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Ok ... no real review but to note road closed (far from trailhead) for THREAT of snow 01/12/19

This is a great loop, especially for backpacking. We went in early december, these are a few notes for anyone else going in winter:
The forest road to the trailhead is a dirt road that isn't plowed, so unless you're very confident in snow you'll probably want to park at Quail Flats and hike approx 2 miles in to the trailhead. It's an easy walk in, but adds some climbing to the hike out. As of december 2018, the creek was flowing well - easy to filter water from it. The trail can be a little hard to follow in some places, and as you come up to the trailhead on the redwood creek side, the de facto trail strays a little way from the mapped trail, but you do eventually get there. There are a bunch of workable spots for camping near the creek. Lastly, the trail was slushy during the day, so waterproof boots are definitely a good idea.

Fresh snow made the trail a little hard to follow in the beginning but once we found our way there wasn’t any issue.

Did the hike in regular waterproof hiking boots. Probably should have used snow shoes.

This was a beautiful hike to Heather Lake. Trailer is well maintained, and smooth. We took the Hump Trail to Heather Lake as the sign stated the Watchtower was closed due to snow and ice, even though we knew there was none of that this day. This part is beautiful, but steep. Very Picturesque at the Lake. Returned via the Watchtower, and can see why this would be closed in the winter. I am not a fan of heights, but this trail although has steep drop offs, it wide enough to allow even the heights challenged to pass. Recommend the Watchtower trail for the scenic outlooks that are just magnificent!

This trail is definitely on our do do list to continue further to Pear Lake and Beyond.

If you’re considering it, go for it! If you can make it to Heather Lake with plenty of energy, you’ve competed most of the elevation climb so consider continuing to Emerald and Pear Lakes. All 3 are rather different in their view/surroundings.

Best part of this hike is the return trip out is mostly all downhill! Pit toilets are at both Emerald and Pear Lakes.

Note that the Watch Tower Trail has a sign after Oct. 15(?) that says it’s closed due to winter weather. This may not realllllly be accurate if the weather is great. There definitely wasn’t any snow when I took the trail on Nov 2nd — it was in the 60’s. So I waited at the intersection of the Watch Tower Trail and the other trail until a group came down the Watch Tower Trail and confirmed the conditions were perfect and there’s no reason not to take that option. Traffic on the Watch Tower Trail was reasonable — I’d pass someone/a group heading down about every 5 minutes once I hit the Watch Tower part of the trail.

A few spots on the trail are narrow with a notable steep drop off to one side, but it wasn’t enough to concern me (I’m fairly afraid of heights ). Just bringing that up since others mentioned it in other reviews.

Also note: the first few miles (and thus the last few miles) of the trail are dense forest, so be mindful that when it nears sunset the trail will get much darker earlier than you may anticipate. Pack flashlights/etc. accordingly if you may wrap up this trail in the late afternoon/early evening.

The day hike was amazing! We went on Veteran’s Day and took the hump trail because the watchtower trail was closed for the season. Although people prefer the watchtower, the hump was tiring, yet still amazing. We got to see a family of deer along the trail and enjoyed the scenery.
If you do a day hike around this time of year, I recommend leaving pear lake by 2:30 to get to your car by sundown.

Did this as a 2 day 1 night backpacking trip 9/30/18. Pear lake was very crowded, probably because it was the first weekend of the non-quota period. Still a BEAUTIFUL hike. Highly recommended!

hiking
2 months ago

Not much of a hike but some amazing Redwoods

backpacking
2 months ago

My 2 kids, 10yr old granddaughter and I went on this beautiful backpack trip Oct 19-21/2018. We had perfect weather 65 during the day, and hi 30's at night. Gravel road to parking lot was perfect, looked as though it had been recently redone.
Leaving the parking lot, we went on the left trail choosing to go down hill to where we would camp. It was about 2.5 miles to the bottom, and a beautiful hike. There is a stream about a mile down the trail, and it goes close to the trail the rest of the way to the bottom. Take note, there are very few places to set up camp.
We came back going left coming back the approx 4.5 mi back to the parking lot. There are no streams or water sources all the way back. We had a great time!!!! Beautiful hike, saw 4 deer, 2 coming into our camp site at about 8PM on our second night. LOVED IT ALL!!!!!!!

Love this area! I started the Sugar Bowl loop and then finished on the Hart Tree side for the longer 10 mile hike. I'm glad I went this direction but would like to try it in reverse sometime. Both sides offer excellent views and the hiking is not too difficult. I highly recommend doing this hike in the fall, the dogwood trees are stunning this time of year! The drive down to the trailhead is just a gravel road, you shouldn't have any trouble getting down there unless it's snowy. Totally worth your time to enjoy the giants on these trails!

