Mill Flat Creek, California, US
Crabtree (Forest Service Road 12S01) to Kings River
||IV-V (for normal flows)
Mill Flat Creek enters the Kings River about halfway down the Banzai!
section. During the summer it is a
popular lunch stop, because of its swimming holes.
From Fresno, take Belmont Avenue east till it turns into Trimmer
Springs Road. Stay on Trimmer Springs Road all the way around Pine Flat Reservoir till you come
back to the Kings River. Drive across the concrete bridge, but do not cross the steel "Bailey
Bridge". Instead turn onto the dirt road and continue upstream on the south side of the Kings
River. After about 3.5 miles you will reach Mill Flat Creek and a small campground. Leave a car
here or just hike or bicycle the shuttle. The road turns away from the Kings river and follows Mill
Flat Creek for 2 more miles. Boaters can hike a short distance upstream from where the road leaves
the creek. Further upstream the creek tends to be overly congested with a combination of boulders
Most of the creek tends to be tight, rocky and with some brush hazards.
In the middle of the run is a long pretty section of bedrock slides and ledges. This run is
recommended for expert boaters who have paddled some of the other small creeks in the area and just
feel like doing a different one.
Total Drop is approximately 300 feet in two miles.
Mill Flat Creek has its highest headwaters at about 7,500 feet
elevation in the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park. Most of the drainage is low
elevation so it is unlikely to have high snowmelt flows. Below Grant Grove the creek drops steeply
to Sequoia Lake, then down to Mill Flat, from which the creek takes its name.
In the 1880's Mill Flat was the site of a large logging operation,
sawmill and attendant town. A dam was built to form Sequoia Lake to supply water for a lumber
flume. The operation logged Converse Basin, which was the largest grove of Giant Sequoias in the
world until all trees but one were cut. The cut lumber was transported in a flume which ran along
Mill Flat Creek and then along the Kings River to the town of Sanger. I have heard that much of the
wood was used for fences, I wonder if there are any structures still existing that contain any of
the lumber from those old giants. Think; trees that took 1,000, 2,000 or more years to grow, were
cut down over a period of 10 years and now, only a little over a hundred years later, we may have
nothing to show for it.
Paul Martzen, 2006
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Last Updated: 2006-03-28 23:21:32