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Heather Lake, Emerald Lake, and Pear Lake Trail via Watchtower and Pear Lake Trails

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Sequoia National Park

Heather Lake, Emerald Lake, and Pear Lake Trail via Watchtower and Pear Lake Trails is a 11.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October.

Length11.8 miElevation gain2913 ftRoute typeOut & Back
BackpackingCampingFishingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestLakeViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeBugsRockySnowFeeNo dogs
Description
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Contact
Getting There

Sequoia National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. A short section of the trail that lies past the Watchtower/Hump trail intersection is closed for the winter months annually due to icy conditions and steep cliffs. When it is closed you will need to use the Hump Trail to access Heather, Aster, Emerald, and Pear Lakes. (https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/california/heather-lake-and-pear-lake-via-hump-trail-winter-route) All the lakes on the trail are beautiful and have fish. Plenty of great camp spots to choose from. Amazing views. Be aware of wildlife and pack out all of your trash.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Big Stump Entrance: Follow Highway 180 northward to Generals Highway. Turn right on to Generals Highway and follow it approximately 27 miles to the turn off for Wolverton. Turn left and drive two miles to the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (627)
Photos (1127)
Recordings (429)
Completed (1227)
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Prasad Shivanna
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HikingClosedIcySnow

The trail was beautiful, icy patches in few places after the hump trail until the pear lake and slippery. DO NOT take the watchtower trail, the trail is manageable until you reach the watchtower and lot icy past that.

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Josie D'Amico
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HikingIcySnow

The hump trail is a never ending slow incline. Not very scenic. Heather lake is beautiful but chilly. We took the watchtower trail down which made the hike up worth it. We didn’t have cramp ons but we were able to navigate down the icy trail slowly with hiking boots and poles. Cramp ons definitely would have helped but it’s not impossible without.

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Taylor McConnaughey
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HikingIcySnow

There is substantial ice between the hump/watchtower turn off and heather lake. Be careful and be prepared to walk on ice. We took the hump trail both ways. Signs did indicate that the watchtower is closed due to ice! I wouldn’t risk it

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Ani Mishra
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

Absolutely loved it. Length is around 12.6 mi and it took me around 8 hrs (4.5 hrs up + 0.5 hrs break + 3 hrs down) to complete. Lots of icy parts so I recommend bringing traction cleats for shoes. Initial 3mi are through the forest and are somewhat monotonous, however what follows is absolutely gorgeous and makes it worthwhile. I took the hump trail up and watchtower trail down. Don't attempt the watchtower trail unless you have traction gear and have hiked on ice before. Portion between the watchtower and Heather lake is a narrow ice packed trail exposed to the trench. Only saw 2 humans for the entirety of the trail. Also saw a deer and an elk. There's a toilet between Heather lake and Emerald lake.

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Andre Pina
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Hiking

Great trail! Moderate challenge. Very tricky with the hard packed snow. Very slippery in some areas, BE CAREFUL! And DO NOT attempt the watchtower trail... it is covered with snow and very very hard to navigate... stick to the hump trail. Overall this trail is one of my favorite in sequoia.

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Matija Trenkovic
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Hiking
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Nathalie Cruz
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Hiking
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Susanne Mitschke
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I love this trail! It’s my favorite hike on Sequoia NP and even though it’s strenuous, it’s doable as a day hike. Watchtower Trail is simply beautiful and breathtaking. 100% recommend.

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Phuong Tran
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Hiking
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Daisy Chung
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Hiking

Nice trail with good view on top

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Ryan D
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Hiking

Stayed a night at pear lake. No other campers, we went on a weekday. Pretty plain hike until the watchtower, then its absolutely beautiful the rest of the way. Its a tough hike, so be tough. It's also very cold once the sun goes down in the fall, fires aren't allowed so bring appropriate gear. Temps got into the low 30s for us.

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David Takacs
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Hiking

Needs more birds and pikas. A bear would be nice

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Michelle Choy
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BackpackingGreat!Rocky

We spent two nights at emerald lake, and did a day trip to Pear lake. There were bear lockers at emerald and at the beginning at the trail head. There are pit toilets at both lakes. We went oct 23-25 and the campsites at both lakes were busy. Did not encounter any mosquitoes. Gorgeous views!

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Joseph Kwon
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Hiking
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Liz Grabowski
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Hiking

Stunning

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Niko Kingi
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Hiking
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Adam Mourad
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HikingGreat!

it was very beautiful you get to see these massive cliffs that drop off trees or pretty nice but toward the end they become pretty staggered you get a nice tree covering and it's a mix of different types of trails dirt, Rocky and gravel. it's nice that you can stop and have lunch at the first lake and then go on all the way to the last there's bathrooms at the last two lakes

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Lourdes Fernandez
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Hiking
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Saad Hameed
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Hiking
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RLN Sulquiano
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Hiking
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Mary Mack
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Hiking

Great views!

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Gary Thompson
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Hiking
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Marie Charpagne
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HikingGreat!

Incredibly beautiful hike with magical light towards the end of the day in the fall. And nice foliage as well! Most people were having lunch around Heather lake (the 1st one) and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. Saw tons of chipmunks and deers.

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