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

Went up with a group. Great trail! Very clear until you hit Heather Lake. Lots of snow so prep for wet feet (our feet kept sinking in the snow). Keep an eye out for the trail markers cause you won’t see the trail that well. Camped out at Emerald Lake and views were great.

I was the only person camping out at Emerald Lake this past Friday, May 18th. The trail is free of snow until Heather Lake and fully covered in snow from Heather Lake to Emerald Lake. Micro-spikes are needed, especially during the early morning hours after the overnight freeze. I attempted to hike to Pearl Lake but was unable to cross the creek of rushing water from Emerald Lake down to Aster Lake. The creek was deep, about 5 to 6 feet wide with snow on both banks. May be later this summer when I can come back and hike to Pearl Lake. The Watchtower Trail is closed, until further notice, due to snow and ice. On the way back to Wolverton and spoke to the ranger who went up on horseback and mules to retrieve equipments left up there after the SAR of the San Diegan hiker who lost his life on May 13th while hiking the Watchtower Trail. Be safe out there.

The views are unbelievable - worth going up all the way! The stairs do get tiring but I'd call it moderate. Coming back down is very quick.

Beautiful trail, never really knew it was there but glad I found it. Really easy and has amazing views.

Gorgeous lakes. The hike has it's best views from the watchtower trail. one way to consider accessing Pear Lake is the climb Alta Peak first and then scrambling down the back side down to Pear Lake. It is fun and allows you to see a wide variety of things.

Beautiful view ... well worth the time greeting up early and watching the sunrise. If you are up for a long day and a journey, get up early and watch the sunrise at Moro Rock. Then proceed to the coast and watch the sunset at Morro Rock.

This is even more beautiful in the winter. You will need a pair of snow shoes and hike from the museum. Well worth the hike in the snow. Gorgeous!!!

Great short hike from the museum to Moro Rock through some Sequoia Trees and great mountain peak views. Only wish is that the railings when you get to Moro Rock were just slightly higher and all the way up.

Still quite a bit of snow around the first lake. Didn't attempt to go any further, and wouldn't recommend it for a while still. Easy enough to find the trail using the signs on the trees, but would have been lost otherwise. Couldn't see much given that the clouds formed a mist around the higher parts of the trail and down into the valley. Maybe better to do this one on a clear summer day?

Intense!! Feels great being at the top of the park. Cant wait to come back and do it on a clear summer night.

So much fun!!! I went when the stairs up to the top were covered in ice. Pretty sketchy - proceed with caution if you don’t have the proper shoe wear. Love love love sequoia ❤️❤️❤️

13 days ago

This trail isn't for anyone who is sensitive to high altitudes. But if you're up for the steep trek, the views are worth it!

If you don't do anything else in sequoia do this. Spectacular and worth every step.

15 days ago

I absolutely love southfork and this trail. I usually go late winter to avoid the bugs and other creepy crawlers. This year went early May. Around the 1-2 mike mark you start ascending through a narrow trail with 3’ grass. There are ticks on every blade of grass, spray clothes with sawyer and bring bug spray. I almost stepped on a 5’ western diamond back going up narrow grass trail,scared the hell out of me to say the least. He warned me after my foot almost touched him but when he turned to get away I for sure thought I was getting bite. The trail and area is amazing but in spring/summer be very cautious of ticks and rattlers. I will go back but I’ll return in winter, cold nights are far better than a insane amount of ticks and the perfect warm river habitat of the western diamondback. If you have kids be extra cautious and please keep on trails, the foothills have real dangers you must be aware of. I saw some pretty incompetent people out there running a muck (another reason why winter is better) But south fork / ladybug holds a special place in my heart and by far is one of CA hidden gems.

nature trips
15 days ago

Worth every step!

Did this after the crazy winter in 2017 and it was a short steep climb up snow as there was pretty much no visible trail. If you do this in winter make sure you have decent navigation skills and don't walk over running water as pretty much everyone in my group post holed at least once.

Love this hike

This is my all time favorite trail so far. I have only done it once but will hope to again, my son and I hiked it in 2015. We hiked in early August and the weather was excellent. Breathtaking views at every turn. The altitude is a challenge, but if you are reasonably fit and take your time you will be well adjusted by the time you summit Whitney. One of the best weeks of my life!

This trail does not actually connect as shown. You will have to make a bit of our own path to connect. Went end of April and there was snow about 3 miles in.

21 days ago

First time overnight backpacking was a success! Met some great people at the camp site who have been hiking this area for 25 years and told us that there were more spectacular views past ladybug camp trail. My friends and I were curious to see more views. So we hiked past whiskey log and headed to South Fork. The trail to whiskey log was creepy but in a good way. Made it feel like Harry Potter in the woods! Very steep and couple switch backs but so worth it!! We ended up in a secluded area facing the roaring river. I'd recommend this trail and would go back! If you're camping at the South Fork area, pick up some woods along the way to have a better campfire!

I hiked the first 4.1 miles and back today, only up to Heather Lake. I would certainly have completed the trail up to Pear Lake if it wasn't for some pesky mild foot pain I've been babying lately and that made me decide not to overdo it. If it wasn't for that, I would have kept going, albeit at a slowish pace due to the snowy conditions higher up. The trail was largely snow-free at the trailhead, but gradually transformef into a winter wonderland by the time I got to Heather Lake. I left my crampons at home, but it wouldn't have hurt bringing them along. There were quite a few other hikers, and by far most of them also only wore simple footwear / normal hiking shoes. I'm looking forward to returning to do the full trail and maybe take the Watchtower route later in the year.

Superb trail with spectacular views and great camping along the way.

on Moro Rock Trail

1 month ago

Love this place!!!

1 month ago

Beautiful views at the end. Huge payoff for the extremely short hike.

4/2/18: Views were worth the effort. Made it to pear lake without snow shoes or skis. Snow is melting quickly though.

With the snow and being short of time, only walked the first two miles and then turned around. Other trail users were skiers (7), snowshoes (6), hikers (5). Totally coming back1

1 month ago

This trail is worth the hike because of the amazing views! The driving road up to the trail was closed so you have to walk 20 minutes up a slow incline snowy road to get to the trailhead. Highly recommend this hike, took just over an hour and half to do it all!

1 month ago

Great trail. Hiked all the way to Whiskey Log at trails end. The trail needs work beyond Lady Bug but still a great trail. Took family and everyone had a great time. You have to look off the trail to the right when headed east to find campsites. The best ones are before the end of Lady Bug Trail.

It is a really nice trail. The only thing that I disliked is not knowing that there is not a paved road on the way up there. It barely can accommodate 2 cars if that at some point. Definitely recommend it if you have a truck or off road capable vehicle like a nice 4Runner.

2 months ago

Good short hike with beautiful views.

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