Explore the most popular forest 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.

1st bit probably the most challenging. The cave experience was quite rewarding. I would say the trail is a must if you are in the area. Bring a flashlight and water.

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.

Did this hike back in February. It started to snow a bit once we got to the cave but no snow at all on the path.
As mentioned before, the initial climb is steep on goes on for a while. However, I would still rate this hike as moderate, since I feel like I did harder ones that were rated as moderate in this area. It takes a while to get to the actual caves, the hike itself felt like more than 5 miles to me. The caves are quite big and I'd recommend this trail especially for the winter/early spring and late fall time when everything else around this area is snowed in and you're still looking for a somewhat challenging hike.

hiking
18 days ago

This trail is not moderate. I'd rank it as easy. It's not marked, but just take Nelson Rd. to the very end... thru the area of cabins. The trail is a little over 5miles. Many beautiful moments, however there has been some recent lumbering.. lots of cut trees and logs along the first mile or so. The river is pretty full and beautiful as are the giant sequoias. I would definitely go again.

Wonderful hike, went there with my friend today.

The initial climb is challenging, but it plateaus out a bit, crosses a creek three times, and the cave is on the left.

Very cool to see the Native American cave paintings.

A wonderful hike with incredible views. We shared the trail with a mountain lion today, be careful. Also, be prepared for quite the uphill trek.

Awesome hike, ~1.75 hours there, 1 back

This was our first hike, and ay yi yi. I wouldn't choose it for your first, but it is definitely doable. It's pretty much a straight climb for the first mile, at least. It was fun, once we got past the initial climb. You cross a creek probably three times, its pretty. I wouldn't suggest doing this once it gets warm, you're super exposed to the elements, with zero shade. I will say, if you dont read all the reviews before you hike, you will more than likely miss the cave (like the hikers that were about 30 min behind us). Signs are knocked down, pointing in the wrong direction, but the best advise, stay to the left, lol. There are piles of rocks on rocks, stay to the left, or go left if there is a fork. Once you reach "the cave" sign, look up to your left, and behind you some...you will see the cave; it's about .25 miles from that left turn around the large rock. Take a flashlight the cave is big, and dark. It's a fun hike, but strenuous if you're not in shape. It took us 2 and a half hours, there and back. Have fun, happy hiking.

Awesome trail!

If you reach the Rincon trail head, turn back you’ve gone too far. There’s a sharp left that is marked by white rocks that is easy to go past. The pack saddle 2.25 mike trail head is in the wrong place, so don’t follow it. Other than, very cool hike. Bring good flashlights.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great trail to hike with your K9 companion(s). Since this is National Forest land near Kings Canyon, you’ll find the scenery throughout the area to be breath taking. This is a Western US gem.

hiking
2 months ago

Views were nice and the trail was well groomed. Tired cave with good examples of formations on the inside. Allot bigger than I thought it would be. As far as a moderate rating, I must need to get in better shape, between moderate and difficult.

My brother and I hiked this trail to the cave yesterday leaving around 1pm and arriving back to our car around 3:30pm. There is quite a decent incline in the beginning and because of this as well as some of the trail having a few obstacles (mainly downed trees) I'd say this trail is more on the hard side if I were to compare it to other hard-rated trails on AllTrails. The cave was really cool but bring a high powered flashlight to enjoy it fully. All we had were the flashlights on our iPhones which were ok but not great.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful hike, along the middle fork of the Tule River that takes you through majestic Sequoia Redwood groves and is beautifully, scenic from beginning to end. If you’re looking for a beautiful, mountain experience that’s not terribly crowded, this may be the one for you.

off road driving
3 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
3 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!

As of 1/28/18, some snow on the ground but not enough to lose visibility of the trail. It is possible to drive up to the trail but no designated parking. We saw a total of 4 people during our 2-3hr time spent on the trail. We were not able to complete the trail for several reasons, mainly due to a very icy thin bridge. Looking to go back in warmer months

on Balch Park Trail

4 months ago

What is marked as a trailhead appears to be on state prison grounds. Has anyone actually done this hike?

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.

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
4 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

First off, please keep in mind that there are TICKS IN THE TREES that will drop on you. I pulled one off my dog during the hike and just found one on my rib. Other than that, the trail itself is absolutely gorgeous, and the cave is a wonder to behold. The stalagmites are still forming and all the formations are truly incredible. My dogs had no problem on the trail, though they are in great shape. Once you reach the end of the trail, you'll notice the sign fell down and someone had dragged it further down the trail, but we put it back where it belongs. You'll want to go to the left to get up to the cave.

hiking
4 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.

Trailhead is unmarked. You will need to go to what looks like a fire road directly across from the fairview campground parking. Trail is straight up and you will need to keep an eye out for markings when you get to the end showing you to the cave. It is not clearly marked and cairns or rock arrows as indicated in pictures have been changed or moved.

The hike was great and the weather in December was perfect. The cave was more than I expected, I was very surprised to see it was a real cave and not an old mining claim.
It's a busy trail and it was tough on my dog, due to the leash requirement, you probably shouldn't tell your dog where you're going.

hiking
5 months ago

The hike is almost a constant climb in elevation until halfway or so then it goes down just to climb up again to the cave. We didn’t quite make it to the cave due to timing and daylight ending soon. Overall it would have taken approximately 5-6 hours round trip so plan accordingly.

hiking
5 months ago

easy hike to do in a few hours. make sure you get to the sequioa lake overlook point. awesome!

Excellent out and back hike. The first half of the way to the cave is uphill and has no shade. We found it strenuous even on an overcast day in November, so if you're trying it in the summer bring lots of water. The cave is very cool. Make sure to bring a light or download a flashlight app because it goes back far enough to get REALLY dark.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done! I would rate it at a medium hike level though. The hike is long, but not hard. Amazing trees, fern, views

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is marked easy on AllTrails but really the whole trail isn't easy.

While you're on the Fire Road, during the first third of the loop, the trail is easy. But once you turn off the Fire Road at the Apex of the loop the trail becomes a mid-sized path that is more moderately challenging than an easy rating would suggest. We would rate it moderate because of the elevation drop and level of trail maintenance. I would not suggest that day hikers who are limited to easy trails should attempt the section that branches out from the Fire Road particularly after a rainfall.

In a previous post, Luke mentioned that the turn off is easy to miss and it is. As you are walking north on the Fire Road, look for a picnic table on the left in a clearing by the creek. The trail will begin in about 50 feet to the left. There is a marker but it is still easy to miss.

My hiking partner and I used AllTrails with my phone over Verizon. Using GPS we could track our location in real time on the AllTrails map. Even so we accidentally ended up off trail a few times. Some of the intersections along the trail are not clearly marked.

Once on the moderate level section, the trail begins a rapid descent which you can see on the AllTrails topo diagram. There are sections that could be difficult for anyone who does not have good lower mobility. At the location I have marked with 2, the trail splits and the marker isn't clear. Use your map with GPS to make sure you get on the correct trail.

I hiked this trail in Oct17 and even then the creek had enough water in it that you would have to wade through where it crosses the path. Be aware there's no bridge at this spot. You can see the water level in my photos.

Features of this trail as it is mapped in AllTrails include mountain top views, patches of Lady Bug swarms, creek crossing, views that potentially could gaze out to the coastal ranges and off-highway vehicle access.

We thoroughly enjoyed this loop but both of us thought it would be wise to note that the Fire Road section and the third-third which begins at the creek crossing at the forest floor should be considered easy. The second third should be considered moderate.

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