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Took the whole family: 10 year old, 4 year old and 11 mo old in front pack. We parked off 41 and hiked all the way down into the falls. great trail!

hiking
1 day ago

The first part is a steady incline. Not too bad if you are an average hiker. Dog friendly. First part is not covered from the sun but there are spots of shade. Beautiful view. Lake is beautiful and the ducks definitely have some attitude with my dogs.

great reward of parker lake at the end for relatively short and easy hike

This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful hikes in the eastern Sierras where you are treated with spectacular views at every turn. The alpine lakes and mountain views are breathtaking. The trail can be difficult and hard to find at times due to the fact that you are often walking over shale rock. I would not rate this trail as moderate for the average hiker but it is so well worth it!

I hiked this trail in July. Started at 8am...it got very hot. I think the earlier the better. It's just amazing, like another world. Unfortunately, didn't pick up the interpretive map that explains the numbered points of interest. Get one in the visitor center...the day before an early hike, as they open at 10 I found it challenging d/t the altitude, but worth every pant.

One of my favorite hikes of all time! The name "twenty lakes basin" definitely does it justice as there's at least one lake in sight for most of the hike. I personally did more of a figure 8, going around both sides of saddlebag lake, which I'd recommend to make it even more interesting. If you are used to hiking and living at a high altitude, I would still classify this as easy, but maybe moderate if you're used to sea level. My coworker called it "probably the flattest longer hike in the Eastern Sierra". There was still a bit of snow on the trail as of mid July which made it a little tricky to follow but never too bad. As a bonus, it's just outside of Yosemite, so you get the beauty without the crowds or the entrance fee. Loved it!

It’s a very nice trail, but extremely tough if you don’t hike more that 5 miles. On my GPS it actually ended up being 14 miles because we did climb to the summit. If you are and experienced hiker go for it, for people like that I’m not in terrible shape but also don’t run marathons it was really tough!

hiking
16 days ago

Simply spectacular. We used the trail on the far side of Saddlebag lake from what's shown on the map and I think it's got more interesting terrain and flora and is less exposed. Recommend walking the lake loop clockwise from the top of Saddlebag–the second half of the trail has some sections that were still covered in snow in mid July that were much easier to navigate from that direction than the reverse, as well as some climbs up scree that I would not have enjoyed going the opposite way. This trail wouldn't be particularly challenging at lower elevation, but as it's between 10 and 11,000, you may feel any climbs and be a bit worked over by the end if you're not acclimated.

An epic hike! Completed this with two great friends who were kind enough to invite me to join them for a weekend of day hiking. We hiked the Shadow and Ediza Lakes Trail the day before and I'd thought that that was the most scenic hike I'd completed to date. Then we did this hike... and it took #1 for scenery on my list. Both hikes are fantastic. Now I just keep imagining myself living in a small cottage located in any of the alpine meadows we hiked through on the Twenty Lakes Basin Trail. I could live like a Pika (which we were happy to have seen many of along the way).

We hiked this counterclockwise from the parking area for Saddlebag Lake. Confirming what others have pointed out, there are sections of the trail that can be rough on the feet and ankles due to scree (aka shattered stone). The section of trail approaching Shamrock Lake from Lake Helen is where cairns proved to be very helpful as they were the means to determine the direction of travel over the solid stone surface.

Sherwin Lakes was beautiful once you finally got there, but over 3/4 of it is a steady incline with very little shade coverage. The trail is dog friendly, so I brought my pooch, but it’s been 2 days later and she still can’t walk she messed up her paws/feet so bad on the trail. Also- the lakes do not compare to other lakes in mammoth, but once you’re up there it will feel like you have the area to yourself.

trail running
20 days ago

Started early to avoid the heat (the park opens at 6:00). Great run with tough uphills that turn into technical downhills. Closer to 21km according to my watch. Also some non cooperative cows and dry falls :-)

Great hike with incredible views the whole time. Jumped into the lake mid July and it was very refreshing! Decent incline for the whole way up

hiking
21 days ago

Great hike and beautiful peaceful view. The first 1/4 is a good incline with little shade but the whole rest of the way is shaded and runs next to a creek.

This hike is as good as it gets. There's nothing more you can ask, just an absolutely amazing experience. I disagree with people that call this hike easy, the terrain is very challenging for a lot of the hike and hard to follow at times. Bring flip flops or waterproof shoes, you will get wet!

This was a butt-kicker on the way to the lake due to the incline, but easy on the way back, of course

hiking
24 days ago

This was a rather easy, peaceful and well marked hike. There is minimal elevation gain and the switchbacks make it rather steady. Honestly, this should classified as easy +.

Easy enough. Well marked with exception of a portion past steelhead if you’re going clockwise. But, there’s cairns to help you out if you look. Thunderstorms come in really fast so be aware. But all in all great trail. My 8 and 11 year old completed the whole trail with me.

backpacking
25 days ago

I hiked the JMT solo in 2015, but got off the trail in mile 180 (Kearsarge Pass Jct) because of ankle and knee injuries. In 2015, I resupplied twice: Reds Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch (estimated 9 days of food until Whitney Portal). I finished the last 31 miles in 2016 starting from Cottonwood Lakes to Kearsarge Pass (it’s about 72 miles including Mt. Whitney, Lake Charlotte, and Kearsarge Pass Trail). I didn’t resupply for this 7 day hike. Final thoughts about the JMT: challenging, nonetheless it was an amazing experience. Trail easy to navigate in low snow year, plenty of water sources on the trail, mozzies are relentless, beautiful views, mountains and lakes for days, and great people on the trail.