Started our hike on 11/2/18, did 2 days, 3 nights. First day, we started at Wolverton trail head and went to Pear lake. The weather was sunny and 60 degrees, but if you werent in the sun... man it was cold. The temperature the first night dropped to just above freezing; I would recommend many layers for sleeping. The next day, we summited Alta Peak. Technically there is a trail to the peak, but it would have 20 miles round trip. Instead we scrambled up the north face of Pear Lake to get the peak. I wouldn't necessarily say this route as there was a lot of scrambling and rock jumping, but near the top, we could definitely see some foot prints and slightly defined trails of other people aka others have done the same. All in all, would definitely recommend! I wouldn't say it is a "hard" trail because the trail was well maintained and easy to hike on, but the altitude definitely stressed the lungs so be careful!

We did this hike on 10/6/18. We hiked counterclockwise from the trailhead. It was overcast and cool when we started and we finished in the rain. The sun did come out occasionally to light up the sequoias and they’re the star of this hike. The sugar bowl itself is just unreal. Huge trees everywhere. It was surreal. There were a couple of sections of the trail that afforded views of big baldy and little baldy, which could be very nice but they were obscured by the clouds when we hiked it. Clouds or not, the magnificent trees are an experience unto themselves. After the sugarbowl, and you'll know you're in it because every tree you can see is a sequoia, it's a long downhill jog to the canyon floor, then a long uphill slog back to the trailhead. There aren't many sequoias on the downward section but they grow more numerous on the way up and out of the canyon. Outstanding hike.

We hiked this on 10/5/18. It was 40F at 0830 when we started and it was sunny to start. We played leap frog with another couple all the way up to pear lake, but other than that we only ever saw anyone else on the return trip. The trail rises steadily from the trailhead and is pleasant enough through the forest until you get to the watchtower, which is really just an outcropping of rock overlooking a canyon. Spectacular views from there up to heather lake. Unfortunately, a cloud bank followed us up the valley so the views back down the valley were shrouded in fog, but the views up the valley were awesome. We missed emerald Lake thinking aster lake was emerald lake, but all 3 lakes we saw were nice in their own way. Pear lake was the best in terms of scenery made better due to the effort it took to get there. We took hump trail on the return due to the watchtower being covered in fog and it certainly lived up to its name. However, even though it was downhill most of the way, it was much more difficult due to the stress it placed on my knees. Overall, it was the best hike we did in either park. Highly recommend it

We hiked this trail on a very cloudy day. This didn't give us the opportunity for many views, but it was very awesome to be in such dense fog the whole way. The hike is not difficult by any stretch, but has some sloping sections. We never did find the Fallen Goliath, but the other destinations on the loop were quite interesting. The road to the trailhead is not paved, but we did it with no problem in a Corolla. They are currently in the process of putting new gravel down, making the road even more manageable. Overall would recommend as a good hike near the Grant Grove area of the park.

Beautiful hike! Last minute trip and decided I’d check out sequoia. Found this hike based of the reviews and everyone on here didn’t lie. Definitely recommend doing this one. The hike itself isn’t too bad. For some reason I recorded the mileage I little higher to around 13 miles but I’m sure my phones step counter can be off. Hiked to pear lake and back in 6.5 hours.

Backpacked and camped out at Emerald. There were a ton of mosquitoes at our camp, but we had bug repellent. Beautiful hike beautiful lakes.

Really gorgeous trail. I saw a few bear paw prints so I was whistling/singing throughout since I was alone. (I am overcoming my fear of bears, ok.) I saw only one other person while hiking, and the parking lot never even got to close to half full. Someone else mentioned to remember to look up when you’re in the canyon. Take that advice. The trail was easy to follow. I completed the trail in 2.5 hours and my iPhone recorded just under 7 miles.

walking
3 months ago

This is a short but heavily trafficked trail in Sequoia NP. It’s a paved path that’s great for handicap, kids, and walkers. At the half way point, you’ll reach the General Grant Tree. It’s beautiful but very busy! You can also connect to this trail from other trails in the park. We connected from the Rimrock Trail. Worth a stop if you’re in Sequoia NP!

I’m ok shape, middle age, 20 lb pack. Got to Summit Trailhead at 2:00 Friday. Camped about 2 miles from Lakes at 5:00. Saturday hiked around all three lakes and back to car by 3:00.

