Indian Pools Trail [CLOSED]

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(249)
Sierra National Forest

Indian Pools Trail [CLOSED] is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Big Creek, 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length4.5 miElevation gain708 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyFishingHikingNature tripsRock climbingBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleSnowClosed
Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Getting There

As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information. Located next to China Peak Mountain Resort, Indian Pools is a great moderate trail next to a river that takes you many great swimming holes. The water is cold, but in the summer heat and after a long hike it sure feels good.

Lots of parking at the trail head. No restrooms.

Can be reached from the China Peak Ski Resort parking lot. When you turn into the parking lot, go to the right and follow the road, under a small bridge and past additional parking and into the employee quarters area. There is a graveled parking lot and at the very end is a small trail sign.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (261)
Photos (323)
Recordings (201)
Completed (478)
View user's profile page
Mikayla Rasmussen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Beautiful trail! Mostly shaded and runs parallel to the creek for the most part. It is a little difficult to follow, but if you happen to take the wrong "path" it will bring you back to the main trail pretty easily. Went on a Friday around 10am and we were the only people there until about 1pm! Highly recommend if you're looking for a more secluded trail with gorgeous views.

View user's profile page
Kyle Veater
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
Hiking

Excellent trail to do. Easy to maneuver, but trial is hard to stay on. Just keep plugging along with the app and you’ll find your way.

View Kyle's Recording
View user's profile page
Carver Buis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking

The trail is not very clearly marked once you get to the big boulder area.

View Carver's Recording
View user's profile page
Stevie Knouf
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 27, 2020
Hiking

Great, easy hike!

View user's profile page
Shelby Cornett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Easy to follow the rock cairns even if you get off the trail. Went on a Tuesday, early in the day and didn’t see a single other person. The water was stagnant at all the different pools so wouldn’t be good for swimming right now but was still gorgeous. Would be ok for all skill levels. There was some mild rock climbing involved but it was easy enough. Recommend!

View Shelby's Recording
View user's profile page
Jamie Lara
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 25, 2020
Rock climbingOff trailRocky

There is not enough words to describe today’s hike. There is no clear path for the actual trail. Be prepared for rock climbing in some areas. We found the three rocks stacked for what was said to be “the trail” but that wasn’t as helpful as some have mentioned. If you follow those you’re on multiple trails headed to the same destination. Zig Zagging all over the place. FINALLY made it to the last pool. Had to use my bear horn a few times. Never seen the bears but heard them LOUD & CLEAR. Passed a few people on the trail that was having similar issues with the trail. Having lunch back at the car in the riverbed was the best part of this hike for us.

View user's profile page
Yenny Aguilar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

great! easy trail to go with family

View user's profile page
J Fenwick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 19, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This was a ton of fun!!! It's in a valley and there is only one destination and there are a lot of right ways to get to the pools. This is old school geocaching - meaning that you spot the rock cairns and find your way. It will take you over the beautiful Sierra granite and thru the forest and even on real legit trails. If you've never hiked using rock cairns as trail markers, this is a great first trail - there are lots of paths and getting a little "off trail" can be fun. Just find a little stack of stones that look like they've been purposefully placed there .... walk to it... look for the next stack... repeat! There is a little bouldering and walking on granite that is sloped, so grippy shoes are a real plus. Have a great adventure!!

View user's profile page
Katy Regnier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail to a beautiful waterfall. I would absolutely not attempt this trail without an offline map, the trail is easy to follow when it goes through dirt, but often is over granite slabs or up boulders and becomes hard to follow, even with the rock markers. The end of the trail is more overgrown, seems less traveled than the first mile and a half and gets more strenuous as well. I had to refer to the gps track at several points in the last mile. Worth the trip and very deserted on a weekday. Recommend as long as you’re prepared with a map and lots of water.

