Indian Pools Trail

EASY 40 reviews
#6 of 71 trails in

Indian Pools Trail is a 4.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Big Creek, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.3 miles
636 feet

dogs on leash

kid friendly




nature trips






wild flowers





A nice walk along a river with nice views and places to enjoy nature. Water is cold but if you are brave or overheated this is a great swimming hole.

1 month ago

Amazing view!

1 month ago

Loved it here! Wasn’t hard at all and kids had a good time too!

2 months ago

This trail is really nice. Right along the creek the whole way. We will be back again to do this one. Ideal family trail for all ages. Saw no Poison Oak around at all. Great views of creek pools and lots of granite. Head into China Peak and drive past the employee housing (mobile homes) keep driving to the back of parking lot. Trail head was not marked but you can see the trail if you look around, literally in the very back of the parking area.

3 months ago

We used the directions from alltrails to get to the trailhead. It actually led us to a parking lot that was not the trailhead. we crossed the highway over to the China Peak ski resort and asked the locals how to find the trailhead. come to find out we could have driven all the way up to the trailhead instead of walking to it. Probably only added about three-quarters of a mile each way to the hike but it was through the ski resort and parking lot and was not easy to find unless we asked, which we did several times when we saw people. once we did find the trailhead the trail was very obvious and easy to follow. we had kids with us aged 7 11 and 13. as well as our two dogs. we took the trail to where it ended on the map and hung out at the pools for about an hour. they are very cold! Then we went back the way we came and walked back to the parking lot on the other side of the highway. my recommendation is to turn into the China Peak resort and go all the way to the back to find the parking lot to the trailhead for Indian pools. all in all we very much enjoyed the hike there were many rocks to climb on and logs to walk across at the pools.

3 months ago

Great trail for a quick easy hike. Stay near the creek when the trail is hard find.

4 months ago

Beautiful Hike.

5 months ago

It is a beautiful walk along the river. But there is no posted trail head. I think there was once a sign but now just a post in the ground.

5 months ago

Hiking for the first time with 2 kids, 3 and 6, everyone made it to the waterfall at the top in 2 hours (and 2 hours back). Really enjoyed the scenery, got lost at times, but thanks to the rocks on the trail we were able to find the right way. As everyone says, follow the rocks and it will be alright. Head of the trail was easy to find even though there is no sign, just make sure you pass the gate, little restaurant, parking lot with mobile homes on your right and all the way to the end of dirt parking lot, the trail head will be there. Trail is extremely clean, no water bottles laying around and no garbage, beautiful. Take your swim wear with you if you don't mind cold water pools, we all swim there. Really like it!

5 months ago

Hiked to some fabulous waterfalls past the pools! It was a 6mile hike round trip. Follow the ducks aka stacks of rocks. The water is rolling strong down the mountain. Be careful of the strong current if you get in the water. It was gorgeous, tons of wildflowers and a great meadow mule ears.

5 months ago

was not able to hike due to the river being so high last weekend but it sure was beautiful and a fun place to wonder around on the rocks. nice and cool.

6 months ago

Water levels are high, so the pools are not visible right now. Difficult to follow the trail as lots of trees have fallen and covered it up. Fun area to wander around in and watch the raging river. Not recommended if you need a trail to hike.

6 months ago

Great, easy trail for kids and dogs. River was raging and beautiful! Some rocky areas that. Pups be hard for elderly or dogs, but manageable. Trail head not marked. Definitely recommend!

6 months ago

A river (rapids) runs through it! No Indian Pools to be found, but gorgeous! Trail head is not marked. It is all the way back at the end of a gravel parking lot at China Peak. I used the GPS on the AllTrails app to find it. You will start about half way along the line marked. There were a few patches of snow in the shade. Trail was dry. You have to scramble over rocks in a couple places, but otherwise an easy hike.

6 months ago

I really enjoyed this trail. Very easy. Walking on flat land most of the time. A couple inclines but not steep to where it's difficult. The only hard part is that it does get confusing because the trail sorta disappears. What helped was the stone placements. Just follow where the stones are stacked up and you'll be fine. If you pay attention, you'll know what I'm talking about. If anything, just follow the river if you get lost.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Easy hike. The rocks by the water are very polished so be cautious & where good shoes with good tread. Not a lot of water when we went in September; likely better in spring or even winter.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Loved this trail! We went on a weekday and there were only 2 other people on the path. Easy enough for my little guy, with plenty of rocks to climb. The water was cool and clean, perfect day hike for all ages.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Trailhead was about difficult to find. You have to drive to the very back of China Peak, but even from there it's a large lot. The hike is beautiful and follows the creek along the way. There are many pools of water to swim in. At the end, there is a nice small fall with a refreshing mist coming off of it. Recommend this trail for everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Drive through china peak resort. Pair of trash cans farthest east end, beyond residential trailers/RVs marks the trail head. Smooth walk w/couple of really rocky spots. +Dog friendly. Could not take jogging stroller all the way in. Beautiful red woods, wild flowers and stream along the way. Nice deep pool, saw some people jumping from rocks. Awesome sandy shore area to play in while rainbow trout swam by.

Monday, February 22, 2016

I love this as an Easter hike, great fishing and powerful scenery ancient Juniper trees and ice cold waterfalls can make you feel alive

Friday, September 04, 2015

Perfect family stroll - bring swimsuits and towels and let the kids play in the crystal cool pools.

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