Explore the most popular fishing 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.

hiking
13 hours ago

Balsam Forebay is pretty, but I'd like to encourage people to head up to the east of Mt. Ely trail. To the left of the bathrooms, there's a sign that tells you that the trailhead is 1.6 miles. Just follow the signs that say Dogwood trail & it'll take you to the Ely trailhead. It's about another one mile to where the markers on top of the mountain. You get an awesome view of Shaver Lake & Big Creek up there. Well worth it! Then you cool off in the forebay coming down!

hiking
3 days ago

Finding the trailhead was a little difficult. Drive past Vermillion Valley Resort and then signs will pop up for the trailhead. Well marked trail with a beautiful end point. In mid October it was really windy and cold on a sunny day with a predicted temp of 60 degrees. I would say it was closer to 40-50 with the wind chill so we weren't able to swim. It took us about 3.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down. About 3 miles into the hike, there is flatter ground to the right of the trail where there is a beautiful view of Edison and the surrounding mountains and valley. The view was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than the Devils Bathtub.

backpacking
5 days ago

Beautiful lake. Did an overnight trip with my daughter. Temperature at the lake felt about 10 degrees cooler than on the trail. Probably due to the wind gusts. Ended up camping about a 1/2 mile from the lake. Fishing was great as well.

off road driving
9 days ago

Just finished it. The only place I used any spotter was a downhill left turn at the very end of the boulder field. I’m in a 4 door JK on 37’s. With thecspotter it was cake. I could have done it with no spotter. The rest of the group was Cherokee’s on 33’S and 35’s and a 4 door JKnon 35’s. It’s a rough relentless trail but very few overly difficult spots. Great camping and the scenery was awesome.

off road driving
12 days ago

Really enjoyed this trail. Large boulders and required a spotter in a few places. Had to engage the front locker a couple times to make it a bit easier in a 80 series Land Cruiser with a 2 inch lift and 35" tires. The reward at the end is a nice small campground right next to Strawberry Lake. There is a pit toilet and fire ring. You will need ground clearance as my sliders and undercarriage armor scraped on a couple spots. Not a dangerous trail, but a stock vehicle will likely end up with a scar or two attempting.

fishing
17 days ago

Great fishing at cliff lake and and an equally rewarding hike to nearby Rock lake

off road driving
20 days ago

Great wheeling up to the lake. I wouldn’t take a stock rig past gate keeper

This was a nice easy trail to take our 3-yr on. Short hike, with stunning views. We went at the end on September which had lots of foliage turning beautiful fall colors.

Do not attempt the drive to trail head unless you at least have a high clearance vehicle. And if it rains, you had better have four wheel drive. I drove in my Ford Edge and barely made it. Spun my wheels and scraped car under carriage a few times. But the destination was well worth the worrisome journey. Absolutely beautiful. There really are no mosquitoes at this time of year and no bear activity which really adds to the enjoyment. Very high altitudes though. Take it slow especially if you are a sea level dweller like me!

I will be back, but in a truck!!

BTW I have a tried and true formula for mosquito repellent. Mix vapor rub (menthol) with coconut oil. Three weeks in Fiji with hummingbird size mosquitoes and I didn’t get bitten once!

hiking
29 days ago

Absolutely incredible “hike”. One of my favorites I’ve ever been on. The walk down to the actual lake it a nice, easy walk. Not so much a hike. The real beauty happens when you walk around the lake and along the top of the dam (I’m an engineer so I nerd out over stuff like that). We were the ONLY people out there so that was also great. I would absolutely suggest this hike. The views are stunning the entire time.

backpacking
1 month ago

Gorgeous hike, beautiful lakes. Mosquitos are out of control. It was hard to enjoy anything while being swarmed constantly. First night at stayed at first dinkey lake, with an amazing view of the lake and meadows. We hiked up to higher elevation and stayed at rainbow lake the second night, which was significantly better, mosquito - wise. We were all covered in DEET, and used citronella incense, as well as natural repellant, to no avail. I'd love to come back some day when the mosquito population isn't as crazy. Great trail for beginners and kids, otherwise.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice day hike. At this temperature (low in the 40’s at Trapper Springs campground) at end of Aug, NO MORE MOSQUITOES :)...and no water in any of the stream beds.
Beautiful destination. Only 2 groups staying at the lake the Friday before Labor Day weekend.
I’m going back with my 13 yr-old and dog for an overnighter before it snows.

The hike was more rocky than I expected. Other than that I enjoyed it the corny is pretty and we saw an Osprey nest. There was an Osprey flying high too. All in all a great time.

hiking
1 month ago

Parking: Turn into the camp and keep going down until you are where the trail begins on the app. At that point there is a small (fits ~3-4 cars) dirt parking area on your left and a gate on your right. Went around 10am and there was like 1 car there but by noon the area was full with 4 cars and 2 cars on the other side of the road. Easy to miss if you aren't looking at the app because you can go too far and hit the boy scout camp. Went during labor day weekend.

