Explore SEKI NP - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


A buddy and I began our hike late into November and we went for about 28 miles before we were caught up in a pretty good sized snowstorm that was a little too much and had to turn back. Thats what youll get when you come late into the year though. All the snow and ice aside, this trail is absolutely amazing. At least make your way up to Bearpaw, the views here are awesome!

Heard this was the trail to do in Sequoia National Park so I went ahead and tried it! Solo, overnight. Relied heavily upon Alltrails app to guide me through. I couldn't make it to Pear lake due to the snow being extra thicc ;) so decided to spend the night at Emerald Lake which was amazing. I Went on a friday and literally saw 5 people the entire time. Even had emerald lakes campground all to myself! Pick up a self-register permit at the Giant Forest Museum! Lodgepole visitor center was closed when I was here, save yourselves some time :)

The Lakes were all frozen during the time I went, Please be careful if you decide to walk on them. Use your best judgement!

Perfect time of year to be on this trail. I took it to Panther Creek and camped there on a Saturday night. Lots of spots to tarp/tent or hang. Excellent weather(70/40) with nice snowy views to the east. Water was plentiful, but none of the creek crossings to that point had any deep water. The road to the trailhead/Buckeye Flat campground is closed at this point for the winter but do not let that stop you from jumping on this awesome trail. You’ll need to park at the picnic area on Sherman’s Highway at the intersection of Buckeye Flat. It tacks on an additional two miles but was along the river and I encountered many mule deer along the way. When the road forks, go left on the rough road. The gate on the right goes to Buckeye Flat campground and Paradise trail. Happy hiking!

Hiked a few miles but didn’t complete. Planning on overnight camping to Crescent Meadows.

Day hiked this trail for half a day and it was amazing. Hope to come back and backpack it some day.

This was an amazing hike! My goal was to backpack overnight at Pear Lake, but I went last Wednesday when Sequoia got a ton of snow. I was caught in the snow throughout the hike but made it to Heather Lake. It was completely frozen over, and it was snowing so badly I couldn’t even tell where the lake was until I was almost on top of it. The snow completely covered the trail, and I couldn’t find the trail to Emerald Lake after arriving at Heather Lake. That and it was super cold and very snowy. I don’t recommend going when it’s snowing! I was the only person out there with the exception of one group of about 3 people. If you do go in the winter, definitely have microspikes. I left mine in the car to save weight in my heavy pack, and the trail was completely clear of snow when I started. Biggest mistake! I ate it really bad many times on the thick sheet of ice that was blanketed by the fresh snow. Still a beautiful hike that I can’t wait to complete (to Pear Lake) in the spring.

3 months ago

Just did on 16th. Weather was great. Definitely need layers and would very much recommend gloves. Was unable to get to peak as last 1/2 mile was iced over. Told by other hikers that even those with ice spikes were having issues. A lot of ice in lower areas especially on way out. Well worth the effort

3 months ago

The last 2.1 miles, from the fork between Alta Meadows and Alta Peak are completely snow-covered. I hiked it the Friday after Thanksgiving, and had to trail blaze using the GPS. It's possible some of it has thawed, but be prepared to hike over snow/ice/slush to reach the summit. Since the sun sets around 4:40pm, I would recommend bringing a headlamp and coming down from the summit around 2pm at the latest if you don't want to hike in the dark. The views from 2.8 miles onward are breathtaking.

Took my buddy here for his first over night and it was awesome. All the lakes on the trail are beautiful. Saw a bear on the hike up to Pear Lake. Camped at Pear lake and the sunset was like nothing I have ever seen in my life. Pear Lake was nice, they do have restrooms there; however, when I go back I will definitely be camping at Emerald Lake. Caught fish in every lake. Make sure you take the watchtower trail up AND back. The other trail, can't remember the name, is ridiculously challenging!!!

Thru hiked this amazing trail in 2007, and will be doing it again next year. One of the best experiences of my life! I made a video of my HST hike on YouTube. Search for Four Feet Up, High Sierra Trail. Hope you enjoy!

The trail to Pear Lake is just about my all time favorite. I’ve hiked it for many years now, and I love taking new backpackers here. It’s perfect for the beginner, as well as the experienced. I have made a video about several of my hikes to Pear Lake on YouTube. You can search for: Four Feet Up, Pear Lake. Hope you enjoy it!

I hiked this trail as a day hike and wow it has become one of my most favorite trails ever! Views are incredible and views from the top are also incredible and surreal as well. Strenuous and well worth the hike! Next time I'm backpacking this for sure!

4 months ago

The trail conditions are free of snow or ice. It's a strenuous hike and took us 8 hours out and back. Try to summit by noon since the days are shorter now.

