Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

To find the trailhead, drive down the Needles Road for 3 miles until the road deadends at a campsite, parking lot and outhouse. We thought we were maybe going the wrong way, but yep, just keep driving til you can't drive no more. We made it in a Kia Sorento, but there were sudans there that seemed to have bad the trip just fine.

It took my 59 year old dad and my small terrier -mix 3 hours to finish the hike, and I think the terrier had the worst of it. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but I might not recommend bringing them, as my dog is still licking his paws four hours later.

The uphill parts were brutal in some places, but the absolutely worst part was the staircase at the end. I'm actually unsure if you're even supposed to go on the staircase - as many people have mentioned, the tower is closed (burnt down) and when you make it to the top of the staircase, the last few steps are missing! I carried my dog up the staircase, got nervous about the height and turned back. but the second set of stairs took my breath away (maybe it was the combo of the altitude, adding another 12 lbs to my weight by carrying the dog, and the stairs that did it). The view was beautiful (although terrifying)!

Saw a rattlesnake on the way back, so pay attention to your surroundings.

hiking
9 days ago

Haven't been there BUT:
Between the fact that it's right on a very cold river, to the lack of photo of the actual hot springs to a few people who say they couldn't find it - I don't think there's an actual hot anything to be found here...

hiking
12 days ago

I loved this trail. Lots of sequoias hidden throughout the trail which was beautiful. Hiking out was a challenge but definitely worth it. I did 10 miles in about 5 hours.

nice trail, the walk back is killer so be prepared. Bring water....lots esp. in summer

backpacking
19 days ago

I proposed to have this trail added to AllTrails because it's a great alternative to the Norris trailhead in the early season that still ends at the Jackass Lakes. Not having done Norris, I can't compare the difficulty. Early season meant a little snow on the ground, but only in the shady areas. Not on the trail.
Getting there - it takes about an hour and a half to drive back Beasore Road after you turn off from Bass Lake. The road is unpaved at times, but I don't have 4WD and it was not an issue. But if rain is in your forecast, call the ranger for a road report. Make sure you either load the route into your Google Maps app before you lose service, or keep an eye on mileage so you know when to expect the parking lot. There is a large trail head sign for Jackass Trail head - you just start guessing the meaning of life that far back a dirt road and if you missed it some how.
The trail - the elevation climb is no joke. We did it in 2 hours with our packs on which sounds like cake to the experienced. When you start out, you're pretty pumped to be heading out, so you tend to not let it phase you. Just keep a trekking pole handy. We met a dad and daughter at the lakes, she was 10 and it was her first over nighter. So take that for what it's worth. Trail has a lot of shade, but some open hot spots as well if the sun is out. Since we went up so early in the season, some of the trail was hard to follow - look for stacked rocks to keep you on track. You shouldn't have much of an issue. Props to the USFS for going out there and clearing the trail - lots of fallen trees over the winter.
The lakes - lower Jackass Lake is great. I won't even try to explain the views, too incredible for words. There were 2 other campers up there, so 3 total sites set up along the lake and that was a good capacity. There is an upper Jackass Lake, we hiked to it the next day. You can see it on the map here. It was still frozen over but totally stunning. Again - views on views. Hike will make your glutes talk.

on Freeman Creek Trail

19 days ago

nice, quiet, breezy, running water sounds , a very nice hike, plenty of shade.

scenic driving
22 days ago

Beautifull Lake

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful hot springs. Not to many people during the week.

camping
28 days ago

Moderately hiked (easy to moderate), lightly camped trail. Several sand embankment campsites - perfect for stone fire rings and level sand tent footprints. No need to hike water in, I wasted the effort as my Sawyer filtered river water was crisp and quenching. Seven Teacups is not accessible from the trail as crossing the Kern is necessary and is hazardous given high river flow. Recommend hiking past teacups (about 2 miles from bridge) to find less frequented campsites. No permits required, but if you are fishing you must use “no barb” hooks (bent down barb - increases fish survival) as this is a wild Golden Trout (California’s State Fish) area which is protected (limit 2 catches and not more than 10”) - catch and release is always best.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

I have no idea why this is rated hard but so be it. It's a nice hike with not much elevation gain. You can bring your dog and the path is well maintained along the way (some larger rocks in the way but that's it). If you wanna catch some fish along the way, make sure to bring BARBLESS hooks, as these are the only ones allowed in this area. There are many very nice campsite along the way, very close to the river. I'd rate this hike as easy to moderate.

We hike all over Keyesville a few times a week. I really like that there is a massive amount of ways to go, trails to hike. I recently hiked and we saw a big gopher snake (what I was told by reptile rescue was a gopher, see photo), We also saw a deceased Bobcat, looked pretty young. I was a little bummed because it looked like it may have been shot and I have hiked there and found shotgun shells on at least 3 different occasions, that sometimes worries me because if someone is shooting and they don't know where people are at on these trails it can be very bad. All in all its a really easy/moderate trail and I love the different paths and scenery.

