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this is a great trail!!! I was able to do the whole loop in about 4.5 hours. I took time to take in the scenery and have lunch also. this is a great day hike.

Walked from the Black Oak Casino RV Park to the trail. Was a great and easy walk. Once at the trail it was a steady path with great views! Definitely would recommend.

backpacking
15 days ago

Scenery is beautiful, gets a little tougher when you’re strolling through snow.

hiking
16 days ago

Definitely hike to Cougar Rock! Awesome views

I hiked this trail yesterday. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. Overall it was an enjoyable hike. Seems as though it should more appropriately be rated as easy rather than moderate.

Pretty. Wasn’t overly populated. Easy to get off trail here.

The views were amazing. Made this our first hike of the Fall season. Weather was nice and cool. First time wearing pants and a long sleeve :) We were a little confused coming back from Bear Lake as the trail was a little washed up, but we made our way back. Trailed off in the beginning, but got back on the path. This ended up being 10.5 miles for us due to us straying off course a bit. Totally worth it! Would definitely do it again

Nice walk to about mile 3; fallen tree blocks access for horses. Someone needs to bring a chain saw

It was a great hike. We thought is was more like 9 miles. nice and shady. grant views of cable lake and emigrant lake was awesome. had a lunch at lake then headed back. we felt it was moderate skill.

hiking
30 days ago

We had to park about a half mile before the trail head. The gate is closed for the winter. The trail in was pretty nice. The lake was very low and a disappointment.
Some water and Lakes are starting to freeze over so watch the weather.
For some reason my phone decided to stop recording for a period of time.
Time for a new phone!

hiking
1 month ago

Really nicely maintained trail with clear markers. Loved the Fall colors. Stunning view from Cougar Rock.

This was an excellent hike from beginning to end. We began at Caples Lake and followed the trail along the lake until it veered up to toward the historic Emigrant Lake. I arrived to this weather worn Lake imagining the Mormon Emigrates hitting this wall of rock. It was fishbowl staring up at the back of Roundtop and Stagecoach across the Lake. We bushwhacked up to the Stagecoach Trail for another beautiful full vista view of both Caples Lake and Emigrant. I imagine the Mormans did the same and continued East to Utah? We on the other hand went West on the trail bushwhacking our way back down this steep terrain guided by the ski structures that eventually lead us the the “Emigrant Road SLCA” . It was breathtaking. The trees marked with these signs leading us back to the Lake for our final two miles back to our vehicle. I will hike this again. But I will bring a fishing pole.

fantastic finish..larger lake then I expected..great and peacefull views to be had at lakes...moderate is appropriate rating..can be better marked at beginning..u never know who put cairns up off trail..once you cross railroad tracks be ready for a decent amount of tree root/rocky trail..great for an overnight camping trip..just pick a spot..stoves ok for now..couple good spots around 2nd lake on sandstone for fire pits...shall return next spring

hiking
1 month ago

Hike in Napa area near St. Helena through canyon (good for shade in summer) with main attraction of swimming hole at the end. Trail itself is ok, along a river for part of it, decently maintained, easy trail not crowded on a summer weekday

generally: moderate trail in Stanislaus Wilderness with good scenery most of the way, moderate difficulty, well maintained trail, decently popular for backpacking with sites scattered around the lake
permits: free, get at ranger station, fires allowed at lake with permit
trailhead: unpaved road for several miles, lots of parking at trailhead

hiked once in september with snow on trail and once in late july and swam in lake

Beautiful trail with amazing views

Well maintained trail.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a great hike. Challenging, but worth the trek especially if you intend to camp. Just a couple of things I found would make it more enjoyable. Keep your app open as it is helpful to get you back on track as this one is a tough one to follow in many places. There are cairns the entire trail... thank you to those putting those in place. I wore tennis shoes which was fine, but hiking boots would have been better especially with the rocky terrain that covers most of the trail. If you’re backpacking I recommend trekking poles. This made the trip a lot easier for me just for stability while carrying the weight on the rocks and over boulders and downed trees. Day pack probably not necessary. Camped out at the last lake, had some great picks with fire pits. It was pretty and only a couple of us up there for October. Beautiful night. Had cellphone service the entire way, but could also still hear the highway at the last lake as well.

Beautiful hike! Quite the workout, but very worth it!

I love this hike. Great exercise even if you do half and just walk up to slyline and back.
My favorite time to hike is after the first rain. The smells and the trees are breathtaking.

Clockwise helps on to get the sun when climbing up, great vegetation and great views from the top!

Was great hike today. Hardly anyone there. Despite what previous poster said, leashes ARE NOT required this being the national forest. Would be very difficult to hike this trail with dogs on leashes. Difficult for the dogs and difficult for the owners especially if your using hiking poles which btw I recommend. Besides it’s usually the leashes dogs that are aggressive or unsocialized. Or the owners’ anxiety that causes this. Our group had 6 very well behaved trail dogs that are used to hiking. And yes we pick up the poop. Overall good hike, a lot of uphill; thus, a lot downhill.

backpacking
1 month ago

Such a great trail! We did a two day backpacking trip, low key and so refreshing.

We went around clockwise, camping by the Government Meadow overnight. We stayed on top of a rock formation (which was a mistake, way too windy) but I would recommend it as a place to catch a killer sunset! There are plenty of nice flat open spaces near the creek, they are easy to spot as logs are usually arranged around the remains of a fire pit.

There is a lovely open area to set up camp about 2 miles in, if you go counter clockwise, on the other side of a bridge. It looks like you could lounge around this mellow part of the creek, and it would be great for swimming on a sunny day.

We picked up our permit at the Ranger Station in Pioneer. It added an extra 30-40 minutes to our drive coming from SF, so if you can get your permit at a station off of 50, you'd save yourself some time.

It is a great hike during warm days. Nice balance of shade and open trails. Views at the top are incredible. If you make the hamms gulch trail (left side of loop) turn first, the incline is gradual and not steep enough ( at least for me). If you want to get straight incline on the beginning of your hike, make the turn at spring ridge trail first (right side of loop). The trail at Spring side is good for running uphill and downhill. There’s a lot of parking which I like but google maps brought me to the sequoia’s so had to turn and find the right parking lot. It is well marked in the beginning of the trail but got a little confusing at the top.

Did this hike with my dog today. Good work out, and it was pretty along the way though not the MOST interesting. The views at the top are a nice prize. Way more shade on the southern side of the loop. Probably saw 6 people the whole time.

A nice walk up and down, with great views from the top.

Poison oak. Lots of it. Brought the dog and I wish I hadn’t. Trail disappears after first crossing. Not for beginners and even though it is “dog-friendly” I highly DO NOT recommend bringing Fido.

Always a nice hike, mostly shaded on the way up Hamm’s Gulch. (You can go back down the same way if it’s hot to stay on the mostly shaded trail.

We went for Hamms Gulch Trail in and out but we ended up doing a loop , Hamms Gulch & Spring Ridge Trail back.
Hamms started a little boring for the first 0.4 miles but after that was pretty decent through mixed forest and plenty of shade. Toward the end we reached the highest level where it was Windy Hills Summit. Breathtaking views from San Francisco down to San Jose.
From that point we ended up taking the Spring Trail back to our initial departure.
The loop was shy off 7 miles (6.7 miles).

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