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My absolute favorite trail. Even tho I thought my legs might fall off before we reached the end... I didn’t want it to end. Expect to spend 4-6 hours. Took us 5 and we are moderately fit for winos. I could stay lost in the beauty of this trail for days on end and never tire of it.

backpacking
7 days ago

Amazing views hiking up the mountain. Be careful in the summer, it isn’t too shaded. Other than that, well worth it.

Perhaps my favorite dayhike in the world.

Beautiful trail, loved all the ferns. I definitely don’t think it is “hard”. Maybe if you are not a regular hiker or if you’re not in good shape it could be hard. I think you only gain about 500 ft or so. Best trail to get deep in the forest!

Stunning hike. Like stepping into a time before time. Prepare to be moved with reverence and awe at the glory of the ancient forest.

Bring waders or waterproof boots for the fern canyon, unless you like wet feet. Bring lunch and eat on the beach! What a beautiful sequence to go from woods to the sea and back to the woods.

Not too vertically challenging. Finished in 3 hours 50 minutes. Can be done fast if you want. Or take your time and really soak up the beauty. Either way, don’t miss this one.

backpacking
22 days ago

This was a tough, but rewarding trail! We backpacked in to Vicente Flat, stayed the night, then got up early the next day to summit Cone Peak with just our packs and day hiking necessities, then came back to Vicente Flat for the second night. We hiked at a moderate pace and got to the summit by 4pm, then finished our last four miles with headlamps on. The route definitely has some incline to it, but the scenery makes up for it. The trail up to Cone Peak was breathtaking - we got great pictures looking down on the clouds.

Not difficult. In view of reservoir and beautiful view much of the time.

this is a great trail!!! I was able to do the whole loop in about 4.5 hours. I took time to take in the scenery and have lunch also. this is a great day hike.

11/27/18 This hike wrapped the 7th and final hike over our Thanksgiving vacation. It certainly was the highlight of our trip! There were so many different types of terrain on this trail from flat rock, to fallen leaves, stone stairs and my favorite was navigating over all the rock. We started at 8:45 am and ended up doing 13 miles in 5.25 hours with a small sandwich break. We primarily had the trail to ourselves until we started to venture back then ran into about a dozen people. The weather was perfect! Mid 50’s with a slight breeze and very clear. You’ll see breathtaking views of Hetch Hetchery Reservoire all along the trail. I believe there was 4 waterfalls in view as well. I would definitely do this trail again!

backpacking
1 month ago

Scenery is beautiful, gets a little tougher when you’re strolling through snow.

Hiked this in the rain, which was pretty miserable. But on a clear day, I imagine the views would be spectacular. Trail is moderately difficult and well maintained. Took me about 5.5 hours including lunch at the creek. Get there early if you want the trail to yourself -- I started at 9 and didn't see anyone until I was already halfway down.

Great, long hike with majestic views

great trail! loved it!

backpacking
2 months ago

We did it in two days at a moderate pace and the worst part was just the heat at times. Unbeatable views.

A very nice walk with amazing big Coastal Redwoods and then Fern Canyon- be prepared for water crossings. Then beach and back up into the old growth forest- just magical. We would rate this moderate only- the trail is excellent. Fern Canyon is slow going with the stream and multiple crisscrossing but great. 20 kms all up and 4 hours 43 minutes. A really lovely day out. So peaceful. Highly recommend.

Beautiful day. I ran the loop and the fall colors were beautiful. A lot of bear activity around the lakes especially Millie. From scat to multiple prints large and small. I just kept running. This is a very runnable trail. I don't run there in summer months the trail is all dust and deep sand from horses.

Well maintained trail.

Beautiful hike through spectacular redwoods. We started at prairie creek visitor center and headed toward fern canyon, which is a site to see in itself. Prepare for wet shoes if you decide to go through fern canyon instead of straight to the trail base. You’re basically walking through a creek surrounded by fern covered walls. From there we headed across the beach to the start of miners trail back toward prairie creek visitor center. Overall it took us about 6 hours to finish, which includes stopping to eat lunch and stopping for many pictures. Would definitely recommend for someone up for some adventure

backpacking
3 months ago

Such a great trail! We did a two day backpacking trip, low key and so refreshing.

We went around clockwise, camping by the Government Meadow overnight. We stayed on top of a rock formation (which was a mistake, way too windy) but I would recommend it as a place to catch a killer sunset! There are plenty of nice flat open spaces near the creek, they are easy to spot as logs are usually arranged around the remains of a fire pit.

There is a lovely open area to set up camp about 2 miles in, if you go counter clockwise, on the other side of a bridge. It looks like you could lounge around this mellow part of the creek, and it would be great for swimming on a sunny day.

