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More signs would be helpful. I missed a sign directing me to stay left and went right which brought me to thousands of rocks. I climbed almost to the top of the rocks, but felt that this was not the trail. I eventually picked up the trail again, but never made it to the top because there wasn’t a lot of sunlight left. Will return to finish the trail.

Steep and slippery in places, worth it for the views!

Was a super nice hike. Not too hard at all.

This has been my favorite hike so far. Beautiful scenery!

Park at the first gate to add a bit extra to your hike. It’s rocky and steep at the very top, but doable. The views from the top are awesome.

hiking
17 days ago

This hike is great for cardio and legs,,, up hill and down , I’m really slow took 5 hours for 6 miles !! Dog friendly and my 13 year old enjoyed it .

hiking
23 days ago

This hike was awesome and kicked my butt! a few things i need to address though. although dogs are allowed...the descent is SUPER steep, often times going over boulders and i was lucky my dog's stay command is on point because if i wasnt supervising where her footing was she could have really gotten hurt. also USE THIS APP ON THE TRAIL IF YOU CAN. several times i got lost and had to use it to go back. One time I realized i was lost and saw fresh large animal prints that freaked me out as it had recently rained and i hadn't seen or heard another hiker the whole day. Finding the trail to get down was difficult, it starts out all bolders and there's another trail next to it that makes it confusing.TRUST THE MAP. The plateau is a perfect place to have lunch before heading down.

I absolutely loved this trail....my friend who is not a hiker came with me, we made it to the top no issues. amazing views. started raining as we were on the top. As we hiked down the rocks were extremely slippery. I hit a rock just right and rolled my ankle. Continued to hike until I couldn't go any further. Had to call 911 and be rescued out. Tualome co fire dept is absolutely AMAZING. 4 firemen hiked me out. Turns out I fractured my fibula in two places, had to have surgery requiring a metal plate with screws in my ankle. Still recovering but you can bet I will be back!

My boyfriend and I hiked this trail in early Oct 2018. For fitness context, I am a mid twenty year old who goes to the gym 2-3 days a week and is active during my job and my boyfriend is in his early 30's and goes to the gym 4 days a week. We found this trail really great and got a nice workout in without feeling spent or crazy sore by the end. As people have mentioned, the bouldering is the main challenging part of this hike, but it's pretty short and surprisingly easy. For example, several dogs were able to do it. It took us from around 1:00-5:00 for the whole hike, but we stopped and explored the area around Cleo's Bath a bit. Also, the trail isn't incredibly well marked once you leave the pinecrest lake loop, so watch for the blue areas and stay with your group! We picked up a lost hiker on the way back to the lake so it definitely can happen. there was no place to get portable water along the trail but there was a flowing river so bring water or a filter. The only bathrooms were at the beginning of the trail.
Overall, a very beautiful hike for a wide variety of fitness levels.

1 month ago

First 1/2 mile is a steep climb. No good view of the water until you get to the back side of the hills. Good workout hike, pretty views of the surrounding hills. Overall an okay hike.

9/29/18 Did the loop as a day trip. 7 hours of walking, an hour of lunch and yoga and an hour of taking photos and just enjoying log sitting.
Clockwise is the way to go - esp for water. Plenty at camp, lily pad, piute, gem and grouse. Nothing between gem and grouse on main trail.
No insects just golden ferns, mushrooms and beauty ❤️

hiking
1 month ago

This was a nice out and back hike. At first it is lay and easy. Once you get to about a mile/mike and a half in, the trail gets hilly and a bit more challenging. Near the falls it gets a little tough o see the trail but once you’ve reached this point your basically at the falls. The falls weren’t as big as imagined they’d be but nonetheless is was a beautiful spot. There is a swimming hole there as well.

very beautiful short hike. I just like to ask everyone to be very careful with the rocks, they are very slippery the closer u get to the water fall.

Very nice mostly easy terrain until you get to the boulders. For me it was harder going up then coming down but totally worth it even without the waterfall. I’d advise wearing pants or longer shorts as I had to be in some awkward positions to climb the rocks and get back down. No woman wants scraped up legs. I enjoyed that it wasn’t full on sun. There was plenty of shade to enjoy on a hot day. Although I did see dogs at the bath I wouldn’t recommend bringing them up there. Also bring a backpack keep your hands free as you will need them both to get up to the bath.

hiking
2 months ago

A little fun finding the trailhead but a beautiful day hike. Not too steep but has some up & down to it with twists and such to keep it interesting. Bring you trunks if you want to cool off nice swimming holes and smaller cliffs to jump off if your into that
Enjoy!

