Explore the most popular forest 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.

Super easy trail. More touristy than adventure but still very much worth the experience.

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.

Easy hike with lots of huge sequoia’s. Lots of people but nature takes over and you can quickly forget who is around you

The biggest recommendation is go early! I got to the tree by about 8:30am and there were just a few others there. I also suggest continuing on to the Congress Trail to see more giant sequoias without the crowds.

hiking
4 days ago

Such a beautiful trail that meanders through the forest. You get great views of some big trees and unique groups of several trees together (The Senate and The House). I recommend going very early (before 9am) and you pretty much have the place to yourself. It’s incredibly quiet and peaceful. My only criticism is that the majority of the identifying signs for the trees were down for repair with a sign that they would be back up in spring 2017. (I hiked it 5/18/18, still no signs).

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.

A great little hike. Best done early in the season so you get to enjoy the falls when they are flowing. I have hiked this quite a few times. Anticipate bear sightings - I've seen a bear over half the times I've been on this hike. Great hike for kids or people who are out of shape and want the opportunity to enjoy beautiful scenery.

One of my favorite hikes ... complete it once every year. It has a couple places which make you work. The last face definitely makes you work for the end game ... an absolutely gorgeous view of the Sequoias. If you are adventurous, you can go off trail and scramble down to Pear Lake down below. In the summer, make sure you start out as early a possible because mid afternoon thunderstorms are common in the area. I was stranded in a lightning storm for a couple hours one year. Bring plenty of water when hot as water holes aren't always available.

This is definitely not a moderate hike - my then 3 yo (the first time there) had not problem with this. I love this hike as it is a great place for kids to get their energy out without taking then on a huge hike. Sunset rock had a wonderful view on clear days. Great place for a picnic. Have seen deer each time there and a bear one time.

Okay trail. Paved and very accessible for those that may struggle with walking. Very, very busy though.

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?

hiking
9 days ago

Hiked this trail again this past weekend and my Apple Watch showed this hike to be approx 8.5 miles round trip. A bit of snow patches in several spots as we hiked. Gorgeous views at the watchtower. Can’t get to pear lake from the watchtower trail but if you’re going to the lakes, take the hump trail. We talked to some nice fellow hikers and found out you can get to heather lake from there. On our way back we spotted a bear near the trailhead so just a heads up, they’re out and about. Definitely worth the beautiful hike!

hiking
9 days ago

May 13, 2018, trail marked as “Closed”, we continued anyway, some snow but not enough to slow us down. Definitely worth the hike, great views at the Watchtower!

10 days ago

Best place in the park to see many giant Sequoias together. In the meadow we saw 2 bears and a family of dear all at once!

I would hike this every weekend, the canyon leading up to the falls alone is just gorgeous. Very lucky to be here in mid May for the amazing full power of the falls. Tokopah falls was a major highlight of our trip.

hiking
10 days ago

this trail is actually 3.7 each way, making it a 7.4 total distance (per the NPS Trail Map). bring lots of water or a purifier system, the lower 2 miles are very warm.

mile 1: switchbacks to start (5/6), gentle climb through oaks
mile 2-3: steady climb, trail begins to follow cliff face with loose gravel, watch your step
mile 3: gets steep uphill here, doesn't last long
mile 3.5: gradual decent into waterfall zone.

pros:
-awesome marble waterfalls, duh.
-great wildflowers
-breathtaking geology
-inspiring vistas

cons:
-nettles.
-i saw a snake, be prepared.
-nowhere to overnight .

be advised, poison oak within 3 feet of trail, and small rattler (18") was lounging at trails edge when I approached. Coaxed him away with small pebbles but his signature rattle did give me quite a scare.

Beautiful view from the top. Would recommend late spring or fall as it is an uphill climb going in and can get hot. There are no springs or waterfalls along the way. Beautiful during spring with lots of green.

Great hike, lots of poison oak. We saw a baby bear on the hike out. The picture doesn’t do this place justice.

Fewer people on this trail than the General Sherman Trail, but I'd still call ik "moderately trafficked". You walk along some huge Sequoia Trees with nametags.

This trail is nothing special: very busy and paved. But you get to see the General and it's also the starting point for several other trails. I recommend the Congress Trail.

One of the best views of the Sierras I’ve seen. Highly recommended!

hiking
15 days ago

Hi. I am looking for trails in Sequoia. Group of 4 girls who are physically fit, We are looking for a 4-6 mile hike with good views. Would this be the right trail to take? Thanks in advance!

Beautiful cascading waterfall at the end of the trail. This hike may be classified as easy but it does have a gradual incline most of the way up. it also becomes very rocky in the last stretch which could be difficult for some. Nice walk through the forest beautiful views of the river and mountains the entire way. Would love to do this trail again

hiking
17 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.

Great, easy hike. Good for kids, not too much incline. Gets busy on weekends and in the summer.

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.

The falls are great but depending on the rain/snow of the season it might be a rushing torrent or barely a trickle during dry years.

Great trail and good for bear sightings as they seem to be common in this area.

Perfect little easy day hike.

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