View user's profile page
Jesus F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
Hiking

Really nice trail, with nice pools (when found)! This was my 1st time here, and if it wasn’t for the previous comments I read, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable coming knowing it’s not a marked trial, but felt confident because everyone said follow the stacks. I give it a 3 just because it’s not marked at all, way to confusing where to go. Even by following the rocks, it was still overwhelming not knowing if it’s correct or not. Sometimes I wouldn’t see the stacks, only reason I stayed was because we followed another couple who was their first time as well, and they more or less lead the directions so worst case scenario “we all get lost together” But nice hike and pool, but if it wasn’t for them, I would’ve returned back to my car.

View user's profile page
Tina Horner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking

Put up markers. Actual markers. Beautiful spot.

View Tina's Recording
View user's profile page
Renee Cates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful trail but a little confusing because it’s not marked. Tip: Follow the stacked rocks (thanks to who left them .. genius)

View Renee's Recording
View user's profile page
Crystal Kashow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking
View Crystal's Recording
View user's profile page
Lillian Bates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Lovely trail. Quite a few people later in the day.

View Lillian's Recording
View user's profile page
Lillian Bates
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. Very pretty, lots of places to hang out by the water. Some good swimming spots. The trail is a bit difficult to follow, but as long as you follow the direction of the river you'll be okay.

View user's profile page
Amber Lindholm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

So.. this was a very frustrating hike, wouldn't have really been too difficult except we kept losing the trail, there would be pathways that would lead to dead ends or extremely rocky and unsafe paths. we eventually found our way but it took more time than necessary. I brought my dog, she did great but depending on how the trail went or us looking for a trail some areas made me worry about her and had to pick her up in parts. The path on the way back was much easier to follow and could see where we were going. We went very early and it didn't run into anyone until we were leaving. Above all it was pretty, just very frustrating.

View Amber's Recording
View user's profile page
Vince Keenan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
Hiking

From the first big pool at .5 miles, take the left trail. It’s easy to follow it all the rest of the way. If you go right (through the big cut tree, near the creek), you’ll be scrambling and searching for a good path the next half mile. Virtually no bugs and fairly warm water right now. Very different from just a few weeks ago.

View user's profile page
chris ochoa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

Did this hike 7/29. trail was not packed with people, not very hot either. plenty of great places to stop and swim. i started this hike around 1 in the afternoon and got back to my truck at about 6:30. I did have my 6 yr old daughter with me, so it may be quicker for others. just follow the stacked rock markers to the end, there is different paths but will end up in the same place. once you get to the end, you wil need to go through all the brush and trees, you'll run into a rock face, stay to the left and you will see a small cut out trail underneath al the brush. and its about 1/2 mile to the end from this point. people tend to lose the trail here and don't reach the end. good starter hike, will do this hike again.

View user's profile page
Amanda Pittman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Great hike...definitely had to look for the rock markers as we lost the trail a few times. We didn’t quite make it to the end of the trail because we lost the last little bit of the trail but there are plenty of beautiful pools to enjoy!

View user's profile page
Laurie Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, fairly easy with beautiful scenery throughout. We did take a few unplanned detours because the trail isn't always clearly marked, but eventually we got good at spotting the cairns. Not too crowded early in the day. The trail head is located at the very back of the parking lot for China Peak (beyond the housing area).

View user's profile page
Faye Read
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Took us 6 miles roundtrip from the China peak parking lot. The falls was farther than we thought but it was worth seeing , and relaxing by the pool at the bottom was very relaxing after a long rocky hike. Not much shade, and you can easily lose the trail if you’re not paying attention to the cairns they marked to follow the trail.

View user's profile page
Daniel Ochoa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2020
Hiking

Nice views but not incredible. Very poorly marked, I ended up taking unplanned detours several times. Trail was empty

View Daniel's Recording
View user's profile page
Princess Sarnillo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingOff trailRocky

Oh man. This trail was difficult to find. We tried to follow the river but got caught up by following the rock pillars. It felt like we were semi-rock climbing. We stopped at the first waterfall, which was about 1.6 miles (my daughter, who is 7, hiked with us & the 80 degree weather slowed and tired her down).. However, my friends kept going to see the main waterfall & they said it was about another 1.5 miles up. According to them, the last stretch was difficult but worth it! We will come back, when the weather is nice and cool! Overall, it was beautiful!

Showing results 1 - 23 of 261