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North Fork Kings River (Jump Canyon) - 4CR-IV

Jump Canyon is a 4 mile 4CR-IV canyon requiring rappelling (possibly in falling water), jumping, down climbing, scrambling, and extended swimming. It requires 10-12 hours to complete. There are over 45 drops/waterfalls requiring either rappels (up to 150'), jumps (up to 30'), slides, downclimbs, or circumvention.

Located on the north-west side of Kings Canyon National Park about 60 miles (2 hours) east of Fresno, California. Canyon elevation is about[masked]ft.

A 10.5 mile, 40 minute car shuttle is needed.  A 4mm+ wetsuit, life jacket (PFD vest), and dry bag are required. You will spend nine or more hours in and out of cold water. Jump is a serious canyon, not to be taken lightly.

NF Kings River flow is presently at 6-9cfs but PG&E can discharge from the Reservoir at any time. Participants should have at least a high-intermediate skill set and comfort with jumping, and rapping in a waterfall.  This trip depends upon having a team of at least three participants who are experienced enough to accomplish it safely.


Stay overnight Wednesday at the Kirch Flat Campground area, 16.7 miles past Maxon Rd on Trimmer Springs, next to Kings River. (GPS: [masked], [masked]).  From Kirch we will leave at 6:30am Thursday to drop off a shuttle vehicle at the Balch Power Station parking area. (GPS:[masked],[masked]).










We then drive 8.7 miles (25 minutes) up Blackrock Road from the Balch Camp river crossing to a gravel turn-off parking area and gate on the right for the hike in at 7:30am. (GPS:[masked],[masked])










60 miles (2 hours) from Fresno, CA
250 miles (4.75 hours) from Berkeley (San Fran)
255 miles (5 hours) from Burbank (LA)
627 miles (10 hours) from Phoenix, AZ

Please view the canyon topo map pictures here:









Limit 6 participants, plus waiting list.

Required gear:
@TEAM: two[masked]' ropes, one 120' rope, 60' webbing, 4-6 rapides, one set of ascenders.
@INDIVIDUAL: full wetsuit, neoprene socks, life jacket (PFD vest), dry bag, harness, helmet, descender, knife, prusiks, whistle, headlamp, screw-locking biners, PAS or 4' sling, food/water, and any other typical personal gear.
(Plus any other overnight gear like tent and bag if camping on Wednesday night.)


MEETUP/Carpool Locations, Wednesday May 15th:

Parking Lot behind (east of) Arbys, 5:00pm Wednesday
Arbys Restaurant
6410 North Blackstone Avenue
Fresno, CA 93710
GPS: [masked],[masked]

Kirch Flat Campground area, 7:30pm+ Wednesday
16.7 miles past Maxon Rd on Trimmer Springs
GPS: [masked], [masked]
(Camp here overnight.  Drop off a shuttle vehicle in the morning at the Balch Power Station parking area.)

MEETUP Location, Thursday May 16th:

Blackrock Road Pull-off at the canyon start point, 7:30am Thursday
8.7 miles (north then east) from Balch Camp Bridge
GPS: [masked],[masked]

Other Beta:


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  • Ryan

    looks like fun. The warning and photos are appreciated

    May 26, 2013

  • Alwin

    Awesome canyon! Thanks again Deven!

    May 20, 2013

  • Deven

    ADDITIONAL: The danger identified in Photos #33 to #37 is located at GPS:[masked],-119.059802. It is at the start of what looks like a strait 'narrows' section which appears in the satellite view in Photo #102 just below "F24".

    May 18, 2013

  • Running R.

    Good job guys! Awesome pictures and thanks for the warning about the dangerous canyon feature Deven.

    May 17, 2013

  • Deven

    Top tier canyon. Advanced environment; do not underestimate its difficulty. Three people 10.5 hours in canyon at unrushed pace. Flow was about 6cfs. The canyon is presently covered in a slimy algae which makes everything very slippery and even more challenging to exit the pools. (You might even want to consider bringing a Talon hook.) Water temperature seemed fine. A 4 to 5mm full wetsuit was quite comfortable throughout. Bare hands did not get cold even in long swims. CAUTION: There is a very dangerous canyon feature indicated at photo #33 which is deceptive and likely to kill you under normal conditions. You must know how to avoid it. Thanks everyone. Cheers.

