Explore the most popular wild flowers trails near Big Pine with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Definitely a difficult hike for me. I didn’t know what to expect from this hike and completely underestimated it. For starters, we did not bring enough food or water, as it took us nearly 3 1/2 hours to get to the lake. We drank from the fast-moving river and were fine.
Uphill climbing most of the way. It was about 85°-90° and once you start the climb up the face of the mountain, it is all direct sunlight so bring sunscreen.
From the top, it was another 30 minutes to the lake. I was beat! My husband was a great motivator and kept us moving. We made it to willow lake and it was beautiful. Marshy and spotted pools of water as the water level was fairly low. Were there Labor Day weekend and there was barely anyone else there which was nice.
The way back took us about an hour and a half and got back at dusk. If I were to do it again, I’d definitely better prepare ourselves and it would make a huge difference.

The next day we did north fork trail to the seven lakes and it was absolutely stunning. We were much better prepared and although moderately challenging still, we enjoyed every step of it.

Wonderful hike! Moderate uphill climb to the lakes, about 5.5 miles (11-12 total). Heavily shaded in most areas. We were plenty prepared with food and water, although, we did drink from the stream at vigorous areas and were fine. Ton of fish in the lakes. The first two lakes were gorgeous and barely anyone around! We did this hike Labor Day weekend and expected it to be heavily trafficked. We want to go back and get an overnight pass—absolutely breathtaking.

hiking
7 days ago

Loved this hike as well. My husband and I hiked with two kids in backpacks (ages 1.5 + 3.5) - 2nd lake was our lunch and turn-around spot. Everyone loved it and had a great time. We clocked 12 miles in our RT and it was 4 up for our crew and a pretty quick 2 down. Definitely take a filter for more water if you take littles. For perspective - we are in good shape and live at 6000k, pack weights were probably 30 and 50 lbs respectively. It was a big day - but so worth it.

One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done! The beginning is a little rough because of how exposed you are, so I’d start early! I hiked it alone and felt totally comfortable! I cannot wait to go back and do the loop again! I would say it’s 14 miles.

Just beautiful! I think the mileage for this loop may be seriously off. We only went to the 2nd Lake and turned back around to return to Glacier Lodge but recorded over 12 miles in doing just that. I recommend lots of sunscreen and taking a water filter. If you run out of water, there’s tons of water along the way. I would love to return and backpack the lakes.

Awesome! The first 3 lakes are the most beautiful with the blue green color. The black lake was also really nice and peaceful. If you have the time and energy, I think it’s worth it to do the whole loop, because at the end you get a really nice view of the first and second lakes. We made it an all day adventure, and spent 10 hours on the trail taking nice breaks and napping. Next time I’d get an overnight permit and camp up there!

Did this trail on September 7th and had a wonderful time. We weren’t sure we’d be able to do it, considering the creek crossing. We followed the trail to 2 possible places to cross, and felt that they were too deep and fast moving. We scrambled over some boulders a little further up and found a better place to cross. It was just over knee high deep. We took our shoes off and crossed pretty easily. There’s a really nice overlook about halfway through the hike, and brainerd lake is really nice as well. We took our time, and stopped for lots of pictures, and we got back to trailhead after about 9 hours. The trail itself is very beautiful and pretty shady. If you’re in the area doing the upper fork to the lakes, I think it’s worth spending a day to also do the south fork. Sorry I accidentally deleted my map, but it showed that it was 11 miles round trip, I don’t know where everyone is getting 8.5!

It was more of a 17.5 Miles hike on my end from Glacier Lodge. So not sure how people pulled it off with a 15 mile log. Wish I was a bit more forewarn about the mile of steep scrambling on boulders and loose rock at the end to the glacier (so makes for a total of 2 miles of scrambling including the way back). Definitely a beautifully hike with lots of scenic surprises and route challenges. I would recommended it to people with good fitness and comfortable scrambling skills - otherwise you’re forewarned!

hiking
14 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous hike. We hiked this yesterday and didn’t start until noon. We only got to the second lake and turned back because rain was expected and we wanted to make it down before it got dark and started raining. The incline was steady and moderate. There is lots of water along the trail so you can refill your bottle. Can’t wait to go back.

nice easy hike. we just hiked to the first 2 lakes. it was well worth it.

Just did this hike this morning, I’ve done numerous 10 plus mike hikes but this by far was the hardest. It’s up hill non stop and the elevation isn’t easy to adjust. Worth it tho! Doable if you take breaks and enjoy the scenery. I am 13 weeks pregnant and not on tip top shape but would say this hike was difficult over being moderate.

I was looking forward to making Telescope peak... It's not reachable by a sedan car - very washed out right now, we couldn't make it to Charcoal kilns, there was 1.4 miles left when we turned around. Haven't passed even half a mile on the unpaved road...

Good times. Ditch the heavy pack though. Lots of water.

backpacking
22 days ago

Did it 2 years ago, going again

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

backpacking
27 days ago

One of the best backpacking trips I've done in CA. Was only 5.5 miles to lake 2 but the elevation made it tougher than i expected.

