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This is a moderate trail only if you are agile and fit. I have a fit dog, Shepherd, and it was a scramble for him with a couple of spots where I had to lift him to get him over some rock and log obstacles. It is NOT suitable for horses by any stretch of the imagination. There are some semi-steep portions of this trail that are more rock than trail, littered with volleyball sized rocks along sloped granite faces in some places and precarious dead fall bridges in others. If you don't do rocks or high steps, this is not the trail for you. Horses would not be able to negotiate these obstacles safely, regardless of whether you dismount or not. If you have little ones it will be a scramble for them too. We went in mid-November so the bogs, marshes and intermittent streams were dry or frozen allowing us to avoid the bugs. If you are looking to back country camp be aware that there are a lot of dead standing trees that are potential widow makers. Also be aware that regardless of fire conditions, the amount of deadfall and standing dead trees in the area make this bowl a tinder box.

Definitely a scenic hike. Had a lot of different pools to explore and involves a bit of climbing. Great for a quick trip to a waterfall.

I agree that the trail is poorly marked in areas. We went clockwise around the lake, and the first half had a fairly easy to follow, level trail that stayed close to the lake. We did not mind the walk on the paved one lane road as the drivers waved or exchanged kind words with us. One spoke to our dog! hahah. Stanford Sierra Camp has some benches and swings that you can sit on for a picnic lunch with a beautiful view. Makes me wish we could camp there, but alas neither my husband nor I attended Stanford. From there, the trail got a whole lot harder! There were some very rocky ups and downs. I had to send my husband ahead to make sure the trail was appropriate for our lab. I would have enjoyed this part of the trail more if it was not as rocky and long as it was (45 minutes to an hour of walking). The views of the lake were great, but the rocks cut my dog's feet. We reached a fork in the trail with a sign that read "Public trail" and pointed upward. My husband and I debated which fork to take; I thought we needed to head back toward the lake, but we ended up following the public tail which was the wrong path to take. This path had a lot more rocks and also was very overgrown with prickly, scratchy plants. After realizing that we were no longer on the trail we needed to be on, we course corrected and ended up by the firehouse. The trail was once again level and easy to follow. About a mile before the trail head, we found an adorable beach with a picnic table. This would have been a much better place to let our dog swim than the other rockier shorelines we found earlier in the hike. Somehow, we took another wrong turn and got off the trail again. This time my husband decided that the new trail may take us to our car (it didn't), and we ended up having to backtrack quite a ways to get back on the trail. I definitely agree that you should bring a fully charged phone and use the GPS map to ensure you stay on the trail at any fork. All in all with our detour(s), we probably turned this 8 mile hike into 10 miles. Our lab was dragging by the end, and so were we! Bring plenty of water and food!

If you're an avid hiker, this is an easy trail. If you're new to it, moderate. Beautiful hike taking you through the forest of mixed trees of golden Aspen , pine and fur and alongside trickling creek and calming pools of water. Plenty of places to stop along the trail to hike in a little bit to have a picnic lunch by one of the many water pools.

The trail is not easy to follow but it's not hard to get back on when you realize you're going the wrong way. Just make sure the creek is to the right of you. As long as you can hear it, you're good. When you are almost to the falls, you'll be climbing up and over boulders. Make sure you have appropriate shoes that have good traction.

This trail is doable in runners or cross-trainers but the terrain is a bit tricky. Rocks, sticks, logs and one small part of trail where you're walking over a pooled water area covered with logs. I would recommend shoes that have ankle support. If you aren't careful, you can easily roll your ankles. I did this in trail running shoes and was fine.

Be sure to watch for cairns otherwise the trail is hard to see.

hiking
24 days ago

This was an okay hike for me. No amazing views on the trail except for at the lake itself since you're in the forest majority of the time. There are some small Aspen groves, which makes this hike better because fall foliage is always awesome. The trail is pretty easy to navigate and the weather was rather pleasantly cool today.

Beautiful hike!! The trail is very hard to follow but it doesn’t really matter, it is very difficult to get lost! Just follow the creek and you won’t get lost. This was a very fun hike, not too difficult at all and lots of area to explore. We ended up taking the very low creek/river bed back to the trailhead and it was a great way to take back. Beautiful and fun!

hiking
29 days ago

Super fun bouldering toward the upper part of the falls. The trail is not always real obvious, but you’re always in cell service and GPS works great. Lots of friendly people on the trail, too. The lower part of the trail is pretty shady and there are a lot of picture perfect places to stop along the way.

Best in winter/spring when the falls are flowing. Trail is a little difficult to follow.
Views are stunning at the top.

Pretty poor trail markers. I would recommend going clockwise to have better luck staying on the trail. I read another hikers recommendations about having to scramble up some rock and step through some plants. I did that too and got totally completely off the path. If you stay on the path it is completely unnecessary to rock scramble and get scratches on your legs. It’s pretty around the lake but pretty a bit frustrating to keep seeing dead end signs on the roads and have to back track your route.

need better trail markers nice hike you gotta do it

hiking
1 month ago

Was hard to follow at times. Loved the ability to stop and enjoy the water on the way back. Got caught in a little rain. Be careful! Rocks became slick pretty quickly.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Trail can be difficult to follow but well worth the time.

Parked next to the creek just across he bride into the camp. Only saw 2 other hikers the whole time. Took about 30-45 minutes with three dogs to get to the top. The views are outstanding. You can see pyramid peak in the distance.

Definitely family friendly. Nice and quiet. Highly recommend.

Beautiful! One of my favorite hikes. You can either stop once you get to the falls or keep going and climb up to the top to Avalanche Lake and beyond. I’ve done this hike 3 times now and I will still keep coming back!

