Explore 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 Map
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Pretty nice hike. Drove up Friday night and slept maybe a mile before the trailhead. The road getting to the trailhead was rougher than I expected. Some decent sized rocks. I saw a sedan at the trailhead so I guess any car could make it, but there was a piece of a broken off skid plate from a car up there too. We left Saturday morning and it took us about 5 hours to get there. It’s mostly shaded and the trail is well defined. Some meadows and flowers. The lakes are very pretty plenty of good campsites. The upper lake reminded me of something out of a fairy tale. It’s small with a tiny island and a single funny looking tree. We stayed the night and made it back in 4.5 hours. Overall it’s a really nice hike!

hiking
2 days ago

Great little hike for trail running and families. The views are worth the trek throughout. Bring plenty of water.

hiking
3 days ago

We liked it. We only completed a portion of it. Weather was warm. But the construction en route delayed us and we didn’t want to stay stuck in the mountain overnight.
It took us about 2 hours to hike up about 6km
(I was carrying a 45lbs bag and had 3 teenagers with us, so we made many stops.)
Route down was easier took almost 80 min

We each consumed 2-4 litres of water. Although there is a local spot at around 3km mark with drinkable water.

We will try to head out to mineral king area tomorrow to see if any of the trails there look good.

Pretty awesome hike. Take lots of water and light snacks. Make sure to stop in ponderosa for a beer when you leave! I always go past the gates and get on the top of the hill as well. There is a marker on the top of the hill w amazing views!

backpacking
8 days ago

Awesome!

8 days ago

Hiked it 8-4-18. It is a pretty hard hike, but the views are incredible! A steady climb all the way there but worth it. Took Us 4 hrs up an 3 down with taking alot of pics along the way. Flowers almost all the way up with plenty of deer to spot. Trail path is good, but watch ankles towards the top the rocks get rough. Next time we're spending the night to explore the lake more.

backpacking
15 days ago

Incredible views and well earned solitude during the middle of the loop. We went counterclockwise heading over Farewell Gap a few hours in then passed up Bullfrog Lake to make a little more headway before camping near the Broder’s Cabin site (which we didn’t actually find even though we looked). Expect that once you’re over farewell pass and into the Golden Trout Wilderness you’ll gain a real appreciation for the maintained trails of Sequoia Nat’l Park! Day two we continued through the brush only losing the trail once, until we intersected Shotgun Creek where there’s a sign pointing to Silver Lake. Here the trail basically ceased to exist and it’s uphill land-nav at its finest until you reach Silver Lake. Once you’re at the lake the trail becomes visible again and it’s a tough slog up loose sand/pebble mountainside to get to Shotgun Pass. The trail gets tough to follow again but it’s easy hiking down to the marsh area after which there are cairns marking the way down to Rattlesnake Creek where you pick up a well groomed trail again. The hike up to Franklin Pass is rewarded with some of the best views of the trip. The switchbacks down to Franklin Lakes take forever but would be even more boring if you were slogging up! We camped at Franklin lake then it was all downhill easy going back to Mineral King on day three. Awesome trip. Right at 48 hrs at a moderate pace. Definitely wear pants for the portion through Golden Trout as you’ll beat bush quite a bit. I definitely will do this trip again one day.

Nice hike! We did it about a month ago and despite the altitude it was still quite warm. It took us about three hours, could have been done faster but we stopped quite a lot to let my daughter's dog rest his paws, not for me to catch my breath

backpacking
26 days ago

The trail was very strenuous but easy to follow and well worth it. The views going up the trail and at the lake were amazing, and the Brook trout fishing in the main lake was excellent.

