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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.

hiking
2 days ago

Great hike! Lots of big trees and saw a momma bear and cub! Late in the afternoon.

Hiked here couple days ago with my parents. We started the hike a little later than anticipated. Got some amazing pictures of the falls once we got to the destination. On the way back we were very fortunate and were able to see a couple owls and a black bear :). Great hike, and definitely recommend it to anybody.

Loved our hike! Perfect temperature and not too busy. Clearly marked and very easy hike. Huge issue with mosquitoes and flies at the trailhead and continued along the hike

hiking
4 days ago

Super nice trek - the first half is basically a stroll through the forest, the incline starts after the bridge at Bubbs Creek and goes up steadily about 8/900 feet of the next couple of miles. I came across a bear with her cub about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile before the falls, they stayed in the area around the trail for awhile, because they were still there when I came back a couple of hours later. Gnats and mosquitoes was a pest from about a mile in and almost all the way to the falls, bring a face/hat net, you will be happy you did. It was a rater hot day, even though most of this hike is in the shade of trees, I used about 4 liters of water - good thing the hike is right next to the river. An easy day hike and the beginning of the clock wise Rae Lakes Loop, most day hikers turn around at the falls.

Great trail that is well taken care of. Beautiful scenery. Cant wait to go back when the water is flowing in the spring. Worth the trip up!!

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!!!

hiking
10 days ago

Nice trail. Not super difficult. Be sure to bring a bug net and spray. The gnats are relentless.

Saw a bear and her cubs, so be aware.

on Mist Falls Trail

hiking
10 days ago

Great trail, decent amount of shades, beautiful mist fall was very refreshing. A lot of bugs especially in the morning from the moment you get out of a car. I encountered a mama bear followed by a bear cub.

My favorite easy hike in sequoia- if you only do one hike in the park this is it. Watch for bears in the meadow.

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

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.

hiking
13 days ago

short and sweet! arrived just in time to catch the sun rise which was cool but the light blocked the view of the dividing range to the left. would be a great spot for sunset. please put your rubbish in the bins!

hiking
13 days ago

Great short hike. Little elevation. Saw three rattle snakes by the boardwalk in Zumwalt Meadows.

Roaring River Falls in Late August does not have a lot of water but still pretty during Golden hour.

hiking
14 days ago

Hello all,
We did this hike in order to take photos of the grove so I'll include some information regarding that at the end.

One-Way distance 2.5/2.6 miles according to two different models of trackers. The sign at the trailhead calls the distance 2.3. The larger path from the trailhead leads to the campground, hang a quick left along the stream to start along the trail.

We feel this is a moderate/easy hike. There is plenty of shade in the morning but mid-day hikers will probably want sunscreen/hats. There are some switchbacks/grades to negotiate but nothing difficult. But the distance, the area where the trail traverses a bit of the granite dome and grades would probably be a bit much for young kids.

There are two small streams so if you have a water filtering system you can refill if needed.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: The light was very nice in the grove itself an hour or two after dawn. The grove and surrounding giants have loads of possibilities. There is very nice view of the valley from atop a granite dome you pass on the trail. There are areas of ferns which will be shaded on your way out but by the time you are coming back there will be very nice dappled light in the draws.

CAUTION: In the grove itself there are a amazing circular grouping of trees. In the base of the one of the closest one is a hive of bees. If you have kids you might want to keep an eye on them before they race into the middle of the sequoias or up to any of the trunks. We did run across some bear scat on the trail so making some noise going around the blind corners/brushy areas is probably good.

hiking
16 days ago

A very nice trail - not too hard either. I encountered two bear cubs, but no mother was seen. Scary, but fun! Ensure you bring bug spray, you will absolutely need it.

Besides the mosquitos and gnats it was great

Agree with previous previous reviewer. Easy to moderate. Beautiful grove at the end.

Great hike. Water flows are low but nice nonetheless. This is not 3.7miles. More like 6miles.

My husband and I did this amazing trail last Sunday, Aug 25, and only went to the first lake. We started at 9 and reached Heather lake at 12 as we stopped to take so many photos on the way. We took the Watchtower route up and back as the views were spectacular. Heather Lake is beautiful.
It was our first hike and it was incredible. We saw a deer and her two kids crossing the route on the way back.
In my opinion, the Watchtower route is easy, safe and not scary. The hike before Watchtower was moderate. I recommend using sunscreen as the route goes above the tree line. If you're new to hiking like us, I'd recommend a full day rest after the hike. Overall, definitely recommended!

Fantastic hike. Great balance of beautiful trees, stunning views and amazing lakes to swim in. Highly recommended to make it to Emerald Lake via Watchtower. Just make sure to bring enough water or a filter!

hiking
24 days ago

I made the climb for sunrise with my wife and was not disappointed with the view. It was a relatively easy climb on paved steps from the parking lot, but recognize that 7400ft altitude may provoke hesitation on some.

25 days ago

Got there by 9:00 AM and beat the crowds on a Sunday morning which was ideal. Would have been 5 stars except the view was pretty smokey from recent fires,

hiking
27 days ago

BUGS BUGS BUGS! Definitely need a netted hat to keep away from bugs. The best views comes after the mist falls as we go top after a series of switch backs. Overall a good hike and with great falls and views

A nice hike through the Tokopah valley. Lots of rocks and boulders in the last quarter mile - make sure to wear proper footwear. The falls weren't exactly gushing in mid-August, but it was still nice to reach them. Saw a large marmot trying to find an unattended backpack at the end.

Good trail. Nice to see rangers working on it. Beautiful flowers, saw some bear scat, saw deer, saw a marmot at the end. The falls is really disappointing. Lowest I've seen in a decade.

hiking
1 month ago

Went during sunset, real awesome, unfrotunately lots of smoke from the fires that fill up the central valley. Hike is easy.

AMAZING. Did this with some storm clouds in the distance which is terrifying and definitely not recommended, but absolutely breath taking.

hiking
1 month ago

A nice trail that I’d rate between easy to moderate. Saw a young buck during the hike and that was special. Well-marked path that ends in a natural, non-touristy grove of giant Sequoias. Views from the granite dome at the mid-point were beautiful. Although the trail ends with an ascent, this uphill climb wasn’t difficult at all. 8/19/2018.

Very easy and beautiful hike! Great views from the meadows up at the canyon. I hiked in the meadow and did some scrambling on the big rocks above the river. Would definitely go back again!

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