Explore 395 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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backpacking
1 day ago

Devil’s Bathtub is a beautiful lake surrounded by some amazing peaks. The 4.4 mike hike up is mostly easy thought there is over a 1,000 feet elevation gain and it’s lost difficult at the end. The trails are well marked and the hike is beautiful. It took me about 2.5 hours with a full pack to get up there. There are plenty of fish in the lake if you’re into it. I did get hailed and rained on in the afternoon (mid August trip) but that happens in the sierras and it cleared up after. There are several good camping spots around the lake.

beautiful trail.

There was a group of us girls backpacking it. It took us roughly 6 hours up and 2.5 down. You will see wild strawberries, which you can eat and of course lots of poison oak so be careful and dont stray off the trail.

the last portion is a big of a challenge, as it is steep.

we drank from the stream, fished at night and talked to the rangers.

it was well worth the hike.

Nice short hike to lake sherwin and back. Took about 1.5 hrs out with some short stops and 50mins return.... downhill.

beautiful blue skies, gorgeous views, great escape from hot hazy valley below. took some effort to follow trail markers from Blue to Donkey and even tougher from Donkey to Baboon, but that was the icing on the cake

beautiful views. blue to Donkey took a little hunting for markers and even tougher to go beyond to Baboon lakes, but they were the icing on the cake. super vistas with nice blue sky and mild temperature, while valley by Bishop was exceedingly hot and v hazy

backpacking
2 days ago

Completed the Cottonwood Loop yesterday (8-17-18). The Old Army Pass was a bit scary. Coming down New Army Pass was in much better condition. Breathtaking scenery! The weather was good. Did have some rain, which made the trip even more enjoyable. This trail is a must and will definitely expand our trip in to the Sequoia National Forest on our next trip!

The hike is amazing shadow lake is nice but it doesn’t compare to Ediza. The trail is flat for most of it just rocky parts of gravel and rock a some steep inclines. Once you get to Ediza u won’t be disappointed you get a beautiful view of mount Ritter and banner peak even tho for me there was smoke that day

hiking
3 days ago

stunning views, clear blue skies with some big white cumulus- essentially no mosquitoes. Did have difficulty finding the trail after the first 2 lakes- essentially hiked up edge of water fall with some bushwacking where bushes have overgrown trail- well worth the effort

4 days ago

Very nice trail . Not as challenging but very good for acclinatizing and conditioning if you intend to hike other 14ers . The multi colored mountain and the 360 views are awesome. The bristlecone pine trees ... the oldest living thing in the world is found on the way up

Maybe I was having an "off" hike. I found this trail to be very difficult to follow. I got to a point of the trail where the only option to go would have been to scale a very sandy and steep hill, I would've taken that route had I not been with my 60 lb dog. If that was the true route to go, I would not call this trail a dog-safe trail. Unfortunately we had to turn around.

I docked a star from my rating because the trail is so dang busy! I hiked it on June 10, 2018. Arrived around 8:00am and had plenty of parking spaces to choose from. We took our time (more of a stroll than a hike) stopping frequently to take photos. By mid - day there were hikers in view almost constantly. Many had dogs. Consequently there was no sign of any wildlife other than birds and ground squirrels.

Worth the steep uphill! Great views

As stated in the trail description, this trail is entirely above 10,000 ft. You will pass by many different lakes. The views are awesome and its almost impossible to take a bad picture. The only drawback is that this is a very popular trail head and parking can be a challenge so come early.

Short, but steep hike to a very pleasant lake. I would rate this as hard due to the steep grade. The lake itself is wonderful - a lot of people were swimming in the lake during my visit.

awesome setting

So beautiful. I got to go back! Got here too late.

Beautiful canyon and a gem of a hike. Waterfalls are great. Road to trailhead has been repaired.

hiking
5 days ago

Practicing for a Yosemite backpacking trip in a month and decided to give fern a try. I’ve been training for a couple month and went with my wife who never hikes. It is a difficult hike but she kicked butt. Took about 1:30 hours to get up (with pictures at the waterfall about halfway). We at lunch and fished at the top for about an hour and caught a bunch of small brook trout very quickly (power bait). Was much quicker coming down ~45min to an hour. Great place for a family hike. Bring a walking stick! It’s steep.

beautiful scenery and so many lakes within relatively easy hike .

A beautiful area that is easy to navigate. Bugs are minimal at this time and the smoke from the fires was not in the valley the two nights we were there. Although we did have smoke haze on the 395 getting there. Afternoon thunderstorms gave us a variety of weather but nothing too major. Love coming here!

