Explore Sierra To Do's - 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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Tried to drive up to the trailhead but recent snow will make it difficult to drive past the winter closure gate (45-60 min south of the peak trailhead). Follow the road from the winter closure gate and my tracks in the snow and you can do the Shulman Cove Discovery Loop for a 5.5 mile round trip instead if you wish!

Easy and stunning hikes. Mid November all the lakes were frozen too, hard enough to walk on when we were there. Can’t wait to go back and do the whole thing

The trail is gorgeous. We went for 2 nights. First night we slept by the Gem lake. second night by the Thousand Island Lake. All together the trail is a little more than 20 mi. its November, so at night the temperature dropped very low, to around 10F. However, during the day hiking was warm enough. There is no developed campgrounds, so you can camp almost anywhere. there is plenty of water, so there is no need to carry lots of water with you. Waugh lake is not really a lake because of the dam, its dried. Our dog was super happy with the hike, too. We picked up permit, maps and bear canister at Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center.

Beautiful hike! Continued on to Chicken Foot for a total of 6 miles. A new favorite! 5 lakes, multiple streams, craggy Mountain Views. Fascinating geology all around and plenty of photo ops!

We only did about 4 miles of the trail. Really cool waterfalls. Didn’t think it was hard at all.

A beautiful hike and over almost every ridge there is another lake. With the jagged peaks, green meadows with wildflowers, lakes and streams this hike has everything you could ask for.

1 month ago

As of Oct. 21, in some spots, the Autumn colors were past their prime. In other spots, they were still in full glory. Gorgeous hike. Can’t wait to come back next year with my friends.

Did this hike for my 60th birthday. I’m in decent shape and did not think it was very hard at all. My husband is not in shape and he thought it was hard. So, we only went as far as the Upper Falls and not all the way up to the lake. But it was still a very satisfying hike. Go, and take your time with your slow-going friends because there’s plenty of beauty to drink in while you wait for them to catch their breath!

This is an excellent trail. It's very strenuous, but the scenery is amazing and the trail is very well maintained and marked. I never had a problem losing the trail. The actual hot springs are hard to find, and are considerably off the trail. Make sure you have the AllTrails app downloaded on your phone and you can find them from people’s recordings.

I really enjoyed this hike! Offered a decent level of physical challenge, while also affording some better than average scenery! Very easily found the trail head and experienced no difficulty to Valentine Lake. Do be warned though, those with less-than a decent level of fitness may struggle to cope with the elevation and elevation gain

2 months ago

Very well maintained trail, breathtaking fall colors!

Road marked closed at entrance as of 10/9.

Two stars due to all the horse crap. People with dogs are expected to clean up after, why not the trail horses and mules. I was raised with horses and poo is poo.

backpacking
2 months ago

Really nice

Snowy and gorgeous. That 300 ft drop before the switchbacks is somewhat demeaning at altitude, but oh well. Saw a herd of bighorn sheep! Views from the top are awesome.

Beautiful Terrain and crystal clear water. Loved every minute.

Easy to moderate hike, about 5.14 miles long. Started at Red Meadows Resort (stop 10), hiked to Rainbow falls, than to Devils postpile and returned to stop 10. The trails are maintained very very well.

Gorgeous hike! Especially in the Fall. I was there today and noticed the rock slide cutting through the first part of the trail (I’ve hiked this before) but had no trouble at all keeping to the trail. No ribbons or cairns needed, IMO.
The first part is stupid easy. Almost anyone with working legs can do it. After getting to the rocky part, it does get slightly steep, but it is nowhere near “extremely difficult” (as others have rated it) provided you’re at least in decent shape. Past the Falls and the pond, keep going another mile or so until you get to the Cascades. Super beautiful.
Speaking of that, some hikers (myself included) completely missed the left turn across the logs (before the cascades) and assumed to the empty river bed to be the trail. Don’t be dopes like us. Lol. Right where the trail appears to go down into the empty river bed stop and look left. You’ll see two logs going across the river bed. Cross them and you’ll be back on the trail on the other side.

This trail came in on my Suunto as 14.8 miles RT and quite a bit more elevation gain/loss than is shown here. Like others have said the gate adds on 1.82 miles each direction. Also like others have said the elevation gains and losses are all fairly gradual so if you're a fit and experienced hiker this one is incredibly enjoyable and you can make good pace! We were done with the whole thing in under 7 hrs which included a 35 minute lunch on the summit. This trail far exceeded my expectations on scenery as well!

