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Super fun but hard due to the up and down hills.

It was my first trail ever on a mountain bike and it was hard due to the up and down hills but I did it and am better for it. Great views and great time with friends and family.

3 months ago

Great views but it's a shame that the trail is not well maintained, it is overgrown at many places, be prepared to brush against a ton of bushes along the way.

4 months ago

If you want to be a human weed wacker, then this is the trail for you! I did not have the best attitude after climbing several thousand feet to battle extra thick brush and flies. I would suggest doing this hike late in the year. It does have expansive views and gives you some bragging rights. However, there are much more enjoyable hikes in Big Sur, in my opinion, with better views.

Scenery: 3
Views: 4
Difficulty: 5
Crowds: 1
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

This trail is awsome! Plenty of technical trail to navigate. Great spartan race training. Love it!

4 months ago

Please Note:.

The path you are given in All Trails is not accurate. Look at the Topo Map and compare it to the actual recording people have added here. You'll see the actual active path. It adds an additional 2-3 miles to the loop.

I did this hike on August 18th 2018 and the day was very nice. There was probably about a mid-70s temperature. there is a place where the path intersects with the Joe Pass Trail where someone has stolen the signs helpful hiker or possibly park ranger has written on the posts which is useful but I suggest you use your alltrails app so you can tell where you are and which way to go.

the actual Lake was completely devoid of human activity when I reached it at noon. during the whole hike I saw only two groups of people.

As far as critters at the actual Lake, there were no mosquitoes at all which was very nice. There were three ducks that circled the perimeter of the lake looking for goodies to eat. And there were tons of dragonflies.

There are a few bear boxes at the campsites.

If you're doing the loop from the Rowell Meadow trailhead the return hike gets to be pretty rough because coming back from the lake after doing about 8 Mi you'll hit the hill that is very steep. The elevation increases as you climb for about a mile until you get to the junction of the park boundaries. you'll get gassed out. take plenty of water and frequent rest stops.

the creeks and streams along the path are dry at this point but there are still a lot of butterflies and moths that flit about.

I will give you some advice if you're coming from the road that leads to the Rowell Meadow trailhead that horse corral Road is very unkempt and it is not paved and there are many rocks and ruts. it was completely dry when I came down it in a passenger car but if there's any water in the area on that road it will turn into a mud nightmare!!!! do not attempt that road if it is wet, especially in a passenger car and I would strongly caution you even if you have a 4 wheel drive.

on August 18th 2018 the trailhead road was closed at a certain location where a stream had washed out a drainage pipe and you had to park and then walk an additional maybe half mile to get to the Rowell Meadow staging trailhead. but by the time I finished my hike at 5 p. m. a backhoe had appeared at the trail area and had completely repaired the drainage pipe. I don't know if it's open yet but it looks like it should be very soon.

check out my pics on this trail post.

5 months 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.

5 months ago


Great for 1 day backpacking!

This hike is actually 12.5 miles round trip, took us about 6.5 hrs with a 30 min lunch break at the top. Did it mid June 2018. We used strava to track it and most of the elevation gain is between miles 4-6. The last about 1.5 miles is bushwhacking through tall bushes and pines. Bring a jacket and wear pants to not get scraped up. The views going up are amazing, so it's nice to take breaks and look around. The summit has a fire tower which does not have a platform, but you can climb the stairs to just take a quick peek. Overall, it was a nice hike.

7 months ago

Great hike, I completed it late December. The round trip took me a little over 5 hours with break at the top. The first half of the trail is in woods, then there is little to no shade for the rest of the hike. I couldn’t stop turning around and admiring the views. And the last hour of the drive has some great views as well.
A few things of note: there were a few places where I had to double check if I was on the trail.
And at the top the trail takes you to the other side of the mountain - the temperature did drop nearly 20 degrees with winds gusts.
For a scenic hike to escape the crowds - highly recommended

We intended to go to Kuhs and accidentally overshot it on to Chipik due to no directional arrows on the trail. For all those headed to Kuhs, when you see the mile marker a little over 3.5 miles in, take the small trail to the left. Full disclosure, I should have known that the small trail went to Kuhs, but I was distracted by my young children and wasn't thinking straight. On the plus side, after subjecting my 3.5 year old to a much more strenuous hike over ridges she had no business doing, where we ended up was much less crowded than Kuhs and was a lovely campground.