It’s so nice & the water feeels great but a lot of weirdos lol

off road driving
3 months ago

Beginner to off roading and took the trail no problem. There were some difficult spots and some optional difficult spots. Overall, was a fun day.

off road driving
4 months ago

Great trail for beginners. Plenty of areas for photos. Amazing range of scenery from desert hills to dense forest. View from the top is incredible! Plenty of areas to stop and take it all in.

My friend and I were out here the other day at about 7pm. I’m glad I had my headlamp because it was pitch black. There was no moon out but the stars looked amazing! When we arrived, there was one couple in one of the pools and some tweeker in the small rectangular pool. Since it was later in the day and completely dark, my friend and I got naked and we sat next to the tweeker (hahaha). Please note, my friend and I are larger (fluffy) guys so when we sat in the rectangular pool, the water overflowed to the other pools (too bad the tweeker didn’t float on over..). About an hour later, the couple there had departed and my friend and I made our way to that pool, leaving the tweeker alone in a half empty pool (hahaha). We stayed for about 2 hrs gazing at the stars and just floating naked in the hot pool. This was our first time coming here and it was a great experience for the both of us. We would definitely do it all over again. The map on this app was great to use especially since my phone reception had stopped working. The hike down to the pools was a breeze; however, for two fluffy guys heading back up the trail, it was an adventure.

off road driving
4 months ago

Pretty easy and quiet trail (during the week at least). It's a nice spot to get lost in, not that that is easy to do.

off road driving
4 months ago

Pleasant enough alternative to CA 178 but not something outstanding and once done I doubt you'll return.

on Miracle Hot Spring

hiking
4 months ago

Don't be fooled by the track on this map. It is not accurate. The springs are right on the river. If you drive into the Hobo Campground, you can find the trail head to the springs at the far western end of the campground. A short walk will bring you to several shallow pools where in you will undoubtedly find humans of all sorts. Some of the pools are very hot!

hiking
4 months ago

I went there with my baby, it was a nice day.
We had big fun hike both way down to the hot water and hiked up the hill.

hiking
4 months ago

I went there this morning with my baby Jade, it was easy to park and walk straight less than a minute to a nice hot spring. Jade and I had a great time and met nice people at the Miracles hot spring. Don’t forget to bring waters and some snack if you prefer.

We arrived. Skinny-dippers all over left and right. After about 1hr of being there everyone left and we had all 3 ‘pools’ to ourselves. Once we had it to ourselves it was GREAT!

PROS:
Warm/hot water
Water is see-through to the bottom
Clean water cycles daily with the natural spring current
Good views on the way there
Good views once there
Great great great spot if you get it all to yourself
My belongings were respected
People were respectful
Easy/short hike down/up

CONS:
Visibly flowing dead skin
Skinny-dippers (may be present)
Groups of people hang out spot
People camping very nearby
Water smells like sulfur/egg (you get use to it quick)
Trash/man made stuff left behind
You may come across ‘sensitive’ people
For elders (The hike back up may be a little steep)

Too many people and too much trash. It's now more of a cesspool than a hot spring. Go if you don't mind sitting shoulder to shoulder with 7 other people. Including children who urinate in the water.

off road driving
5 months ago

First time taking my suv off the road! Great trail that was well maintained with a variety of views. Just getting to the trail itself was beautiful. Vast rocky hills at jawbone canyon with plenty of dirt bike and atv trails. The climb isn’t too steep in any areas. Plenty of places to stop along the way. The views are spectacular. Early January was perfect. Brisk air with a few piles of snow at the very top but no icy patches. Takes a while to complete this drive and the end point is a dead zone, so be sure to get directions home ahead of time!

Just wanted to add that Kern River Conservancy and Keepers of the Kern are putting more effort in keeping that part of the river clean. It's disturbing to me that people go to a beautiful place like the Forks and have to leave their trash. we have gotten the river from Kernville to Johnsondale bridge free of trash.

fishing
5 months ago

I haven't been as far as painters camp. we made it about a half past the bridge. my favorite place. Going to go to painters camp the year. I love the Kern

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was a little difficult to find after the sign that says “Freeman Creek Trailhead”. We made a right turn into the lot right past the sign and then you’ll keep going straight onto the road with the marked sign (can’t remember the number) NOT the road to the right. It’ll just take you back to main road.

We hiked about 4.5 miles into the trail and didn’t find any end point so we turned around at this point. It’s a fun trail the first half and going back is a BIG workout. Expect to go up all those fun little descents. Took us about 4 1/2-5 hours total with little stops. Beautiful scenery but definitely a moderate hike. Including taking a little detour in the beginning we did about 10.5 miles. Not sure where this trail was supposed to end.

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

hiking
5 months ago

Went there last week and was unable to locate it due to my uncertainty of my footing. Though the river is low, it is still very dangerous.

Nice hike and great scenery.

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