The majority of the hike is uphill with some shaded switchbacks to start and then it is pretty exposed for the next 2 miles which includes more switchbacks.

Weather was perfect and there were no mosquitos!

Camped at lake 2 but also day hiked to lake 3. I thought lake 2 was prettier.

hiking
29 days ago

This hike is very pretty. I only made it to First Lake because it started to rain pretty heavily at that point and I was only wearing shorts and a tank top. Definitely be sure to bring a sweater (even if the weather is hot when you start the hike). Also, I was told the hike was only 3.8 miles to first lake... which definitely made me wonder if it was the altitude alone that made the hike seem so long. I gave this trail a 4 star rating because horses are allowed on the trail and you can pay $100 to ride a horse to third Lake. The path is narrow at some points which makes it difficult to avoid horse droppings in some locations (and the mess/smell the droppings made after being reconstituted by the rain was not entirely pleasant).
I’d definitely recommend bringing extra sunscreen (and wearing a hat and/or long sleeves). I’m very fair skinned and the first 2.5 miles or so don’t have much shade.

hiking
29 days ago

Great trail, very interesting the whole way. We parked at the backpackers lot and had to walk a bit down the road since we were told by the ranger not to use the pack trail. A lot of people disregarded that rule, but this is the route we did. This trail is scenic pretty much the whole way. Its pretty steep and hot in the first few miles but once you're past the first series of switchbacks beside second falls, it starts to flatten out. It stays pretty flat until a little bit after Lon Chaneys cabin (~1/2 way to 2nd lake). The second set of switchbacks wasn't as bad as the first and you'll start to see the turquoise water of 1st lake through the trees. We went to second lake and camped there for a couple nights, spent the days exploring the other lakes. We had thunderstorms every day between 2-6 like clockwork. This is what we called our afternoon thunderstorm nap time. On the last day after the thunderstorm we were greeted with a double rainbow!!! It was insanely beautiful! When it was time to go, it only took about an hour to get back down...I would do this trail again, even as a day hike although it is so beautiful you don't want to leave. Ever.

One of the most beautiful hikes/places Iv seen. It’s a must do, I recommend starting the hike no later than 6am. You’ll see sunrise and avoid any heat!

backpacking
1 month ago

Gorgeous!

hiking
1 month ago

The first couple of miles on this trail are fully exposed with little or no shade. Therefore, I suggest starting as early as possible to avoid the heat of the day. The lakes themselves are amazing - definitely worth the effort.

Started at 730am and finished the whole loop and were back to the car by 2:30pm. We took our time and had lunch at Black Lake. We went counter clockwise around the loop and saved the best for last but it was all so beautiful! Not an easy hike, especially in one day but totally worth it! Much warmer temps in the beginning and is cooler around the lakes. Lots of water and stunning views! Cant wait to go back and hike in and camp!

This trail is intense! Basically uphill the entire time, and at a pretty decent pitch. There is a creek crossing about 1.5 miles in- bring your water shoes. The water is about thigh deep, but definitely crossable this time of year. Smaller dogs should be carried or guided across with a leash and harness as they could be swept away. My 60 lb dog made it across with no issues... Once you get passed the switchbacks you come to Willow Lake, a nice lunch spot but that's about it. Lake Brainerd is a medium sized lake with beautiful water and surroundings and nice camping spots. Well worth the hike!

backpacking
1 month ago

My attempt at this trail ended with me returning before the lakes. Started late around 2pm and returned to the trail head by 8:30pm for a total of 1900+ feet elevation gain. My fault for not having altitude training before hand.

The trail is well defined and has spectacular views, this trail makes for a very nice swim location and starting point for the Palisades Peak.

I also tried this trail July 15. Gorgeous first part. No one on it. But then after 1.75 miles, you come to the raging South Fork of the creek. You can’t cross, so don’t even try.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing. AMAZING. Moderately tough hike but not overly difficult. Adjusting to the elevation is probably what makes it hard. Started hike a little after 7am and reached the first and second Lakes around 9:15. The first and second lake are right next to each other. We decided to head back after that and only took us one hour to get down to the trailhead. Pretty quick hike but on the way up we had a steady pace. I recommend starting early (needless to say). It makes going up through the switchbacks way easier when the sun isn’t beating down on you. Weather was perfect. Great visibility for us, however, on the way down smoke from the Ferguson fire was blowing through. 100% recommend this hike :)))) absolutely breathtaking.

Jaw dropping trail. One of the bests I have ever done, but I would start the loop counter clockwise, as to know, from the black lake first, this way the scenery is going to keep been better and better every time as my favourite lakes where the 1st and 2nd lakes.

backpacking
1 month ago

Breathtaking views all around. We camped at the Second Lake and the view of Temple Crag from our tent was everything. There were some mad thunderstorms in the afternoon and we had to hunker down in our tent. But then as the skies opened up, we were greeted by a double rainbow. We will definitely be back very soon!

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