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10 hours ago

Finding the trailhead was a little difficult. Drive past Vermillion Valley Resort and then signs will pop up for the trailhead. Well marked trail with a beautiful end point. In mid October it was really windy and cold on a sunny day with a predicted temp of 60 degrees. I would say it was closer to 40-50 with the wind chill so we weren't able to swim. It took us about 3.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down. About 3 miles into the hike, there is flatter ground to the right of the trail where there is a beautiful view of Edison and the surrounding mountains and valley. The view was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than the Devils Bathtub.

Worth the private lake views! Long moderate incline. Trail is marked fairly well, just pay attention for signs. Getting to the trailhead from Shaver lake takes about 45 minutes.

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. The filter idea was great, a must especially if it is hot, but also you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated. Insects were not a problem like they are down in the Canyon. I took the Hump trail on the way back thinking it would be easier than just repeating my way around watchtower, biggest mistake of my hike. I missed the views on the way back and the grade up and then down was not what my legs wanted on the way back. I clocked in 13.1 miles out to Pear lake. Saw trout, many Chipmunks and Pikas gathering cones and seeds, not too many birds. It was supposed to snow the next day which is why I made the effort on this day. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the lakes with the mountain backdrop. I saw only 6 people the whole time I was on the trail which was both welcoming and a little worrisome, as I was hiking and doing photography on my own. I know know what the "Sounds of Silence" are as this hike will take you there.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.


A strenuous 12 mile hike. The lakes are pristine. We did a day hike and stopped at Heather and Pear lake. For Astor lake, you need to climb down the trail, so we skipped it. Started at 10:45 am from the Wolverton parking lot and was back at around 6:25 PM, spend 45 minutes at Pear lake ( i would suggest backpacking here - the view is just mesmerising). While returning, there was no one on the trail which was scary as well as fun. Bring plenty of water and bring a filter, you can easily refill at Heather or Pear without taking any detour.

Awesome trail! It’s definitely a challenging one. I recorded 14.2 miles total.

Awesome hike with beautiful views especially once you’re out of the forest area which ends right around the watchtower lookout point. One thing to know is it is very high in elevation and isn’t as warm as it would be in other areas of the park. 9,200 feet at Pear Lake. The high in sequoia NP the day I went was low 70’s but it was definitely cooler than that on this trail!

28 days ago

We got off to a late morning start so summitting the peak around 1 pm was not a camera friendly time. However, the summit view was unbeatable. Spent quite some time on the summit and thank goodness it wasn't hot this time of the year. Will do this trail again in mid spring or earlier to experience the stream and its vegetation.

First time testing the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake. We couldn't have picked a better time that's for sure. the weather was absolutely nice and breezy so we took our time to take it all in. You know JUST ENJOY right. Stopped at Watch Tower for its majestic view. Lol could've swore John Muir was next to me saying look at this magnificent view. From there on the view just keeps getting better and better. We love the peacefulness of all four lakes Heather, Aster, Emerald, and Pear. Just sad we didn't prepare to stay overnight to get the full effect of sunrise and sunset. Oh I could just imagine how beautiful the lakes and the surrounding would be. Plan to do that next time. Note: If one has fear of ridges and height the Watch Tower might not be a good idea just take the Hump Trail it'll get you to the lakes too. But some cardio work though. We decided to take the Via Hump at Heather Lake just to test it out on out way back.

One of my most challenging hikes

100% agree with Asdfasdf. I will add that during that narrow section of the Watchtower, which lasts about 100 ft, I hugged the wall & crouched low. I have vertigo & that section spooked me. Because of the peripheral vision issues & the way the cliff went, I’m not sure I could have done it in reverse, therefore I chose Hump Trail back. (Going in you can focus on the wall to your right & avoid the peripheral differences. Going back, I don’t think you can). I would NEVER take Hump Trail in if I had the choice. It is absolutely brutal in elevation gain/loss.

Amazing hike. Beautiful scenery. Pear lake is definitely the icing on the cake!!!

1 month ago

It was a great hike, my wife Kathy and I hiked a steady climb 5 miles, past Merthon meadow and across a small stream. On the right side of the trail is a small campsite, it was nicely shaded and had a great kitchen area and fresh water. We set up camp, cooked dinner, had a small fire and Kathy read to me. The next morning we had a great breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs and coffee. We set up a couple day packs and began the 2 mile hike to Alta peak. It was steep going and took about 70 minutes. (For those from LA the final ascent was similar to Mt Baldy). The ancient pines at the top were spectacular as they stood there strong and proud against the elements. The peak was bordered by sheer drops. The view from the top was a 360’ of the eastern and western Sierra’s. In the distance east you could see the back side of Mt Whitney, and the Whitney windows. To the West was Pear lake and the great divide. The views were well worth it and we want to do it again one day. The weather was the best, 70’s during the day and 40’s at night. We had a wonderful time, God’s creation is truly glorious.

on Lost Lake Trail

1 month ago

Great hike, really a good workout if you start at the Rowell Meadow trailhead and do a out and back day hike.

The lake is spectacular with amazing rock formations rimming the bowl.

Absolutely no mosquitoes when I went on September 8, 2018.

A very worthwhile sequence of beautiful lakes within granodiorite-rimmed cirques provide a fulfilling day of out-and-back hiking.

