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5 stars for the beautiful scenery along the trial, minus 1 star for the disappointing falls itself in summer. Easy trial along the flowing river, enjoyable with kids and pets.

Amazing and very rewarding hike!!! Make sure you bring enough water. I ran out right after hitting the top ( I took 1.5 liters) Thankfully I was hydrated enough to walk back down to the falls(probably 4 miles) to get more. Totally worth it!!! I was glad I had trekking poles with me, I would definitely reccomend to do the same!

Amazing Views of Lake Mary, Lake George and at the end the lovely Lake Crystal.
This is a moderate hike with some great elevations, so if you are a beginner then consider this a hard hike ( not for distance , but only because of elevation and lots of curves )

Had to take the shuttle in, I think 8 dollars round trip, but I think you can drive in before 830am but the road is narrow and buses are hard to get around. 10 dollars per car at the entrance pass the adventure center. Dogs need to be muzzled. Try not too take your dog if she/he is aggressive. Bus drivers don't like to take too many dog per trip so you may be asked to take the next bus. The drive is 30 miles. I have a lab so she barely fit underneath or in front of me. If you have a dog, make sure to get a seat. They have standing room but it's hard with a big dog.

Stop 6: Devil Postpile-0.5 miles; Rainbow Falls- extra 1.5-2miles (trail to lower falls is closed 2018) two viewpoints top of falls and lower falls viewpoints. First viewpoint to lower viewpoint is steep so climbing up is a pain. Trail itself is ok. Kinda up and down in elevation but not too steep. Well marked trail. Can deviate to the river to play in the water with dogs. You can also hike to the Mina--- Falls.

Stop 10: The other way to get in or get out: around 1 mile from rainbow falls. This trail is mildly challenging from falls to the stop so it's easier to walk down from this stop but you just see the falls. You are mostly gaining elevation coming back up. Pretty with wildflowers and Forest trees. Passes the PCT trail. There is a resupply general store here and a little restaurant that is heavily overpriced ($10+ hamburgers and $10 milkshakes)

The adventure center has tickets for the gondola and kid challenge structure/ rock wall. You can get a combo of gondola and shuttle 37 dollars each. Morning is best for gondola. No lines. But the food up there does not open till lunch. Summer time is for mountain/dirt bike and a beautiful view at the top. Construction at the top. The museum is nice for kids.

Cons: due to recent fires air quality and visibility was sub par.

hiking
2 days ago

The views are spectacular and second to none. The parking is limited. The crowds are dangerously overwhelming. Be extra careful when going up there.

The reason this hike only gets 4 stars is the lack supervision from park rangers. I saw a lot of people careless on trail that doesn't give second chances.

on Half Dome Trail

hiking
2 days ago

Did this hike on July 13th, weather was amazing and we got very lucky to finish this hike before the fire. Definitely an ass kicker but if you’ve trained for it you’re fine. I took 4 liters of water and was fine but my friends took less and filtered water at the river. Apply and reapply sunscreen because the sun is on you for most of the trail. I recommend getting a harness for the cables because although it doesn’t make it easier going up, you do have a sense of security just in case. Take it slow, it’s a great adventure worth taking your time for.. Take lots of pictures and have fun!

Scott’s review was very useful as it allowed us to prepare ourselves for the height (I have a profound respect for heights, not fear, respect!)

We only hiked to the first lake, taking the watchtower route. We were fine until we hit the cliffs... (everyone else was fine there too, I was the one who clung to the walls and was focused on making it through.). The tough part is about 400m long with some seriously scary spots..

The way back was through the hump route.

Our children joined 20, 16 and 13. Trail was beautiful and demanding. We swam at the lake then hiked down.
Recommended for sure.

hiking
2 days ago

We’re so disappointed not to see the teacups! We tried three different places to cross the river and couldn’t do it without a dry bag (water shoes and bathing suits would be good too). We saw rock climbers with ropes, helmets, and wetsuits up the canyon, but we didn’t figure out how to get there even after reading all the tips. It’s a nice hike along the river but pretty hot in August.

Great views and very relaxing once at the lake

The trail itself is quite beautiful and easy with a steady uphill out and steady downhill on the back. There is one area that has a rocky outcropping that can be difficult. We started early on a Saturday. Unfortunately, there was a group that had 70 or so people in it, so it was way too crowded with trash left all over the place. I’d do this trail again, but during off season.

hiking
3 days ago

Beautiful hike. Moderate but challenging because of the altitude. A little smokey at the beginning because of the fires, but cleared up before we got to Crystal Lake. Cool, clear water with a few people jumping off rocks into it. Saw a few people with fishing poles too and they all said they weren't having any luck. Seemed to take about an hour and 15 minutes to get up there. This was with many stops and a really slow pace.

Very busy trail at the end of July. Yosemite Valley was closed due to fires. Which explained the heavier crowds in Mammoth Lakes. As on all trails, take plenty of water for everyone in your group. Try the west side of the river. Much fewer people.

