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Sequoia/Kings Canyon Map
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hiking
15 hours ago

Definitely a hike that anyone visiting Kings Canyon/Sequoia NP should take. The trail is rather easy in the beginning as it winds through the forest with the South Fork King’s River to your right for the majority of the trip. But for all the beauty you experience you WILL be eaten alive by bugs. Even with frequent spraying of bug spray they managed to get every inch of me. About 2 miles in if you take the right fork you can get some beautiful views off a suspension bridge over the river. Shortly after this portion you will begin your climb. Of course with the gain in elevation you will see many smaller falls off to your right that you will been keen to snap some photos of. The falls are clearly marked on the trail by a sign and you can either continue the trail to the upper portion of the falls or relax at the bottom. The cool mist is so refreshing and offers a wonderful atmosphere to have lunch.

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.

Beautiful!

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!

Terrible first mile, the trail is covered with sand/crushed granite and it exhausting to walk in but the rest of the hike is gorgeous!

The most beautiful and varied scenery in the Sierra’s. Would recommend a 3-5 day loop. There is plenty of water, bugs surprisingly light despite all reports for July, plenty of hikers and backpackers but quiet places are easy to find. Our group of four packed lightly for a planned single night stay at the Lakes but decided to push the whole route in a single go. Loop mileage varies but according to our 3 GPS devices and totaling mileage markers we felt it was closer to 44-46 miles, not 41 and certainly not 37.

This was a great day hike but I’d definitely recommend an early start to avoid the worst of the heat if you’re doing it in Summer, as more than half of the trail is in the full sun. We were prepared with plenty of water (2L per person for us), sunscreen, and insect repellent. Despite the heat we were both wearing long pants, which I would definitely recommend because of the scratchy burrs that kept attaching themselves to my pants (and would otherwise have been scratching my legs). It took us about 2 hours each way. It’s almost all uphill on the way in and then almost all downhill on the way out, which is exactly how I like to hike :-) We saw a deer on the trail, and some hikers behind us also saw a rattlesnake. Some parts of the trail require caution, for example at some parts near the falls the trail is eroding away a bit, and on those bits I’d rate it as hard, not just moderate. But overall we really enjoyed this hike.

It was a decently hot day and no real good shade for first couple of miles. the trail is sandy then becomes rocky. slight grade uphill until the top but does have variation so it decreases the difficulty. there were spots all along the trail to hop in the water or cool yourself down. the views all the way there were amazing. complaints are the squitos. yuck, even with bug repellant. the falls were beautiful and there were lots of space to sit back an enjoy. wish we would have seen some wildlife but only lizards and squirrels. beautiful, moderate day hike. bring lots of water!

Really good trail to test your abilities before going to higher altitude.

Spectacular. Went late June. Saw 12 people in four days (including a kind ranger). Did the loop counterclockwise, which is recommended unless you are otherwise itching to crawl/scramble/struggle up the skree of Sawtooth Pass. Camped Cliff Creek, Middle Lower Five Lakes, and Upper-Middle Lost Canyon. Mosquitos were out and about, but with the year’s lighter snowpack, we may have faced the worst of it. To be safe, bring ample Deet and invest in mosquito resistant clothing (including face netting). With some long stretches out of tree-cover, also bring ample sunscreen (though 3oz was more than enough for two of us).

If you’re young and/or in tip-top shape (and, more importantly, very prepared and carrying a light pack), you could do this in two days, though take caution with altitude sickness over some of these passes. Otherwise, take your time and enjoy this underappreciated escape.

Hard, but not overly painfully so. I have asthma and had to stop many times for air, but there was no need for a fast pace. Even with my slowness, we planned for four days but did it in there. Aside from normal backcountry gear, bring A LOT of sunscreen and zinc and GOOD mosquito repellant. Our GPS recorder logged significantly more miles than as posted on this and other trail sites. This map has the trail going in straight lines that do not exist. Expect closer to 35 miles maybe.

Day 1: Timber Gap Trail to Timber Gap. The trail is moderately steep out of the parking lot and continues so for some time. Reaching the top of Timber Gap has nice views with plenty of shade. Descend fast to the junction with Cliff Creek. This is the most psychologically challenging parts of the trip—to descend to below where you started and then have to climb for miles with a tall pass at the end of it. At the junction with Cliff Creek there is the most beautiful creek passing with several little pools. I wish it wouldn’t have been a waste to camp there, otherwise we would have. Have lunch. Walk along the creek and through the dry bed (which can be confusing—some cairns arranged; alternatively look for mule poop) as you pass epic waterfalls as you approach the switchbacks to climb to the Pinto Lake Area. At Pinto Lake, full water in stream that is clearly audible. Several campsites in front of and across the path from the bear box area. Choose a site on the rocks above the bear box—the breeze up there keeps the mosquitos away and the sunset is incredible.