Did this hike on 09/19/18 Great hike. My advice is to start at the trail head and move counter-clockwise around the lake. The beginning of the hike wasn’t too daunting. About 1/4 in though the path is extremely overgrown and parts you’ll need to scale rocks up and down, so be sure to wear good shoes and maybe long pants and long sleeves to protect your skin from rubbing against plants. Towards the halfway mark you’ll end up in a Standford Sierra Camp. We rested here for a bit and even managed to refill our water using their water refill station. Now I believe this is only supposed to be for campers, so proceed with caution if doing that. We also stopped there for a quick lunch as well.
Moving along you’ll end up next to a fire station and a small chapel. The chapel is quaint, but if it’s open it will also be a nice spot to rest. If you keep going, you’ll end up in Fallen Leaf Marina/Lodge. This is another very nice spot to rest, it has a cafe and clean restrooms. Had I known this was here I would have eaten lunch there versus packing one in (less to carry is always good).
After that, about 1/4 of the trail is on paved road, so make sure to step aside for cars. With the exception of two cars, most noticed us and gave us a courtesy wave when passing. This part might have been my favorite since I love looking at houses lol. After that, you’ll have to “trespass”. Honestly, just stay on the path and don’t venture beyond property markings. The last 1/4 if the hike or so isn’t the best maintained, so again, long pants and sleeves to protect your skin.
Overall, decent hike. Would do it again, the views were fantastic.

Lookout for: burned hollow tree and the lone standing fireplace.

a good portion of the trail is paved road on the one side, but otherwise it was a lovely, not terribly trafficked trail on the 4th of July weekend.

We loved this one! The trail is hard to follow but there is so many outcroppings to explore and climb you dont really mind losing the trail. There were enough people coming back to point us in the right direction.

backpacking
1 month ago

Camping here was pleasant, but only because we were able to find a spot away from the crowds as there were probably 7 or 8 other groups of people camping here. The lake was swimable and drinkable (with filter), but kind of scummy compared to other Sierra lakes I've visited. If your primary goal is swimming, I would look elsewhere. The hike itself, although short, was enjoyable and offered surprisingly diverse scenery. The trail was easy to follow, but would be a bit more difficult if there was snow. Our hike began with a hail storm at the trailhead haha, but it was clear skies and sunshine after that blew through. Despite the fire ban, one of the groups camping here (a dozen large young men with fishing poles) decided to have a large fire. It was disappointing and frustrating to witness. Please obey the restrictions in place. You don't have to burn things just because you're camping.

on Sayles Canyon Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely stunning view at the top. I could’ve stayed there all day. We were lucky at got a spot at Lovers Leap Trail parking inside Camp Sacramento. We did this hike at 2 pm on a Sunday so maybe that’s why, most folks were heading out as we arrived. Trail is mostly shaded in the afternoon. Rocky in the beginning and then again near the top. There a few forks, you generally stay going “straight” (don’t turn off on any of the forks) to get to lovers leap. All Trails map helped us stay on track.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Easy to find the trailhead. The trail is well used and easy to follow. Already frost in the morning.

this us one of my favorite places to go, especially if you climb to the top of the falls and hike back. it's like a little oasis. you never run out of exploring options.

Beautiful hike! Totally worth it, especially if you keep going above the falls to Avalanche Lake. The extended hike up to the lake is hard (climbing over boulders at a very steep incline). There are absolutely no trail markers which is why I gave it 4 vs 5 stars.

About 3 miles one way, with the usual detours. A beautiful little lake.

so fun!

backpacking
2 months ago

This is my first post so I apologize if I forget to include any info. I backpacked & camped with z group of 5 people for 3 nights at Upper Sardine lake. Got there via the Mono Pass Trail that starts off at Tioga road from the east entrance of Yosemite. Not a hard trail but also not easy either, then again I’m a newbie. This was my first camping trip, never backpacked before in my life, first time to Yosemite, first time fishing, first everything and I loved it! This was the most beautiful amazing adventure I’ve ever had. From the start of the trailhead inside Yosemite to our campsite outside the park in Inyo under the trees next to the lake, the scenery was breathtaking to the point of bringing tears to my eyes, then again being my first time in the wilderness I was having a bit of sensory overload from all the beauty and the silence away from humanity. There were little to no mosquitos, saw a few deer, tons of fish in this lake, they kept jumping out of the water it was so cool! Took a day hike through Parker Pass to Parker Pass Lake which was the most beautiful color of cobalt blue I had ever seen. Throughout the duration of my stay we hardly saw another soul in sight except for a day hiker here and there. The one thing I underestimated as a newbie was the cold at night; during the day we had beautiful weather in the mid to high 70s, but at night it was in the low 30s and I suffered a bit, lol. But despite the cold at night, I enjoyed every single moment of this trip and can’t wait to go back. This trail was totally doable even for a novice like me, so don’t worry when the trail goes from easy to all uphill for about a mile and a half when you almost reach upper sardine lake, the view of Mono Lake far down below and the serenity of this place are completely worth it. This place is beyond amazing and perfect everyone.

awesome hike!!

Son and I tackled what we have been driving by for 20 years. You know you’re at the top when you find the lake. Absolutely breathtaking!

on Lake Margaret Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this as a day hike with some friends and the kiddos, ages from 6-14. All had a great time and loved it. It’s a relatively easy hike now the kids are older and would be a good hike for an overnight with kids to get them into backpacking. The trail does split of to the left fairly early on (about 1/2mile) along the small river with a fallen tree as bridge, at this point there were no markers to say where the trail went and could be a little confusing. Other then that the trail is easy to follow and really fun! Lake was cold and refreshing! Not too many beaches but enough rock to share. We’ll be back!

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