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The hike wasn’t too difficult but it was entertaining. The end of the trail has a spectacular view, I recommend taking time and just looking around with an open mind.

trail head visibly marked ,sad to say valley air terrible due to wildfires. Family and I came up from nearby Hanford to take day hike, enjoyed it very much, trail easy to hike maintained as a trail could be as always trip hazards one in particular was a steel post for embankment reinforcements was protruding up out of ground at a trail corner cutback. EOL the falls well worth hike falls were running well had lunch took a little nap headed back, traffic light on trail encountered 1 family on trail and at falls another couple showed up. anyway a great way to enjoy nature

hiking
17 days ago

trail head was visibly marked sad to say valley air was terrible due to wildfires. Trail itself was easy to hike temps were excellent, 70ish traffic real light 1 other fasmily on trail end result were the falls they were running well had lunch and a little nap headed back nice day hike.

It was a nice hike to just get out of the house, but in my opinion, nothing too spectacular.

This was a beautiful hike to Heather Lake. Trailer is well maintained, and smooth. We took the Hump Trail to Heather Lake as the sign stated the Watchtower was closed due to snow and ice, even though we knew there was none of that this day. This part is beautiful, but steep. Very Picturesque at the Lake. Returned via the Watchtower, and can see why this would be closed in the winter. I am not a fan of heights, but this trail although has steep drop offs, it wide enough to allow even the heights challenged to pass. Recommend the Watchtower trail for the scenic outlooks that are just magnificent!

This trail is definitely on our do do list to continue further to Pear Lake and Beyond.

If you’re considering it, go for it! If you can make it to Heather Lake with plenty of energy, you’ve competed most of the elevation climb so consider continuing to Emerald and Pear Lakes. All 3 are rather different in their view/surroundings.

Best part of this hike is the return trip out is mostly all downhill! Pit toilets are at both Emerald and Pear Lakes.

Note that the Watch Tower Trail has a sign after Oct. 15(?) that says it’s closed due to winter weather. This may not realllllly be accurate if the weather is great. There definitely wasn’t any snow when I took the trail on Nov 2nd — it was in the 60’s. So I waited at the intersection of the Watch Tower Trail and the other trail until a group came down the Watch Tower Trail and confirmed the conditions were perfect and there’s no reason not to take that option. Traffic on the Watch Tower Trail was reasonable — I’d pass someone/a group heading down about every 5 minutes once I hit the Watch Tower part of the trail.

A few spots on the trail are narrow with a notable steep drop off to one side, but it wasn’t enough to concern me (I’m fairly afraid of heights ). Just bringing that up since others mentioned it in other reviews.

Also note: the first few miles (and thus the last few miles) of the trail are dense forest, so be mindful that when it nears sunset the trail will get much darker earlier than you may anticipate. Pack flashlights/etc. accordingly if you may wrap up this trail in the late afternoon/early evening.

mountain biking
22 days ago

great for mountain biking

The day hike was amazing! We went on Veteran’s Day and took the hump trail because the watchtower trail was closed for the season. Although people prefer the watchtower, the hump was tiring, yet still amazing. We got to see a family of deer along the trail and enjoyed the scenery.
If you do a day hike around this time of year, I recommend leaving pear lake by 2:30 to get to your car by sundown.

Did this as a 2 day 1 night backpacking trip 9/30/18. Pear lake was very crowded, probably because it was the first weekend of the non-quota period. Still a BEAUTIFUL hike. Highly recommended!

Started our hike on 11/2/18, did 2 days, 3 nights. First day, we started at Wolverton trail head and went to Pear lake. The weather was sunny and 60 degrees, but if you werent in the sun... man it was cold. The temperature the first night dropped to just above freezing; I would recommend many layers for sleeping. The next day, we summited Alta Peak. Technically there is a trail to the peak, but it would have 20 miles round trip. Instead we scrambled up the north face of Pear Lake to get the peak. I wouldn't necessarily say this route as there was a lot of scrambling and rock jumping, but near the top, we could definitely see some foot prints and slightly defined trails of other people aka others have done the same. All in all, would definitely recommend! I wouldn't say it is a "hard" trail because the trail was well maintained and easy to hike on, but the altitude definitely stressed the lungs so be careful!

Went on this hike with my 6 and 7 year old kids. Was a bit challenging for them but they loved it. It was pretty sunny so I would advise hats! The incline was a great workout and once you make it to the top the view is amazing. Ran into a lot of friendly people and will definitely be hiking this trail again.

This is my wife and kids to go spot. Making it a tradition to go every Sunday morning. Great views, a bit hard, lots of incline, but worth it. Love the scenery and the drive for us is very short.

We hiked this on 10/5/18. It was 40F at 0830 when we started and it was sunny to start. We played leap frog with another couple all the way up to pear lake, but other than that we only ever saw anyone else on the return trip. The trail rises steadily from the trailhead and is pleasant enough through the forest until you get to the watchtower, which is really just an outcropping of rock overlooking a canyon. Spectacular views from there up to heather lake. Unfortunately, a cloud bank followed us up the valley so the views back down the valley were shrouded in fog, but the views up the valley were awesome. We missed emerald Lake thinking aster lake was emerald lake, but all 3 lakes we saw were nice in their own way. Pear lake was the best in terms of scenery made better due to the effort it took to get there. We took hump trail on the return due to the watchtower being covered in fog and it certainly lived up to its name. However, even though it was downhill most of the way, it was much more difficult due to the stress it placed on my knees. Overall, it was the best hike we did in either park. Highly recommend it

