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

hiking
2 days ago

Day Hike: Beautiful Scenery all around and unexpected on the stamina you really need to make it through the hike. It was 4 of us, we are active and work out except for one who recently started getting active .However, we had the trail challenging us from the beginning until we enter the canyon where the challenge became tougher. We started the hike at 8 am. The elevation rise as we hike and climb higher ofcourse and tougher it got, but we were still able to manage and continue through . We took about 5 breaks of 5minutes in total . I believe it took us 2 hrs and half to make it to the first lake . Then, second lake about 10 minutes or so. My heart rate as an active individual was between 150 to 165 almost the entire hike . Burned 1500 calories plus. The descend was the best because everything from there was a piece a cake . We left the second lake around 1:00 pm and came across a lot of backpackers, day hikers, fishers, and backpackers who were just arriving as we were leaving . You will come across a few people later on the day. I do not recommend people who have health problems to do this trail . I will say if you are not active prepare to me challenge mentally and physically . And for those who want to encourage friends who do not do any hikes or anything whatsoever. Prepare to take plenty of lakes . Overall beautiful .

My fiancé and I went yesterday! It was absolutely breathtaking! We also brought our 3 month old daughter with us in a baby carrier so the hike was a little bit difficult but definitely worth it! Started the hike around 1100 and ended up at the lake around 230 ish and took us a little less the 3 hours to get back down. Beyond beautiful!

Beautiful views and well worth the climb. Lakes are beautiful, and what you see in the pictures is what you see in real life. I want to go back and hike to the glacier one day.

Speechless. Exactly how it left us. Big Pine Lakes is absolutely breathtaking. By far one of the most beautiful places we’ve hiked. The trail is rated moderate but I will be honest when I say that this trail is more on the difficult end. Just my opinion. The hike is mostly incline and over 5-6 miles to the first lake. Completely worth it though. Very doable and many stop areas along the way. We saw deer and the fall leaves. Not to mention the beautiful scenery. We only went to lake two and it took us a total of 6hrs. We also stopped and took pictures in many places so that’s why it took a bit longer.

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

Poison oak. Lots of it. Brought the dog and I wish I hadn’t. Trail disappears after first crossing. Not for beginners and even though it is “dog-friendly” I highly DO NOT recommend bringing Fido.

hiking
15 days ago

A wonder-filled hike with a little bit of everything: 5 lakes in the loop, waterfalls and streams, enough elevation gain to make it challenging and even more interesting, and plenty of places to stop and enjoy. This hike is easily one of my favorites, great for a day or a week. Did it a month ago and had to make sure I reviewed it.

backpacking
15 days ago

This was a great hike- planned on two nights but a snow system was a little heavier than we planned for so called it and headed back down.

Very few people on the trail on Friday- no more than a half a dozen going up and down the entire time. Saturday was a little heavier, but not a problem overall. Co-hiker was not ready for much more than Lake 1, but looking forward to the full loop and Palisade next time.

backpacking
18 days ago

I like to start here for the pine ridge trail

This trail is at high altitude and there is a gain of 3000+ft. But it is gradual which makes it very possible for just about anyone with enough time to enjoy. The trail is exposed to the elements for the first 2 miles so a 6-7am start is recommended. On the trail I saw, 8 yr old kids with backpacking gear hitting it strong, a three legged dog running ahead of his crew, a couple of men over 250lbs, and if I had my babies in my backpack, it wouldn’t have stopped me from enjoying this AMAZING trail. The beauty about this trail is that there is so much to enjoy along the way. The creek provides so many places to enjoy a break, a dip, or whatever. Whether you do the “whole loop” or not, it shouldn’t matter. Don’t ever let anyone tell you what you can or cannot hike period. Walk the whole thing up to Canada or walk up 300ft, at least you got outside. Enjoy my friends. This is an incredible hike. Bring at least 1.5 liters if you don’t drink much like myself but much more if you have littles. Maybe take a hammock too.

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike, clean air clean trail amazing views

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!

All fails at its best....posting reviews from people that didnt do the hike......turning back at lake 2 is
not what this hike is about....if you dont do the hike don't comment.....difference between turning back at lake 2 and completing the hike is about 1400 feet elevation gain....not for kids or quiters....if you do the hike, one of the best in the Eastern Sierra, but probably should be rated "hard" as you can see most people don't complete the hike.

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Did the hike back in August, the weather was perfect. Went all the way to 6th lake, wish I had got a overnight pass so I could enjoy the lakes more. Incredible views & when the wind blows just right you can feel the chill breeze from the glacier.

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.

100% agree with Asdfasdf. I will add that during that narrow section of the Watchtower, which lasts about 100 ft, I hugged the wall & crouched low. I have vertigo & that section spooked me. Because of the peripheral vision issues & 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 & 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!!!

Great loop hike. Recommend to anyone wanting just a few days in the woods. Bring a map. More turnoffs than I expected.