Absolutely spectacular! Probably the best day hike I’ve ever been on! This trail has it all! We hit the trailhead at 0715 and had it all to ourselves! We went out to Heather Lake via Watchtower and back using the Hump Trail. The views on Watchtower are breathtaking! If you’re scared of heights this is NOT the trail for you! The edge of the trail drops off precipitously to say the least! I jumped out of planes in the Army and still found myself hugging the wall! Watchtower is the easiest way to get out to the lakes (side-hilling). Heather Lake is amazing. Crystal clear water and the trout breaching for insects is a spectacle in itself. We opted to return to the trailhead via The Hump Trail. The elevation gain on the Hump Trail is no joke. The views from the top are amazing. Going back we must have seen 30 or more hikers. Some more prepared than others. Go early and enjoy nature!!

Get up early and have this trail to yourself! We started our week with this gem. Hit the parking lot at 0700 and practically had the place to ourselves! Later in the day the place is like an ant hill! The Sherman Tree is absolutely glorious. They all are. The sequoias are a national treasure. It’s amazing to think about an organism that has been alive as long as they have. The trails in the area are bountiful and you can make a day of it just in the Giant Grove!

What a spectacular hike! Not only is the scenery beautiful but the animals along the trail are as well! We saw deer, marmots, quail, squirrels, and grouse! The short trip to the top is well worth it! My daughter and I did it on 8/8/18. I’d recommend hitting the trail early. We started around 0730. By doing this you avoid the crowds, the heat, and the haze hasn’t really had an opportunity to build up. We had Little Baldy all to ourselves! The view is breathtaking. I can only imagine what the view looks like on a clear day!

The trail from Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake is fairly arduous, especially with heavy packs though the scenery is spectacular. The trail from Donkey Lake to Blue Lake is sometimes hard to follow since it’s not well marked.

Not as advertised. Very difficult hike, especially in the summer months because of the rare shade found for the greater parts of the hike. The elevation change is also closer to 2,300 feet and round trip it is almost 10 miles. The falls are gorgeous at the end but with the poor air quality in the park and the fires in the nearby areas, it was difficult catching a full breath the whole time. Would not recommend for inexperienced hikers.

We started at the Rainbow Falls trailhead off of the Red Meadows Shuttle stop #9 which is a shorter hike than this one (1.3 miles one way so 2.6 round trip) You can change it up on the way back and take the Reds Meadow Resort path back to Shuttle stop #10 which is recommended to get out because it is the last shuttle stop and usually fills up the shuttles leaving the area. The trail to the base of the Falls is closed now for 2018 for rerouting and restructuring and will reopen in 2019. Air quality was fine despite the fires but it was dry, hot and windy so bring enough water. The waterfall was beautiful and well worth the hike according to my seven year old!

The hike shown here is actually from Barcroft Station, not the locked gate where you will likely have to start. From the locked gate, it is actually seven miles each way for a total of 14 miles. If you wish to do the shorter hike from Barcroft Station, you must wait for one of the ‘Open Gate Days’. There are usually two open gate days each summer - one in July and one around Labor Day Weekend. And on these days, you can drive all the way to Barcroft for the shorter hike shown here. Check the Barcroft Station website (www.wmrs.edu) for the dates of these open gate days if you are interested.

Regardless, as you likely know, White Mountain Peak is the third highest peak and easiest 14er in California. Altitude aside, the trail itself is actually VERY easy. Much of it is quite level. And the relatively modest amount climbing that you DO do is fairly gentle. Furthermore, the Jeep Trail that you hike on is relatively easy terrain-wise. No outlandishly rough rocky trails or foot high stone steps here! The only challenge for some is going to be the fact that almost ALL of the trail is above 12000ft. This makes White Mountain Peak PERFECT for acclimation if you plan to climb other high stuff.

It seems like reviews of the scenic beauty of the area tend to be mixed. And that’s to be expected of an area like the White Mountains. Many people don’t like the area and/or consider it boring due to its lack of classic hiking features like deep forests, lakes, streams, and waterfalls. But others (like myself) LOVE this area for what it DOES offer. Lower down (while still driving), you have the Bristlecone Pines - the oldest trees known. Their wind-twisted forms simply add to the exotic appearance of the area. The stark, rather barren terrain and multicolored rocky peaks gives the area an otherworldly look. And when you combine this with the deep blue high altitude skies and sunshine that is brighter than ANYTHING you will see at sea level, this area just SCREAMS ‘La La Land’. Oh, and let’s not forget the SPECTACULAR views of the Eastern Sierra and surrounding countryside. These views only get better the higher you go.

If you come to the White Mountains, bring PLENTY of water. Unless you come early in the season and can melt snow, there is NONE in the area. Also, at these kinds of altitudes, it is generally always chilly. So bring a jacket any time of the year. You may not need it at times due to the strong sun, which can make it feel FAR warmer than it really is here. Speaking of the sun, also bring sunscreen. The sun up here at 12000+ft is BRUTAL compared to sea level, and will COOK unprotected skin in short order. Long sleeves and a hat or bandana can also help protect you from the sun.

