Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Sequoia National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

mountain biking
6 days ago

Watch out for rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the trail. Some nicer views higher up but somewhat by muted the forest, as glorious as the ponederosa forest is up there.

I was dumb and tried to hike to the end and let me tell you after about 3-4 miles it becomes very steep and makes me think it’s more tailored to dirt bikes that can handle 6 miles of unrelenting uphill. After the first meadow and couple miles there are no places to camp at all, maybe one flat part 4-5 miles in. It is also full of about 20 blind ridges and passes that make you think you are almost past the hardest part but then it just gets steeper and there’s another 3 ridges you didn’t see before. So first 1-4 miles is a nice, normal hike. The rest is hell and I don’t recommend for hikers. A lot of rocks to make your feet hurt and no accessible water until maybe the end but I didn’t get that far.

Started just off of 190 at meadow below Ponderosa. Went up towards Slate mountain 4.65 miles and back. light patchy snow. very nice!

6 months ago

Amazing hike from Sierra Road up to the Meadows yesterday. It's strenuous but not technical, and very rewarding. Fantastic views and some interesting wildlife.

Started out at 9am, got to the Meadows at 1:30pm. Ate lunch for half an hour, then back to the parking lot at 5:15. So 4:30 hours hiking up, 3:15 coming down. I brought 3 litres of water which was just enough.

Very little traffic on trail expect for a few mountain bikers riding down. They can approach very quickly and surprised me at one point - keep your head up.

Would highly recommend for fit, experienced hikers.

9 months ago

Pros: incredible wild flowers, amazing views, and a lot of solitude. Cons: Trail from farewell pass to silver lake is completely overgrown at times with thorny shrubs and fallen trees. The trail beyond that is super hard to find until Franklin pass (which is still snowy) . Be prepared to navigate with a compass and topo and not see a defined trail for miles.

9 months ago

Nice trail, tough trail for a beginner once we started reaching 9000 feet I had to stop every quarter mile because I wasn't in good condition but beautiful scenery especially when it's cloudy

It is amazing scenery

mountain biking
11 months ago

Good long ride but difficult in sections. We're planning on doing the Cannell trail from the top but the road is still closed part way up from about 6000ft. You can keep driving the fire road past big meadow to park and join Cannell trail from there. You can also bike from the closed road which is a 2500ft climb.

Rode on a Saturday and did not encounter anyone else except some moto riders towards the end. Some great views and scenes throughout the ride.

I'm a novice and coped but it is difficult and took 5 hours.

Make sure you are well prepared because there is no phone coverage and no one else to help you.

Friday, May 19, 2017

prepare for a continuous uphill battle. it's tough.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

My nephew and I completed this as a backpacking trip. We hiked to pine flats which is really beutiful. The wildflowers are beautiful right now. There was still some snow on the ground at pine flats. The trail was very difficult with the fully loaded pack. We were exhasuted by the time we got back and had sore feet becasue the trail is quite rocky. We did not see many people once we got about 2 miles in. We did see a coupl of dirt bikers on the way out. The views of the kern river an lake isabella are amazing. I would not recommend this as a backpackign trip for any beginners.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Backpacked this trail in June of 2016. We were the first group that year to cross over from the Mineral King Side. There was considerable snow blocking the trail, but we managed to make it up and over (no special gear required).

Crossed the Gap and camped down @ Bullion Flat. Fantastic little area. Water running down the side of the camp site. Spectacular sunrise. Well worth the drive up to Mineral King.....which is possibly the worst road have ever been on. Overall, great weekender trip. We used it as our shakeout for the HST later that year.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

are there any thru trails east to kern canyon ranger station and on past little whitney meadow to cottonwood pass?
alltrails.com is great for short localized hikes, but i can't find any trails that go through; even while the forest service maps show some such trails.