I love this trail for a quick jaunt into the wilderness or to follow it all the way up past hiding camp to the camp with no name near the top of a huge waterfall that's on the way to round rock camp. We refer to that camp as cobra camp. #cobrahikingclub

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike! Moderate uphill climb to the lakes, about 5.5 miles (11-12 total). Heavily shaded in most areas. We were plenty prepared with food and water, although, we did drink from the stream at vigorous areas and were fine. Ton of fish in the lakes. The first two lakes were gorgeous and barely anyone around! We did this hike Labor Day weekend and expected it to be heavily trafficked. We want to go back and get an overnight pass—absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

Loved this hike as well. My husband and I hiked with two kids in backpacks (ages 1.5 + 3.5) - 2nd lake was our lunch and turn-around spot. Everyone loved it and had a great time. We clocked 12 miles in our RT and it was 4 up for our crew and a pretty quick 2 down. Definitely take a filter for more water if you take littles. For perspective - we are in good shape and live at 6000k, pack weights were probably 30 and 50 lbs respectively. It was a big day - but so worth it.

One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done! The beginning is a little rough because of how exposed you are, so I’d start early! I hiked it alone and felt totally comfortable! I cannot wait to go back and do the loop again! I would say it’s 14 miles.

Just beautiful! I think the mileage for this loop may be seriously off. We only went to the 2nd Lake and turned back around to return to Glacier Lodge but recorded over 12 miles in doing just that. I recommend lots of sunscreen and taking a water filter. If you run out of water, there’s tons of water along the way. I would love to return and backpack the lakes.

A very worthwhile sequence of beautiful lakes within granodiorite-rimmed cirques provide a fulfilling day of out-and-back hiking.

Awesome! The first 3 lakes are the most beautiful with the blue green color. The black lake was also really nice and peaceful. If you have the time and energy, I think it’s worth it to do the whole loop, because at the end you get a really nice view of the first and second lakes. We made it an all day adventure, and spent 10 hours on the trail taking nice breaks and napping. Next time I’d get an overnight permit and camp up there!

9/8/2018 - First, Yes. Watchtower is on a cliff, but the path is wide. If you are afraid of heights, I recommend still doing it. If you are deathly afraid of heights, Hump Trail is in the woods/does not have a cliff. (See below for details)

I day hiked from Wolverton Lot --> up via Watchtower Overpass --> Heather Lake > Emerald > Pear --> backdown via Hump Trail --> Wolverton Lot

Description of hike: The trail head begins at Wolverton Lot where you can park your car right next to the trailhead which is nice. Has a restroom for use. Wolverton to Heather Lake is 4.1 mi basically going up. The route forks at around 2 miles to Watchtower or Hump. They rejoin and you're on the way to Heather Lake. The trees provide shade for majority of the hike. After Watchtower, you are in the sun. If you keep going beyond Heather Lake, it's another 2.1 miles where you descend and ascend another 100 - 200 feet climb up to Pear Lake.

What should you bring?
1) Small day pack
2) Food + Water: I ate a light breakfast, 4 cliff bars, some chocolate, and drank 2 liters of water. If you don't want the weight of water, bring a filter plus one liter of water to get you to the first lake.
3) Sunblock
4) Hat or Sunglasses
5) Swim trunks if you plan to take a dip in the water
6) Fishing rod if you like fishing!

Should you stop at Heather Lake or keep going to Pear?
I say finish the hike and go to Pear Lake. It's a sense of accomplishment. However if you're tired/short on supplies, be aware the hike stays equally difficult all the way to pear lake. Overall, I thought Heather Lake was the best. The water is vibrant and the mountains are a nice backdrop.

Watchtower or Hump?
Do Watchtower at least one way. Yes Watchtower is on a cliff but the views are 200% worth it and a great spot to take a break and take in the view. The path is about 3 people wide. There is one portion where it's about 1.5 people wide, but it's very very short, and nothing scary. Hump trail has nothing special that you won't see just doing the normal hike. I reiterate do Watchtower at least one way.

Time: I am a slow hiker (26 yo with bad knees... ) I entered the path at 8am and returned at 4pm. I spent about 1 hr 30 minutes relaxing/taking pictures at the lakes.

Overall: This hike is beautiful. If you can commit a day to this hike, it is 100% worth it.

Planned for one night at Jennie and one at Weaver lake. Jennie lake was so beautiful, ended up staying both nights there. A little crowded due to labor day weekend but still enjoyed it. Plenty of campsites even when crowded.

Hammocked both nights under the stars. No mosquitos! Beautiful weather. Highs of 70s and lows in 40s.

Hike was moderate. Under 6 miles from fox meadow trailhead to Jennie. The forest road to trailhead is in bad shape. Go slow and stay away from the sides as the bushes are thorny and will scratch up your car.

Sawyer mini was enough for filtering water from the lake. There are fish. Saw them but didn't see any getting caught by at least 5 people trying to fish over the two days we were there.

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