First backpacking trip to test out gear. nice toilet, tables, fire ring, and level spot. Fishing was slow and hike is boring compared to others. But good spot for winter camping. bring your own water.

Nothing really too special but if you have no other choice in a backpacking trip i guess its okay......

Monday, January 08, 2018

We followed the route on here heading out to go backpacking. If you are headed to Kuhs camp add another .33 miles or 1.33 miles for Sapwi campground to the route, the trail on here ends before the fork leading to campgrounds. Nice flat trail, campgrounds were clean and we'll maintained with composting toilets, picinic tables, bear boxes and fire pit. If you are planning to camp you need to get an overnight permit on other side of lake at rangers station.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I’ve hiked this 5 times in the past few months to get in shape for bigger peaks. It’s tough, about 3 hours to summit at a good pace, but there’s views of the fort, King City, GreenField, Nacimiento Lake, and the Pacific.

Heavy brush at the top as of November 2017, but it’s not too difficult to get through. Just keep your eyes on the trail and always stick to the most worn trail.

Definite worth it if you have a day for it!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Solitude and fire

Great hike. Long but not difficult. Beautiful views and the lake is a real reward after long hours under the sun. We took a dive. It was very cold but really refreshing.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Great for a beginner learning to back pack. Pretty mellow but challenging enough to teach you how to pack and work out for your next one lol. I didn't see any other hikers out there while My wife and I where there. Over all a very nice hike.

The trail is well marked and once you get to the lake you feel very accomplished. Though, the rolling ridges, sun exposure in some spots, and heat made for a pretty tough hike in, we were still able to keep approx 20 min per mile pace.

Once at the lake you can fish, swim, and camp. Something to note, there is a little restroom shack and trash can not too far from Kelly Lake.

We are doing a 25 miler backpacking trip in Yosemite backcountry coming up so we did this trail to condition with our packs.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Great hike! I would list it as difficult though. It is 10 miles up and 10 miles down from the Lodgepole Visitor Center. Not too many people on the way, definitely not many people camping at Ranger Lake (there are a bit more at Twin lakes), you can have firecamps at Ranger Lake which is a huge plus, and we went swimming (water is not cold at all).

Out and back. Really worth camping at the lake.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Blinn Ranch trail is an unimproved road. 1.5 miles from Sapwi Camp, it becomes single-track. I encountered minimal poison oak and none of it presented a barrier to the trail. Good signage along the way, except for where the trail splits between Khus and Sapwi camps.

Very level trail for the most part. Gets better if you extend your hike further on.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Traveled to this lake via Twin lakes trail from Lodgepole campground. Was a beautiful lake and surrounding. In mid August of 2016, weather was perfect, not many skitos

Backpacking at night

Monday, October 03, 2016

Backpacked this one from Lodgepole Center to Ranger Lake this past weekend (Sept 30 - Oct 2). Like the review below the info on this page is outdated and the trail is just over 10.5 miles. The hike to Ranger Lake has alot of elevation gain but once you get to Silliman Pass its all down hill from there. This is a fairly tricky trail and can take a good amount of time if your not in shape, so just make sure you are prepared for some good hiking! There were 2 campsites at Ranger Lake that had bear boxes so that was nice to have, plus you can have fires there which was nice because night temps ranged from 26-33. We stayed 2 nights so we could explore the lake for a bit and give our legs a rest! Ranger Lake was the only lake in the area that you could legally have a fire. Both Twin Lakes and Beville Lake have camp spots but no fires allowed. Views were very good throughout the whole entire way, from huge sequoias to beautiful lakes. Very low traffic throughout the whole entire trail only saw 2 group of 2 and that was it.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Backpacked from the Rowell Meadow trailhead to Ranger Lake over labor day weekend. I wrote this review mainly to point out that most information on this hike is outdated—they have rerouted the trail in recent years, making it about 10.5 miles each way. The hike had a lot of elevation gain/loss. When we finally got to Ranger Lake, we stayed there for two nights. The views of Mt. Silliman and Kings Canyon beyond are epic. We seemed to be the only people camping there, although we did run into a few others passing through. Beautiful and special place that I would like to return to someday.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

very tough trail but the view where we camped was amazing!!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Great first time hike for an amateur backpacker

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