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


trail running

dogs on leash





wild flowers


kid friendly


Cape Horn, California Map

Perhaps I was lucky but I found it pretty easy to stay on use trails most of the way up past Noble Lake. They fade in and out a bit, but with some route finding skills and a map or GPS it seemed pretty simple to stay on track. After reaching the saddle it’s an almost continual climb to the top, only broken up by several false summits! Definitely a leg killer but the views all the way up are well worth it. I actually found the hardest bit to be at the end having to climb out of Noble Creek Canyon on tired legs!

did this hike today 9/3/18 and it was very tough when climbing to the top of the peak. The hike to Noble lake was easy but then you have to branch out to the left. All I did was follow Ken Toyama's recording. Yes it's true there is no trail so you are basically just using common sense and looking at your map to the peak. At times I saw foot prints and some vague trails paths. it is all uphill once you reach the ridge and it killed my legs. I almost gave up a few times but made it to the top. I didn't see a single hiker until the very end of my hike.

Great day hike. Lake was pretty low.

Great trail but it’s 10 miles round trip not 7.7 like the app says

on Folger Peak

2 months ago

This is an awesome short hike up to the summit of Folger Peak. It's a lot of climbing in a short amount of time but the views are spectacular. Trail is hard to follow at times - there are rock trail markers along the way. Definitely a few steep rocky sections that require some coordination.

2 months ago

Did this a week ago and the use trail is hard to find past noble lake as it splits from the pct in the meadow south of the lake and is hardly travelled. Even after that it is easy to loose the entire way up and quiet steep up to the initial ridge. Proper scramble once past the first false summit. No water after noble lake.

A great hike through some wonderful scenery. Typically one could do it as a there and back, but we chose to make our way around the shore to the dam at the east end of upper Kinney, overlooking lower Kinney Lake. After a swim and lunch we picked up the jeep track near the south-east point of Upper Kinney. This took us back to Kinney Reservoir and highway 4. Then it is about 30mins back to the PCT car park. See route recording photo #43.

A lot of elevation gain, up and down. Very remote. Only saw 20 people for first 21.5 miles. 40 people from Frogs Lake to Carson Pass.

on Highland Peak Via PCT

3 months ago

It was a awesome hike and very gorgeous country. My only problem was the 5.9 miles one way called out on this app does not match the 10.5 miles one way I got with both my phones. I was a plus or minus 4.5 miles isn’t Vado guess

3 months ago

This was our first backpacking 1-night hiking trip. We chose this as it was stated to be only 7.7 miles. We weren’t too sure what to pack and didn’t want the load nor trail to be too taxing on the body. We are beginner hikers as well, with only hiking about 5 mile day-hikes. It was a great hike. Moderate, but challenging to us, with the inclines and altitude. Met many friendly PCT hikers, as well as the day hikers. Trail was beautiful with an abundance of wildflowers, rock formations, waterfalls, streams to cross, snow on the mountain top, and 2 sightings of deer. This trail actually was closer to approx 9-10 miles for us.

3 months ago

There is not a trail to go up the peak or we just couldn’t find it so we turned around at noble lake. Otherwise it was a beautiful hike with lots of wildflowers, streams and small falls. On a Saturday it was very busy with backpackers and PCT hikers.

3 months ago

My husband, friends and I hiked this trail today. We used two GPS receivers and both of them recorded this hike as over 10 miles ( not 7.7 miles) We stayed on the trail and did not go off trail.
Nobel Lake is more like a pond.

This is a great hike, lots of wildflowers. We did see about 15 PCT thru hikers. We gave out fresh fruit and candy bars. Some of the hikers had been on the trail for 100 days. They loved our goodies!

3 months ago

Loved this hike yesterday. Except for the initial climb from Hwy 4, this is a fairly tame trail with not too much up and down. It is a beautiful trail with a number of little ponds along the way. Took us about an hour to reach the lake and then we hiked half way around and had lunch. There were a number of primitive camping sites around the lake evidencing that this is a popular spot for some short overnight hiking. Trail was littered with a myriad of wildflowers. There was even still some small patches of snow along the trail (at the end of June). The description says it is about a 4 mile hike round trip but with the trip around the lake my Apple Watch told me we hiked 6.5 miles in total, that includes the 1/4 mike to and from the PCT trailhead parking lot. Highly recommend this beautiful hike for a quick day or overnight hike.