hiking
1 month ago

It was 45 F when we started this hike at 0830 on 10/4/18. It had poured rain the previous day and ice warnings were in the forecast which I think scared everyone away. We saw no one on the way up and only a handful of people on the way back. The temperature never got warm enough to where the bugs were a problem even though we were prepared with head nets and bug spray. The first part of the hike was through the valley with gorgeous views on either side. After the junction to the Bubb's creek trail the trail begins a gradual ascent up to the falls. There is a section where you come out of the trees and you have unimpeded views of the canyon that are pretty spectacular. If you're a photographer, a wide angle lens is a must (or take multiple photos and stitch them together in post, or just take a panorama w/ your camera phone). Right before we got to the falls ran into a cinnamon colored black bear and her cub. That was a treat. The falls themselves are not spectacular as far as falls go, but it's a convenient turn around point. On the return we followed the Bubbs Creek trail across the river then took the spur back to the trailhead. Not as scenic as the trail coming out, but it was flat and easy. A pretty easy hike with a high ROE (return on effort).

hiking
1 month ago

A very good trail with moderate traffic. Went on a Saturday morning and continued along the same trail until Paradise Valley. The extra bit was well worth it, with very good views and a nice calm part of the Kings River. Did not see any bears, although we heard one growling nearby.

My wife and I Hiked this yesterday. When you get to the top of the peak the views are awesome. We followed the map and went around the back side of the peak which made the final ascent a little easier.

It is steep but not impossible. There was a family with a couple of kids probably 8-10 who made it to the top. This was great if you wanted something challenging but not to long. Will do it again.

It’s a great workout!

Beautiful hike! Last minute trip and decided I’d check out sequoia. Found this hike based of the reviews and everyone on here didn’t lie. Definitely recommend doing this one. The hike itself isn’t too bad. For some reason I recorded the mileage I little higher to around 13 miles but I’m sure my phones step counter can be off. Hiked to pear lake and back in 6.5 hours.

backpacking
1 month ago

I started this loop from onion valley and did it counterclockwise. I believe it is a harder route starting from the eastern Sierra side, which added an extra 10 miles or so, but the hike up and over kearsarge pass is well worth the extra mileage.

It took 4 days at a relatively moderate pace to complete the loop. My last day was only a six mile day so it is definitely possible to do it in 3 days starting from onion valley.

Mosquitos weren’t too bad in late July though I’ve heard that they’re horrendous earlier in the season. Bugs other than mosquitos were a nuisance so I highly recommend a bug net around your head which I wore half the hike.

There are plenty of people on the trail with pct and jmt hikers making their way on the eastern parts of the loop.

Visually stunning.

Backpacked and camped out at Emerald. There were a ton of mosquitoes at our camp, but we had bug repellent. Beautiful hike beautiful lakes.

We are visiting CA from CO and we landed on this trail. It was an easy trot and worth the views. There were about 20 others on the trail to go along with 3-4 black bears. DO NOT use the directions link for this trail. We spent about an hour on the wrong trail haha. Follow the directions from some of the previous comments. Enjoy!!

great trail second time this week

Great trail during late October.

Really great morning hike to start your day! The views are really pretty!

hiking
1 month ago

We did this trip counter clockwise from Oct 5-12. We tacked on a few side trips including Kearsarge Lakes and 60 Lakes Basin. We had one snow storm the day before doing Glen Pass but we just delayed our ascent a few hours until the sun had melted the pass on the south side and then things were not that bad. It was spectacular. I would recommend spending at least one day at Rae Lakes, it is the jewel of the hike. Water was available along the entire trip except for the ascent up Glen Pass. I carried 1 liter of water on me the entire trip and it worked well for me. Bring warm clothes as several nights got down into the teens. We saw several bears but they all kept their distance from us and we had no negative encounters. Bugs were almost non-existant but we did see 4 different snake species including a rattlesnake the first day hiking in. This was definitely a worth while trip and I will do it again.

Hiked 10/11/18. As great as advertised. Arrived at the trailhead around 8:30am. Plenty of spaces available. Bugs weren’t a problem. We extended the hike an extra mile+ after the falls. That added quite a bit of elevation gain. Ran into a mama bear and her cub cruising down the middle of the trail and heard another just off trail.

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. The filter idea was great, a must especially if it is hot, but also you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated. Insects were not a problem like they are down in the Canyon. I took the Hump trail on the way back thinking it would be easier than just repeating my way around watchtower, biggest mistake of my hike. I missed the views on the way back and the grade up and then down was not what my legs wanted on the way back. I clocked in 13.1 miles out to Pear lake. Saw trout, many Chipmunks and Pikas gathering cones and seeds, not too many birds. It was supposed to snow the next day which is why I made the effort on this day. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the lakes with the mountain backdrop. I saw only 6 people the whole time I was on the trail which was both welcoming and a little worrisome, as I was hiking and doing photography on my own. I know know what the "Sounds of Silence" are as this hike will take you there.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

hiking
2 months ago

What a great Sequoia “foothill” trail. It is rated as moderate but there are some hard spots. Since it had rained earlier in the week, there were no bees or wasps and very little dust. This is the perfect time to hike this trail, the falls may not be at their fullest, but leaves are starting to turn and some fall flowers were blooming.
The trail head is at the very end of the Potwisha campground. If that parking is full, you can park across the road. We recommend good shoes and polls or a hiking stick.
Cannot wait to do this trail in the Spring when the falls are full!

I accomplished this trail today. Beautiful weather and few people there. Haven't hiked in awhile and it was a little rough coming down (wrong shoes). Deffinitely going to do this trail in the spring next time! No bees thst I noticed.

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