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Excellent hike. It goes above the tree line so take a hat. There is wildlife so keep your eyes open. Watch out for the R.O.U.S.’s!!! (Rodents of unusual size) Lol, I’m referring to the Marmots. Large bushy tailed Beaver looking guys that live under rocks. They can become very aggressive, so be “hiker smart” and don’t leave your stuff unattended. Never had any problem with Marmots myself, but have talked with others that have.

A true highlight of Sequoia, and a great taste of the high Sierra within a few miles of the General Sherman tree and his tour buses!

We hiked to Pear Lake via the Watchtower Trail, camped for the night, and hiked out the next morning. Wilderness permits were readily available at Lodgepole at 1 PM the day prior. The climb up to the Watchtower from the parking lot was gradual, with beautiful forest views and alpine streams flowing down the hillside. The Watchtower Trail was a bit unnerving for a step or two with full packs! The last couple of miles from Heather Lake to Pear Lake felt more strenuous, with short climbs/descents and exposed rock. We got to Pear Lake in ~3.5 hours from the parking lot. Pear Lake was stunning, although the mosquitos and marmots were very interested in our presence; a face net came in handy. There were about three other groups with 1-3 people each camping at Pear. The hike out took ~2.5 hours. A must-do!

Great, tough trail! Pretty steep at some points though. You can stop at the first lake (heather) for a shorter hike or keep going to the top lake (pear). I recommend going all the way to Pear Lake though, it’s not that much further once you’ve gotten to heather lake. My dad was able to catch several (smaller) fish at heather lake while I went on to the top. We went watchtower trail for a better overlook and it didn’t disappoint.

hiking
14 days ago

We did a 5 mile out and back trip to Carmel River Camp. Awesome views and campsites and swimming holes too. I would recommend looking at the Ventana Wilderness website for recent trail conditions. Originally I wanted to another loop but after looking at the website I was deterred.

We chose this as our first backpacking trip. We're in our 40's. Started at about 10 AM from Big meadow on 6-29-18. We hiked to jennie lake the first day. It was a gorgeous but tough 6 miles with full packs ( mine was 30+). The lake is stunning and there were only about 8 other people there. Unfortunately we didn't sleep well and were really wiped out on day 2 so we ended up bailing out at JO pass down to wuksatchi and hitched a ride back to our car. This was an amazing hike as well though, with one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. All in all this is an amazing hike it just turned out to be a little too much for us for our first time with all the weight.

Such a great trail. We hiked to Heather Lake via Watchtower. Watchtower is a must...spectacular views and Heather Lake is fantastic. We took a quick swim across the lake and found a great rock to jump off of and a small patch of snow to play in.

We did this route in the opposite direction. We spent our first night at Weaver, hiked over JO Pass to Jennie Lakes on our second day, and then over Poop Out Pass back to the trailhead on our last day.

A few notes:
• JO Pass was a lot tougher than we had anticipated. The climb is fully exposed and it was hot. Be prepared with lots of water!
• The road in is definitely not good for commercial vehicles. I don’t have 4wd and I spun my tires out coming in.
• The mosquitoes are BAD. Despite being covered in Deet and wearing long clothing, we got eaten alive. They were chewing through our clothes which became unbearable at times.
• The trail from Weaver to JO Pass is a bit difficult to follow. There are lots of fallen trees so make sure you keep an eye on your map.

All in all, the scenery and wildflowers were beautiful, the trails nice and quiet, and the lakes were breathtaking. I think next time, we’d start with a hike in to Jennie Lake instead of doing the full loop. We’re all pretty experienced hikers and agreed that this was more Strenuous than Moderate for a backpacking trip. But for a day hike Moderate might be okay.

We hiked from the parking lot all the way to pear lake. It took us 4.5 hours and we damn near died lol. This is not an easy hike by any means, but well worth the effort if you can make it. Emerald and Heather lake have much more trees and shade than pear lake. There were fish at all the lakes but they were only about the length of my hand so not really worth my time. We camped at pear lake for one night and got assaulted by the these annoying marmots. These little rascals will eat any clothing or gear you have that has salt on it. They are like salt honey badgers. They don't give a crap about people being there and will hide until you walk away for a second. All in all it was a beautiful trip. Watchtower gives a great viewpoint but The Hump has much more shade for the hike. We went up Watchtower and down the hump on the way back. If you don't do hikes like this often I would recommend giving your body at least one full day of rest after climbing up. Would do this again for sure though.

6/11/18
This trail is in great shape. We backpacked to Emerald lake via the watchtower. The watchtower section is unbelievable.
Permits are easy to get and they are walk up only. This can easily be done as a day hike.
Mosquitoes were unrelenting so plan accordingly.

Really good time, moderate difficulty I'd say. Plenty of good views and a nice variety of ecosystems. Lots of fresh clean water to pump as you will be along the river. Highly recommend.

Amazing trail. Only bad thing is, lots of anoying mosquitos.

