Explore the most popular river 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.

Nice, short hike. The views are awesome.

Beautiful!

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful trail, and we were the only ones on it. But even with long sleeves and bug spray, we were walking in a cloud of gnats, esp the first mile, which took a lot of enjoyment away, especially for my kids (6 and 10)

Also you really can't access the creek except at crossings as the embankment is pretty steep

Nice and quick hike up with some beautiful views at the top.

went this week and enjoyed these amazing large trees. if you walk out onto the granite face with all the stones you can see the rounded tops towering across the small valley of the Muir Grove.

The views are just stunning. And the trail is well supported with handrails and rock walls so it’s doable even for someone like myself who’s not great with heights. I’d suggest doing it in the early evening, to avoid the worst of the crowds. We were there about 6pm on a weekday during late June and there were still lots of people on the trail, but not too many.

Beautiful short trail. Trees were amazing & so much less crowded than Sequoia

Spectacular. Went late June. Saw 12 people in four days (including a kind ranger). Did the loop counterclockwise, which is recommended unless you are otherwise itching to crawl/scramble/struggle up the skree of Sawtooth Pass. Camped Cliff Creek, Middle Lower Five Lakes, and Upper-Middle Lost Canyon. Mosquitos were out and about, but with the year’s lighter snowpack, we may have faced the worst of it. To be safe, bring ample Deet and invest in mosquito resistant clothing (including face netting). With some long stretches out of tree-cover, also bring ample sunscreen (though 3oz was more than enough for two of us).

If you’re young and/or in tip-top shape (and, more importantly, very prepared and carrying a light pack), you could do this in two days, though take caution with altitude sickness over some of these passes. Otherwise, take your time and enjoy this underappreciated escape.

Hard, but not overly painfully so. I have asthma and had to stop many times for air, but there was no need for a fast pace. Even with my slowness, we planned for four days but did it in there. Aside from normal backcountry gear, bring A LOT of sunscreen and zinc and GOOD mosquito repellant. Our GPS recorder logged significantly more miles than as posted on this and other trail sites. This map has the trail going in straight lines that do not exist. Expect closer to 35 miles maybe.

Day 1: Timber Gap Trail to Timber Gap. The trail is moderately steep out of the parking lot and continues so for some time. Reaching the top of Timber Gap has nice views with plenty of shade. Descend fast to the junction with Cliff Creek. This is the most psychologically challenging parts of the trip—to descend to below where you started and then have to climb for miles with a tall pass at the end of it. At the junction with Cliff Creek there is the most beautiful creek passing with several little pools. I wish it wouldn’t have been a waste to camp there, otherwise we would have. Have lunch. Walk along the creek and through the dry bed (which can be confusing—some cairns arranged; alternatively look for mule poop) as you pass epic waterfalls as you approach the switchbacks to climb to the Pinto Lake Area. At Pinto Lake, full water in stream that is clearly audible. Several campsites in front of and across the path from the bear box area. Choose a site on the rocks above the bear box—the breeze up there keeps the mosquitos away and the sunset is incredible.

Day 2: Fill your water. Then have fun figuring out how to get across the marsh and connect with the trail. Once you find it, begin the 3000 vertical feet in 3 miles to the top of Blackrock Pass. You’ll pass a steam going down the side of the mountain near the beginning of the climb up the switchbacks. Fill water here as it is the last water on this side and there won’t be mosquito free water for a bit on the other side. Then get ready—if you look straight up the mountain, slightly behind the stream, you can see the pass. It looks forever away. It sucked. I had to stop often (every 20-30 steps) to catch my breath. The grade is steep most of the way. But the views are the best views of the trip, as you see Columbine Lake and Spring Lake and the other lake across the valley. Take your time getting to the top and then enjoy the pass. The views are also quite good, as you look down on Little 5 lakes below. As you descend, turn around and look at the pass and you’ll understand why it’s called Blackrock—all of the rock to the right off the pass is sand colored. Get down, enjoy the view of the first couple of Little 5 lakes from above, but then put on your turbo boosters and get past them as fast as possible—horrible mosquitos. There is a creek draining from one of the lakes at the trail junction that takes you to the ranger station. Bugs were slightly less horrible there if you need water. Continue onto Big 5. You’ll hit a junction for Lower or Upper Big 5. Just know that if you choose Lower Big 5, you likely won’t come back to see Upper Big 5–there are quite a few switchbacks on the one mile trail to lower Big 5 and elevation to get back up to Upper Big 5 would suck. Lower Big 5 has some nice camping spots near the bear box and other spots across the lake on a small shoulder above where we were told there was a nice pond. AND YOU CAN HAVE FIRES HERE! Remember—no wood larger than you’re forearm.