Day 2: Fill your water. Then have fun figuring out how to get across the marsh and connect with the trail. Once you find it, begin the 3000 vertical feet in 3 miles to the top of Blackrock Pass. You’ll pass a steam going down the side of the mountain near the beginning of the climb up the switchbacks. Fill water here as it is the last water on this side and there won’t be mosquito free water for a bit on the other side. Then get ready—if you look straight up the mountain, slightly behind the stream, you can see the pass. It looks forever away. It sucked. I had to stop often (every 20-30 steps) to catch my breath. The grade is steep most of the way. But the views are the best views of the trip, as you see Columbine Lake and Spring Lake and the other lake across the valley. Take your time getting to the top and then enjoy the pass. The views are also quite good, as you look down on Little 5 lakes below. As you descend, turn around and look at the pass and you’ll understand why it’s called Blackrock—all of the rock to the right off the pass is sand colored. Get down, enjoy the view of the first couple of Little 5 lakes from above, but then put on your turbo boosters and get past them as fast as possible—horrible mosquitos. There is a creek draining from one of the lakes at the trail junction that takes you to the ranger station. Bugs were slightly less horrible there if you need water. Continue onto Big 5. You’ll hit a junction for Lower or Upper Big 5. Just know that if you choose Lower Big 5, you likely won’t come back to see Upper Big 5–there are quite a few switchbacks on the one mile trail to lower Big 5 and elevation to get back up to Upper Big 5 would suck. Lower Big 5 has some nice camping spots near the bear box and other spots across the lake on a small shoulder above where we were told there was a nice pond. AND YOU CAN HAVE FIRES HERE! Remember—no wood larger than you’re forearm.

Day 3: We had a leisurely morning of breakfast, a couple of swims, cards, and snacks. We slowly packed up, departed at 1230, and began the moderate climb to start, then mostly easy going hike to the end of Upper Lost Canyon. The creek and valley are absolutely stunning with Sawtooth and a couple other peaks in the background. We camped at a small, cleared area just a few switchbacks up the trail at the start of the climb to Columbine. We were directly next to one stream with another up the side of the mountain. Take your time along here—you’re in no rush and the valley is picturesque.

Day 4: after sleep, the hike up to Columbine from the base of the switchbacks wasn’t too bad—took maybe 45 minutes. The views are incredible; you can see the switchbacks up Blackrock Pass Trail. Contrary to what the rangers say, there are plenty of camping spots up there. When you reach the lake, follow the trail to the right, over the stream and you’ll find over a dozen great spots. The hike up to the pass is steep and challenging in sections, but the views are top notch and scree skiing down the mountain is so, so fun. Gaters and poles are a must for the descent. There isn’t really a trail for a while, so just choose a good skiing spot and keep your eyes open for the use trail toward the bottom on the way to monarch lake.

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
11 days ago

Pros:
- Great views of the valleys and trees.
- You can hear the river/falls for probably half the trail.
- Not very crowded.
- Plenty of shaded resting areas at the end of the trail.
- Great for a day hike.

Cons:
- The trail is very narrow. It's difficult to pass people coming the opposite direction.
- Plants are growing into the trail, and if you're wearing shorts, you will get scratched up.
- I would not recommend this in the summer! I went yesterday and it was way too hot. At least half the trail does not have shade. Because of the heat, there were a decent amount of bugs. I stood under the mini waterfall at the end to cool off, and it was so hot that I was completely dry in about 20 minutes. I hiked this trail last November too, and enjoyed it much better then.

Simply amazing backpacking trip.

Short and sweet. Lots of uphill but very rewarding views.

hiking
13 days ago

Let me preface by saying that I was unable to make it to the waterfall due to a knee injury and the climb at the end would have been too much for me.

I honestly would have given this hike 4-5 stars (even without making it to the waterfall-it’s that gorgeous) if it weren’t for the awful sandy part in the beginning. It literally felt like we were walking on beach sand. Which is fine at first, but gets really old, really fast. Especially on tired legs as you’re coming back.

Otherwise, it was beautiful! Great views the whole way. The river was gorgeous. Fairly gradual climb until the end.