We picked up our permit at the Ranger Station in Pioneer. It added an extra 30-40 minutes to our drive coming from SF, so if you can get your permit at a station off of 50, you'd save yourself some time.

backpacking
3 months ago

Fantastic trail. Went from H1 to Cone Peak Summit in a day. It was about 12 miles all uphill. Make sure to get water at the first camp because the spring on the San Antonio trail is dry and very overgrown as of October 13, 2018. Great views all the way. I camped on the Firewatch station with my one person ten, the station helped reduced the amount of wind. Don't sleep at the summit without a tent, years of people leaving their food/ trash up there has caused a rat problem at night. Other then that I cant wait to go back.

Excellent trail condition with amazing views. Unique in that one sees so many different environments between old growth groves and the beach.

Good day adventure, completed in just under 7 hours. Used this trail as a prep for Mt. Whitney in 2 days.
Beautiful views of the multiple lakes and surreal autumn nature! The trail is quite exposed with little shade.
I would do this trail again as a backpacking trip.

Beautiful eastern Sierra hike. Great fall colors.

Very long trail (22km) but beautiful!!!!

beautiful. We started at trailhead that leads to winemucca lake, then up to round top lake, then down to fourth...coming back up from fourth is a steep one. We're females in average shape but do hike a lot, clocked 11 miles out and back in about 6 hours. Saw a tarantula! Pretty flowers. I sunburnt, she didn't...both shady and exposed areas.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a beautiful day to hit this trail for the first time. It has a few good strenuous sections but all in all it is not too challenging. Good mixture of sun and shade and the meadows are stunning. Very quiet with few other hikers!

backpacking
4 months ago

We started at Wright's lake and hiked over Rockbound pass, past Lois and Doris Lakes and finally camped at Lake Schmidell the first night. Rockbound is an intimidating pass, but the 8 miles went by fairly quickly. Day 2 we hiked past McConnel Lake which was really just a swamp and on towards Horseshoe. We went northwest off the trail at Horshoe to climb a short ridge and over the other side to Zitella Lake. Lovely! Had it all to ourselves.Great swimming. Day 3 we continued on the loop with the intention to go through 4Qs lakes and Campers Flat and on up a last climb to Doris Lake. Got totally lost around Campers Flat. Downed logs, poor markings. We renamed it Campers Hell! Spent an hour trying to find the trail. Finally did after making a loop through heavy undergrowth, then cruised easily to the junction where the Velmas trail goes east. We continued on and then took the short climb up to Doris where we camped for the night. Good camping at Doris, but there was a huge party there and we camped pretty far from the lake. The next day we cruised back over Rockbound and back to Wrights Lake TH. This was a beautiful hike, but Campers Flat was a bust. Probably won't do that loop again. Zitella was fabulous!

I got an early start on Labor Day weekend. Since this is a less visited part of the park, I had no trouble at the gate or with parking and I had the trail mostly to myself til halfway through my way back in the afternoon. Very peaceful.

The views of the lake and cliffs are amazing. There are several waterfalls but this late in the year I didn’t expect much of a flow, so I wasn’t disappointed.

The trail itself is moderately strenuous. It is well groomed and free of loose stones for the most part. The steeper grades have steps and the areas that would get wet from the waterfalls earlier in the year are cobbled for better footing. A lot of the trail is exposed and hot, the wooded areas are a great relief but in the morning the mosquitoes were thick! I highly recommend sun block and bug spray.

Though the trail is moderately strenuous, the return trip was difficult. I was tired from the hike out, the sun got hotter, and it seemed like there were just as many inclines as there were descents. Meaning, there was a lot of uphill climbing on the way back.

The trail is dusty from all the crushed granite and I went through more water than I thought I would. Halfway through my return I nearly ran out of water and had to ration. Bring more water than you think you’ll need.

Overall, an excellent experience! Check out my pics.

hiking
4 months ago

I day hiked this trail yesterday. i must say it’s one of the most challenging hikes i’ve done to date. the real challenge starts right after you get to Vicente Flat campgrounds. The views at the fire lookout is worth every single step. If you’re looking to train in distance and elevation gain for Mount Whitney, i recommend doing this hike. i did Whitney twice this year already, trust me :) Last but not least, being more than 3L of water on a hot day.

hiking
4 months ago

An easy-to-moderate hike that takes in the redwoods and coast all in the swoop. Fern Canyon was the highlight and a great place to stop for lunch halfway, although it was fairly crowded because the site is accessible by road. There is some uphill hiking but all very doable if you are relatively fit, took me about 5.5 hours to do the entire loop. I sadly had only one day in Redwood State and National Parks, and I felt this was a great hike to see a bit of everything!

Only advice is when you are walking on the beach, there are no good landmarks to indicate when to turn inland. I downloaded the area on Google Maps on my phone and used my GPS to know when to turn (both Fern Canyon and the campground are on Google Maps).

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