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Bearpaw Meadow to Hamilton Lake Trail

MODERATE 6 reviews
#38 of 91 trails in

Bearpaw Meadow to Hamilton Lake Trail is a 29.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 29.6 miles Elevation Gain: 10,016 feet Route Type: Out & Back



horseback riding

nature trips


bird watching






wild flowers


no dogs

Thursday, June 07, 2018

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

Monday, October 10, 2016

Oct 31 2015 - We (4 men, ages 20-30) started out at Bearpaw around 10am and made it to Lower Hamilton Lake around 12pm. It is a very strenuous hike. The first half or less is essentially down hill, the second half or more is all uphill on blasted granite and hardpack. This whole section of trail involves stepping up or down and seldom provides level ground. I busted my knee on this portion of the trail, so if you are prone to knee pain, brace up, bring trekking poles and have fun. If you are returning to Bear Paw meadow, start early so you can enjoy the lake. The solitude up there is absolutely spectacular and the views of the Kaweahs on the way are breath taking. On our way to the lakes, while the trail is flat and hugging a long granite wall, a small black bear dropped from a precipice about 40-50 ft ahead of us and sprinted away down the trail. I think our loud talk gave him advance notice of our presence which is a good thing. You don't want to surprise a bear if you are close to them. The Kaweah River bridge (30 minute hike from Bear Paw meadow) is a nice stopping point and if memory serves, it is the point where the trail becomes completely uphill until Hamilton Lakes. Just know this, you aren't close to Hamilton Lakes until you encounter tide pool like areas from the outflow of the lower lake. The final ascent is a mellow winding granite staircase and then, voila, you will see a few wilderness campsites and a beautiful high alpine lake. Also, there is a high alpine toilet with no walls around it so your views are great even while using the toilet.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Made an initial effort with a group of boys to make Hamilton Lakes in 2015, got hit with hail storm and rain 9 miles in. We made camp and returned back. A must do bucket list Backpacking trip!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I am going back this August. I hope I am able to go back every year and backpack even deeper into the high sierras. Love it!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simply the most beautiful hike I've ever done. I can't wait to go back.

Friday, July 28, 2017

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