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

So the reviews made here were very useful in completing my hike yesterday. The filter idea was great, a must especially if it is hot, but also you need to drink a lot on the way back to stay hydrated. Insects were not a problem like they are down in the Canyon. I took the Hump trail on the way back thinking it would be easier than just repeating my way around watchtower, biggest mistake of my hike. I missed the views on the way back and the grade up and then down was not what my legs wanted on the way back. Saw trout, many Chipmunks and Pikas gathering cones and seeds, not too many birds. It was supposed to snow the next day which is why I made the effort on this day. This is a truly awesome not to be missed hike, should have led with this. Go for the views especially of the lake with the mountain backdrop. I saw only 6 people the whole time I was on the trail which was both welcoming and a little worrisome, as I was hiking and doing photography on my own. I know know what the "Sounds of Silence" are as this hike will take you there.
Virtual Treadmill video of this hike can be seen on my YouTube Channel, copy and paste link below to watch it. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFO02nxPdM4-CabegFIPlow?view_as=subscriber

This has to be one of my favorite hikes. We took the lollipop route on the Lakes trail and made the trip up to the Watchtower before heading onto Heather Lake. We then took the Hump trail back to the parking lot. It was a total of 9.2 miles and 2,326 total elevation. The views from the Watchtower are stunning and the drop off from the edge down to Tokopah Valley is scary yet exhilarating. Heather Lake is a small alpine lake and a nice place to have lunch. I’m really glad we took the Hump trail down and didn’t attempt climbing up. It was pretty steep downhill with lots of loose gravel. Best part of the hike were the views from the Watchtower. Pictures don’t do justice to the immense grandeur.

Some tough places but the views are worth it and the lake is amazing. The path along the way passes many meadows and streams. Water was perfect temp in September for swimming.

During the summer, take it this trail via the watch tower!

hiking
1 month ago

We just got back from our trip to Twin Lakes area on Sunday. Was spectacular! Blue skies, very little smoke/haze, no mosquitos, and warm lakes. We camped one night at Twin Lakes, then two nights at Ranger Lake. Did one day hike to Lost Lake. We were in a spot on Ranger Lake that had beautiful 360 views of all the ranges in the area. My only advice to anyone that reads this is you HAVE to go past Twin Lakes over Silliman Pass or you are really missing out. It's a bit of a climb, but absolutely essential, in my opinion. Twin Lakes give you just a taste of the granite vistas that I feel are really part of the High Sierra experience. If you want more of that - keep going over to Ranger Lake and camp there instead. Wish we could have kept going and going. But alas it was only 3 days. I wish I could figure out how to attach images here!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail worth going up to the ridge for the view from above.

sufficiently challenging, great view and beautiful lake. The culmination of a hike on a hot day was sticking my feet in the cold lake. return to was pretty steep though, so get some good hiking shoes.

We just finished the trip. It's about 6 miles of uphill hiking and .8 mi of downhill. The end view was worth the effort. Twin lakes was fantastic. It has the best outhouse views that I know of. There were 2 bear lockers so I'm not sure why the Rangers told us we needed bear cannisters. Definitely day hike up to the ridge on the way to ranger lake. The views from a top are awesome!

My favorite hike in Sequioa National Park. The view from the Watchtower is epic. This hike changed my perspective of Sequioa NP, always thought it the only thing it has were Sequioas, but I wrong. After the Watchtower it's a short hike to Heather Lake where we just relaxed while a few people in our group took a dip in the lake. Definitely bring insect repellent if you plan to hangout the lake area.

backpacking
2 months ago

Last two miles before Twin Lakes is difficult but well worth it.

Great hike to a beautiful lake. Would recommend starting early enough in the day to continue on to Pear Lake. Heather Lake is a great spot to relax and take a swim in refreshing water. About 4.1 miles via the Watch Tower. Would recommend this route as its much more scenic both coming and going than the Hump Trail. Took bug spray but didn't need it at all on the trail or near the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

We went out by way of Watchtower and back over The Hump. Watchtower view is just extraordinary, even for Sequoia. The Hump route is a bit of a slog. Great hike if you’ve had time to acclimate to the altitude. Otherwise it will seem longer and steeper than it is. It was wonderfully cool on a July day when lower elevations were baking.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail with plenty of water. Last 1.5 miles tough but the lakes and views are awesome.

hiking
2 months ago

The ridge has awesome views of the lakes. Bring plenty of water.

I took my 8 year old son and 64 year old father on this hike. It was a first time backpacking for both of them. They both made it and enjoyed it; though, this hike was a little harder than I expected it to be. My son carried his own pack with his sleeping bag and clothes. But he struggled a little. It was very steep going in towards the lake. Still, Heather and Emerald lakes are beautiful and we had a great time. On the hike out, my dad was already making plans for his next backpacking trip, and after In ‘N Out, my son was excited to hit the trail again, too. We all got eaten by mosquitoes pretty good on this trip, so if you have some kind of netting, I’d recommend getting taking it.