This trail is so beautiful! I cannot wait to come back later in June to make it to Nobel Lake and continue on to Highland Peak. Highly recommend. Just a heads up - there is still quite a bit of snow on the trail, but the early stages are passable. I'm not sure about later down the trail as I didn't make it far today due to a time constraint. Come prepared for snow and enjoy!

on Hiram Peak

6 months ago

I've completed this hike a handful of times as Upper Highland Lake has been a family favorite for camping for as long as I can remember. There are a couple of ways to tackle the summit. The quick but more difficult way would be to go up the summit from the right side of the lake. This side is extremely steep and rocky with no sun coverage, I would definitely recommend walking sticks if you take this route. The route on the left side of the peak is much more gradual, with some tree coverage until you approach the summit. Be sure to wear a pair of good hiking shoes, otherwise you'll feel every little rock once you approach the summit or if you come down the rocky side of the peak. The views from the top are absolutely breath-taking (so is the altitude!). To quickly get down you can come down the rocky side of the peak, although I will admit that the last time I did this I spent most of that time sliding down on my backside.

Some notes regarding the area: There are only toilets available in the campground near the lake. Otherwise, it is extremely remote. The road into the lake area turns into an extremely bumpy dirt road, so I would not recommend driving in with a car that is low to the ground.

The trail from Highland Lakes to Asa Lake is poorly marked. We missed the Asa Lake turn off. FYI it's about 75 yards past the "Entering Wilderness" sign. At this point the trail starts downhill and the split is hardly noticeable because the left fork (the one you want to take to Asa Lake) looks more like drainage or creek bed, so it's very easy to assume the trail you've been on just continue on to the right. Take the drainage one that veers off to the left.
On Laborday weekend the Highland Lakes campground was completely full.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Very nice scenery. Lots of alpine wild flowers. Interesting rock mixture of volcanic and granite. We used the trail on the way to a climb of Highland Peak.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Late July 2017, parked at Mosquito Lake and backpacked to Heiser Lake with a group of nine people. The trail was hard to find at first, and is easy to lose at some points along the way. There were many felled trees blocking the trail, but on our hike back we saw rangers clearing them. We stayed a couple nights at Heiser Lake. Great for swimming, and plenty of interesting areas to explore around the lake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beautiful hike. Mostly level. Crosses stream in several places. We never found the lake but probably didn't walk far enough.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Just came back from a 2 night loop from Highland Lakes. The trail is not highly traveled and as a result can be tough to find. Make sure you have a map and compass so that if you if yourself in say a meadow or a washed out area, you can find your way out easily. We lost the trail entirely in a meadow on the Arnot Creek side and had to go up over a summit to hit the PCT to make our way back across. All in all a fun trip! Bears and Deer were a blast. Cows suck!

Monday, July 25, 2016

for hiking and camping, this is great!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I did 3 survival training exercises 23 miles to Lake Alpine.
Put this trail on your bucket list.
Did all 3 survival trainings starting at Highlands Lake on Full Moonlight nights about 10 pm with NO flashlights preserving night vision end of July 4 years in a row. First mile is steep downhill then is easy hike and great fishing all the way to lake alpine. Keep in mind. During full moon, fish feed at night and rest during day.

Once late in August, no moon was able to see Aurora Borelis!!!
This only occurred one time so far in my lifetime.
Sometimes it is too cold and windy for propane bottles to function. I believe elevation is around 8,500 feet.

The view is like you are at the very top of the earth. Purely Breathtaking.
I liked it better than Mt McKinley.

Friday, September 04, 2015

This is a nice area tucked away from heavy traffic. Two pretty little lakes, good camping spots and nice hiking trails with beautiful views. Camping, hiking and fishing... what more do you need!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Highland Lakes is one of my favorite summertime peaceful getaways. The campground is nestled at 8700' between two natural lakes and surrounded by rocky Sierra peaks. The PCT is only a few miles away by foot and there are many trails radiating out in all directions. The area provides summer grazing for cattle so be alert when hiking. A startled herd (however small) can be a hazard! Getting to the campground can be a challenge and all wheel drive is recommended. Highway 4 as far as Mt. Reba is a breeze, but narrows to a single lane just before Lake Alpine (where the highway is closed after the first snows each season.) Just before 4 crosses the PCT, take a right down the mountainside on a dirt and gravel road 5 miles to the campground. I have never seen it even close to full. Water is hand pumped from wells and pit toilets are well-maintained. Bring your own firewood, especially toward the end of the season when the nights are cold and most of the available deadwood has already been scavenged by other campers.

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