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Heather Lake via Watchtower Trail

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Sequoia National Park

Heather Lake via Watchtower Trail is a 8.1 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. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length8.1 miElevation gain2112 ftRoute typeOut & Back
BackpackingHikingHorseback ridingNature tripsSnowshoeingWalkingBird watchingRunningForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeBugsSnowFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

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-via-hump-trail-winter-route)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (232)
Photos (804)
Recordings (175)
Completed (952)
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Chase Kaye
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Hiking

So epic! Love the small snow fall! It’s no intense, just long.

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Jonathan Lintag
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Hiking
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Claudia Arteaga
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Hiking

So beautiful!

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Shellie Billings
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was my perfect type of hike - beautiful weather, so much perfect nature, peace and quiet. The elevation is no joke - it’s NOT a situation in which you “don’t notice the elevation” The air feels thinner so it’s difficult to catch your breath at the beginning, but with short pauses to regulate your heart rate and breathing, you can acclimate after a few minutes. The lake was serene and peaceful. 10/10 would hike again!

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Brian Langley
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Hiking

Phenomenal. Perfect weather

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Tess Impink-Hernandez
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Hiking

This trail was awesome

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shane mattner
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Hiking

Incredible trail. More moderate than difficult.

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Taylor Brunson
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HikingGreat!
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Alex Knox
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Hiking

This was a very rewarding trail. It’s a fairly gradual incline all the way up to the Watchtower and then on through to the lake, so you don’t notice at first how much altitude you’re gaining. The views at the Watchtower and the lakes are gorgeous. Make sure to bring plenty of water; the trail is fairly exposed, especially past the Watchtower, and quite dusty.

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Evita Liscum
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Hiking
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il noh
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Hiking
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Eric M
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Hiking

Fantastic day hike. Got started early and beat the crowds. Watchtower view was next level. Tons of people headed in as we were headed out.

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Ankur Tyagi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
Hiking

A very beautiful journey and destination. Cant describe how nice lake heather is. I ran into a snake near the lake. He was unimpressed and held his ground. Be watchful where you step.

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Nicole Lewis
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HikingGreat!

One of the top 3 hikes of my life so far. Plan time to take a swim in the lake. Bring lots of snacks.

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Tim Kohut
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 16, 2020
Hiking

Awesome trip. Heather Lake was a great destination nation. Bring a swimsuit for sure.

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David Peden III
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Hiking

Great hike. In the warmer months, start early. The trail gets warm....and bring a swimsuit!

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Danel Kearns
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Hiking

Loved this trail.. wear good hiking boots lots of rocks and exposed root. Big step up and down on way to watchtower then narrow path with lots of rocks rest of the way. Well with the effort. Bring lots of water and some snacks. Recommend early start. We started at 645. Plan to start by 6 next time

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Vera Yudovina
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HikingGreat!

A very good trail with great views. The slope is very gradual, and when the trails gets out of the forest to the cliffs, the views are fantastic. The lake is beautiful (as all mountain lakes are). We hiked further to the Emerald lake.

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PaoLa Andia
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HikingBugsRocky

This hike should be rated as hard. It was steep and you just keep gaining altitude. My record tracked 12 miles round trip. The altitude definitely can get you and if you are afraid of heights consider the hump trail. Heather lake is not as pretty as described, for me this trail wasn’t rewarding with a nice water view. I was kinda disappointed.

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Thomas Gallino
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HikingGreat!

The altitude makes it tough. My friend was feeling it so we took a few breaks which added in some time. Heather Lake is small but pretty. Next time I’ll make it to the other lakes.

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Benita Morris
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Hiking

Our daughter and my husband and I did this hike August 6. We absolutely loved it! Mostly uphill hike from the start but very doable at slow and steady pace. Lots of shade and lovely little meadows to inspire along the way. Great big old redwoods and huge sequoias along the way added a nice peaceful feeling. One meadow was just a carpet of little white flowers with an amazing fragrance. Crossed a few little creeks along our way. We hiked to the Watchtower for lunch and I loved the gorgeous views from there. You can look straight down a breathtaking drop to the valley below. ( Folks with vertigo or a fear of heights may want to avoid looking over the edge). The hike up to Heather Lake offers great views as far as you can see. It’s a bit steep and there is quite a drop-off over the edge. Folks were enjoying fishing and swimming and just hanging out by the lake. Really worth the effort. Next time we hope to get started earlier so we can make it to the other lakes. The hike back was all downhill and again nice and cool and peaceful. Will do this one again for sure!

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John Casino
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Hiking

Great hike. Bring food and swim wear. Beautiful scenery the entire way.

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Holly Marie
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HikingBugsGreat!

beautiful trail! so many sections to stop and take many photos. Im not an experienced hiker and I am not used to high elevation but this hike wasn't too bad. it was a gradual hike up the mountain with plenty of shade to stop and rest. make sure you make it to the valley! and the ending to Heather lake was well worth it! we started at 7:30am and got back down around 3pm. took longer to get up than to come down the mountain.

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Rosa Aguilar
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HikingBugs
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Craig Callender
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Hiking

Gorgeous hike! Beautiful forest all the way up, and then you get the Watchtower, which is amazing, and very soon thereafter the lake. I swam in the lake, which was a great temp, clear, and filled with rainbow trout and surrounded by marmot. No downsides.

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Khoua Moua
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This trail leading to Heather Lake is easier than its neighboring trail, Hump Trail. There is enough shade and sun. The trail is clearly marked and easy to follow. The lake is not as clear as Pear Lake (the lake after) but it's beautiful. people were swimming in there. You'll enjoy it.

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Amy Wang
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Hiking

Great view. Trail was mostly shaded and the incline is a bit steep going up to the lake. The lake is a bit smaller than I expected but it was serene and well worth the time.

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Юрий Чистяков
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HikingRocky
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