Transportation set up: I left my car in Lone spine and hitched a ride to Yose for my 2015 hike and to Horseshoe Meadows trailhead in 2016. Getting back to my car from Kearsarge Pass, I hired a shuttle service to take me back to Lone Pine. Reasonable rate.

hiking
25 days ago

Had an awesome time on the trail on 7/20/18. Our group of four was able to complete the hike, out and back, in 4 hours and 10 minutes. This included a few rest stops along the way and 15-20 minutes at Nellie Lake.

The trail has an initial up hill section that flattens out for about a mile. Once you cross a tiny creek their are two more noticeable uphill sections. A section of granite "steps" is the last uphill and then the trail meanders it way down into Nellie Lake. The water was crisp, but it was worth jumping in after the initial hike up.

When we went up there was no one on the trail or at the Lake, we only encountered two other hikers on our way back down.

hiking
27 days ago

I loved this trail!!! I would put my ability as somewhat fit but definitely not athletic. I thought the steady climb was a perfect workout without being too challenging. The views of Mammoth and the Long Valley on the way up were great, just before the lakes are some nice views of higher peaks. The lakes are somewhat smaller than others out of the Lakes Basin but pretty and surrounded by pines and aspens. There is plenty of parking at the trailhead, even on a weekend. A very enjoyable day!

Decent little hike but a comment that says, "not many hills" is inaccurate. It's almost all uphill from Cedar Valley Dr., some of it fairly steep. Of course, I was pretty tired from having hiked Half Dome the day before, but I imagine that people who are not somewhat regular hikers will struggle on this. It was hot, too, so bring at least 2 litres of water per person.

I didn't see any poison oak, but a lot of the types of plants that are frequently mistaken for poison oak. :-)

Nice hike with many butterflies, birds. Went left at Deer Flat down Meridian Ridge to Bald ridge to North Peak to Summit. Looped down Juniper trail and back to Mitchell Canyon. very enjoyable day.

I would probably put this hike in the more difficult section of the Moderate rating. definitely not for beginners, lots of uphill. It is very worth the hike though as the lake and mountains behind it are an incredible sight.

A long hike with lots of uphill but nothing technical about the hike. We did the counter-clockwise version which was probably a mistake because the downhill is pretty tricky. Probably best to come down along the fire road. Nice views from the top. Best to go in the Spring or Fall, as Summer can be too hot.

Good hike up hill at first, but not hard if you are a hiker beautiful lake nice and cool. Would do it again in a heartbeat.

FIve of us did this as a backpacking trip over 3 nights on 7/2/18. Melissa K review is spot on. A few things to add
-Road to the trailhead is paved until 2 miles of dirt road. The rocks on the road made driving slower but not too difficult for a sedan.
-Mosquitoes may be few on the trail but near the lakes or staying overnight, they are LOTS. Be prepared with deet.
- This is not an easy hike and more difficult with a heavy backpack.
- The trail along the eastside side of Saddlebag seems really long but is much easier hiking than the rocky path on the west side of the lake.
-The trail shown behind Steelhead lake leads up the mountain to an abandoned mine. There isn't much of a trail, good luck finding the mine.
- Fishing is decent at Steelhead, Shamrock, and Helen lake. We didnt get a chance to fish Hummingbird or Odell but they looked great. Didnt catch anything over 12"' but saw some larger ones lurking, especially at Helen Lake.
- Couldnt find any suitable camping spots at Odell lake and only a few scattered sites at Hummingbird.
-HIghly recommend camping near Shamrock lakes and hiking the small mountain in the middle of the basin for sunrise. Spectacular views as the sun rises from up from Helen Lake

Flat but difficult hike, some parts a bit technical and scary with a pack. Views are well worth it! Great experience

hiking
1 month ago

Love this hike!

Great hike, my wife and I both enjoyed it. We started off on Cedar Valley Dr. Point and hiked all the way up to the water fall.

I seem to have a thing for missing the best hiking time in the spring and starting in the summer when everything is hot, dry, and dying. Did this hike on a hot day (high 80s for most of it). The trail is very exposed so bring plenty of water and sunscreen and maybe a towel for your sweat. There are many spots to appreciate the view but it is very strenuous - we lost a guy on the way up...I hope we see him again someday.

At the base of the peak, we went the wrong way and reached North Peak instead of the main summit (which is about 300ft higher) so we went back down and back up the right way. It didn’t have much consequence besides taking an extra hour and making us feel kind of stupid. I don’t recommend unless you’re really into radio towers.

At the summit there’s a cool museum about the history and wildlife of the mountain. The word “Diablo” was used by Spanish soldiers to describe where a few Native Americans mysteriously escaped, but the mountain itself almost literally rose from the depths of hell (i.e below the earth’s crust).

We also met a cricket with one leg. I asked it how it lost its leg but it just spat at us. I can kind of guess how it lost its leg…or conversely, how it managed to keep the other one.

1 month ago

Beautiful and scenic! The uphill climb was a bear but totally worth it. My six year old enjoyed playing in the creek. Great views of Mono.

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