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

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Easy hike overall with rock scramble right when you get to the top. Beautiful views from the top. Lightly trafficked throughout.

Closed for the season as of 12/30/18

trail running
19 days ago

A really great trail run. Just beware this time of year (December/January) there are a few slippery/muddy spots. Make sure you wear shoes that you are comfortable with getting muddy.

Best hike. I have been doing this hike since I was a kid and now get to explore it with my boyfriend and dog. Tiny section with rock climbing but amazing areas where you can jump into the river

hiking
21 days ago

Hiked in September 2018. We were the first up the trail in the morning and saw lots of deer. Short and steep with lovely lakes at the end of the trail and glimpses of fumaroles through the trees.

pretty trail, but be prepared for some steep hills, up and down! trail is very very poorly marked, and my tracker had it at 5 miles, not 4

easy, wide trail. beautiful flowers in spring. lots of birds.

Great trail for a new adventure. Not as scenic as some but nice river access and on a nice fall day I had the trail to myself.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Snowshoed this trail today. Luckily we (4 of us) met a guy after we snowshoed around Manzanita Lake. He introduced us to the trail. Glad he did. It was great for snowshoeing. We'll definitely snowshoe this again, and hike it.

Not difficult. In view of reservoir and beautiful view much of the time.

11/27/18 This hike wrapped the 7th and final hike over our Thanksgiving vacation. It certainly was the highlight of our trip! There were so many different types of terrain on this trail from flat rock, to fallen leaves, stone stairs and my favorite was navigating over all the rock. We started at 8:45 am and ended up doing 13 miles in 5.25 hours with a small sandwich break. We primarily had the trail to ourselves until we started to venture back then ran into about a dozen people. The weather was perfect! Mid 50’s with a slight breeze and very clear. You’ll see breathtaking views of Hetch Hetchery Reservoire all along the trail. I believe there was 4 waterfalls in view as well. I would definitely do this trail again!

hiking
1 month ago

Definitely hike to Cougar Rock! Awesome views

Hiked this in the rain, which was pretty miserable. But on a clear day, I imagine the views would be spectacular. Trail is moderately difficult and well maintained. Took me about 5.5 hours including lunch at the creek. Get there early if you want the trail to yourself -- I started at 9 and didn't see anyone until I was already halfway down.

great day for a hike! trail was hard to find in places. I wish I had just gone out and back.

Great, long hike with majestic views

Enormous! Long but worth the trek

hiking
2 months ago

Did this 9/15/18. Soooo windy! Tough hike but really fun, beautiful views!

2 months ago

Easy fun scenic walk

Great cool morning for hike. We took our dog Jax along and really enjoyed the great colors and trees. It took us 2 hrs for hike to end of trail and back. Trees were very awesome

hiking
2 months ago

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

This has been my favorite hike so far. Beautiful scenery!

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little hike that offers some views of the Hetch Hetchy area. There were still wildflowers in bloom when we visited mid-June and we saw several species of songbirds so, overall, a pleasant experience even though I wish we had more time and could hike further out and experience the area a bit more.

enjoyable trail

We did this and it is a beautifull trail!!! Trees are amazing. Very easy

A well marked trail leads from the parking lot to the South Grove. Late October gave us the added treat of beautiful autumn colors from the non-coniferous members of the forest. The free map handed out at the gatehouse includes an expanded cut out of the north and south groves, highlighting where some of the largest are. These trees have to be seen to appreciate how magnificent they are. We’ll be back.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful time of year for this hike. Cool morning led to a great day. Trailhead decently marked with plenty of parking. Went on a Saturday and wasn’t crowded at all. Path was well traveled and a map was not needed. The quietness among these giants was awe inspiring. We did the north grove after this hike and it felt commercial in comparison.

I absolutely loved this trail....my friend who is not a hiker came with me, we made it to the top no issues. amazing views. started raining as we were on the top. As we hiked down the rocks were extremely slippery. I hit a rock just right and rolled my ankle. Continued to hike until I couldn't go any further. Had to call 911 and be rescued out. Tualome co fire dept is absolutely AMAZING. 4 firemen hiked me out. Turns out I fractured my fibula in two places, had to have surgery requiring a metal plate with screws in my ankle. Still recovering but you can bet I will be back!

Great hike. Very cool lake.

Solid hike. Can be done in 1 night. I left the site at 9am from the campsite and went counterclockwise (see Sweeney review below, very helpful) and went until 5pm, made it most of the way to Lake Vernon but was just too spent from the elevation gain so just found a spot for myself. The next day I took the detours to Lake Vernon and Laurel Lake, finding the latter MUCH more worth it, started at 9am and was back in my car by 6pm. It's doable but I was moving. Set aside some time to get around Laurel Lake, you won't regret it. You get some views of the Lake that are really spectacular and much better than some you get of Lake Vernon. I passed an gentleman on the trail who said he had also camped lakeside at Laurel, and I would recommend that much over camping near Lake Vernon based on what I saw. Per the review below, I agree that the trajectory of the trip gets a little odd if you go clockwise, but there's a way to make it work. Overall, good trail, lots of varied and interesting terrain. lovely views. Will likely do again with friends or family.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice

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