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

Proper preperation prevents poor performance.

March 20th was my third time on the mountain this winter and I had the pleasure of bringing the girlfriend recently.
Started at 3 am so we could be high enough for some good morning shots. Together we reached a point about 2.5 miles from the peak but the girlfriend was dead! She just got back the morning before from a week long trip to Bali so I don't blame her. Ran/Jogged the last 2 miles up. There's two little peaks at the top but I went to the one 20 feet lower in elevation so I could save the real peak for the girlfriend and I. All in all a good experience with the right gear..and weather lol

Snow has the road to Falls rather challenging to say the least. Lots of deep snow ... no clearance. hard ... need a 4x4 and good tires!

Hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy bowl and down Devil's Backbone loop Sunday March 18th.

Left at 7:15AM, arrived at Ski hut at 9am, and summited around 11am. We contemplated descending the ski hut trail, or completing the loop down Devil's Backbone. After talking with several people on the summit who hiked up the backbone, we decided on the backbone. We were lucky to have great weather and a solid path in front of us the entire day. We got the job done in our micro spikes but obviously preferred with crampons. There were certainly a couple sections where you want to be extremely cautious along the backbone, and most likely avoid after a storm or it's too cold / icy.

We stopped by the lodge for celebratory beers and ended back at the starting point around 2:30pm.

Overall this climb was far more impressive than I was expecting. The entire hike was beautiful. It's awesome to have this mountain only an hour from the beach.

I'd definitely recommend going with someone who is familiar with the route or experienced in the mountains if you decide to do the bowl or backbone on the ascent/descent in the winter. Shoot for a day with a great weather window as it will eliminate alot of the risk variables.

The sun didn't hit the mountain hard until noon, which then we observed several rock and ice fall as the mountain came alive. Try to be on your descent in the early afternoon.

Awesome hike. 5 Stars!

spikes are a must have

Super easy walk to Picnic Rock. Great view of the Tahoe basin. Take a picnic and enjoy the sunny view. Good snow shoe hike in the winter. Could be 5 stars but copious amounts of dog poop require constant attention on the trail and detracts from outdoorsy atmosphere.

On March 10, hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy Bowl and down Devil’s Backbone to the Notch, about 7.5 miles total. Took the chairlift down the rest of the way. The hike itself took 4 hours and 3min, but I set a very aggressive pace for myself due to time constraints. The first three miles up to just beyond the ski hut took 1h20min, the next 1.5 miles up to the summit took 1h20min (this segment abolutely kicked my butt) and the summit down to the Notch took 1h25min. I set out from Manker Flats at 5:22am (with a headlamp as it was not yet twilight) and got to the Notch at 9:26am. The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice for the first three miles. Microspikes were necessary for most of the upper section to the summit due to ice and snow particularly in the steep section beginning about 1/2 mile after the hut. I had downloaded a route into my Garmin watch, which was very helpful (read: necessary) because there are sections between the hut and the summit where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Hiking down Devil’s Backbone was a little scary in parts due to ice and snow along the precipitous drop-offs, however there was enough ground exposed so that I could easily identify and avoid the snow cornices. It is a little hairy right at the western entrance to the Backbone section as there is a lot of snow wedged in the corner next to a fairly steep dropoff. Overall it is a very fun and pretty challenging hike, with amazing views and spectacular scenery along the whole route. Well worth it, but this time of year use caution and tread carefully along precipitous sections of the Devil’s Backbone trail; and be prepared - I would recommend microspikes and trekking poles for the hairy parts, and also bring some layers because there can be very significant changes in temperature at the different elevations and much wind chill at the summit.

Lost GPX file so had to draw it out. Much more strenuous than the 17 miles (GPX file read ~25 miles) and 5000 vertical feet described. First and last 6 miles (on trail up to Lamarck Col and down from Muriel Lake) are fine but everything in between is scrambling, talus, shale, route finding. All class 3, sometimes having to take off packs etc. Still worth it for the views of Darwin Canyon if you don't have time for the 55 mile North Lake to South Lake loop. Doable in 3 days but don't underestimate the route finding/talus/boulder fields.

consistent climb and well groomed. beautiful photo ops along the way. not recommended when it rains as it gets muddy fast.

Walked on a lot of stinky sand. Lots of flies. Couldn’t see any huge tufas you have to be on a boat for those.

Great time. Snow on the ground made it that much more enjoyable. Did the whole loop and Needed crampons for sure to help with the sliding around.

The lake is more like a pond but still pretty. The 90 degree angled granite in the background is what will take your breath away though.

amazing view. you can see upper and lower falls and also half dome.

beautiful valley hike. Lots of wildflowers and wildlife. I saw a bear off in the distance! Moderate traffic. This hike is a great hike to get some good pictures.

14 days ago

Very easy hike and mostly paved. I don't really prefer paved hikes but that is just me. But I loved the sequoia trees. It is so peaceful once you get a ways in and the smells are like no other!

It is a beautiful view. Don’t listen to the 7.7 miles it’s more like 10 miles but it’s fine still a nice view. My aunt went with me she was 8 months pregnant it was really easy for her.

beautiful hike with snow:) we didnt go all the way to the pacific crest trail sign but still did most of it. you do need an adventure pass for this when there is snow.

This was a nice stroll to the crest that overlooks the lake, going in late February was perfect weather. Plenty of dogs on this trail.

mountain biking
18 days ago

nice trail

Such a beautiful snowy day for a wonderful trail

My favorite trail.

Very beautiful snow hike. The last two miles to the top required alot of physical and mental effort, but the views from the peak made it worth it!

Beautiful Trail, we lived it!

24 days ago

Amazing! Super snowy and icy, perfect for snow shoeing and you can do the tunnels if you have yaktrax or poles and are willing to take your time and be okay with a few slips here and there.

barely half a mile after starting the hike, the trail was mostly covered in snow. May be a mile in, the trail opened up to a beautiful sunset view along with the gorgeous view of the valley. After which we took u turn to get back. no elevation for a mile or so.

Hiked San Gorgonio in the snow the morning of feb 25th via the Vivian Creek trail, nobody else heading up so had to make fresh tracks in the snow and had the peak to myself for a little while, beautiful day but hard work. Met a few guys heading up from other trailheads and camps later on. There is Snow and Ice on most of the trail from the trailhead and up. After High Creek the trail is fully covered and not visible, so I just headed straight up instead of trying to find the switchbacks up to the ridge. I used microspikes, which was fine. Others might prefer crampons. Some post holing from High Creek. Once you get to the San Gorgonio mountain conditions are similar to last weekend with wind blown packed snow that you dont sink into. I could see snow covered mountains in Sierra Nevada and Death Valley on this very clear day. Open water at High Creek and Vivian Creek, I drank some from High Creek without filtering on my way down, tasted wonderful. I would say the snow makes the hike about 25% harder. Wonderful!

25 days ago

Nice short hike. Well traveled, slightly icy so we used yaktrax.

26 days ago

nice short walk when I went in February it began to snow and there was half inch of snow on the ground which was pretty cool

Beautiful trail. I would rate this a more of an easier trail. If your thinking about going anytime soon.. dress WARM. It was 22 degrees in the morning and some grey clouds decided to move towards us making it even colder to the point it started snowing. Was beautiful, but SO cold. We went right at the junction head, but would recommend starting left. There is a fair amount of snow up there.. so be very careful when coming across icy patches. Trekking poles would be a good idea, but micro spikes not needed yet.

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