Explore the most popular camping trails in Sierra 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.

off road driving
25 days ago

Most challenging trail I’ve done, with a trailer! Be prepared for this trail and awesome views!

hiking
2 months ago

This place is like the veins of the earth. There are places to explore and swim here where no other humans have ever trodden. Some of the most beautiful scenery and peaceful feelings you will ever experience.

3 months ago

Great campsites near the lake.

backpacking
5 months ago

it was longer than expected, a little over 6 miles from trail head to the lake but well worth it

pretty challenging trail. easy to lose the trail which I did several times. combined a couple other trails to make a 29 mile loop

off road driving
7 months ago

Incredible trail. Very long. Challenging. Scenic beautiful camping spots.

backpacking
8 months ago

The trail to Cliff Lake is well marked with either stacked rocks or intentionally scarred tress which are marked about five or six feet above ground level. None of the tracks that I have seen online indicate a portion of the trail traversing through switchbacks, but you will go through a short section of them as you get closer to the lake. Just prior to the switchbacks you will begin to wonder if you should continue to follow the stream, or follow the defined trail. Follow the trail so you don't have to bushwhack. The last mile and a half of the trail will definitely test your resolve!

Fishing in the lake was productive with the proper tackle. Mosquitoes were an issue, so I treated my clothes with Permethrin prior to the trip. Between that, bug spray, and a bug net, we were fine. Absolutely beautiful lake and campsites. I do wish the mosquitoes weren't so bad on the western end in the grassy meadow.

backpacking
8 months ago

Great place for overnight backpacking trip!

backpacking
8 months ago

The trail itself is beautiful. Lots of diversity in vegetation. Passing upper and lower Twin Lakes is a definite bonus before you get to George. The trail begins with a mild incline before leveling off for a mile or so. It comes to another incline to get up to the top of Potters Pass then going down the other side before leveling off again to get to lower and upper Twin Lakes. Not long after upper Twin do you hit a moderate incline that will continue for near the remainder until you get to George. There were a few different trail options, and we had to take out our map on two occasions. Once you've passed the upper twin lake about .25 mile or less there is a fork in the trail. The one that starts the incline on the right is the one to take, otherwise you'll end up at the backside of Upper Twin instead of George Lake. Lots of great places to set up camp for the night. The wind chill factor was pretty high up there and even at the middle of September we experienced 31 degree temperature overnight. Definitely take layers and plan accordingly! Once the sun rose in the morning it was perfect weather. No mosquito was a hue plus.

Great trail! Just completed the trail with Outward Bound California and Wounded Heroes Fund out of Bakersfield. Group of 7 Vets too this trail on and she gave us a run for our money. We ventured up to the top of the tallest Sister and trekked the ridge to the middle Sister. Definitely recommend it to anyone looking a a great hike with BEAUTIFUL scenery!!

off road driving
8 months ago

Wife and I drove our almost new, stock Polaris RZR into Strawberry Lake after failing to negotiate the large rock fields on the way to Coyote Lake. On the way in I could not resist spinning a donut in Sand Flat. The trail turns from banked sand to rocks shortly after Sand Flat. The rocky sections were easily negotiated without a spotter. Upon arrival Strawberry Lake was pristine and the camping areas were clean also. The trail is rated "Easy" but would have felt more comfortable driving my Jeep.. I will admit that I don't have much rock crawling experience in a RZR and I kissed a trailing arm lightly going out but otherwise no problems. Total time was about 3 hours in and out which includes an hour break for lunch and photos.

Can some advise on overnight permits and how to obtain?

9 months ago

The trail was beautiful, it was marked fine in my opinion. There were mosquitoes but if you sprayed stuff on you, it was fine. There was a significant number of people camping out by the lake. We backpacked in and spent the night. The next morning we did a day hike up further past Cliff Lake to one of he Dinkey Lakes. I wish we would have camped there instead, it was much quieter. We then went back up and hiked up to Dogtooth Peak, gorgeous views from there. I recommend this place.

off road driving
9 months ago

The Dusy is one tough trail.. So do not go alone and be prepared for breakage.

After 2 days of intense wheeling we completed the trail but wished we had more time and could have spent 4 days or so doing it.. 2 days was pretty brutal.

have fun!

off road driving
9 months ago

The trail is fairly easy. Just pretty rocky. There are some good size boulders that require you to need some ground clearance. I did the trail in my 01 Silverado z71. I have a 6" suspension 3" body lift with 37s and went solo with no spotter, but I also do have rock crawling experience.

The trail gets pretty tight. I had to make a couple 3 point turns to get around obstacles, and a few tree I had to fold in my mirrors to squeeze between. The lake itself is amazing. Nice clean, and warm water. Definitely going back

backpacking
9 months ago

On the third decade of July, 2017 myself with three other folks had a backpacking tour to the Cliff Lake from the trail head at Courtright Reservoir. It is very beautiful trail along crystal clear creak to the lake through the wonderful sierra forest. Mosquitoes were pretty active from sunset to dawn. Under the sunlight on hike we did not have any significant problems with mosquitoes. We found that DETA based 30% repellent works for a hour or so then needs to be re-applied. Mosquito Head Net solves the problem but limits some freedom...
Our other concern was about snow coverage after 2017 snowy winter (two weeks ago we stuck in snow on Tuolumne pass). As it is seen on photos it was a few glaciers on shadowy lake shores and occasional snow packs around trail. It was hot enough that we swim in Cliff Lake and Courtright Reservoir.
Trail is marked and seen quite well up to the Cliff Lake. Just before Cliff Lake it forks for two, as shown on all maps. The one which goes to the Rock Lake is good, although sometimes it is hard to find it on stony ground. Another one, which presumably goes along the lake, disappears soon after the fork and all directions look like equally good trail.
Next day we had a nice hike without heavy backpacks along the Dinkey Lakes trail and visited Rock, 1st and 2-nd Dinkey, South, and Swede Lakes. Nature is astonishing there. Unfortunately all summits there are covered by trees obscuring the view. A short climbing from summit between Cliff and Rock lakes to the top of the cliff is easy enough and bring me in an open space with magnificent views on all surrounding lakes and High Sierra mountains.
In summary, all of our team were very excited about this trip.

