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

Sequoia Backpacking Map

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!

2 months ago

A must. Gorgeous lake. Alot of history in the area. Trail is well maintained.

Great trip. Going over black rock pass is challenging but completely worth the effort to get to little five lakes on the other side.

3 months ago

Great hike, you have the best views the whole way up. There are streams along the way, so you can pack a water filter to reduce weight of carrying water.

Beautiful hike, be prepared to cross snow fields early in the season before reaching the lower lake.

This is my favorite backpacking stop in Mineral King. Gets a bit tiring about a mile before you get to the lower lake, but an absolutely wonderful place to set up camp. Beware of overly friendly marmots!

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.

4 months ago

Difficult with a heavy pack but views and the lakes (lower and upper Maggie) were awesome!

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!!!

Amazing hike, lots of climbing but so worth it. I hiked back to mosquito lake and did some fishing for a couple hours and then hiked back out. Made for a long day but the views were amazing. The lakes surrounded by granite are a site to see and the wild life is everywhere.

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!

5 months ago

Solitude and fire

on Twin Lakes Trail

5 months ago

We did this hike about 2 months ago in August though the mosquitos were the worst it was still a very beautiful hike one lake was more like a pond and the other was somewhat small it was still so peaceful and pretty. the hike it’s self was very strenuous and I’d recommend being in shape!! There was a lot of steep parts and with a heavy pack it sure made it a challenge. Late summer was the time to go there were sill many streams and creeks flowing and in the spring it seems like the larger creeks would be hard to cross safely

5 months ago

This was a very beautiful trail with lots of views, water, waterfalls and wild flowers everywhere!! It was difficult and took us about 6 hrs to complete. We did not see another human after the trail split off from the monarch trail. I would do this again maybe ad a backpacking trip.

on Monarch Lakes Trail

5 months ago

This was a very beautiful trail with lots of views, water, waterfalls and wild flowers everywhere!! It was difficult and took us about 6 hrs to complete. We did not see another human after the trail split off from the monarch trail. I would do this again maybe ad a backpacking trip.

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.

great hike, very steep, so watch your footing

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!

Great Hike, beautiful views. The road up, Mineral King, was sketchy. Definitely want to have good tires and brakes.

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

6 months ago

A great hike for the eager and willing. I found relief finally reaching Lower Monarch after steadily battling the uphill trek. Bring a camera! There are breathtaking views all around. I hiked in on Friday and exited on Monday and felt well rested having done Sawtooth Peak in this trip as well.

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!

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

6 months ago

I found this trail to be hard, only because I'm a couch potato and am not used to carrying 30 pounds, 3000 feet, up 7 miles. Once I got to the top, I realized how worth it, it was.

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

6 months ago

Beautiful trail. Plenty of uphill to keep your legs warm, and you'll need it! When I reached the lakes yesterday there was 2" of snow on the ground. The clouds rolled in around 4 and made for a surreal experience! By morning skies were clear and the temp was below freezing.

Hike up a very steep incline from Sawtooth Pass through a meadow with gorgeous views of mountains. Initial one mile is steep, with large stone steps to climb. Then cross Monarch Creek, entering a conifer forest punctuated by occasional meadows with views of Empire Mountain. Continue noticeable ascent, but less steep than before, along the well-maintained and fairly trafficked Monarch Lakes trail. One mile before Monarch Lakes, take the Crystal Lake right fork onto an ascending unmaintained use trail, with a lot of loose stone. The trail passes through diminishing forest, past Chihuahua Mine, over a pass above 10,000 feet. It descends somewhat to cross a difficult area of loose rock, and then re-ascends up the loose rock, on a sometimes difficult to discern trail. The trail is apparent, though, and ascends steadily to Lower Crystal Lake, with a concrete dam. Upper Crystal Lake can be accessed by a northwest- headed spur just before the Lower Crystal Lake dam. Trekking poles recommended for difficult footings in many places. Route followed mid-Septembers. Low temperatures overnight in the 20's.

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