4 months ago

Um waaaaay longer than 12.8 miles. Awesome views and very challenging. Like I'll be in pain for 3 days, kind of strenuous. The Hike is a lot longer than what it says. Our Apple Watch recorded the out and back hike to be about 19-20 miles round trip. Just be prepared and go early if you're planning a day hike Especially since the days are shorter now. Also there's only a couple of tiny streams but I suggest to bring plenty of water and a flashlight.

I took this trail for a solo backpacking trip, and let me tell you... it did not disappoint. The lakes were beautiful, the weather was perfect (I went at the end of October) and the trail was fairly quiet. There were maybe 3 other groups who camped out at pear lake other than myself, so it wasn't too crowded. The elevation gain was steady and not too terrible. Definitely take the trail via watchtower, because there are some magnificent views. It was a little chilly at night (around 31F), but if you have a good sleeping bag, you'll be fine! Would definitely hike this trail again.

on Alta Peak Trail

4 months ago

awesome views ...very few hikers in October

I spent a couple of months in Sequoia/KC this past summer and this was probably my favorite day hike of all. I started my hike late in the day and was only able to make it to Emerald Lake before having to turn back; it still supplied me with some of the most memorable views from my Sequoia summer.

I took the hump route on the way up and down, which I don't recommend. It was just steep, tedious, and relatively unimpressive. Take the watchtower up and the hump route down, as someone suggested below. Saw what looked like some mountain lion (or other large animal) scat, so be aware. The trail was in great condition when I hiked it and I'd most certainly go again!

Stunning hike. Was tired by the end but a very good tired. Saw only a handful of people until I reached the Sugar Bowl. Spectacular views everywhere you look. Would do this hike again anytime.

Awesome hike. Very challenging for a day hike. Views were a little shrouded by some smoke in the area but still awesome.

Awesome hike. The alpine lakes are beautiful! Encountered a bear on the trail about 5 minutes into this hike (which was awesome) but definitely be on the look out.
When you get to the split in the trail go up the watch tower route. Don’t bother with the hump route. The views are way better with watch tower and it isn’t as steep

Great trail with epic views! Recommend taking the Watchtower route to be amazed by the Tokopah Valley below. While Pear Lake is the final destination on this route, don’t discount camping at Emerald Lake. Both are extremely rewarding locations on this challenging yet totally doable hike. A must for Sequoia lovers!

5 months ago

Good place for an easy backpack. There are a couple of streams for water and lots of shade. The forest floor has a lot of sticks on it so finding a campsite took some looking.

Somewhat tough trail, but the views are totally worth it. We camped at Pear Lake, and were the only people there.

Love this hike good over night pack. A little Challenging. Good to go watchtower in and the hump trail out

09/17/17 - Beautiful hike up to Bearpaw High Sierra Camp. This trail can be challenging due to all the elevation gain and loss. The beginning and ending elevations are misleading because there's a lot of up to go down and vice versa. The trail is in good condition and well traveled but never crowded (at least when we were on it). At the lower elevations, the gnats or noseeums or whatever they are are particularly pesty. They don't bite but they fly into ears and eyes, even getting between sunglasses and skin. Having had experience with them two years ago, I came prepared this year with a mosquito net which made all the difference. We stopped for lunch halfway at Panther Creek, a beautiful spot with a lively stream and plenty of shade. There's also a nice rest spot at Buck Creek just before the final climb to Bearpaw Meadow.
9/18/17 On our "rest" day, we hiked up towards Kaweah Gap. I made it to Precipice Lake and was quite pleased. The trail climbs from Bearpaw Meadow approximately 4 miles to Hamilton Lakes, which makes a picturesque stopping point before beginning the more punishing ascent to Pine and Precipice Lakes. As with the 11 miles of the trail from Crescent Meadow to Bearpaw, there's a lot of up to go down and vice versa. Spectacular wide open views greet you along the way and we were lucky enough to be met by ice floes in Precipice Lake. Quite a stunning sight. The return down to Bear Paw was a long downhill with more uphill than I would have preferred.
09/19/17 - Retracing our steps back down to Crescent Meadow. A beautiful day for an 11.3 mile hike. Again, lots of up even though our final destination was down. A restful stop at Panther Creek for a snack. Encountered two horse/mule pack trains in their way up to reprovision Bearpaw and a number of hiking parties but still the trail never felt crowded.

Great backpacking trip. One of the shortest hikes to get to view real back country scenery. Fishing was great.

I've been hiking this place since I was a teen. Lots of fun. I wouldn't call it a difficult hike if your in shape. Tons to see and enjoy. Bad thing is it's very popular now. Try to catch it during the week and try to hike past the first lake. Other wise You'll be stuck with the weekend hikers that don't know how to talk about any thing other then social media. Lol over all a fun hike.

6 months ago

Easy to locate but along the way the signs were not clear so we ended up off the trail. Definitely a hard hike from what we did experience if you are looking for a challenge!

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