Great views and very relaxing lakes. We were told by the ranger that the Watchtower trail is closed so we hiked the Hump trail. If you don't have permit beforehand try to get to Lodgepole visitor center early morning to secure a spot at Pear Lake. We stayed the night at Emerald Lake and it had two bear box in case you don't want to carry a bear canister. Take mosquito repellent for sure!!

Great trip this weekend. Absolutely no one up at pear lake overnight. Except I would recommend mosquito repellent. They were quite aggressive

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.

Hiked to Pear a few days ago via the Watchtower route (it’s open!). Fantastic hike, although the mosquitos nearly ate me alive at the lakes, especially Pear.

hiking
1 month ago

I went up to Jenny Lake starting from the Big Meadows Trailhead on Sunday May 27th 2018 at 0930. The beginning of the trail at the trailhead was warm at probably 60 degrees with no clouds. It was a beautiful day when I began my ascent. There were a number of hikers along the way but since it was Memorial Day weekend I was expecting that. Once you get to the highest point on the trail you cross over to the north side and snow patches are still on the ground. A number of creeks are running, not very strong, and they're still passable but if you're not careful you will get your boots wet. There's one tricky part on this Trail when you're right at the summit as you're walking down the pass full of rocks are is a loan Redwood Sequoia that you come up on and there is a fallen branch laid along the left hand side of the tree. This is to let you know do not go to the left of that tree the trail actually continues to the right but it is very easy to mistake and if you continue to the left you are dumped into a very dangerous crevasse of sharp Jagged rocks. I've included a pic of it in my uploads.

This is one of the places on the trail that my alltrails Pro membership came in very handy. I had dropped my Verizon connection because there's no signal up there once you get to poop out pass and so I had intentionally downloaded my Jenny Lake Trail Loop map before leaving. Misses we're having that map on my phone using the GPS works wonderfully. The GPS is still able to track you no matter where you are in the outback Wilderness and you can see exactly where you are on the map. All trails Pro puts the trail on the map and so you can tell exactly where you are in relation to that trail even if the trail is washed out covered over or hidden underneath snow. That's why I knew that I was going the wrong way even though it was not obvious. I could tell very easily on the All Trails map after walking 10 feet off the path that I was no longer going the right way. This is not the first time all trails downloaded maps have saved me from countless hours of wandering around lost. And since they offered a Year's membership for half price during Memorial Day weekend I snapped that up really fast!

At Jenny Lake itself the north side of the lake wall is covered in snow but the camping areas are completely cleared.
This Trail is a very nice Trail for the most part well-marked but there are sketchy points that your All Trails map will come in handy. I would say that the trail is accurately rated at moderate and you should be aware that elevation makes it very difficult right before the summit for about three-quarters of a mile. I did my Day hike to Jenny Lake and back and it was about 13 and a half miles and it took me about six and a half hours all together not including the time I stood around taking pictures and sightseeing.

Once I got to Jenny Lake it was very cold I could see my breath and it felt like it was in the very low 50s if not high 40s. on the return back to Big Meadows Trailhead it even began to sprinkle as a cloud that moved in and the temperature had dropped perhaps 10 degrees. It was beautiful. Check out my pics!

That was great! Did it along with Alta peak, which you see from the lake. That made it very special. As of End of May, there was still snow, and the watchtower segment was closed, but I did it and had no problem whatsoever (but there is snow and ice...so.... you need to know what you are doing)

Fun hike with great views. The Watchtower trail is still closed as of today due to icy conditions. You can still make it up to Pear lake via the Hump trail which meets back up with the end of the Watchtower trail after the closed portion. There are only a few parches of snow to go over that aren’t too deep or difficult to cross. Stream crossings were easy as well (especially with poles). The hike is very scenic with pretty alpine lakes.

We did the entire loop
hike on one long day (12 hours). We went to Jennie Lake first then continued onto JO pass. If you decide to do this be aware that after JO pass you descend about 3 miles into a canyon then ascend out to Weaver Lake. This last portion of the hike is very hard and tiring. We almost didn’t make it and we are in decent shape. Also start early. We left the car at 10am and had to walk out in the dark. Awesome hike highly recommend! Maybe doing it in more than one day would be better next time.

on June 2 my group hiked all the way to Pear lake, walked through snow at the very top. The veiws we're beautiful, and the water was refreshing (a couple of us took a dip in the lake! which still had ice in some areas!) overall it was well worth it and I would definitely do that hike again.

Awesome hike and pretty lake !