Very nice trail . We didn’t have any trouble finding
The trails , not much water but it’s a beautiful place

Went counterclockwise for the loop. Labor Day weekend was quite busy, but we found a great spot overlooking Gem Lake. Several good dayhikes are possible from Gem. Scarce mosquitos this time of year. The lake water is very cold and refreshing, and tastes good once filtered. No complaints other than the holiday crowd.

There is a good amount of elevation to climb towards Gem Lake from both directions. Be prepared to rest and catch your breath (you’re well above a mile up) if you have to.

backpacking
2 months ago

We did the lower part of the loop--Crabtree to Grouse Lake to just before the turnoff to Gem Lake, and then back. This would be a great hike except that on Labor Day weekend there was no water in any of the creeks (Lily, Piute, or Cherry).The only source of water between Crabtree and Gem Lake was Grouse Lake, and it had been badly fouled by cattle. I was really glad to have a good water filter but the filter was completely clogged after several uses. On the plus side, there were no mosquitoes--not a one.

Cool place for some backpacking. Parking can be brutal. Somewhat, busy, from the amount of cars you see, but hiking wise, it’s isn’t that bad. Started our hike at 10:45am and made it to Gem Lake by 3:15pm. Found a great spot and it wasn’t too crowded. NO MOSQUITOES AT ALL, so that was awesome. We did the hike clock-wise and this is what I would recommend for everyone wanting to the the loop.

2 months ago

no waterfall, was completely dried up at the fall. All the cigarette butts and graffiti on the rocks ruined it for me. Felt more like i was hiking in a canyon in the city or something. Dont waste your time going here. Maybe in spring but even if there was water i wouldn't go.

on Duchess Mine Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike, was pretty easy to stay on the trail. used the app twice to ensure I was true on path. I went counter clockwise and saved the steep side for the end. next time I think I'll do the same except turn around at the top and go back the same way and get a 6 mile hike instead of 4.

hiking
2 months ago

Great little trail, but very rocky. I always hike with my pole and it's advised on this trail. Some sun and some shade so bring plenty of water and wear a hat. There is a restroom at the entrance. Horses also enjoy this trail so watch out for the mess they leave. Not much of an elevation gain but the trail isn't entirely flat. There are signposts indicating the trail directions - it is a loop so just keep turning left.
Highly recommended for beginning hikers.

2 months ago

Great swimming hole !!

We did this 20 mile loop, counter clockwise, in one day. It was a long day (took us about 9.5 hours to complete) but definitely doable.

We were surprised to see lots of cows grazing around Bell Meadow and near Grouse Lake as well. Just a heads up as we were a bit startled the first time we came across them. We saw lots of mosquitos as Grouse, but the rest of the trail was pretty free of them.

We also struggled with trail markers after about the 7th mile out. We got a little turned around on our way back, at around mile 14. The trail is very dry and dusty this time of year, but the sky was clear (no smoke!) and the scenery is truly breathtaking.

hiking
2 months ago

Perfect day on the trail. Beautiful views.

The lakes and creeks were teeming with mosquitoes. Even with deet and smokey campfires, I got about fifty bites, mostly near the creek crossing where we camped around mile 6.

Gem lake (10mi) was free of mosquitoes around 1pm and was lovely to swim in. I expect it would have been a nice place to camp without getting eaten so badly.

Grouse Lake (15mi) was also not too bad, but still not great.

Lots of horse poop on the trail.

Pretty hike but lots of mosquitos, my sister and I got eaten alive towards the end of the hike.

Parts of the trails were misleading. But overall it has beautiful scenery with some wildlife added to the trip. The hike is for sure over 6.7 miles. Also you need to be aware of some rock climbing involved. Overall I would recommend nice trail.

hiking
3 months ago

For a novice this was great

Was rather smokey when we started, but got better later in the morning. Challenging, but the worth the trek. Great view from the top!

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