Getting the permit for overnight was easier than expected. We showed up at 6:55, doors opened at 7 and we were second in line and able to get a spot without any trouble.

Went here on June 23. I thought the weather was beautiful but the Northerners with me were a little too warm. Well-marked; you don't need a map to do this one. This is a trail I wouldn't hesitate to take with fit friends but depending I think the altitude and distance might be tough for some.

It's worth it though, the view is lovely at the top and on the way up. Bug spray is essential. Consumed 2L of water round trip, could have used more.

Bring a bug net when hiking in the summer, trail on Elizabeth pass may be covered in snow. Doable in 4 days

hiking
3 months ago

I did this hike on Monday 6 18, 2018. weather is nice in the mid-70s sunshine. there was a few people up there I saw Maybe 4 hikers on my loop around hump and back down Watchtower. saw only two people at Heather Lake. mosquitoes at Heather Lake will not bad though they were hungry. it seems that the trout in the lake we're hungrier they were swimming around ravenously hopping up and grabbing the bugs off the surface.

4 months ago

Completed this hike on 6-16-2018. The trail has consistent up climbing for the first 3 miles. It’s not too bad until the elevation gets to you. The trail was easy to follow and we only crossed a hand full of hikers. The hike itself is not done for the views but once you arrive at the lakes, you won’t regret it. The bugs aren’t too bad but if you stop for any length of time on any part of the trail, you will have a swarm of mosquitos around you. Make sure you bring bug spray and sun screen.

We hiked in with a lunch and about 1 gallon of water and the hike took a total of 8 hours. That time included exploration at the lakes, a hike around the lake and plenty of picture breaks. If you are going to do the hike in a day, I would suggest following the trail to the 10k mark of elevation to see the lake from above. We hiked in the rocks to the east of the lake as high as we could but it would have been nice to make it to the top of the rock rim.

The trail is not as steep as the summit lake hike out of shake camp in the sequoia national park. The trail does not have any surprises but the main river crossing at least around this time may be difficult for those who don’t want to get wet. I’m sure later on it will dry up a bit to stop that issue.

Lastly, I completed a 4 mile hike 7 months prior and had very little preparation for this hike. I was able to complete it with energy to spare but I did need a few days to recuperate. Anyone with any amount of experience can complete this hike.

I did a little more than this, reaching precipice lake and the pass after. As of late May, it was still fully covered with snow to go this far, but no snow if you only reach Hamilton lake.
Also, I did this back and forth in a day hike, about 36 miles. Very doable since up to Hamilton lake (and even later - up to where there was snow) the trail is extremely well marked and easy to follow, you can do 3 miles/hour easily

Love this hike

Superb trail with spectacular views and great camping along the way.

the uphill climb was brutal in the snow, but definitely worth every drop of sweat. the snow and view was so breath taking! and the way down is a breeze. wear shoes with a good grip, the ice was very slippery and the snow was up almost to my knees.

This was an amazing hike! My goal was to backpack overnight at Pear Lake, but I went last Wednesday when Sequoia got a ton of snow. I was caught in the snow throughout the hike but made it to Heather Lake. It was completely frozen over, and it was snowing so badly I couldn’t even tell where the lake was until I was almost on top of it. I don’t recommend going when it’s snowing! I was the only person out there with the exception of one group of about 3 people. If you do go in the winter, definitely have microspikes. I left mine in the car to save weight in my heavy pack, and the trail was completely clear of snow when I started. Biggest mistake! I ate it really bad many times on the thick sheet of ice that was blanketed by the fresh snow. Still a beautiful hike that I can’t wait to complete (to Pear Lake) in the spring.

Awesome View of Mable Fork Canyon!! I was unable to get through to Heather Lake due to snow. Please notice, this trail is also called the Watchtower trail. There is a sign along the trail notifying hikers when the Watchtower trail is closed. It suggests that you take what is called The Hump Trail to get to Heather Lake. Can’t wait to try again in better weather

Great day hike. The trail via WatchTower has great views and places to sit and absorb the scenery from.
The lake is beautiful and worth the steep climb...

Nice hike mostly in the woods gets more demanding towards the second half of the trail. Leads to a nice small lake.

Did this hike back in July, it's really beautiful but a steep climb

Amazing hike!! Lots of snow sticking around and the watchtower is technically closed but it was in the 70s and not icy, I wouldn’t do it again this year though. Worth it!!! This map is to Emerald lake which is just another mile up the trail.

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