Great views and today the ice is still a cave at the end :) . Hard hike after 1st mile as you pass fork. Its steep from the fork until old cabin. Awesome Hike for newbies.

hiking
1 month ago

Short and sweet due to huge views of the high Sierras in the distant east. The old lookout is gone but the stairway acts as its bones, a reminder of a romantic past when hardy rangers would stand watch over our forests. I hiked with my dog and he seemed to enjoy himself. The trail head has a toilet and nearby are some picnic tables and a few level campsites. I saw several children on the trail who were smiling which is always a good sign.

hiking
1 month ago

I truly enjoyed this trail it was fabulous and anytime you get to spend time in The magic of the Sierra Mountains that is where it’s at.. the shale to the top of the pass is the best it’s a wonderful workout and the view is amazing I will have to say the undefined trail in the shale makes sense once you have climbed to the top.. I really loved this hike

NPS website is not lying when they said "start early because it's a west-facing slope". The first mile was incredibly hot and sunny in the afternoon. After the first mile, it gets much easier. it took me 3pm-10pm including lots of picture-taking and slow progress on the way up.

Saw many marmots and grouse. If you hear a deep "whoop whoop whoop whoop", that's the male grouse's mating call.

This year, going earlier in the season would've meant fewer mosquitoes, less heat, and less crowds if you're also visiting Lodgepole. Late May-early june would be ideal this year. June in years when there's heavier snowfall.

The views were pretty good but I wish I had hiked Eagle Lake instead, considering I started late.

This trail is great for beginners to test their skills and see if hiking is meant for them. The trail is easy to complete but has everything you would see on moderate trails in a short package.

hiking
1 month ago

To find the trailhead, drive down the Needles Road for 3 miles until the road deadends at a campsite, parking lot and outhouse. We thought we were maybe going the wrong way, but yep, just keep driving til you can't drive no more. We made it in a Kia Sorento, but there were sudans there that seemed to have bad the trip just fine.

It took my dad and my small terrier -mix 3 hours to finish the hike, and I think the terrier had the worst of it. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but I might not recommend bringing them, as my dog is still licking his paws four hours later.

The uphill parts were brutal in some places, but the absolutely worst part was the staircase at the end. I'm actually unsure if you're even supposed to go on the staircase - as many people have mentioned, the tower is closed (burnt down) and when you make it to the top of the staircase, the last few steps are missing! I carried my dog up the staircase, got nervous about the height and turned back. but the second set of stairs took my breath away (maybe it was the combo of the altitude, adding another 12 lbs to my weight by carrying the dog, and the stairs that did it). The view was beautiful (although terrifying)!

Saw a rattlesnake on the way back, so pay attention to your surroundings.

Did this as a day trip. Beautiful, but you pay the price. The first 1.5 - 2 miles is down hill mostly. Then, it's up hill! There are some pretty strenuous sections unless you are pretty fit. End result is very nice. One problem .... because the up hill section caused you to work out, forgetting about the first 1.5-2 miles is easy. It wasn't until returning to that section that I remembered about it. I hated that last stretch. I was already breast, but had no choice. I slept well that day!

There are 3 creek crossings. The first one would be pretty difficult in times of high water ... i.e. snow melt in the spring or shortly after a down pour. keep weather in mind. One good thing ... water was plentiful, so didn't need to pack a lot.

Franklin lakes is one of my favorite hikes, beautiful views, random deer along the way. In any given summer I’ll day hike it a few times...

My favorite place. Easy hike from shake camp along the Tule river, lots of water. The trail crosses the river maybe three times, The last three miles is up, after the switch backs there is summit lake. After catching Brook trout and turning in for the night we wake up and head out over sheep mountain, up then down to twin lakes, after a nice break its Maggie. Maggie is awesome, three lakes to play with, trout fishing is ok. Nights are nice, afternoons are nicer, naps in my hammock was very nice. Bears, deer, coyotes. Scouting the area fishing the creeks below for Golden Trout, then packing out the trail to quaking aspen cause its shorter. The pack station at Balch park, is why the trail to summit lake and Maggie is open, not the Forrest service, there was no trail from twin to Maggie after the fire, I was there and the pack station new where it used to be and made the trail to Maggie. I would also tell you to have them pack you into Maggie in a day, stay longer with extra food, then backpack out and enjoy. Its an easy trip, plenty of water sources, and ok fishing. I would recommend this for first time and seasoned packers all. Depends what time of year, mosquito head net is a must, and I use mosquito wipes, they work ok for a while. I like the pictures here, I saw the rocks I made around my tent in the pics. You must have went after I did, what happened to the big yellow pot with lid? I found it at one of the old camps, brought it to mine, used it to boil water for dishes and clothes and stuff.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice walk, easy to follow, good speed. No snow (or barely any) as of late May.

hiking
2 months ago

I loved this trail. Lots of sequoias hidden throughout the trail which was beautiful. Hiking out was a challenge but definitely worth it. I did 10 miles in about 5 hours.