Did this hike May 16, 2018 intending to backpack via the hump trail since Watchtower trail was closed, but could only make it to Heather lake due to the snow. Lodgepole visitor center is closed, so go to Giant Forest Museum to fill out a wilderness permit if you want to camp overnight, and bring a pen!
We were able to hike to Heather Lake but it was entirely snowy and feet kept sinking into the snow up to the calf the further we went. Changed from Chacos to hiking boots. Pretty view initially but the fog rolled in quite densely and we decided to turn around as visibility was becoming scarce and we were not prepared. We were each sharing a hiking pole each which was a life-saver to prevent falls. Will return in July to make it to Pear Lake. Heard of an accident that involved helicopter rescue the day prior due to a hiker taking the Watchtower trail although it was closed. The hump trail was quite difficult, and not sure if the views were warranted. Saw a bear in the distance while hiking, kept our distance and our eyes on it. Would probably bring bear spray next time.

hiking
1 month 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

backpacking
1 month ago

Pretty nice trip overall. Lots of poison oak, but mostly avoidable. Some ticks of course also in spring, so do periodic tick checks. Lots of overgrown weeds into the trail as you get farther in also. The 1st camp is around 5 miles from the trailhead, easily visible from the main trail. There are 2 or 3 others right across the creek. To go father than that 1st site, you will have to cross fairly shallow sections of the creek quite a few times so bring some water shoes to change into at that point. After the 1st camp there are sites every mile or so as you continue onto Carmel river trail. 1st come 1st serve sites, all u need is to take a quick quiz online and print out a fire permit. All the sites were right next to the river with nice fire rings. Went on Memorial Day weekend and still wasn’t too crowded. Lots of nice swimming holes along the river too once you get about 4 miles in.

Attempted this loop 5/17-5/19 2018. Parked at Big Meadows trailhead and hiked in to Weaver Lake on 5/17. I was the only one there for the night which was quite nice. There are a number of campsites and fire rings already set up here. Just make sure you get your fire permit from the Hume Lake District ranger station on your way up the mountain. My one complaint about Weaver was that there was a bit of garbage scattered around. My guess is that this is a pretty popular day hike from Big Meadows and so the commitment level is low for a lot of people who stay out there. It wasn't awful but it was indeed noticeable.

5/18 I left Weaver Lake in the morning and headed east toward Rowell Meadow. Right away I noticed that the trail was difficult to follow due to snow on the ground. I had to double back several times to find the trail. I ended up hitting the trail junction and turning south towards JO Pass. The snow on the ground got worse as I climbed and there was a point when I wandered far enough off trail to be lost. Luckily I was able to rediscover the trail after some scrambling before running into another lone hiker heading the opposite way. He informed me that JO pass was still a mile up the trail and that I could follow his footsteps in the snow to get there no problem. I thanked him and we parted ways. Once I hit JO Pass I decided that instead of heading toward Jennie Lake which was my original plan, I was going to descend down the other side of the pass into Sequoia Nat'l Park towards Clover Creek/Twin Lakes area. The ground was completely covered with snow on top of the pass and I did not want to venture towards Jennie Lake without a clear trail. Unfortunately the trail was hard to follow even as I descended the other side. I ended up off track again and I began to follow Clover Creek southward for a few more miles. At night fall I set up camp somewhere alongside Clover Creek.

5/19 woke up early and continued south along Clover Creek toward the Kaweah River Valley. Stumbled out of the woods at Wuksachi Lodge and hitchhiked back to my car at Big Meadows.

I would not do this loop again this early in the season without a solid GPS. Not being able to follow the trail easily due to snow added a fair amount of stress to the trip. Other than that, this is a beautiful area and I look forward to visiting again so that I can actually see Jennie Lake and stop by Rowell Meadow as well as summit Mitchell Peak.

Went up with a group. Great trail! Very clear until you hit Heather Lake. Lots of snow so prep for wet feet (our feet kept sinking in the snow). Keep an eye out for the trail markers cause you won’t see the trail that well. Camped out at Emerald Lake and views were great.

I was the only person camping out at Emerald Lake this past Friday, May 18th. The trail is free of snow until Heather Lake and fully covered in snow from Heather Lake to Emerald Lake. Micro-spikes are needed, especially during the early morning hours after the overnight freeze. I attempted to hike to Pearl Lake but was unable to cross the creek of rushing water from Emerald Lake down to Aster Lake. The creek was deep, about 5 to 6 feet wide with snow on both banks. May be later this summer when I can come back and hike to Pearl Lake. The Watchtower Trail is closed, until further notice, due to snow and ice. On the way back to Wolverton and spoke to the ranger who went up on horseback and mules to retrieve equipments left up there after the SAR of the San Diegan hiker who lost his life on May 13th while hiking the Watchtower Trail. Be safe out there.

Gorgeous lakes. The hike has it's best views from the watchtower trail. one way to consider accessing Pear Lake is the climb Alta Peak first and then scrambling down the back side down to Pear Lake. It is fun and allows you to see a wide variety of things.

Still quite a bit of snow around the first lake. Didn't attempt to go any further, and wouldn't recommend it for a while still. Easy enough to find the trail using the signs on the trees, but would have been lost otherwise. Couldn't see much given that the clouds formed a mist around the higher parts of the trail and down into the valley. Maybe better to do this one on a clear summer day?

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