Monday, April 04, 2016

very tough on a few crests.. but thoroughly enjoyable

Monday, January 18, 2016

This trail was great during the winter. It was green, temperatures were perfect (low 60's), and there were only a few people out using the trail, so you almost have it to yourself. The grade is nowhere near "hard" difficulty, and trail should be categorized as "moderate". There are some areas to go off the main trail after about a mile. Once up on the saddle, we went all the way up Flume Mountain (the one on your left as you go up), which was more challenging than the hike, but doable if you're an experienced hiker. All in all, this was a great trail, and if you're in the area it's worth checking out.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Didn't go all the way to Grizzley Lakes. I turned back at the junction near Frypan Meadow. The smoke from the Rough Fire was pretty bad in the morning, but cleared up as I gained elevation. Will definitely hike this one again & camp at Grizzley lakes & then head up to Mt Harrington & over the Monarch Divide. Nice views & very peaceful......I didn't see another person the entire day.

off road driving
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Thanks to chris horgan and the stewards of the sequoia for maintaining this trail for everyone to use.
multi use trails can work,without people on motorbikes this trail and others would be overgrown.

off road driving
Thursday, May 14, 2015

This trail is in such great shape due to the hundreds of hours Stewards of the Sequoia volunteers on motorcycles have done brushing the trail, clearing downed trees and maintaining water bars each year over the past decade. Sharing means everyone has more trails. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 05, 2014

The trail is in great shape just a few ruts that the OHV'ers created, good steady uphill climb and its 10 miles one-way to Cannell Mdw. Didn't see any motorcycles or Mtn Bikers or nobody hiking for that matter. Did this hike on 11/28/14 and there is no snow and I was at the 8,000ft level

Monday, March 31, 2014

Very hard and steep incline for the first 3 miles. If you don't have a 4x4 you have to walk a mile to the trailhead. Make sure to have a map handy or you won't find it. Salmon creek is a half way point to Packsaddle cave and is very pretty in the spring. Very little shade on the trail so make sure you have water.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Great cardio trail and good one for dogs. Views of Kernville & entire valley from swinging gate which is just over a mile in. Past that quiet valleys & ridges with mello uphill gains till 3 miles out.. Will continue to explore trial on another trip. Bring lots of water as its warm & dry, very hot in summer. No creeks for dogs unless recent rain runoff available .

Saturday, June 08, 2013

I hiked this trail on 6/2/13 and headed north to climb Slate mtn. The trail conditions were somewhat OK, there were quite a few downed trees but you could get around them pretty easy and the trail is faint in some places also, but the short climb to Slate from the trail was awesome its got excellent views into the Golden Trout Wilderness. But the trail south of Windy Gap is brushy and would not recommend hiking it. I finally had to turn around and head back to my truck.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

This is a real fun but strenous hike. Start real early in the morning to be back before dark because it will take you all day. You will start at Jerkey Mdw TH and come out at Forks of the Kern TH. Carry a good topo map and know how to read it and have good sence of directions. Trail is in good shape but there may be a few fallen snags across the trail.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Tried this as a day hike - and hiked 6 miles out and 6 miles back along this trail. Lovely hike with a steady and constant elevation gain ( about 3000 ft over the 6 miles). Went through Cannell lower meadow, past Powers Peak and along the plunge before turning around. Would like to visit again - backpacking next time. Saw motorcycle tracks but no riders.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

I carried my backpack of 33 pounds with water, tent, bear canister, et. al. and hiked up about four miles to a likely looking camping site. Having lived in California for less than one year and this being my first backpacking experience here I stopped and set up my tent at about five pm. The view was beautiful and I was amazed by the deer passing nearby with no fear of my presence. I also noticed a growth of trees to the West on the hillside about eight miles away. The trees grew in a patch that resembled a heart shape and I wondered why. The next morning I figured it out. As I made coffee the sun finally shown over the mountain and then I saw it. The sun was shining onto the far mountain making a light in the shape of a "Vee" that outlined the bottom of the heart. After coffee and energy bars I packed up and set my pack on a rock while I climbed up to the gap and back. I encountered snow in the shadow of the hillside as I was hiking and made it to the "GAP". There were peaks on both sides with a spectacular view to the East and the trail went on but I didn't. I turned back picked up my pack and hiked back to the car. I passed two other hikers heading up the trail but they were headed to Franklin Pass and not to the gap (I think they mentioned a lake too). Based on the information provided on the trail markers I believe I hiked twelve miles total round trip to the gap and back. I also had blisters to show for my effort too.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

This trail is a real good long distance hike for those who love long hikes like I do, it starts in Kernville and goes up into the high country, it goes through Cannell Mdw and Big Mdw which are both amazing in the spring. The bad part about this trail is they ( USFS) allow motorcycles on it.

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