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This is a great loop, especially for backpacking. We went in early december, these are a few notes for anyone else going in winter:
The forest road to the trailhead is a dirt road that isn't plowed, so unless you're very confident in snow you'll probably want to park at Quail Flats and hike approx 2 miles in to the trailhead. It's an easy walk in, but adds some climbing to the hike out. As of december 2018, the creek was flowing well - easy to filter water from it. The trail can be a little hard to follow in some places, and as you come up to the trailhead on the redwood creek side, the de facto trail strays a little way from the mapped trail, but you do eventually get there. There are a bunch of workable spots for camping near the creek. Lastly, the trail was slushy during the day, so waterproof boots are definitely a good idea.

Little Baldy sign on the left side of the road. Trail is on the right where you pull over to park!

10/10. Short enough trail, but gives you everything you want out of it. Enough incline to get some exercise. 2-3 switchbacks but the trail is pretty views the whole time. There is a flat bit and since I was the only person I saw on the trail (mid-Nov) it was very peaceful! Views at the top are insane.... worth every second. Careful with your photo ops, the gravel can shift and I almost took a tumble off the cliff at one point.... oops. It was a hazy/Smokey day but I’ll definitely be coming back!

backpacking
30 days ago

My 2 kids, 10yr old granddaughter and I went on this beautiful backpack trip Oct 19-21/2018. We had perfect weather 65 during the day, and hi 30's at night. Gravel road to parking lot was perfect, looked as though it had been recently redone.
Leaving the parking lot, we went on the left trail choosing to go down hill to where we would camp. It was about 2.5 miles to the bottom, and a beautiful hike. There is a stream about a mile down the trail, and it goes close to the trail the rest of the way to the bottom. Take note, there are very few places to set up camp.
We came back going left coming back the approx 4.5 mi back to the parking lot. There are no streams or water sources all the way back. We had a great time!!!! Beautiful hike, saw 4 deer, 2 coming into our camp site at about 8PM on our second night. LOVED IT ALL!!!!!!!

Steep and slippery in places, worth it for the views!

Love this area! I started the Sugar Bowl loop and then finished on the Hart Tree side for the longer 10 mile hike. I'm glad I went this direction but would like to try it in reverse sometime. Both sides offer excellent views and the hiking is not too difficult. I highly recommend doing this hike in the fall, the dogwood trees are stunning this time of year! The drive down to the trailhead is just a gravel road, you shouldn't have any trouble getting down there unless it's snowy. Totally worth your time to enjoy the giants on these trails!

We did this hike on 10/6/18. We hiked counterclockwise from the trailhead. It was overcast and cool when we started and we finished in the rain. The sun did come out occasionally to light up the sequoias and they’re the star of this hike. The sugar bowl itself is just unreal. Huge trees everywhere. It was surreal. There were a couple of sections of the trail that afforded views of big baldy and little baldy, which could be very nice but they were obscured by the clouds when we hiked it. Clouds or not, the magnificent trees are an experience unto themselves. After the sugarbowl, and you'll know you're in it because every tree you can see is a sequoia, it's a long downhill jog to the canyon floor, then a long uphill slog back to the trailhead. There aren't many sequoias on the downward section but they grow more numerous on the way up and out of the canyon. Outstanding hike.

We hiked this trail on a very cloudy day. This didn't give us the opportunity for many views, but it was very awesome to be in such dense fog the whole way. The hike is not difficult by any stretch, but has some sloping sections. We never did find the Fallen Goliath, but the other destinations on the loop were quite interesting. The road to the trailhead is not paved, but we did it with no problem in a Corolla. They are currently in the process of putting new gravel down, making the road even more manageable. Overall would recommend as a good hike near the Grant Grove area of the park.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike is great for cardio and legs,,, up hill and down , I’m really slow took 5 hours for 6 miles !! Dog friendly and my 13 year old enjoyed it .

The water in the cave is never warm, regardless of the time of year. But very beautiful if you are brave enough to go through. Bring water shoes! This is not a running trail unless you want to bust an ankle.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was awesome and kicked my butt! a few things i need to address though. although dogs are allowed...the descent is SUPER steep, often times going over boulders and i was lucky my dog's stay command is on point because if i wasnt supervising where her footing was she could have really gotten hurt. also USE THIS APP ON THE TRAIL IF YOU CAN. several times i got lost and had to use it to go back. One time I realized i was lost and saw fresh large animal prints that freaked me out as it had recently rained and i hadn't seen or heard another hiker the whole day. Finding the trail to get down was difficult, it starts out all bolders and there's another trail next to it that makes it confusing.TRUST THE MAP. The plateau is a perfect place to have lunch before heading down.

