Garfield Grove Trail is a 13.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from July until November.

Distance: 13.6 miles Elevation Gain: 5,019 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

no dogs

hiking
14 days ago

Low traffic trail. I have hiked this trail 3 times this spring and have only seen 2 others. Beginning of trail has a lot of poison oak growing next to and dangling over the trail. Better to do this trail when it is cooler outside (long pants weather). In May, I started 20 minutes before sunrise and that was wise. The first 45 minutes of the trail is in the morning sun; and then there is alternating sun and shade from there on. The trail does not get much maintenance, but it looks like trail users are bringing their own saws to cut up trees across the path. Expect to be diverting from the path once in awhile. Other than the poison oak and downed trees, this is a great trail. There are pockets of Giant Sequoia's next to some of the creeks on the way up. Garfield Grove is a 4 - 4 1/2 hour hike up the path.

3 months ago

Did this hike once in April and once in November. In spring everything was beautiful and green. there were a ton of bugs until about half way up. In November there were no bugs but it wasn't as pretty because all the plants were dormant. There weren't any other people at all when we went in November on the whole hike. The hike is very strenuous, about 1000 ft elevation gain every mile, but isn't difficult (no scrambling). Make sure you hike past snowslide camp or else you'll only see a few trees, once you get fully into the grove there are sequoia everywhere and they're amazing. There is one campsite in the grove by a big rock. About a quarter mile further on the trail from the camp is a couple streams to get water at There was about an inch of snow in november which made things even more beautiful. The seclusion and quiet is unlike any other hike I've been on. The trees are so amazing this trail is easily one of my favorites I've ever hiked

backpacking
4 months ago

Hiked the trail on Dec 31st planning to toast the arrival of 2020 camping up in Garfield Grove. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men do often go astray. First of all, this trail is rightly categorized as Difficult. For two 24 year old guys in decent shape, we struggled quite a bit marching constantly uphill loaded with heavy packs. Nice stops at the streams, but between was largely monotonous, often through thicket with no spot to rest your legs. The trail began with no sight of snow, but as we climbed higher we began to see thin patches here and there, which quickly turned to a thick blanket by Snowslide Camp. The snow had buried the campsite, and despite our best efforts we could not find anywhere reasonable to put down a tent. After settling into a very unreasonable spot, we found it impossible to start a fire, because everything was profoundly cold and wet. As darkness fell upon us, we realized this was no place to spend New Years Eve. So we repacked our entire camp and hiked all the way back down, in pitch black darkness. Aside from a brief Blair Witch Project moment getting lost in the thicket toward the bottom, we made it down smoothly by 9 pm, over 10 hours from when we set out in the morning. We built a proper camp at the site by the car and thoroughly enjoyed New Years Eve. TAKEAWAY: I give this trail 3 stars for three reasons. First and foremost, it is absolutely filled with fallen trees blocking the trail that can be very difficult to get past, especially with a large backpack. The hike felt like an obstacle course at times, very frustrating. Secondly, finding a decently flat and clear patch of ground to make camp is damn near impossible. I heard there are two decent spots in Snowslide, but if those are taken or its snowed over, you're screwed. Lastly, most of the trail simply isn't very scenic. Saw a handful of small sequoias and views of Homor's Nose, but we didn't get far enough to see the best parts of the grove. Maybe it's worth it at the top, but I'm not sure if I'll ever bother to give it another shot. I think this trail is best experienced as a day hike without carrying heavy gear. The drive-in campsite at the trail head is very spacious and comfortable.

backpacking
bugs
over grown
10 months ago

My wife and I just completed this hike as a 2 night backpacking trip starting on 7/4/2019 and it was a challenging but truly rewarding hike. The best thing about this is just how few people there are, despite going on one of the busiest weekends for the park in general we only encountered a few others at the campsites. There were also plenty of walk up reservations left for permits too. But there's a reason it's so sparse, this was an extremely challenging pure uphill climb for many miles on an overgrown trail with tons of bugs and relatively less views and sequoias than the other parts of the park. If that doesn't deter you though, getting to experience beautiful sequoias and streams and rivers almost all to yourself makes it a unique trip thats well worth the struggle. To start off with, the road up to South fork campground is indeed quite rough but we did it in a Mazda 3 and we saw a Prius make it as well so it's not undoable, just go super slow. We didn't stay at South fork campground but it seemed awesome, definitely thinking of coming back there to swim in the river. Hiking the 3.8 miles up to snowslide camp was a bit brutal as the trail is rather monotonous, consistently steep with few rest points, and it's filled with poison oak (need long pants) and a crazy amount of bugs. Snowslide camp is cool but there's only 2 good campsites and they were both taken when we got there by apparent regulars of the trail who were shocked to see this camp so busy with 5 total people there. We started a sort of 3rd camp and that worked out good though. There was flowing water nearby the camp as well. The hike from Snowslide to Garfield Grove was awesome. We got to pass by so many beautiful sequoias as well as creeks and streams and small waterfalls that provided great resting places and broke up the otherwise super steep climb. The Sequoias start getting bigger and then at 6.8 total miles in eventually you get to Garfield Grove which was a stunning experience to see so many giant Sequoias together in a single green grove that seemed so distinct from the other scenery. There's only a single campsite at Garfield though and it was taken when we got there (same people as at Snowslide) so we actually opted to continue the hike straight on to Hockett Lake after seeing the grove. From the grove to the South fork kaweah river was another steep ~4.5 miles again filled with streams and small waterfalls. The Sequoias stop showing up rather abrubtly shortly after the Grove though which was a bit of a bummer. When we got to the river we pretty quickly realized there was no way to cross it as the flow was raging. We went up it as far as we reasonably could but didn't find any crossings that were even remotely safe. However, this super secluded river with all of it's bends and forks and waterfalls and raging rapids was absolutely stunning. There are several great places to camp along it and I would honestly consider this the highlight of the trip and singularly worth the literally 5000' of elevation gain we had to endure to get up to it.