Hiked this with my parents and kids. An easy day hike that gives you great valley views and meanders along a beautiful stream. Trail ends at a waterfall- there is a great rock to jump from into a deep pool. The river has many places to wade in and cool off, where he water makes natural slides over the granite bed

This was by far the most wonderful hike ive ever done. Challenging though,but will give you the best legs workout. Although i didnt get to see the emerald and pear, heather was just so beautiful. The water is perfect for a quick dip, and surprisingly is not that cold!

Perfect day hike! All the best of the sierras. My hubby and daughter stopped at heather to fish for trout and hang out, while my 11 year old son and I went ahead to pear. Lakes are all beautiful and varied but pear takes the cake. Granite surrounds above the tree line and crystal blue green water for a refreshing dip. We started hiking at 7:30 and we’re back in the car by 3:30. Steep climb most of the way, and amazing and slightly scary views from watchtower...

The waterfall is worth every step it took to get there!!

Start at South Lake to Long Lake to get aclimated. Very scenic hike with spectacular views of lakes at every turn. Trail is well defined all the way to Bishop Pass. Need to be prepared and have pleanty of water/snacks to fuel up for the last mile of switchbacks up. Strongly recommend water filtration system to refill water on the way down.

hiking
7 days ago

This trail is in a well visited part of the Kern river, plan to get there before all the campers as parking is limited to about 20 cars. The trail is very mild as it follows the trail with at most a 3-4 hundred foot gains and loss.

In order to get to the tea cups one must ford the river. Following the route leads to a calm area to swim/float across. One can access the first tea cup easily.

If visiting the other tea cups I Highly recommend climbing shoes if not taking repelling gear. In order to see all seven cups one must be skilled at boldering, repelling and general mountaineering.

I forgot to turn record off while driving back the route was 6 miles round trip.

Enjoy!

As others have mentioned, the road to the trailhead is very rough, and getting a flat all the way up there would suck (plus it would cost a fortune). It took me about an hour and a half to get to the trailhead where I slept overnight. Sleeping overnight at elevation is essential to get acclimated. The trail from the closed gate is actually 14 miles, not 11.1. I got a bit of altitude sickness a bit at about the research station so I chilled at the station for about 20 minutes and then for another half hour at the observatory just a little ways further. I was fine after that with regard to altitude (that was after spending most of the last 4 days between 7k-12k elevation in Death Valley and Kings Canyon). The best way to prevent/combat altitude sickness is lots of water and snacking. There should be enough of your urine on that mountain for an entire weeks worth of German dungeon porn.

It was quite cold even late July, so I recommend hat and gloves for sure. Part of the trail was snowy and I got pretty bad sunburn on my face and lips from the reflection. I'm generally speaking in good shape - 29yo man, 155ln reasonably fit, and it took me 11 hours. 6am to about 5pm. I'm a slow hiker though, and take lots of breaks. Part of that is necessity but part of that is because everyone is running around like a goddamn chicken with their head cut off in the city, and then they come out here to nature where they keep running around like a goddamn chicken with its head cut off just the same, except this time in nature. You trying to make it back in time for a haircut appointment or something? Slow down, chill, and enjoy - you got nowhere to be.

This did a number on my knee and calves, coming back down. I could barely walk after I got the car and took a break. It may be the easiest 14er, but that doesn't mean it's easy!

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike and fairly cool on an early August day when it was broiling at lower elevations. No bugs on the mountain and not too bad along the creek - but enough that repellent would have made it more enjoyable. Mostly we had the trail to ourselves. The number of old-growth trees is astounding.

This trail has amazing views! We hiked all the way up to Nevada falls, it was a hard hike with A LOT of stairs. Once you get to venal falls, the crowd starts to disperse. Bring lots of water for this hike and sunscreen. This hike is on the hard side but the views from the top make it worth it!! Take the John Muir trail back, it adds a mile but you get to see another side of the waterfall by taking the John Muir trail back.

One of the best day trail hikes in eastern Sierra

My best friend and I found this trail when we visited Yosemite a few summers ago. This was a bit difficult as it was ALL uphill so go prepared with water and light snacks! Once you hike about 30 min, you will come up to a break area with water fountains for drinks/bathrooms, etc.
Then after, there are some stone steps which are very steep and possibly slippery due to the mist waterfall. Those will take you all the way up to the top of the waterfall, as well as a cold swimming hole to swim in after the hike! There is an area where you can slide down the smooth rock into the water. We just jumped in and swam to the other side of the hole. We went in late June so it was amazing to jump into and then lay on the hot rock on the other end. No towel needed since we dried off pretty quick! I know the hike continued on but we stopped there, turned around and made our way back down to the bottom. That was the easy part since it was all downhill,especially after the cool down in the swimming hole.

I’d do this hike again but I’d be more prepared next time physically! If you aren’t in shape physically, this will be a tough hike for you! You probably won’t make it to the top if you bring young children due to the steepness towards the top. Can be a bit dangerous. If they are older and mature enough to handle the hike, it would be worth it as they would enjoy the swimming hole! Makes for a great reward! The trail was pretty populated, but it will thin out towards the top due to the length & difficulty of the hike. Very beautiful scenery during the entire hike! Bring a camera! Afterwards, we couldn’t believe we’d only hiked 1.5 miles up to the top! Felt much longer!

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