photo of Evolution Valley, Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Evolution Valley

Kings Canyon National Park

McClure Meadow

Evolution Valley Backpacking Trip Resources

Books and Maps

Elizabeth Wenk and Kathy Morey's John Muir Trail is one of the best available about this famous trail. Tom Harrison's Bishop Pass Map includes Evolution Valley. Couple it with Harrison's Mono Divide High Country Trail Map to cover the Florence Lake area.


High Sierra Pack Station

For an extended trip into Evolution Valley, consider being packed into a base camp by local packer High Sierra Pack Station. Located at Lake Thomas A. Edison, they can pack your gear into your base camp while you ride along on horseback.

Wilderness Permits

A Wilderness Permit is required for every party camping overnight in the John Muir Wilderness and in Kings Canyon National Park. Since your trip originates in the John Muir Wilderness, you can get your permit from the Sierra National Forest. It covers your entire trip, including the portion into Kings Canyon.

Sixty percent of the daily slots allocated for people camping overnight the John Muir Wilderness can be reserved ahead of time. The other 40% are on a first-come, first served pick-up-in-person basis (up to 24 hours in advance of departure). It is wise to have a reservation. Reservations may only be made by mail and must be made at least 21 days prior to departure. There is a $5 non-refundable charge for each person included in the wilderness permit reservation:
Wilderness Permit Reservation Application

Permits may be picked up from 48 hours prior to departure at the designated ranger station. For the John Muir Wilderness, use the Prather ranger office: High Sierra Ranger District, located along the highway, just east of town.
29688 Auberry Road (PO Box 559), Prather, CA 93651
(559) 855-5355     Open 7 days a week, 8am-4:30pm

Alternate Trail to Evolution Valley

An alternate approach to Evolution Valley begins at North Lake on the eastern side of the Sierra. The 23-mile route follows Piute Creek down to join the John Muir Trail.

Backcountry Regulations for Evolution Valley

Campfires discouraged above 9,000 feet in the John Muir Wilderness and prohibited above 10,000. In Kings Canyon campfires are also prohibited above 10,000 feet. You are permitted to have a campfire in Evolution Valley.
Bear canisters are recommended, but not required, even in northern Kings Canyon.