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked through the end of Garfield Grove and camped at the first campsite past snowslide creek. Highly recommend wearing pants on the trail as the overgrowth encroaches on the path about shin to knee high and is thick with poison oak. Also highly recommend insect repellent, as mosquitos swarm throughout the course of the trail and there are ticks in the brush alongside. The Sequoia grove at Garfield is incredible and makes this hike very worthwhile. Along the trail there are some fantastic mountain views.

backpacking
blowdown
bugs
off trail
over grown
snow
Thu Apr 18 2019

Overall, I liked the hike, but the trail is in pretty bad shape: much dead and down and poison oak is starting to creep onto the path at the bottom of the trail. I also got a tick bite. It is uphill the entire way, but there are no switchbacks, so it is not a death march by any means. I really liked the sequoias. There isn't a density of trees, but it was so cool to happen upon them during our hike (mostly because we were bushwhacking a lot on the first day). A big caution: as soon as you try to hike past the Grove campground, there is a giant tree that recently fell blocking the entire path. We ended up losing the trail immediately and only realized on our way back what happened. We decided we could backpack up to Hockett Lakes, but it was April after a snowy winter and we lost the trail so many times as it was completely hidden by snow drifts. We ended up camping near Garfield Creek. The trail is very hard to follow, even without snow drifts, so I would take a GPS and map if I were you. Maybe it is different in July when more people have traveled on it.

backpacking
Thu Nov 08 2018

Hiking this trail this weekend . . . does anyone know if there are water sources flowing?

Mon Oct 22 2018

Honestly this hike kicked my ass, and I’d say I’m in pretty decent shape. Beautiful views and total solitude made it worth it though. Would recommend, but just know you’re getting yourself into some pretty treacherous backpacking.

backpacking
Mon Apr 23 2018

overall good day hike. you can backpack and camp at the 6mile mark. cons: -steep uphill battle against nature -wish I had brought trekking poles pros: -really beautiful places to rest, mossy rocks with waterfalls etc -got to see some Sequoias that no one else sees. what I wish I had known before I started: road to trailhead is really Rocky. You will need a truck or similar. 4x4 not necessary. Trail is uphill the entire way. don't kid yourself, and bring water. there are water features along the route, very clean, if you have purifier I imagine they taste great. Garfield Grove Sequoias are a little lackluster--not nearly as close together as the main park. it was a bit overgrown from recent rain, and this increased bug activity but I used 40% DEET spray and did not get any bites. didn't see a snake or a bear, although from the look of the forest you should prep for both.

backpacking
Wed Nov 01 2017

This trail was super overgrown when my group and I went. We found ourselves basically bush whacking for what seemed like a mile. It was also INCREDIBLY hot and the mosquitos were relentless. Also not many views, as most of this trail is forested. Not to mention getting to the trailhead was a nightmare... the road to the campsite it horrendous and not suitable for any sedan. I will likely not be back... that's what I get for not planning in advance for Labor Day weekend.

hiking
Mon Mar 13 2017

3-12-17 Beautiful trail. Made it about 5 miles down the way. Snow in several parts of the trail. Used it to refill water bottles! Snowslide canyon was gorgeous. The way out is all uphill and is a good workout.

hiking
Mon Apr 11 2016

The drive to South Fork campground was almost as rough as the hike. Haha. We went on this trail expecting only a 2.5 mile hike in, but ended up going the full 5 miles in to Garfield Creek. The elevation was brutal on me. I do not work out regularly and wasn't really expecting such a continuous climb all 5 miles. BUT, it was definitely worth it! The dramatic changes in scenery was most memorable to me. It almost feels like you've been to 5 different forests when all is said and done.

hiking
Sun Mar 13 2016

This is an awesome trail for early spring. Went all the way up to Garfield Creek and back to make it 10 miles and 3400'. The trees out here are very tall, but dont expect it to look like the Giant Forest. This is more like hunting for Sequoias in the wilderness. It takes about 4 miles to start hitting the big trees, but the hike is work it. You can see Moro Rock and the Giant Forest off to the left of the trail. If you are wondering about elevation gain, this is essentially going to the ridge across from the one that CA 198 drives up, and walking it with less switchbacks. The dirt road out to south fork is easy to navigate in a passenger car, just go slow. Take South Fork Road till it stops at the Campground, Trailhead is on the right of the road to the parking area at the Ladybug trailhead

hiking
Sat May 18 2013

Just went today, (5-17-2013) made it a little past Snowslide Canyon and decided to turn back as it started to drizzle a bit. Nice hike, wish we made it a bit further. A few tiny waterfalls and cool looking rock faces. Will be back to conquer.

hiking
Mon Mar 18 2013

Starting from South Fork Campground (elevation 3620 ft) it's 3 miles of steady climbing to the grove. At about 3.5 miles there a few nice camping spots (Snowslide Camp). I stopped about 5 miles in, elevation was just over 7,000 ft when I turned back. There were several small streams running and a few patches of snow around them. You'll get some great views of Mt. Denison, Homer's Nose, and some giant trees on this hike. It's definitely a worthwhile trek.

hiking
20 days ago

recorded Garfield Grove Trail

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

hiking
Sat Jan 19 2019

hiking
Sun Jan 06 2019

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