Explore 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.

To Do Map
VIEW FULL MAP

We did this 20 mile loop, counter clockwise, in one day. It was a long day (took us about 9.5 hours to complete) but definitely doable.

We were surprised to see lots of cows grazing around Bell Meadow and near Grouse Lake as well. Just a heads up as we were a bit startled the first time we came across them. We saw lots of mosquitos as Grouse, but the rest of the trail was pretty free of them.

We also struggled with trail markers after about the 7th mile out. We got a little turned around on our way back, at around mile 14. The trail is very dry and dusty this time of year, but the sky was clear (no smoke!) and the scenery is truly breathtaking.

If you are going on the weekend, get there early. Trail starts getting very busy around 9:30-10:00 am.

The lakes and creeks were teeming with mosquitoes. Even with deet and smokey campfires, I got about fifty bites, mostly near the creek crossing where we camped around mile 6.

Gem lake (10mi) was free of mosquitoes around 1pm and was lovely to swim in. I expect it would have been a nice place to camp without getting eaten so badly.

Grouse Lake (15mi) was also not too bad, but still not great.

Lots of horse poop on the trail.

Great little walk.

Easy enough for the kids! Great hike and such a beautiful spot!

Great easy hike and not busy. Parking is limited at the trailhead, but is accessible if you're staying at the campgrounds.

hiking
6 days ago

Very pretty hike with a nice scenery all the way. Also good hike for beginners that want to take a slightly more complicated path as its not very even but still easy and not too long.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful views, waterfall reward. Nice to get the boots off to cool down your feet at the falls. Well marked trail. Worth the effort.

on Bassi Falls

hiking
6 days ago

I hiked the trail on 8/10/18. I enjoy destination hikes, especially waterfall hikes. I had no idea what to expect at the end of the trail. I was mildly disappointed that Bassi Falls was just a trickle this time of the year. The trail on AllTrails was very different from the route that I took. The trail is in the process of restoration and if it weren’t for trail markings I probably would have been lost. I had trouble finding the trail back to the trailhead. I had to rely on shoe prints and paths that looked to have had heavy foot traffic. Hopefully they make better trail markings for the rerouted path. However, I will definitely come back to see Bassi Falls in all its glorious flow, perhaps in the Spring time.

Outstanding hike. Moderate at times but overall a very doable hike. Multiple shady spots to relax and take a break on the longer uphills. Suggest hiking up the falls a bit as there are a lot of places to relax in the cool water and shade of trees but also going down to the edge of the falls for the great photo opportunity. Trail head on the return is poorly marked but it's not too difficult to find your way.

Lovely trail with beautiful spots to swim!
Remember to bring lots of water.

hiking
11 days ago

Smoke shortened the hike and ruined the views, but was great otherwise. Be careful - very easy to get messed up with many unmarked trails crossing.

13 days ago

Can be moderate for some due to altitude and heat, but so so so worth it. Amazing woodsy beginning and then a drop down to beautiful pools and falls.

backpacking
14 days ago

The smoke Aug 5-7 was quite heavy, which limited our ability to enjoy the lake. Smoke prevented seeing far and we could feel it in our lungs. With a clear sky we would have had a wonderful experience.

Nice camping spots, and the island at the middle of the lake would have been a great swimming goal.

Wonderful trail for all experience levels. Some friends and I went on a two night backpacking trip this past weekend and enjoyed the scenery regardless of the smoke from the fires nearby. Hope to go again soon when fire season is over.

California Conservation Corps help rebuild this trail and rock steps !! ⚒

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!

hiking
17 days ago

August 4, very smoky, mid 70s most of wildflowers done, not many bugs. .5 mile road to trailhead is 4WD. Solid hike, would be good for trail running if air quality was better. Nice island ~30 ft from edge of lake. Trail is very rocky, hard on the ankles. Lots of fallen trees on the trail.

hiking
17 days ago

A beautiful hike! The day was perfect with blue skies and could see for miles. The view of Cascade Lake was breathtaking. The falls were still a great site to see despite from what we read that the water fall is much greater during the spring/early summer. Bring water and a snack/lunch to enjoy around the falls.

very nice trail.....if this fatboy Texan can do it......so can you !

hiking
21 days ago

Beautiful views of Cascade Lake and nice stone steps.

hiking
24 days ago

We actually went on this trail two days in a row, and parked at the Valley View drive parking lot both times. The first day we intended to reach Cougar Rock and Top of the World. However, we took a left on the ART instead of a right, so instead we got some beautiful forest. The next day, we took a right on the ART and got to those destinations.

Top of the world is not clearly marked but it should be evident once you get to the top of a hill after climbing switchbacks with little blocking foliage.

There were a fair number of insects—most harmless flies, but some mosquitoes as well. I highly recommend insect repellent

Great little trail for the whole family. During the summer months the parking can be quite scary, most of this is due to Emerald Bay overlook on the other side of the freeway. Saw a handful of parents with kids in backpacks.

hiking
24 days ago

Walked this trail on 7/22. Pros: probably great for kids, easily accessible from where we stayed, and had some small pools of water to put our feet in towards the end. Cons: very little to see along the way, broken glass along the path, and the waterfall was just barely flowing.

We spent two nights at Chewing Gum Lake, July 25-27, with a day hike to Toejam Lake in between. Chewing Gum is a gorgeous lake, not cold this time of year, with great campsites. There were some mosquitoes at dawn and dusk but nothing severe--none at all during the middle of the day. The hike from the trailhead to Chewing Gum is a very good trail almost all the way and goes over two moderate ridges. The trail from Chewing Gum to Toejam is also mostly good except for the last 100 meters or so getting to Toejam, which is rocky and not too well defined. Toejam Lake is also gorgeous. The only good source of water between Chewing Gum and Toejam is at Whitesides Meadow, about halfway, so plan ahead--it was very hot out in the sun the day we hiked it.

longer than expected... well worth the walk! beautiful views. clear paths. well marked.

19MAY2018 - Awesome day hike. Moderately challenging as advertised. We brought our dog and carried our 1 yo daughter along with us. not too crowded. Great views along the way and a beautiful snow-capped backdrop of the reservoir at the top. Perfect spot for lunch before heading back. It was also cool to see the old abandonded equipment along the way, from when the dam was constructed.

Well marked trails and well maintained, lots of points of entry.

beautiful area - horrible mosquitoes right now... glad we brought cards, was confined to the tent for relief. trail was tough for a flat lander but great views.

1 month ago

Nice trail but very little shade, lots of gravel and rocks and no waterfalls in mid July. On a blistering hot day you better wear sun screen, have a wide brimmed hat and have a good pair of hiking boots. Difficult to locate the trailhead if you have not been there before as signage is poor and the elevation will wear you out quickly unless you are accustomed to hiking in the mountains. Very few people for a Saturday afternoon.

Load More