hiking
1 month ago

The water in the cave was numbingly cold mid-October but me and my 5 yr old still dared to jump in. It was an easy hike and a nice time down in the cave. Very fun, family friendly hike. Take towels and a floating device if you plan to brave the waters.

hiking
1 month ago

Very good short trail, it is moderately trafficked in the mornings, very well defined and kept up.Trail is a steady easy climb until you finish the last switch backs then levels outs as you cross the saddle between the two mountain tops. On this level part of the trail, you will be passing through a very young forset, The tree are very short. Here you are the giant of the forest as you are taller than the trees. The views you see walking up the trail are fantastic, but what you see from the top is awesome. The very last part of the trail to the top is the hardest and the steepest. It is short, but very steep. You must keep going even if you need to take extra breaks. No matter how long it takes, it is well worth it. Very nice way to spend a morning.

Loved this quick hike! Nice views especially at the top! I would rate it as moderate but not difficult at all.

Really gorgeous trail. I saw a few bear paw prints so I was whistling/singing throughout since I was alone. (I am overcoming my fear of bears, ok.) I saw only one other person while hiking, and the parking lot never even got to close to half full. Someone else mentioned to remember to look up when you’re in the canyon. Take that advice. The trail was easy to follow. I completed the trail in 2.5 hours and my iPhone recorded just under 7 miles.

The river water was a little bit too cold for us in October but we did watch other people swim through the “cave“ to the other side back.

Whew! Highly recommended!

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing trail. To be honest, I don’t think I would mark this as “hard”. Yes, it’s a steady incline with almost no reprieve, but it is not sporty at all. The trail is wide and easily navigable. Decent fitness required, but I wouldn’t say advanced experience was necessary.

Gorgeous views of Huntington lake and surrounding little lakes.

Only saw two people on the trail.

Awesome surprise at the end. Swimming in a cave!!

Hiked to it from both directions on the Arnold Rim Trail. Nice views from the top.

did it on 9/29/2018. Last year I went on the Rocky Canyon route. This one is slightly less physical but much longer. The first leg is easy, reached Sylvia lake in less than 2 hours. The hard work is in second leg, took me more time as I got lost on the slabs while I was battling up to the peak. There is another peak with similar elevation north west Pyramid peak, it's between Mt Price and Pyramid Peak on google map. It seems doable and will try it next time

Great hike! Dry but beautiful. Good elevation made me work:)

This is a Desolation Wilderness classic. Reaching Pyramid Peak via Lyons Creek Trail is a route that is mostly gentle, if we go off overall mileage, but with a nasty one mile finale. Beginners who wish to rest can hang out at beautiful Sylvia Lake where the more experienced in the party can continue to the dramatic end.

I would divide this trail into three phases: 1) first two miles which are relatively flat and SUPER easy, 2) next few miles to Sylvia Lake which have gradual elevation gain and are also quite easy, 3) the last phase is where the mountaineering begins, involving some scrambling across boulders and vicious elevation gain. Well, "vicious" if you are new. There was once a time when I did not desire finishing off the last feet of gain - close but no cigar. These days I can hit the summit in about 3 hours.

At the summit you will be greeted by circular walls of wind-blocking rocks to relax in, either built by the forestry service or by considerate hikers. Yes, it is windy as hell - you are on top of one of the highest peaks in the area!

This is a good trail for a light to moderate hike. There are some little inclines to get up that are a bit rocky. abouy two miles in to the cave. The cave is awesome. Very cold water but you can float or swim through. The other side is open and we climbed around to the other side.

hiking
2 months ago

A great hike, easy enough for kids to enjoy the pleasure of climbing, best view on the top, animals on trail.

Great trail... harder than I thought but well worth the effort! Beautiful views. Only saw 6 people on trail... maybe because it’s brutal!

I was a bit worried from some of the mixed reviews but this turned out to be fantastic! Our group included kids from 4 to teens and everyone loved it! It was fun for the younger kids and the teens thought it was awesome. The trail down is medium easy and going back up is the more intense end of easy. The cave great for all ages. Younger kids and adults who aren't as adventuresome can chill in the outer part of the cave in the cold shallow water. The water isn't swift or dangerous at all, at least not in mid-summer. We took the little ones through the cave on floaties and they loved it. It is also possible to swim without a floatie but really cold. And water shoes are highly recommended as it's very rocky. We will definitely be going back!

Great loop hike. Recommend to anyone wanting just a few days in the woods. Bring a map. More turnoffs than I expected.

Such an awesome short hike. I could feel it got a bit tougher to catch my breath as the elevation is pretty high here, but we made it one dog and one 7 month old baby! Really pretty we came here in September and we were able to cross the little creek.

Not a running trail, it’s an ankle breaker if your not careful.

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