Middle Lake is prettiest. Some snow, a few hunters. Very similar to Dinkey, Cliff and Jenny Lakes, but no other people.

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. The filter idea was great, a must especially if it is hot, but also you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated. Insects were not a problem like they are down in the Canyon. I took the Hump trail on the way back thinking it would be easier than just repeating my way around watchtower, biggest mistake of my hike. I missed the views on the way back and the grade up and then down was not what my legs wanted on the way back. I clocked in 13.1 miles out to Pear lake. Saw trout, many Chipmunks and Pikas gathering cones and seeds, not too many birds. It was supposed to snow the next day which is why I made the effort on this day. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the lakes with the mountain backdrop. I saw only 6 people the whole time I was on the trail which was both welcoming and a little worrisome, as I was hiking and doing photography on my own. I know know what the "Sounds of Silence" are as this hike will take you there.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

Right off we see a large bear with a deer going the opposite direction. Some insects, easy short walk.

A strenuous 12 mile hike. The lakes are pristine. We did a day hike and stopped at Heather and Pear lake. For Astor lake, you need to climb down the trail, so we skipped it. Started at 10:45 am from the Wolverton parking lot and was back at around 6:25 PM, spend 45 minutes at Pear lake ( i would suggest backpacking here - the view is just mesmerising). While returning, there was no one on the trail which was scary as well as fun. Bring plenty of water and bring a filter, you can easily refill at Heather or Pear without taking any detour.

Awesome hike with beautiful views especially once you’re out of the forest area which ends right around the watchtower lookout point. One thing to know is it is very high in elevation and isn’t as warm as it would be in other areas of the park. 9,200 feet at Pear Lake. The high in sequoia NP the day I went was low 70’s but it was definitely cooler than that on this trail!

Beautiful trail in the gorge by the river. No wildlife sitings, but fun nonetheless!

First time testing the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake. We couldn't have picked a better time that's for sure. the weather was absolutely nice and breezy so we took our time to take it all in. You know JUST ENJOY right. Stopped at Watch Tower for its majestic view. Lol could've swore John Muir was next to me saying look at this magnificent view. From there on the view just keeps getting better and better. We love the peacefulness of all four lakes Heather, Aster, Emerald, and Pear. Just sad we didn't prepare to stay overnight to get the full effect of sunrise and sunset. Oh I could just imagine how beautiful the lakes and the surrounding would be. Plan to do that next time. Note: If one has fear of ridges and height the Watch Tower might not be a good idea just take the Hump Trail it'll get you to the lakes too. But some cardio work though. We decided to take the Via Hump at Heather Lake just to test it out on out way back.

hiking
4 months ago

This was so much better than the last time I was here. As we were coming out of the park after hiking in the valley, we decided to stop and hike around General Grant. We just started walking around the giant trees and to our surprise there wasn’t many people around which was awesome. The crews at this park are actually getting it ready for winter already in the middle of September. As these gentle giants rising up into the sky they were just awesome.

Loved our hike! Perfect temperature and not too busy. Clearly marked and very easy hike. Huge issue with mosquitoes and flies at the trailhead and continued along the hike

Nice day hike. The trail is mild to moderately uphill going out and downhill coming back and the trail is very well marked and traveled. You are taking the twin lakes trail out of Lodgepole camp ground.Today met a number of hikes going in both directions. Fun to stop and chat with other hikers finding out where they are going and where they have come from. At approximated 1.75 miles you must overland East approximately a quarter mile to get to the meadow. You can not see meadow from the trail because of the forest density. I followed a dried stream bed down to the meadow, and it was difficult to maneuver over and around the many fallen trees. It was fun trying to find the easiest way. The meadow is wild and natural because it is off the trail and hence not traveled over by humans. Today it was tall grasses blowing in the wind, but in the spring I believe it will be filled with wild flowers. It is well worth the off trail experience.

100% agree with Asdfasdf. I will add that during that narrow section of the Watchtower, which lasts about 100 ft, I hugged the wall and crouched low. I have vertigo and that section spooked me. Because of the peripheral vision issues and the way the cliff went, I’m not sure I could have done it in reverse, therefore I chose Hump Trail back. (Going in you can focus on the wall to your right and avoid the peripheral differences. Going back, I don’t think you can). I would NEVER take Hump Trail in if I had the choice. It is absolutely brutal in elevation gain/loss.

Amazing hike. Beautiful scenery. Pear lake is definitely the icing on the cake!!!

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