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It was a great trip! I did see a bear and a rattlesnake. I do recommend stopping my Bearpaw Meadows to buy a brownie for $5.

Scott’s review was very useful as it allowed us to prepare ourselves for the height (I have a profound respect for heights, not fear, respect!)

We only hiked to the first lake, taking the watchtower route. We were fine until we hit the cliffs... (everyone else was fine there too, I was the one who clung to the walls and was focused on making it through.). The tough part is about 400m long with some seriously scary spots..

The way back was through the hump route.

Our children joined 20, 16 and 13. Trail was beautiful and demanding. We swam at the lake then hiked down.
Recommended for sure.

Absolutely spectacular! Probably the best day hike I’ve ever been on! This trail has it all! We hit the trailhead at 0715 and had it all to ourselves! We went out to Heather Lake via Watchtower and back using the Hump Trail. The views on Watchtower are breathtaking! If you’re scared of heights this is NOT the trail for you! The edge of the trail drops off precipitously to say the least! I jumped out of planes in the Army and still found myself hugging the wall! Watchtower is the easiest way to get out to the lakes (side-hilling). Heather Lake is amazing. Crystal clear water and the trout breaching for insects is a spectacle in itself. We opted to return to the trailhead via The Hump Trail. The elevation gain on the Hump Trail is no joke. The views from the top are amazing. Going back we must have seen 30 or more hikers. Some more prepared than others. Go early and enjoy nature!!

Not as advertised. Very difficult hike, especially in the summer months because of the rare shade found for the greater parts of the hike. The elevation change is also closer to 2,300 feet and round trip it is almost 10 miles. The falls are gorgeous at the end but with the poor air quality in the park and the fires in the nearby areas, it was difficult catching a full breath the whole time. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers.

This was by far the most wonderful hike ive ever done. Challenging though,but will give you the best legs workout. Although i didnt get to see the emerald and pear, heather was just so beautiful. The water is perfect for a quick dip, and surprisingly is not that cold!

Perfect day hike! All the best of the sierras. My hubby and daughter stopped at heather to fish for trout and hang out, while my 11 year old son and I went ahead to pear. Lakes are all beautiful and varied but pear takes the cake. Granite surrounds above the tree line and crystal blue green water for a refreshing dip. We started hiking at 7:30 and we’re back in the car by 3:30. Steep climb most of the way, and amazing and slightly scary views from watchtower...

backpacking
9 days ago

Last two miles before Twin Lakes is difficult but well worth it.

Loved this hike!!!

A real California Adventure! Personally would recommend staying two nights at Emerald and day hiking the hour to Pear Lake. Although Pear Lake does feel more isolated. Watchtower Trail is awesome as long as you're sure footed and not afraid of heights.

I completed this hike on August 4th and it was AMAZING!!! The forest in the beginning was nice and shaded and got some good views. The Watchtower is spectacular!! You walk on the ridge line and catch some epic views of the peaks across the way. Heather and Emerald Lake were beautiful but Pear Lake takes the cake. We jumped in and swam a little bit and enjoyed the sunny weather.
Side note: The trailhead said it was 6.2 to Pear Lake so in and back would be 12.4 miles.

Awesome views, and the Lakes are wonderful. Very tough hike. Recommend going via watchtower and return via hump trail.

hiking
10 days ago

Awesome hike! Trail was a bit of a challenge. Ran into a large doe with two fawns about halfway in. Had to make room because momma wasn’t having it. None the less awesome views and the water was amazing definitely recommend!

hiking
10 days ago

After our plans to reach the Mineral King area today fell through, we decided to do a hike in the foothills instead.
Mid-June, the temperature was easily in the 90s and there isn't much shadow along the way, so be sure to carry a lot of water and wear sunscreen and a hat if you're doing this in summer. Long pants also come highly recommended, as the trail is narrow and there is a lot of undergrowth.
The hike itself is not terribly exciting for most part - you don't get much in the way of views and, especially in the summer heat, it can become a bit of a slog. The waterfalls are quite pretty though.
Overall, I would say that there are better hikes to do in Sequoia, but if you want to experience the climate of the foothills, this is not a bad hike to do.

