dogs on leash
Created in 1890, Sequoia National Park is home to the largest trees on earth and the tallest peak in the contiguous United States. At 404,063 acres and over 90% of designated wilderness, Sequoia offers over 800 miles of hiking trails. This park protects the Giant Forest, which has the world's largest tree, General Sherman, as well as four of the next nine tallest. It also has over 240 caves, the tallest mountain in the lower 48, Mount Whitney, and the granite dome Moro Rock.
Camped at Cold Springs the night before and left camp pretty early. The additional few miles from Cold Springs to the Eagle Lake trailhead are very easy - flat and well maintained. The climb up to Eagle Lake is not an easy hike by any means. The elevation gain is rapid and there's a fair bit of scrambling up and over boulder sections. Extremely worth it - breathtaking views and a gorgeous little lake at the top with some evergreen groves to relax in.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the drive in is pretty hairy. Winding/narrow gravel roads with some (I'm assuming locals) flying 30 mph around blind curves. Be safe!
Couldn't have asked for better weather and the scenery is beautiful. That being said, maybe it's the time of year, but it seems to be the drought has wreaked havoc on our forests here in California. This was my first time climbing something over 10k and I feel great about it! Definitely not for the first time hiker if you aren't in the best of shape. It did take me the full 8 hrs to get to the peak and back. Maybe my Fitbit was off, but it registered 17 miles start to finish.
Nice even accent to Franklin Lakes from the trail, does take a bit of getting used to as it is a 3000 ft gain. Lake is a nice Alpine Lake with excellent views back down the canyon and up towards Farewell Gap. Late season had few mosquitoes and flies, so very present. Easy rest spot before continuing up to the pass and over to Rattlesnake Canyon and up to Lake Forrester.
Backpacked/hiked in from trailhead. First mile is most challenging with fairly steep steps, but levels out well for the rest of the hike. Excellent views of Mineral King Valley and surroundings. Nice approach to Sawtooth Peak and pass. Clear Lakes and many small trout. Wilderness Crew recently rebuilt the pit toilet at Lower Monarch, Thanks! Fall colors in the Valley are Gorgeous!
Marble Falls in winter is amazing. The river is still running but is pretty small so instead of an amazing large waterfall you get to waslk on and explore the actual marble bed of the falls. you have to scramble for 5 minutes over some boulders at the end of the trail. Just continue upwards andc you will be rewarded. The marble looks like snow. If you go post pics as I didn't have my phone with me Look for the "turkey leg" formation
Went out to Sequoia for some trail running and a small hike. I couldn't find the trail on the permit guide and decided to hike Alta Peak for the altitude. I was not expecting to see the wonders this trail has for the eyes. The hike up to the summit trail head was pretty relaxed with nothing too intense. I set up camp in the fog that was lingering all day. At about 5pm the fog cleared and showed the ridge and gave me a clear view of how much elevation I still had to scale. Flurries of snow fell as the night continued. It was about mid to low 30's and 4am when I woke to break camp and start the traverse. The hike around the rear to the mountain was pretty exhausting and one must be careful with footing. I reached the base to the last half mile of the trail and was met by more fog and wind. My calves were in overdrive at this point and finally reached to top. I set my bag down and grabbed my bagel and bouldered to the top to enjoy second breakfast. The fog dissipated on my journey back and was left in awe of what was covered the day before. I couldn't help but take lots of pictures on the way back. Happy hike.
I'm not going to lie, this trail can be tough on the way up because of the starting elevation and elevation gain, but it's not something that should scare you away. There are two separate cut-offs that will significantly shorten the length of the hike and eliminate most of the climb. This was my first backpacking trip and it was absolutely worth it! Caught a lot of trout on Mepps and Rooster Tail style lures as well as on a small crank bait.
Possibly the clearest lake I've seen in my entire life, well worth the trip!
Made a day hike up today (10-12-2016) the 3.6 miles is deceiving. All trails tracked me at the beginning of the trail head and when it was all said and done I topped out at 8.2 miles round trip. Didn't do much "exploring" since it was only a day hike. Tough little climb but you are definitely rewarded once you reach the lake. I plan on returning for a 2-3 day trip, going over the ridge and checking out the Mosquitos next year.
perfect for a weekend trip. Trail runs alongside the Kaweah River so there's plenty of drinking water and areas for dipping your feet along the way, which is especially nice because the trail can get very hot. Bring lots of bug repellant or you will get eaten alive by flies and ladybugs. Combo of ladybugs and sequoias is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.
Oct 31 2015 - We (4 men, ages 20-30) started out at Bearpaw around 10am and made it to Lower Hamilton Lake around 12pm. It is a very strenuous hike. The first half or less is essentially down hill, the second half or more is all uphill on blasted granite and hardpack. This whole section of trail involves stepping up or down and seldom provides level ground. I busted my knee on this portion of the trail, so if you are prone to knee pain, brace up, bring trekking poles and have fun.
If you are returning to Bear Paw meadow, start early so you can enjoy the lake. The solitude up there is absolutely spectacular and the views of the Kaweahs on the way are breath taking.
On our way to the lakes, while the trail is flat and hugging a long granite wall, a small black bear dropped from a precipice about 40-50 ft ahead of us and sprinted away down the trail. I think our loud talk gave him advance notice of our presence which is a good thing. You don't want to surprise a bear if you are close to them.
The Kaweah River bridge (30 minute hike from Bear Paw meadow) is a nice stopping point and if memory serves, it is the point where the trail becomes completely uphill until Hamilton Lakes. Just know this, you aren't close to Hamilton Lakes until you encounter tide pool like areas from the outflow of the lower lake.
The final ascent is a mellow winding granite staircase and then, voila, you will see a few wilderness campsites and a beautiful high alpine lake. Also, there is a high alpine toilet with no walls around it so your views are great even while using the toilet.