Amazing Views of Lake Mary, Lake George and at the end the lovely Lake Crystal.
This is a moderate hike with some great elevations, so if you are a beginner then consider this a hard hike ( not for distance , but only because of elevation and lots of curves )

backpacking
8 days ago

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful hike. Moderate but challenging because of the altitude. A little smokey at the beginning because of the fires, but cleared up before we got to Crystal Lake. Cool, clear water with a few people jumping off rocks into it. Saw a few people with fishing poles too and they all said they weren't having any luck. Seemed to take about an hour and 15 minutes to get up there. This was with many stops and a really slow pace.

The trail from Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake is fairly arduous, especially with heavy packs though the scenery is spectacular. The trail from Donkey Lake to Blue Lake is sometimes hard to follow since it’s not well marked.

great hike and excellent fishing. snow in the spring and multple water falls.

The hike shown here is actually from Barcroft Station, not the locked gate where you will likely have to start. From the locked gate, it is actually seven miles each way for a total of 14 miles. If you wish to do the shorter hike from Barcroft Station, you must wait for one of the ‘Open Gate Days’. There are usually two open gate days each summer - one in July and one around Labor Day Weekend. And on these days, you can drive all the way to Barcroft for the shorter hike shown here. Check the Barcroft Station website (www.wmrs.edu) for the dates of these open gate days if you are interested.

Regardless, as you likely know, White Mountain Peak is the third highest peak and easiest 14er in California. Altitude aside, the trail itself is actually VERY easy. Much of it is quite level. And the relatively modest amount climbing that you DO do is fairly gentle. Furthermore, the Jeep Trail that you hike on is relatively easy terrain-wise. No outlandishly rough rocky trails or foot high stone steps here! The only challenge for some is going to be the fact that almost ALL of the trail is above 12000ft. This makes White Mountain Peak PERFECT for acclimation if you plan to climb other high stuff.

It seems like reviews of the scenic beauty of the area tend to be mixed. And that’s to be expected of an area like the White Mountains. Many people don’t like the area and/or consider it boring due to its lack of classic hiking features like deep forests, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. But others (like myself) LOVE this area for what it DOES offer. Lower down (while still driving), you have the Bristlecone Pines - the oldest trees known. Their wind-twisted forms simply add to the exotic appearance of the area. The stark, rather barren terrain and multicolored rocky peaks gives the area an otherworldly look. And when you combine this with the deep blue high altitude skies and sunshine that is brighter than ANYTHING you will see at sea level, this area just SCREAMS ‘La La Land’. Oh, and let’s not forget the SPECTACULAR views of the Eastern Sierra and surrounding countryside. These views only get better the higher you go.

If you come to the White Mountains, bring PLENTY of water. Unless you come early in the season and can melt snow, there is NONE in the area. Also, at these kinds of altitudes, it is generally always chilly. So bring a jacket any time of the year. You may not need it at times due to the strong sun, which can make it feel FAR warmer than it really is here. Speaking of the sun, also bring sunscreen. The sun up here at 12000+ft is BRUTAL compared to sea level, and will COOK unprotected skin in short order. Long sleeves and a hat or bandana can also help protect you from the sun.

As others have mentioned, the road to the trailhead is very rough, and getting a flat all the way up there would suck (plus it would cost a fortune). It took me about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead where I slept overnight. Sleeping overnight at elevation is essential to get acclimated. The trail from the closed gate is actually 14 miles, not 11.1. I got a bit of altitude sickness a bit at about the research station so I chilled at the station for about 20 minutes and then for another half hour at the observatory just a little ways further. I was fine after that with regard to altitude (that was after spending most of the last 4 days between 7k-12k elevation in Death Valley and Kings Canyon). The best way to prevent/combat altitude sickness is lots of water and snacking. There should be enough of your urine on that mountain for an entire weeks worth of German dungeon porn.

It was quite cold even late July, so I recommend hat and gloves for sure. Part of the trail was snowy and I got pretty bad sunburn on my face and lips from the reflection. I'm generally speaking in good shape - 29yo man, 155ln reasonably fit, and it took me 11 hours. 6am to about 5pm. I'm a slow hiker though, and take lots of breaks. Part of that is necessity but part of that is because everyone is running around like a goddamn chicken with their head cut off in the city, and then they come out here to nature where they keep running around like a goddamn chicken with its head cut off just the same, except this time in nature. You trying to make it back in time for a haircut appointment or something? Slow down, chill, and enjoy - you got nowhere to be.

This did a number on my knee and calves, coming back down. I could barely walk after I got the car and took a break. It may be the easiest 14er, but that doesn't mean it's easy!

on Fern Lake Trail

14 days ago

toughed hike but the view is all worth it.

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