Beautiful trail. We did it in about 7 hours with 45 minutes at the top. The heat definitely got to us as well as the last couple miles. The views were still spectacular even though it was smoky. Stay Hydrated out there!

Just did this trail a few days ago. We hit the trailhead around noon on a Wednesday and boy was it hot! I was coming off a tough few days of work and starting out in 85 degree heat was not the ideal way to do this continuously uphill climb. It was very strenuous BUT... it was worth it. The lakes themselves are spectacular. Next time, we'll spend the night somewhere close by and start up early morning - way better to actually enjoy the hike.

We camped at Emerald Lake the first night and Pear lake the 2nd night. Emerald lake actually has the better campsites, and next time we'll spend two nights at Emerald lake and just day hike up to Pear Lake.

Also, the best lake to swim in was definitely Heather Lake, the first of the lakes. It's a little smaller, and thus was warmer than both Pear and Emerald Lake. We didn't try Astor Lake (next time!)

Beware the marmots at Pear Lake! We tried to set up at one of the campsites, but there was a marmot who was clearly not happy with us being in his home. We switched campsites and later found that that same marmot had been snatching clothes left out at a neighboring campsite!

Just got back from doing this trip this weekend. It was incredible! My first backpacking trip, and I loved every minute of it. The scenery and views are abundant stunning. The wildlife is beautiful - I was yelled at by a bear! The water in Pear and Emerald Lakes was so refreshing. Emerald’s water was a bit warmer, and I jumped off my first rock! =) Would totally recommend this trail. I can’t wait to go back and bring some friends next time.

Must have permit to camp - walk up only at Lodgepole. We slept in the parking lot Thursday night, and were standing in line behind 3 others before the Visitor’s Center opened. We got the last 2/3 permits.

Must have a bear canister. Pack out everything. Leave it better than you found it.

Great trail with plenty of water. Last 1.5 miles tough but the lakes and views are awesome.

Really great hike! Definitely a challenge, but certainly doable if you're in decent shape. We took 7 days (7/14-7/20) and found that to be a good sweet spot for a challenging but not too aggressive pace. Our itinerary was: Bearpaw Meadow, Hamilton Lake, Big Arroyo, Kern Hot Springs, JMT Junction, Guitar Lake, and Whitney-Whitney Portal. There was absolutely no snow and it was easy going the whole way through. There are plenty of spots for water throughout, but bringing a bladder is recommended for those draining sunny days. A few things to note: 1) Highly recommend that you bring bug spray as mosquitoes are all over this trail. They're not unbearable, but it can be very annoying at times. 2) We ran into a couple rattlesnakes along the way, so watch your step during the day as they sunbathe on the trail or in campsites 3) Trekking poles are highly recommended for stability across all the various river crossings, slowing down for steep descents, and helping up the long ascents.

hiking
17 days ago

Came across a juvenile bear and later on bear scat directly on the trail. (Panther Gap). Beautiful trail!

A beautiful hike without question. You start by hiking through a pleasant forest until you reach the Watchtower where you finally get above the tree line and get some views. The trail can perhaps be a bit a bit scary if you're afraid of heights but I didn't think there were any tricky bits at all. That said, if you want to avoid hiking on trails that have sheer drops, use the "Hump Trail" to bypass the Watchtower section completely. Or you can use the Hump Trail on the way back so as not to retrace your steps completely. Mosquitoes can get pretty annoying, especially around the lakes, so make sure you carry a bug spray.
Overall, this is a lovely hike that will take a better part of a day but I probably wouldn't really consider it as hard. Definitely recommended.
As for wildlife, we saw plenty of yellow-bellied marmots and heard some grouse but never saw them.

hiking
19 days ago

Just lovely. My dog and I hiked this trail, starting from the horse corral at Big Meadow Trail head. The trail is quite exposed, with no clouds in the sky, which made for a warm incline. There are some shaded spots to rest along the way, that my dog took full advantage of. The trail itself is well maintained. When we arrived at the lake, we immediately dipped our toes in. The view is incredible! Shortly after we arrived, rain clouds rolled in, which was such a nice reprieve from the heat in Three Rivers. It probably took us a bit longer than other hikers considering my dog needed to stop at every shaded area in order to cool off a bit before trekking on, but the hike was super easy and enjoyable. I highly recommend wearing some sort of coverage, or re-applying sunscreen throughout the hike. The only place I got mildly burnt was by my backpack straps where my sweat cancelled out my sunscreen.

