hiking
9 days ago

This peak is not marked because technically the trail continues on to a lake. So if you’re not careful, you “miss” the peak. However, you won’t miss the stunning view!

hiking
bugs
over grown
16 days ago

This trail is not maintained. It is the original road into SNP. I hiked this 3 times in March/April of 2020. Due to poison oak and ticks it is best to do this in colder weather. Do not wear shorts. It is an old road that was built by the Kaweah Colony in the late 1800’s, that was intended to become a rail route: this means the “path” is wide and at a 6% grade at the most. So - a moderate hike. But - 1/3 of this trail is very overgrown making it more difficult. The scenery is not great, but so what. It is a good hike with some history. Very few hikers on this. The road to get here is North Fork Dr and is rugged and one lane in many spots, with steep drop offs. Where the County Maintained road ends at the “y” take the road to the right (east side). If you don’t have a high clearance vehicle, best to park and hike up the dirt/rocky road to the gated entrance. Limited parking at the gate. (There is a spot to turn around down the hill past the gate to the north.)

Challenging trail but well worth the effort for the solitude and views you're rewarded with. There are pit toilets by both Emerald and Pear lakes. Be sure to check the trail conditions ahead of time and plan gear accordingly especially if you plan to camp overnight. It can be difficult to traverse with the trails changing from easily marked dirt path to foot+ of snow unmarked trail.

This was a nice climb up, with the added element of navigating some slipperiness the whole way. Relatively warm, winter day where snow covered the trail almost entirely, although microspikes were not required (would've been nice to have). It was a nice climb with really cool views to the North the first two miles, then as you get onto Hump Trail it starts to become more exposed and there were a handful of routes through the snow possible. The best part of the hike was once you reached the top and had a full panoramic view of a really sick mountain face. There was a short descent to Heather Lake from the top, which in winter is totally covered in snow and the trek down featured very soft snow that was easy to sink into, so overall we regretted going down to the lake. Then the way back down to the parking lot was nice and steady... it was snowy/icy enough that you could just kinda slide the whole way down. All in all a nice hike which would've been really great in season when you can see the lake.

cross country skiing
icy
off trail
snow
4 months ago

Another great lap!

Awesome views!!! As the first review mentions, it is a bit of scramble once you get past Pear Lake. There isn't a trail, you just have to keep climbing. It will feel as though it never ends, but just when you think you are over it, you'll hit the top and see Moose Lake! We didn't see another soul out there, which was pretty cool. :)

cross country skiing
off trail
snow
4 months ago

Great little loop to keep you in shape for the bigger days. Snow wasn’t half bad near the peak.

We snowshoed to the hut for New year day and spent the night there. very beautiful hike! The weather was great, sunny and almost warmish. It had not snow for a week or so, thus the path was very clear and easy to follow. the map is slightly wrong, the winter path does not pass between the two lakes but loop way norther. Snow was quite packed in the bottom and become slightly softer at the top, but overall easy to manage. we left at 11 and it took us roughly 4 hours to get to the hut (with a couple of stops for a quick snack and water). conditions clearly made the hike faster, with soft snow, it can take easily the double. Night at the hut was great!

Where does this trail begin? Where is it in relation to the confluence of Yucca Creek and the North Fork of the Kaweah (Natl’ Park/BLM border)? ty

hiking
rocky
6 months ago

Watchtower was definitely more enjoyable route for me than the Hump trail to get to the lakes. The view is great once you get up there!

Excellent trail. Don’t go past Pear Lake if you have any qualms about going off trail while venturing into bear country. It gets VERY dangerous. This is coming from a 22 year old guy who is accustomed to going on questionably sketchy trips. Go for it if you have the guts to make it happen, but this trail gets gnarly so this is your fair warning. Best of luck to you. Also, bring toilet paper to Pear Lake. They have an outhouse but no TP.

It was ok but won’t do it again.

Beautiful, secluded hike that we started early in the morning. Only really saw people after we got back to the Congress Trail & General Sherman areas, otherwise it was just us and nature. Multiple marmot & deer sightings. Lots of cool things along the way like Chimney Tree. Great if you're looking to hike a bigger loop of the Giant Grove area.

Pretty fun. Definitely packed in the beginning but moderately travelled later on. We ran out of time and didn’t do Tharp’s cuz we had a 3pm Cave Tour, the shuttles on the weekend gummed us up. Loved being so close to the beautiful Sequoias.

Great loop that accesses the less traveled trails in this area. Crowded only at start and end near Sherman tree and he paved sections of the path. Good trail conditions, trail rolls up and down. Lots of photo opportunities with the big sequoias and meadows.

Watch tower view was great but heather lake was a bit disappointing. I’m sure during season (maybe after some rain) the lake would’ve been beautiful. Saw a rattlesnack on our way up to Watchtower but other than that the hike was great and lots of shade. Started at 8:30am at the trailhead, thought it would’ve been super hot. Guess we were just lucky. Do bring lots of water and fluid!

hiking
10 months ago

Great easy-moderate hike for altitude training. Lots of shade, great views. Saw a bear close by but it walked away after it saw our group. We went on 8/3/19 and there were some mosquitos, we used natural bug repellent and they left us alone. Took us 4 hours at an average pace with a few breaks in between.

hiking
10 months ago

beautiful trail! recommend for the payoff view at the end. even cooler if you like the lower Tokopah Falls trail the day before.

Gorgeous views. Mehrten meadow is so peaceful and secluded after hiking in during peak tourist season. The hike was a bit of a challenge with all the smoke from the prescribed burns, but you get away from the worst of it once you reach Panther Gap.

One of my favorite trails! Relatively easy way to get to see some of the landscapes that typically require a lot more effort to get to. Hiked 7/5-7/6. Got the last two overnight permits from lodgepole visitor center. You need wilderness permits if planning to stay overnight. The watchtower route is currently closed due to winter conditions, so you’ll need to go via the hump route. The trail is well marked, look for yellow triangle markers on the trees. There are pit toilets at several of the lakes. Mostly snow free until you get to the lakes, from there it is still about 50-75% snow cover. No special equipment needed, trekking poles may help cross the snow patches. Mosquitos weren’t horrible but I did get some bug bites where I didn’t put DEET (ankles, back etc). Highly recommend as either a day hike or overnight trip!

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