Day 3: We had a leisurely morning of breakfast, a couple of swims, cards, and snacks. We slowly packed up, departed at 1230, and began the moderate climb to start, then mostly easy going hike to the end of Upper Lost Canyon. The creek and valley are absolutely stunning with Sawtooth and a couple other peaks in the background. We camped at a small, cleared area just a few switchbacks up the trail at the start of the climb to Columbine. We were directly next to one stream with another up the side of the mountain. Take your time along here—you’re in no rush and the valley is picturesque.

Day 4: after sleep, the hike up to Columbine from the base of the switchbacks wasn’t too bad—took maybe 45 minutes. The views are incredible; you can see the switchbacks up Blackrock Pass Trail. Contrary to what the rangers say, there are plenty of camping spots up there. When you reach the lake, follow the trail to the right, over the stream and you’ll find over a dozen great spots. The hike up to the pass is steep and challenging in sections, but the views are top notch and scree skiing down the mountain is so, so fun. Gaters and poles are a must for the descent. There isn’t really a trail for a while, so just choose a good skiing spot and keep your eyes open for the use trail toward the bottom on the way to monarch lake.

This made for a great family trip. We spent most of a day in the park driving through the trees, stopping at lookout points, having a snowball fight (we found a patch of snow), and hiking. We did this hike with a 7 and 9 year old and had no problems. It was fun for the whole family.

hiking
12 days ago

I loved this trail!! There were so many bugs and mosquitoes so taking bug spray is a must!!! The end of the trail is amazing, their is so many ladybugs, it was pretty cool seeing that.... overall pretty good trail. The only thing i wanna say is, when driving up to the the trailhead like the last 2 miles in order to get their you gotta drive through this unpaved road and its pretty rocky!!! I don’t advice to take a low vehicle

hiking
13 days ago

not long but amazing views on the way to the top!

Beautiful and worth the effort!

14 days ago

Nice bit of engineering to create a path to the top. But views are meh!

3rd biggest tree by volume and largest Sequoia trunk by diameter. Good enough for me!

Beautiful hike, trail well marked, love the ferns with the sunlight shining through.

A little heavy breathing for someone who doesn’t get to hike as often as I’d like. So worth the effort to the top! Despite the height, felt safe with the railing and design of steps with grooves in places for better traction. A little narrow in spots, so need to let groups by when ascending or descending. Created good opportunities to catch your breath though.

hiking
16 days ago

Such a beautiful uphill hike! Not long at all. Highly recommend. The view at the top is worth all the heavy breathing!

Incredible hike. Did this from Crescent Meadows to Whitney Portal from 6/15-6/20 (6 days, 5 nights). Very demanding hike but no major issues in terms of stream crossings or snow. Kaweah Gap does not require snow gear, and while we used axes and spikes for a couple sections of the Whitney Trail switchbacks, the snow will likely be gone soon. The sun is very powerful and draining at these altitudes so it is best to start hiking early and bring appropriate clothing.

Highly recommend for anyone looking for a challenging hike that rewards with awesome views throughout.

Beautiful! Great trail for the kids!

What a view! Great hike

hiking
26 days ago

Easy trail for kids. We went in the late afternoon; not many other people on the trail and the trees were stunning in the afternoon light.

walking
29 days ago

tourist spot. cute area tho.

These trees are so incredibly majestic. I appreciate that the park service has made the trails to these monuments accessible to all. There is no reason to not do this trail while in the area.

Easy cave access with some really great views on the inside. No actual caving involved for the family tour, so it is accessible to all once down there. However the hike down and up are an over 300 ft change in elevation in just half a mile.

Good campground, late May, mule deer in our campsite, restrooms clean, easy access to water and trash, very quite about 9:00 pm, good family campground, be careful of snakes - tall grass. Everyone very friendly campground. Hike to fall took about 2:30 up and 1:30 down.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this hike so much! it was a beautiful hike and a beautiful view. My 9 and 11 year old did a great job.

This loop was more difficult than I anticipated and more beautiful than I could have imagined. The pictures don't do it justice. The altitude and the grade of the slopes make it difficult and the distances were longer than what is stated on the trail guides. I tracked my progress with my Garmin GPS watch and racked up considerably more distance than indicated on the maps. Maybe the maps don't account for the switchbacks or when the trail goes up and down in elevation? The snow also added to the difficulty and made it a bit more dangerous. I think I could do the loop more easily now that I know what lays ahead of me and I also think it would be easier when the snow melts off the slopes. I highly recommend this trail. Its one of those adventures that will make you ask "What was I thinking" during the hike and a week after you get home and recover you'll be trying to figure out how you can return and do it again.

This is a great trail. You can only go in the cave if you buy a ticket. Then you get a guided tour wich is really interesting. The path leading to the cave is really pretty as well with a waterfall and some great views.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice views hiking up. Getting to the water is the best part and following the unmaintained trail for a bit leads to some neat spots. Went in early June and parts of the trail were littered with ladybugs just done hibernating.

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