    1 · May 17, 2013

  • Running R.

    You guys are going to have a blast! I wish I could be there.
    I know you will get some good pictures Deven.

    May 14, 2013

  • Deven

    The ACA Canyon Rating system can be found here: 4CR-IV means:
    (4) Advanced-Expert Canyoneering Route may involve any combination of the following: 1) difficult and exposed free climbing and/or down-climbing, 2) climbing using direct aid, 3) multi-pitch
    rappels, 4) complex rope work (i.e. guided rappels, deviations, rebelays), 5) obscure or indistinct natural anchors, 6) advanced problem-solving and anchor-building skills.
    (R) Risky - One or more extraordinary risk factors exist that could complicate the descent. Solid technical skills and sound judgment critical. Not recommended for beginners.
    (IV) Expected to take one long, full day. Get an early start. Bring a head lamp. Plan for possible bivy.

    May 14, 2013

  • Deven

    Sequoia and Kings NP Service number: [masked],
    8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m, or
    Fresno County Sheriff's Office SAR:
    Fresno County Sheriff's dispatch: (559)[masked]

    May 14, 2013

  • Deven

    Alright, everyone is confirmed, it's a go. Meet by 6:15am Thursday at Kirch Flats Campground. We leave to drop shuttle vehicle at 6:30am. There is no cell phone coverage in the area. The roads are twisty and slow so plan sufficiently to arrive on time. Weather looks like sunny/partly cloudy and in the high 70s.

    May 14, 2013

  • Scott M.

    Bummed I can go at this time. Should be awesome fun. Enjoy!

    May 13, 2013

  • Jason M.

    Damn. If only you guys were doing this a month from now. Have fun.

    May 13, 2013

  • Deven

    I changed the details above to camp at Kirch Flat rather than Blackrock Reservoir. This should provide for greater flexibility in arrival times for participants. We will now place the shuttle vehicle in the morning rather than the night before. Thanks.

    May 13, 2013

  • Deven

    General sequence of the Canyon: Drop-in, Medium Falls, Big Pool, Medium Falls,
    spill-over/pool, spill/pool, Medium Falls,
    pool, Medium double falls, Medium Falls,
    spill/pool, bouldering, big pool, Large Falls,
    big pool, spill/pool, spill, spill/pool,
    spill, Medium Falls, pool, spill/pool, small Falls,
    pool, Medium Falls, Small Falls, pool, Small Falls, pool,
    Small Falls, narrows swim
    (1/4 done)
    Small Falls, Small Falls, Small Falls, Medium Falls,
    pool, big pool, Large Falls, Large Falls, Small Falls,
    bouldering, pool, Small Falls, pool, spill,
    spill, spill, bouldering, spill, spill,
    Large Falls, big pool, spill, spill, long pool
    (1/2 done)
    rock walk, spill, big pool, bouldering, rock walk,
    spill, bouldering, spill, bouldering, bouldering,
    Large Falls, Medium Falls, pool, Medium Falls,
    Medium Falls, Small Falls, Small Falls,
    (3/4 done)
    Small Falls, rock walk
    Very Large Falls, Large Falls, big pool, bouldering,
    bouldering, Small Falls, pool, power station exit.

    May 13, 2013

  • Deven

    Alternatively worded directions: From Fresno, take Sample/PittmanHill/WattsValley/Maxon Rd 16.6 miles to Trimmer Springs Road.
    Continue east on Trimmer Springs 18.4 miles to river crossing to left (north).
    Go left and drive 3.2 miles north to Balch Camp, then fork right and drive 2 miles to Balch Powerhouse.
    Park Exit Shuttle Vehicle here: [masked],[masked]

    Drive back down to Balch Camp, turn right and cross the bridge over the North Fork of the Kings River
    Fork right onto Blackcrock Rd and continue up NF Kings Canyon 8.7 miles
    to a gravel area and gated road on right at:[masked],[masked], 3920ft.
    Hike 0.8 mile down dirt road to: [masked],[masked], 3580ft.
    Then to river at about 3400ft.

    May 13, 2013

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