Bring lots of water if you go in the summer! It was in the 90s when we went and we felt every bit of that. Also bring lots of bug spray. They were relentless! Not a lot of shade for a good portion of the beginning (the awful sandy part) so keep that in mind if you go in the summer. We hiked this on 6/20/18.

hiking
13 days ago

My least favorite hike ever. Little to no shade along the trail. The trail is incredibly narrow and hugged a cliff. Spider and who knows what else infested bushes that rub up against your leg. We probably only made it about a mile before bolting back to our car. Two of our friends made it to the end and they did not seem to enjoy it either. They said the waterfall wasn’t worth it. If you do decide to do it, bring a LOT of water because it can get hot there (especially in the summer). I wouldn’t waste your time on this one. There are so many other amazing hikes in Sequoia! We hiked it July 2017.

this was my first hike with a steep incline it was definitely a challenge there were lots of rocks and some trees for shading along the trails Edge but the view is so worth it

Steep hike, there’s only a few level areas. Most of it is inclined walking. Take a hat there’s practically no shade. Gives you a different look at Millerton that has less people. At the beginning there’s a Bathroom and benches by the beach. Hot, went in July

hiking
14 days ago

Excellent hike. Great views of the canyon and the falls, with a decent amount of shade. I went yesterday, and even though the parking lot was overflowing, the trail didn't seem that busy. I think the length depends on which way you go though. I went out and back, instead of in a loop, and it was a little over 9 miles. Still a good day hike though, and I finished in about 4 hours.

The main reason it didn't get 5 stars is that there are a LOT of bugs. Even with bug spray, I still got bit, so come prepared!

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.

backpacking
17 days ago

By and far the best and most thorough overview of the Sierras. If you check this and Yosemite Valley backpacking off your list, the rest is beautiful details. We took 5 days, 4 nights and did it counter-clockwise. We camped as follows: Junction Meadow, Middle Rae Lake, Woods Creek, and Lower Paradise Valley. The gain to Junction Meadow (Day 1) and Middle Rae (Day 2) was an ass-kicker, about 7,500’ total. All trails are clearly marked and moderately trafficked. We never went more than an hour or two without seeing someone. Especially on the John Muir/PCT portions of the hike, the east and north side of the loop, there are lots of PCTers this time of year with great information. Bear boxes are easy to spot and plentiful, and we never carried more than 2L of water at a time. We had two different filter systems: a Katadyn flex bottle for on-the-move filters when we came across creeks, and a Platypus 2L gravity system for camp. The water crossings are fine if you’re careful. Out of maybe two dozen creek crossings, there are only 3 or 4 that are truly worrisome. Log jams and rocks are plentiful though, and careful treading and good trekking poles will get you across. PLAN FOR MOSQUITOS. The mosquitos are relentless this time of year. Especially on the south side and in the Rae Lakes area. We had less trouble in Woods Creek and Paradise Valley. Bring several modes of mosquito repellent and perhaps a face net if you’re sensitive. The water is chilly but refreshing after a long day. We took dips every day and rinsed clothes. If you fly-fish, bring a set up. Brookes and browns are everywhere and they’re ready to feed. We will definitely be doing this loop again!

hiking
18 days ago

A fun trail but definitely some mosquitos in the summer so bring bug spray.

hiking
18 days ago

Great views! Parking lot was full but we saw very few people on the trail. As we were returning, we crossed the Bailey Bridge and finished the hike on the “Kanawyer trail”. We preferred the trail on that side of the river. If you use that side you do have to walk a little further to reach the bridge to Zumwalt Meadow. I didn’t see any wildlife or notice the mosquitoes.

We hiked this trail yesterday 6/25/18. It’s a great hike! We saw a Momma bear with 2 cubs. The falls and the views are outstanding! The mosquitoes were bad at spots. Use bug spray.

hiking
19 days ago

Moderate hike with mild elevation gain. The hike is mostly on a narrow trail with dried pokey plants on either side. At times I had wished I had worn pants since my shins were rubbing up on all the plants. Meeting hikers can be semi frustrating when trying to get by one another on the trail. The trail has some nice views and I actually came across a deer having breakfast just off the path before it wondered off into the brush. I also came across a rattlesnake on my way back to camp when it was sunbathing in the 90 degree sun. Marble Falls is lovely and I had to put my sunglasses on because of the bright white reflecting back me. Not too many people in the morning probably due to the hot weather. The trail has some portions of shade but is mostly out in the sun but bring plenty of water if you are hiking this on a hot day. I brought my water filter so I could refill at the falls and dipped my shirt in the water to keep cool on my way back. I was completely dry by the time I was back at camp an hour and half later.

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.

Great, exerting hike....

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