Great trip, beautiful lake. Still snow in spots on the trail and surrounding peaks

on Cliff Lake

10 months ago

Trail was poorly marked and difficult to follow. My buddy and I went bushwacking several times. The terrain is also quite rough as there is a lot of sharp river rock and boulders to walk over and through. Finally, the mosquitos were some of the worst I've ever seen, absolutely relentless. There are a lot of nicer trails to better lakes. I'd skip this one.

some of the best swimming holes I've ever seen.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Nice run!

backpacking
Sunday, May 07, 2017

The lake had awesome campsites once we got there. The meat bees where everywhere in camp but if you can look past that Great Lake to hike to and not a lot of traffic when we went. Had the lake to ourselves.

off road driving
Sunday, December 25, 2016

Went from South to North in my jeep JK
First 16 miles not too tough.
Very narrow, lots of areas where it was tire to tire between trees. After that it is constant rock crawling
Very tough on vehicles. Broke my sector shaft on steering box, lost part of my exhaust, stripped the lugs on my wheel spacer. Skids took a beating. I have done the Rubicon and Fordyce trail many times. This trail is a lot tougher. But a lot of fun
Bucket list material

backpacking
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I really enjoyed this trail back in May of 2016 for Memorial Day weekend. Snow pack still on the ground in some places, but trail and markers were easy to navigate. This was my first family back backing adventure. I see this hike being great for hikers of all skill sets. Want to do again and go deeper into the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Great trail + camping, trail is only open June-Oct though.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Great trail. Will be doing it again soon. Weather was not good on the first day so the trip ended at west lake, but I will do the full trail next time.

hiking
Thursday, October 20, 2016

After exiting Oakhurst, turn right on Road 222, Bass Lake Rd. Then, turn left onto Beasore Rd. About a mile before you get to Upper Chiquito Campground, you'll see a sign for Chiquito Pass Rd, (5S04)...Turn onto 5S04; and after about a mile, you'll be at the trail head.
From this point, you'll see a sign that indicates the distance to Chiquito Lakes. There were two spots where the trail kind of disappears...due to granite outcropping, but easily located. I had no problem with mosquitos, or any other flying insects. The lake was very low, but it provided a nice view.

Hiked to Woodchuck Lake the first night after deciding counterclockwise was best for my time crunch with the sun. The portion after Woodchuck Lake was overgrown with vegetation and followed along the side of the trench. Upwards towards Crown Pass was a bit disorientating and keeping a good eye out for stone totems was a must. A view of the Sierras left me in awe as I sat for a light snack. The traverse down was a few simple switchbacks leading to a meadow and the edge of Crown Lake. After a small nap and some food at Crown Lake I decided to hike the rest of the loop in a timely fashion. The trail gets a bit distorted from pine cones and brush until back to the original trailhead.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

hiking
42 minutes ago

There are several trails around Upper Twin Lake that can make finding the George Lake Trail confusing. As you approach Upper Twin Lake from the Lower Twin Lake Trail, make sure to stay on the trail that skirts Upper Twin...keep following the trail as it heads over the Northeast section of the lake, and then back down towards the north facing shore. As you make your way around the northerly section, the trail becomes prominent again; and you'll have an excellent view of the two granite islands in the middle of Upper Twin Lake. The trail then meanders in a Northwest direction, away from the lake; and a steady climb towards George Lake. From this point, its nearly impossible to lose the trail.
I left Upper Twin Lake at 1525 hrs and arrived at George Lake 1600 hrs...the hike was mostly on an uphill course, but not too difficult to accomplish. If you travelled all the way to Upper Twin Lake don't let the short distance to George Lake stop you. There is a nice view of Upper Twin Lake about half way a long the trail; and a great view of the Kaiser ridgeline from George Lake.

hiking
Sunday, October 09, 2016

There are several trails around Upper Twin Lake that can make finding the George Lake Trail confusing. As you approach Upper Twin Lake from the Lower Twin Lake Trail, make sure to stay on the trail that skirts Upper Twin...keep following the trail as it heads over the Northeast section of the lake, and then back down towards the north facing shore. As you make your way around the northerly section, the trail becomes prominent again; and you'll have an excellent view of the two granite islands in the middle of Upper Twin Lake. The trail then meanders in a Northwest direction, away from the lake; and a steady climb towards George Lake. From this point, its nearly impossible to lose the trail.
I left Upper Twin Lake at 1525 hrs and arrived at George Lake 1600 hrs...the hike was mostly on an uphill course, but not too difficult to accomplish. If you travelled all the way to Upper Twin Lake don't let the short distance to George Lake stop you. There is a nice view of Upper Twin Lake about half way a long the trail; and a great view of the Kaiser ridgeline from George Lake.

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