the parking area, you hike up mildly steep switchbacks for just over 1/4 of a mile to reach the falls. After hiking almost 6 miles round trip in warmer conditions to see Hunter Creek Falls earlier that day, the short hike in the cool shade of the evening was very enjoyable. (I was a bit cold, actually!) It’s not a big waterfall, about 30′ or so, but it’s worth a detour. In late May, there was water flowing, though it might dry up as it gets warmer in July and August. When it’s flowing, though, I’m guessing it’s rather popular, as there were a surprising number of people hiking to the falls.

Directions:

  1. In Carson City, the main road running north/south is NV-529.
  2. The road that leads to the falls starts of as West King Street, but it doesn’t directly connect with NV-529. You first have to turn on a street running parallel to it (W Musser if coming from the north or W 2nd Street if coming from the south would work), and then you turn left or right on a road such as S Curry Street to get to West King Street. (Convoluted, I know…) Then turn heading west onto West King Street. (It helps to look at a map or have a GPS here.)
  3. Just keep going west along W King Street. It turns into Kings Canyon Road (which is also numbered as National Forest Road 39). You don’t keep driving on this road until it ends, but instead stop at the parking area for the falls, just under 3 miles from NV-529. This area is rather large, and there is signage indicating you’re in the correct area. (You shouldn’t be driving very far along dirt road…It’s mostly paved.)
  4. Hike to the falls. There was a dirt path with switchbacks that led up to the falls. (There may be another route that also leads to the falls.)

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate, mildly steep, but short!)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Kings Canyon Falls in late May 2013

Where in the World is Kings Canyon Falls?

First Creek Falls, Nevada

The first time at First Creek Falls was not the charm. The second time was disappointing as well. The third time was the charm!

In January 2009, both my father and I visited the Red Rocks area, and searched for First Creek Falls. We spent a considerable amount of time wandering around to no avail. We found small drops, but nothing significant. It was rather disappointing, but in the Red Rock Canyon, you can’t stay disappointed for long.

In January 2010, I visited the area again. This time around, I was rather unlucky. I got extremely sick the first day there. The second day around, I decided, with what little energy I had, to search for the falls. I had better directions, and I did find the falls, but there was no water! At least I knew the general area of the falls now.

In December 2010, I decided to show up again with my dad. The first full day there, I decided to go and check out the falls. Now, luck would dictate that there would be some problem. It had rained in Las Vegas for the past few days, and so it was the opposite extreme of no water. There was so much water that we couldn’t even pass what was the former dry creek bed at the start of the trail. We had been stymied again. Luckily, three days later, the rain had subsided, the rushing creek had subsided, and so it was easier to get to the falls. And with all that rain, it was pretty much guaranteed there would be water! Success! Oddly enough, my dad says that we had been there in 2009, but there wasn’t any water flowing then. I don’t remember getting to the falls, as I think I would remember a drop this big, even a dry one.

Directions:

  1. The waterfall is off NV-159 (Charleston Boulevard). I’m providing the link of the directions that I used since it is rather tricky to find the falls. Even finding the parking area is tricky, since it’s only marked in one direction, not the other.
    Bird and Hike’s Directions

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

First Creek Falls in December 2010

Where in the World is First Creek Falls?