An amazing trail, a pleasant surprise to find a snow cave cutout by the runoff.

hiking
2 months ago

We backpacked at Monarch Lake the night before climbing Sawtooth Pass. At this season seems the weather is clear in morning but gets foggy in the afternoon.
The trail to Lower Monarch Lake is obvious, even about the last mile and mile half is covered in snow. We brought crampons and ice axes, which made the trekking much easier. But still, the steep snow slope looks pretty dangerous and have proper equipment will give you peace in mind and tool to self arrest if anything happens.
Even though the Lower Monarch Lake is largely covered with ice, the temperature is not too low, I'd say 30 degree at night, and we are able to get water at the lake.
The trail to Sawtooth Pass mostly has no snow, but really hard to find human track at this early in the season, I ended up using ice axe to cross patches of ice when climbing totally off trail to the pass. Take extra caution when moving on the slope. It's like 50 degree or above incline and with sandy terrain, the sand is extremely slippery on rocks.
The west side of the Sawtooth Pass is mostly clear of snow, but as soon as you reach the pass you can see the other side of it is covered in completely white. Snow is couple feet high over the pass. View at the pass is breath taking.
Getting downhill is mandatory hill and can be very challenging. My buddy with crampon on felt it's easier as the traction on sandy slope helps. Me, I mostly slide one foot in careful position, moving sideways, sometimes sit down or hunch down to help stabilize the sliding. Be super careful where you step on! Pure sand has more traction than sand on rock. Also notice some part, even no snow/ice, but the small pebbles are frozen together made it hard and slippery.
We took 2 hrs to ascent from Lower Monarch Lake to the Pass.

on Freeman Creek Trail

2 months ago

nice, quiet, breezy, running water sounds , a very nice hike, plenty of shade.

Went there end of May backpacking. Last mile to the lake was on a slope covered with snow, we passed it with ice axe and crampons easily. I saw people walked by with trekking boots and poles but you might want to think twice and takes extreme caution. Heading towards sawtooth pass was very hard for me cause I failed to find the right route and struggled a lot along sandy mountain. Weather was cool not cold, afternoon fog brought bad condition to the trail. Breathtaking view when sunset and sunrise. Lots of marmots around the lake.

Hello, first time using this app, have been on this hike before with a different buddy and loved it. Just one concern does the map take you right to the trail head?

great hike, seemed like we went uphill both ways.
the views at the lake were great and you could see the trout cruzing the banks.
the trail is challenging to follow in a few flaces and theres a lot of down trees to walk over or around.
plenty of water supply along the way

Excelente para trail running, lindas vistas pero el sendero en si no es tan vistoso como otros de la zona.
La pendiente permite correr todo el trayecto! Yo solo hice 9 km y regresé porque debía completar 2:30 hs de entrenamiento
Lo hice en primavera hay muchos cursos de agua por lo que se puede viajar liviano sin tanta hidratación encima
Medianamente Transitado hasta el camping del km 4,5 luego casi ni huellas

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was a little difficult to find after the sign that says “Freeman Creek Trailhead”. We made a right turn into the lot right past the sign and then you’ll keep going straight onto the road with the marked sign (can’t remember the number) NOT the road to the right. It’ll just take you back to main road.

We hiked about 4.5 miles into the trail and didn’t find any end point so we turned around at this point. It’s a fun trail the first half and going back is a BIG workout. Expect to go up all those fun little descents. Took us about 4 1/2-5 hours total with little stops. Beautiful scenery but definitely a moderate hike. Including taking a little detour in the beginning we did about 10.5 miles. Not sure where this trail was supposed to end.

Beautiful hike, be prepared to cross snow fields early in the season before reaching the lower lake.

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