Walk; progressively downhill as you go in Not steep, barely noticeable. There are cut trees and a trailer at the beginning of the trail. Trees aren't super tall so it wasn't super shady. At the last part of the trail there are many ways on to the shore line. I went in through the first trail my dog can find. Found a nice shaded spot to swim with my dogs. Very clean. Lots of boats, jet skis

Shoreline: areas of pepples and areas of smooth sand+ gold flakes. So barefoot/water shoes base on where you are. The shoreline is a little murky when your dog runs through it but gets deep after a few feet.

So I personally like this place because it is isolated. By the time we left, there was 5 families all gapped out. If you want to rent out boats, that's at the North part of the lake. You can just drive and park right along the shore. But it was hella crowded.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great trail if you are looking for something short and not to hard . The view from the lake is well worth the trip .

1 month ago

Easy to navigate and beautiful lakes! Perfect time of year to hike it as well.

hiking
1 month ago

After having lunch at Upper Twin, we made the trek up to George to setup camp. The trail itself is well marked and easy to navigate but it is marked "Hard" for a reason. I don't think there is any part of that trail that is downhill, the best you're going to get is a slight incline. Most of the trail has a steeper grade than anything found on the Twin Lakes, it was certainly a fun challenge. After finding an ideallic spot on the northwestern part of the lake we decided to figure out a way to get up to Kaiser Peak. There is no distinct or marked trail but there are several unofficial trail markers that lead you in the right direction. The last part that takes you to the top of the ridge is a pretty intense climb on loose rocks. While I never felt in danger of falling, the steepness really took it's toll on our leg strength and fitness. The thinner air didn't help either. Coming down was also a challenge as we decided to scramble through bushes and stream beds all the way back to George. It was certainly fun but it's not something I look forward to doing again. When we returned to camp we ate a well deserved meal and watched the full moon rise over the glassy lake. It was a sight I won't soon forget. 10/10 would recommend this hike to anyone who is thinking of doing it.

This trail is paved concrete; beautiful stroll and view but by no means is it a hike.

backpacking
2 months ago

Devil’s Bathtub is a beautiful lake surrounded by some amazing peaks. The 4.4 mike hike up is mostly easy thought there is over a 1,000 feet elevation gain and it’s lost difficult at the end. The trails are well marked and the hike is beautiful. It took me about 2.5 hours with a full pack to get up there. There are plenty of fish in the lake if you’re into it. I did get hailed and rained on in the afternoon (mid August trip) but that happens in the sierras and it cleared up after. There are several good camping spots around the lake.

walking
2 months ago

Me and my three kids went up for the day. They enjoyed the hike and was excited to find the lake shore at the end of the trail. We went swimming and cooled down in the water and had the beach to ourselves. Beautiful scenery. Only thing that took away from it was all the construction and cut down trees at the beginning of the path.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful trail.

There was a group of us girls backpacking it. It took us roughly 6 hours up and 2.5 down. You will see wild strawberries, which you can eat and of course lots of poison oak so be careful and dont stray off the trail.

the last portion is a big of a challenge, as it is steep.

we drank from the stream, fished at night and talked to the rangers.

it was well worth the hike.

I enjoyed the hike but the trail was not always well marked.

off road driving
2 months ago

great trail very technical

hiking
2 months ago

Great Hike!!

This one is great for family. There’s a bit of dust and construction on the trail but after the first quarter mile or so it feels more like a hiking trail and less like a road. The trailhead can be a bit tricky to spot. The gate on the right is where it starts. Worse case is you’ll do what we did and drive to the end to the Boy Scouts camp before realizing we went too far. There are a couple of beach accesses once you get to the lake shore that are great for swimming. After those the trail appears to continue. Stopping at those first two spots and heading back came out to exactly 2 miles.

Great group hike. Fair amount of boulder hopping, thankful for those dreaded squats!

walking
2 months ago

Nice view. Easy trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike! Access was very easy. Parked off the side of dirt rode and started trucking. Went off trail through a meadow and spotted deer and cattle. Once we got down to the water we created a shelter made of branches and enjoyed the refreshing water. Highly recommend this trail for families!

hiking
2 months ago

Such a gorgeous hike. Spent a few days out near Shaver Lake recuperating from a conference. The three lakes made for an incredible experience and great R&R. From the east coast and live at an elevation of 410 feet, so the elevation made this slightly challenging but once adjusting speed no issues were had. I'd rate as moderate - make sure to bring sunscreen and to wear hiking socks (to keep the sand out).

Amazing views. We did the loop passing by 4 lakes. 15km. Easy hike. Cristal bleue sky, no mugs thanks to the wind. The way to get there was actually also an adventure as we are not used to drive a 4x4 (a must for the last part of the dirt road). We took the Tamarack road following the advice bellow.

Could not find a specific trailhead but the map really helped us! It’s basically a dirt road- WELL worth the short hike! The lake is absolutely beautiful. There’s not really parking but we just parked on the side of the road. It was only my husband, dog & I and we didn’t see anyone else while on the hike! Once we got to the lake we jumped in since it was pretty hot out. The lake was so refreshing.

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