9/8/2018 - First, Yes. Watchtower is on a cliff, but the path is wide. If you are afraid of heights, I recommend still doing it. If you are deathly afraid of heights, Hump Trail is in the woods/does not have a cliff. (See below for details)

I day hiked from Wolverton Lot --> up via Watchtower Overpass --> Heather Lake > Emerald > Pear --> backdown via Hump Trail --> Wolverton Lot

Description of hike: The trail head begins at Wolverton Lot where you can park your car right next to the trailhead which is nice. Has a restroom for use. Wolverton to Heather Lake is 4.1 mi basically going up. The route forks at around 2 miles to Watchtower or Hump. They rejoin and you're on the way to Heather Lake. The trees provide shade for majority of the hike. After Watchtower, you are in the sun. If you keep going beyond Heather Lake, it's another 2.1 miles where you descend and ascend another 100 - 200 feet climb up to Pear Lake.

What should you bring?
1) Small day pack
2) Food + Water: I ate a light breakfast, 4 cliff bars, some chocolate, and drank 2 liters of water. If you don't want the weight of water, bring a filter plus one liter of water to get you to the first lake.
3) Sunblock
4) Hat or Sunglasses
5) Swim trunks if you plan to take a dip in the water
6) Fishing rod if you like fishing!

Should you stop at Heather Lake or keep going to Pear?
I say finish the hike and go to Pear Lake. It's a sense of accomplishment. However if you're tired/short on supplies, be aware the hike stays equally difficult all the way to pear lake. Overall, I thought Heather Lake was the best. The water is vibrant and the mountains are a nice backdrop.

Watchtower or Hump?
Do Watchtower at least one way. Yes Watchtower is on a cliff but the views are 200% worth it and a great spot to take a break and take in the view. The path is about 3 people wide. There is one portion where it's about 1.5 people wide, but it's very very short, and nothing scary. Hump trail has nothing special that you won't see just doing the normal hike. I reiterate do Watchtower at least one way.

Time: I am a slow hiker (26 yo with bad knees... ) I entered the path at 8am and returned at 4pm. I spent about 1 hr 30 minutes relaxing/taking pictures at the lakes.

Overall: This hike is beautiful. If you can commit a day to this hike, it is 100% worth it.

1 month ago

What a day hike! The views were just incredible. The last 1.5 miles or so to the summit were brutal, but well worth the effort! Bring plenty of water (I suggest 3-4L) as the hike took our group 8-9 hours total and there was only one spot to refill if you have a filter.

1 month ago

Went during the Labor day weekend, not very crowded for camping, ran into more traffic for day hikes on our way back. Camped around the lake, beautiful views in the morning. Highly recommend!

1 month ago

What an amazing hike. Truly spectacular views at the top. Highly recommended that you bring plenty of water and salty food/drinks.

Great hike, clearly marked trail. I would not rate this hike as hard. It’s moderate. Only the first mile and last half mile are challenging. The lake is beautiful!

1 month ago

Great trail if you are looking for something short and not to hard . The view from the lake is well worth the trip .

1 month ago

i really liked this trail. it was the first time i’ve gone backpacking so it was probably a little hard for the first time but definitely worth it. make sure to leave yourself at least 3 hours to summit if your planning to leave and camp that night because the last mile or so takes about 1 hour because you are scrambling over rocks and there is no real defined trail. the only thing that i disliked about the trail was that there is horse poop all over the first part of the trail which was a struggle to avoid stepping on

This hike provided great views and was well marked and maintained. It was very difficult, especially the 2.1 miles to the top of the peak. The overall length seemed longer than posted. Allow for it to take more time than you anticipate.

1 month ago

We just got back from our trip to Twin Lakes area on Sunday. Was spectacular! Blue skies, very little smoke/haze, no mosquitos, and warm lakes. We camped one night at Twin Lakes, then two nights at Ranger Lake. Did one day hike to Lost Lake. We were in a spot on Ranger Lake that had beautiful 360 views of all the ranges in the area. My only advice to anyone that reads this is you HAVE to go past Twin Lakes over Silliman Pass or you are really missing out. It's a bit of a climb, but absolutely essential, in my opinion. Twin Lakes give you just a taste of the granite vistas that I feel are really part of the High Sierra experience. If you want more of that - keep going over to Ranger Lake and camp there instead. Wish we could have kept going and going. But alas it was only 3 days. I wish I could figure out how to attach images here!

My husband and I did this amazing trail last Sunday, Aug 25, and only went to the first lake. We started at 9 and reached Heather lake at 12 as we stopped to take so many photos on the way. We took the Watchtower route up and back as the views were spectacular. Heather Lake is beautiful.
It was our first hike and it was incredible. We saw a deer and her two kids crossing the route on the way back.
In my opinion, the Watchtower route is easy, safe and not scary. The hike before Watchtower was moderate. I recommend using sunscreen as the route goes above the tree line. If you're new to hiking like us, I'd recommend a full day rest after the hike. Overall, definitely recommended!

1 month ago

A great workout hiking uphill to this picturesque lake. We had the lake all to ourselves, it was beautiful, a panorama of serenity.

Fantastic hike. Great balance of beautiful trees, stunning views and amazing lakes to swim in. Highly recommended to make it to Emerald Lake via Watchtower. Just make sure to bring enough water or a filter!

1 month ago

I came in from Lodgepole Campground and did this as an out and back. There is definitely a good elevation gain and I'm not entirely sure of the mileage, but it was really worth it. There were almost no bugs at the lake and with how still the lake was the full moon shined extra bright! The fire wood on the peninsula is pretty sparse so you may need to trot out a little further than you'd like to gather some wood to burn.

i would have rated this trail as hard today. I think the air quality was the main culprit. it is all incline on the first half and it got so bad that I was having to stop every 30 feet or so to catch my breath the last mile. the viees were obstructed once at the top by all the smoke so I left unimpressed. then to top it off my knee started to hurt lol. bad day on the mountain

1 month ago

Great trail worth going up to the ridge for the view from above.

Amazing beautiful views. Most of the elevation gain is in the last half mile. Well worth the effort.

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