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

Sierra Backpacking Map

Did this trail on 7/21/18. Drive up to the parking lot, it is about 3 miles off of the road and makes the trek much more enjoyable as the road leading up to the trail is quite steep. The falls are beautiful but to get close to them there is some rock climbing necessary. There is a nice little spot to get into the water weather permitting. In late July it was about 85 degrees and would have been nice to get in.

3 days ago

Hiked both Rancheria Falls and this one with 2 friends on the same day. This hike that goes about 2 miles alongside a creek and ends at the pools which were almost completely frozen over. Beautiful views and very peaceful, perfect for small families and for kids who love climbing rocks but make sure you wear appropriate footwear. The trail is not well marked at certain parts but pay attention to the path or stay close to the creek and you will be fine.

Went with 2 friends on 11/11/18 and found the waterfall completely frozen over. We arrived early in the morning around 9am and it was empty and the road itself was a bit bumpy but I was driving slow like a turtle and avoiding the bumps and holes along the way. A bathroom is available at the trail entrance but there is no toilet paper provided so heads up. Trail itself is pretty easy, and we passed someone pushing a stroller on our way back. Trail itself ends at the waterfall, had a great time...worth the drive and the hike.

12 miles round trip from Quartz Mountain Trail head to middle lake. Easily doable in a day, in and out, but pretty uphill on the way in. About 3 hours up and 2 hours back with a daypack.

on Rancheria Falls Trail

18 days ago

Great trail for the whole family! My husband and I took our daughters (4 and 2 years old) 10/28/18 and they absolutely loved it! It wasn’t busy at all when we went (1:30pm) and we even ate lunch at the top of the trail! The girls needed hoodies since it was a little chilly by the waterfall. It was a gorgeous day!

nature trips
19 days ago

Beautiful hike. It was definitely warm and a very busy day. The trail was easy but we didn’t get to check out the falls close up, just from afar as several huge families were there sitting on the trail, quite annoying. We will try it out again. Went in late August 2018 before school started.

on Indian Pools Trail

19 days ago

Great hike. Some strenuous parts, rock climbing but not terrible, doable. Just be warned.
Water was still flowing into the 2 pools. It was a peaceful hike. Not too many people in site. Our wiem was in heaven with the sites, sounds, and smells. We Even witnessed a doe with her fawn eating from the nearby foliage. Fall is evident here with colored trees and definitely on your drive up! Beautiful! Young families would adore this hike!

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

Just as reviewed. A nice short hike. Took small dog and he did well. The earlier you go the fewer people. Got busier closer to noon. Great views and decent birding.

Great hike for the family and with dogs. Short and sweet, only takes about 20 minutes to get to the waterfall. Beautiful views!

This was a nice easy trail to take our 3-yr on. Short hike, with stunning views. We went at the end on September which had lots of foliage turning beautiful fall colors.

1 month ago

Gorgeous views, lots of campsites at Bear Lake, good amount of shade, and trail was clearly marked. Took a couple of newbies and everyone had a great time.

nice trail .

We enjoyed the Wawona swimming hole today

Parked at bathrooms and hiked up slight incline but very manageable for my husband and I who are 48 & 50 years old. Views were pretty and path was clean. We stayed further back from falls and decided not to take on the larger boulders that were closer to the falls and still enjoyed the beautiful sight & sounds of the falls and creek. Amazed there was still as much water as there was in September. Our 4 pound Yorkie had no trouble at all either.

Definitely will be doing this trail again. We only went to camp lake this day but will be back to continue to bear lake. The beginning is mostly incline and was heavily traveled with a few large groups. Once at the lake we explored a bit. It is worth while to hike up to the ridge to see the views.

2 months ago

Hiked this as an overnight backpacking trip with my family: two girls, ages 13 and 15, and mid 40s wife. We did so over Labor Day weekend and were not expecting big crowds at the Crabtree trailhead. Fortunately, we were able to find a nice campsite at the lake. Most folks had already set up at the south end (where the trail enters the lake) but there are a lot more spots if you continue north/left. Fuel here is at a minimum. Also, it's easy to pick up that this is a popular spot (toilet paper, bit of trash, no low limbs on trees, etc). Overall, a nice beginner's backpacking trip. The lake itself was quite warm at this time of year and good for a dip.

Great hike one of my favorite. Views at the top are amazing and when you get to the lake it is even better. Nice place to relax and chill at the water, people swam and hangout. I would say its semi-crowded but worth it and the hike is moderate. A must try hike!

2 months ago

Nice, well marked trail to a beautiful waterfall that was even flowing at the end of summer. Lots of families with young kids handling it with ease. Just be careful when you get to the falls with little ones- it's a big drop down.
Also, dont start at the trail turn off. Drive up the dirt road from the trail turn off for 2 miles to reach the trail head. There's a bathroom ("biffy" style) & parking area there. From this point its a 2 mile round trip hike to the falls & back.

Very easy hike and a fun dirt road to drive down that starts the trail. Gorgeous views and lots of rocks to sit on and enjoy the scenery

Great trail. ROund trip from the parking lot to the lake and back was closer to 10 miles.

NOTE: paved road ends and you have to drive about 6 miles on a graded dirt road.

The trail had a few really nice vista points. And the lake was beautiful. I’d like to return and stay a couple nights.

I enjoyed the hike but the trail was not always well marked.

3 months ago

I'm interested in taking the Chiquito Pass Trail up into Yosemite toward Crescent Lake and Johnson Lake with my daughter for a few days, and then connect with the Chilnualna Falls Trail that takes me down Wawona Dome and into North Wawona where we have a cabin right by the trailhead. I am planning on driving up Beasore Road and then on to the 5S04 to catch the start of the Chiquito trail there. I have a question: will a Lexus SUV (RX330 survive the 5S04 or am I taking a lot of risk to drive the couple of miles on that road? From Google Earth it doesn't look that bad.

So, the description is misleading. This hike isn’t actually long at all. You can drive your car up most of the way to a parking area (would suggest a SUV, our corolla had a hard time). With that said, the short hike to the falls was beautiful, being high in the mountains meant it wasn’t too hot, and the falls itself was a little crowded. Overall worth a stop when exploring the area!

Beautiful easy trail. If you have kids, it’s best to drive up the dirt road and start where the parking lot is. Dirt road is a little rough if you don’t have a SUV or truck. But beautiful waterfall at the end. My kids enjoyed it even my 4 year old.

I think it some type of steps and / or handrails could be constructed to facilitate a safer decent to the waterfalls pools. Other than that, it is an easy surface to negotiate on the trail and a scenic hike also!

To say it was beautiful doesn't do it justice. Very scenic would definitely be doing this one again. Lots of mosquito's. Bring DEET! I think we fell in right after they hatched. However each day seemed a little better. Had a great time. No fish in these lakes. Plenty of frogs though. To summit all up, if you can go, go!

Quiet during weekdays. Lower pool is easily accessible from the trail. Some scramble to the top of the falls.

3 months ago

Fun hike. Like others have said it’s easy to lose the actual trail because of boulders, but as long as the creek is on your right, just keep going. Some bouldering if you want to keep the creek in sight. Didn’t go all the way back because of time and smoke from the Ferguson fire but still a good hike. Took a little dip in a larger pool and little fish swam around me. Lots of people at the beginning but less as we continued on. 8/3/18

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