Explore TO DO LIST - 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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Enjoyable hike, not too bad. Convenient parking right at the trail head. I do suggest going clockwise around the loop so you end up doing the steep switchbacks on your way back down from the ridge.

Good enough

My wife said it reminded her of hiking in the Swiss Alps! Trails have pretty good footing (no rock scrambling or too much scree). Beautiful alpine views on the way up, not overly steep ( and most of the incline is near the beginning), and the small alpine lakes are in a small forest grove with more peaks overlooking them. We enjoyed a dip in the larger lake, and it was a fast easy hike down.

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

hiking
2 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
2 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.

This is my second time hiking this trail. This place is quickly becoming overcrowded and abused. Lots of toilet paper and human waste at Penner lake. Disappointing to see so many careless hikers and campers there.

I will not be coming back here. Trash, left over garbage in the shore of the lake, it’s sad.

hiking
4 days ago

Popular trail with lots of hikers on the weekend. Beautiful views and pristine lakes that are well worth the climb.

Easy and gorgeous trail

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.

As of today, aug 12, 2018. Not amazing at all. Smokey, dry, way too hot and literally looks like it burned down yesterday. Very sketchy to get to and should not go by yourself. Hopefully in the cooler months and growth from rain I’ll try again but def bummed bc recent reviews said it was great.
......... also I was just informed that it’s hunting season up there. Def not safe right now!!!!

Great hike! Just be watchful of bears. We spotted one about 15/20 feet from us while doing the hike not even half way in.

off road driving
5 days ago

Went up Saturday morning in my 2018 Tacoma off road.
Stock no mods, all weather tires, literally got it two days ago.
Trail was well maintained. We were behind an explorer that couldn’t make it up half way. .
Lots of hikers on the trail.
Definitely a fun trip.
Upper lake was beautiful.

off road driving
5 days ago

Gorgeous lakes. My brother and I drove up to Upper Sardine. People say it’s a gnarly road up, and while Subarus won’t make it up, my mild Toyota made it up without a single scratch. I highly, highly, recommend camping at Upper Sardine... We had it to ourselves and could see the PACKED campsite at Lower Sardine from where we set up camp.

We hiked to Sierra Buttes Lookout from Upper Sardine. What an incredible hike! Highly recommend it!

Nice shaded trail but steep to get to falls. Hard to find trails or where to park.

El Dorado county needs to start connecting the trails (either dg it or pave it ) and have it go continuously past Camino on into El Dorado National Forest, I love biking it, it's a good trail

hiking
7 days ago

I loved this hike! Took my boyfriend for his birthday and it was lovely, BUT it was horrible the way back because we did not bring enough water. Please bring more than you think you need!!

9 days ago

Donyrsdydrrzs

Kicked my butt trail. Nice elevation change. Wish the smoke wasn’t there right now. A lot of the normal views were not visible but the hike was a lot of fun and I’m so glad that people have kept the trail so clean.

loved this hike with my family. my 7 year old daughter complained a lot until she saw the water fall and got to swim. she also swam in the lake and that made up for her complaining. it was fun for the family! you can picnic in the lagoons, lots of boaters came in and picnicked on the shore. the water is beautiful and turquoise for a lake. just loved it!

trail running
12 days ago

It's nice out there the scenery and everything, I was able find two of the lakes. Had to use my phone to find the others since you can see it on the map. I didn't bother at first and I got side tracked which let me down the trail to PCT. It's another nice trail but had to back tracked since I wanted to view all the lakes.

hiking
12 days ago

Very doable and fun for all ages! I recommend going onto the mountain top off to the side of the back lake, gives for a great view of Alpine Meadows on a clear day!

hiking
12 days ago

Nice short hike with some water to get your feet wet. Family friendly with lots of shaded areas to relax.

Awesome hike. Moderate (most elevation climb is in first half) and once you get to the lakes, so many options to explore other trails (PCT). We went at 7am on a Sunday morning and didn’t see a soul till we hit the lakes, where we saw 2 tents and a hammock camper. No mosquitos at all and we sat in the water for a good 30 minutes. Biggest lake is definitely the only one you could feasibly swim in - the others are very stagnant, shallow and murky. We continued on to join up with the PCT for a bit and then came back to get more mileage in. On the way back down, it was about 11am when we started the descent, the trail was PACKED with people coming up. Definitely don’t plan to start this hike after 9am I would say if you enjoy your space and solitude. Most of the people coming up were city slickers/tourists.

Great trail! Smokey from the fires but still pretty! We will be back to backpack in and stay a night. Easy trail too!

hiking
13 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.

Super nice and diversified trail! We did it as a half day hike (a little bit under two hours to the highest lake). In my opinion more a MODERATE then a hard hike (there for sure is a rocky section tho). The first 0.5 mile of the trail is a little tricky to follow, I was glad I brought my phone for GPS. Bring your dog and plan on taking a dip in the lake(s)!

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

walking
14 days ago

The trail was nice, and had a lot of shadows. But the entrance was hard to find. You have to go in front of the camp, then follow the pavement until you see a dirt road.

hiking
15 days ago

Great demanding trail and not for the faint of heart. I’m just starting to get back in shape and this trail really challenges me. Due to time constraints and my current capabilities I took the shortcut using the Pig Farm Trail route which made it about 1.5 mile hike round trip.

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