BRING LOTS OF WATER. I would recommend long pants because there was nettles and poison oak along the trail and overall my legs got itchy from rubbing against the dry brush. Trail is narrow and loose so make sure you've got a good footing. Some areas are shady and some parts have no shade at all. Was an awesome hike and the falls are beautiful! We finished our hike in 5 hours. Oh and a FYI, the trail starts in a campground. There were no signs for it.

hiking
23 days ago

The ridge has awesome views of the lakes. Bring plenty of water.

hiking
23 days ago

Completed this trail on July 22, 2018. We were on the trail by 8:30am and completed it in approx. 4 hours. Our total time included about 25 min of rest at the falls:) Trail has some great shady portions, but quite a bit is full sun and quite hot this time of year. Trail is definitely narrow and has steep drop offs close to path. Hard to pass if you come across others. Would not recommend taking small children. I would not rate trail as hard for those who are able to move well and are sure footed. It does have a variety of terrains such as rocks (both loose rocks and secure rocks embedded into mountain), sandy, slick dirt, leafy bedding, water, and fallen trees, all of which require close attention to footing, balance and the ability to shimmy around bushes in some pretty narrow passes where the trail is washed out a bit. I would recommend long pants AND a pair of good hiking boots. There were LOTS of rattlers sending their warnings out this time of year. Did not SEE any rattlers but they were very close to the trail. We did encounter a water snake at the falls. It was laying on the rocks in the pool. Be cautious if you choose to take a dip. I highly recommend this trail and suggest you go all the way to the end and spend some time enjoying the falls! Absolutely worth the hike!

hiking
23 days ago

Very very hot, but absolutely worth it. Took a dip in a pool by the waterfall to cool down. Great. Saw a small snake in the water.
Did not need long sleves and had plenty water with me.

hiking
23 days ago

Amazing views!! If you live at sea level (me), this can be a pretty strenuous hike. Luckily there are lots of streams on the way up to filter some water and lots of rocks to park yourself on.
The views are what make this. Once you get halfway through the hike up, amazing views open up for the remainder of the hike. This took me about 7 hours round-trip.

camping
23 days ago

Backpacked to Weaver Lake for a place to spend the night; you don’t have to reserve camping there so it’s an easy spot if you need someplace to stay.
The hike itself was fairly easy, and great views along the way. The lake is beautiful, and I saw about 50 trout jumps that morning as they were snatching some bugs. If you climb up the rocky slope on the east of the lake you get some amazing views. Check out the photos.

hiking
28 days ago

This hike was fairly challenging for someone who is used to living at sea level and could definitely have used some more time to acclimate to the climate and heat...but it was worth it. Hiked for what felt like forever and and soon as we got our first glimpse of the falls, we knew we had to finish it and touch that water. They are beautiful! After arriving at the falls, set up a spot on the rocks to take a break, have some snacks, rest, recharge, and enjoy before beginning the journey back.

To echo other recent reviews: minimal shade, need lots of water, two liters a piece at minimum and covered legs are a must. I was ok in a tank top but for those that don’t want to risk it while brushing up against over grown plants, long sleeves are a must too.

hiking
1 month ago

An amazing view. The hike feels more like 15 miles long. And it took about 8 hours in total including staying at the peak for about an hour. The last 2 miles going up is very tiring but it’s worth the view! Hiked it July 15. If I was to do it again I would do it maybe a month or two earlier in the year so maybe I can catch some snow in the mountains!

hiking
1 month ago

Even though the weather forecasted high of 73, definitely felt like 85 with the strong sun. Don’t let the weather’s temperature fool you. Roundtrip 7 miles from Big Meadow trailhead. Lots of horse poo on the trail so beware. Either go with long sleeves/pants or wear repellent because you will get bit. Steep climbing up but manageable. There were quite a bit of people on the trail but nothing too crazy. Definitely recommend either taking a lightweight chair or hammock to rest while @ the lake. Be sure to take water shoes/sandals if you’re planning on getting in. Water was cool not cold, great to jump into.

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