Gorgeous, well maintained trail with lots to see. Beautiful views and varied terrains make this one an excellent trail. Good for all levels of hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a good beginner 14er. I hiked this trail then drove to Nevada and hiked Boundary Peak the same day. Started at 6:57AM got to the summit and back to the car in 4h 23 minutes including breaks, lots of photos and videos (4 h 3 min moving). I stayed in Big Pine area and drove up in the morning. A better approach is to get to the trailhead before sunset so you don't have to drive the dirt/rocky road in the dark and camp or sleep in the car before hiking this trail.

I got a flat tire on the way when a rogue rock puncture the side of one of the tires. Make sure you have a spare tire that is aired up and ready. Luckily my rental SUV had a good spare tire and I was able to switch it out and was on my way. Go slow on the road.

Because it is easy 14er, it is still a 14er and you need to train and be prepared for this mountain. It can be windy and cold. Also hiking 13-14 miles is a slog. Take your time and have fun.

Started around 2am on the equinox with almost full moon. Water in the hose bladder/reservoir got frozen during last mile or so (chill factor was high 20's). There are like 2 spots on the summit if you want to set tent there. I vomited 25 min from summit, which made me feel better (if you eat/snack take a break of hiking in these elevation). Hike mileage is 15 miles and starts at 11687'. Took us 10 hrs round trip (all of us made it to Whitney summit). A guy bike down in ~1hr. Super beautiful scenery! Stop at Ancient Bristlecone visitor center :)

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful uncrowded hike in the Eastern Sierra. Fall colors are amazing here and the canyon was a mix of green, yellow, and some orange. The 1st part of the trail is back to normal and easy to follow. The last section of the trail to the lake is still extremely difficult and we turned around as it went nearly straight up a chute that is all loose shale. The waterfalls and aspens are worth the trek

A second trip to this wonderful place is in store with the family. Went with the Fresno Fly Fishers for Conservation and this hike to long lake was awesome. Highly recommend for all ages.

Spectacular views of the Owens Valley and the Sierras.

One of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. Steep and challenging on the way up but I stopped and really took it all in along the way. Steep to start and after about 45 minutes-hour you get to Sherwin Lake, I didn’t stay here long but it is quite lovely. At some point you will walk through a grove of Redwoods, aside from the lake itself I think this was my favorite part. After that you hit a few streams. One of the pools from the streams definitely has some thermo activity, light bubbling coming up through the ice cold water. I stuck my hand in and it felt warm by the bubbles. So rad!
When you get to the steep river you hit some steep switchbacks and then you finally come out to a scenery like you’ve never experienced. Valentine Lake was picture perfect. I hiked on a hot day so since I was alone I ditched the clothing and jumped in.... and then right out since the water is ice cold. But if weather permits then I still strongly suggest it.

So this hike. Do it!
Leave no trace please <3

hiking
3 months ago

Certainly one of the finest trails in the Eastern Sierras - I agree with all the positive reviews.

Now, about that rock slide. It is VERY confusing and hikers look like an ant colony trying to find the trail. Cairns lead nowhere. Note that the All Trails download gets it perfect, so download the map. Also, someone has attached streamers to trees that mark the route but they are red and white - and faded. If you want to help your fellow hikers, take along some orange surveyor's tape and hang them next to the red and white. Once past the ordeal, all is well with the world.

Took the shuttle in (stop 6) and hiked down the trail to the falls. Shuttle is $8 per person round trip. The trail can be pretty heavily trafficked at times, especially in the summer , especially around the shuttle stops. Between stops, the traffic on the trail decreases significantly, which leads to a very pleasant walk.

Reaching the Postpile Monument is quite interesting with a trail going to the top and another at the bottom. The view at the top is nice but not worth it if you're pressed for time. The trail at the bottom offers more interesting photo opportunities.

Hiking to rainbow falls is fairly easy. The trail is well maintained overall and not heavily trafficked. The crowds do increase quite a bit when you reach close to the falls as the views impress. The viewpoints in a couple spots are quite good.

Hiking back up to the bus stop (stop 10) is a bit hard. It may be the elevation that adds to it but it's harder than any other part of the trail.

Beautiful hike. Hikes through a variety of landscapes ranging from meadows, crests and valleys, pine forests, river and waterfalls, a handful of lakes varying in size and surroundings. Did the hike clockwise, saving the PCT views for last as a reminder of the landscapes I was in earlier on the hike. Recommend the extension to iceberg lake.

Hiked the loop on Labor Day weekend, was hot during the day (shorts weather, likely in the 70s) and cooler in the evening/early morning (high 30s). Very few mosquitos

Awsome views went to thousand island lake August 21st thru 24th off duty rangers asked us to move 40 feet from our original site so be careful when camping at thousand Island
Fishing was decent on one day off the next but overall great

I loved this hike so much. Not difficult at all, absolutely beautiful, bring a picnic and hang out! However, I would call this heavily trafficked, not moderately. I went on a Sunday and parking was a nightmare. Definitely go early.

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