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

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hiking
3 hours ago

Really fun short climb to the top of the rock with great views

hiking
19 hours ago

A great hike, easy enough for kids to enjoy the pleasure of climbing, best view on the top, animals on trail.

Very easy walk. The way is paved so anybody can do it. Worth doing it, you’ll see general Sherman at the end.

We got off to a late morning start so summitting the peak around 1 pm was not a camera friendly time. However, the summit view was unbeatable. Spent quite some time on the summit and thank goodness it wasn't hot this time of the year. Will do this trail again in mid spring or earlier to experience the stream and its vegetation.

First time testing the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake. We couldn't have picked a better time that's for sure. the weather was absolutely nice and breezy so we took our time to take it all in. You know JUST ENJOY right. Stopped at Watch Tower for its majestic view. Lol could've swore John Muir was next to me saying look at this magnificent view. From there on the view just keeps getting better and better. We love the peacefulness of all four lakes Heather, Aster, Emerald, and Pear. Just sad we didn't prepare to stay overnight to get the full effect of sunrise and sunset. Oh I could just imagine how beautiful the lakes and the surrounding would be. Plan to do that next time. Note: If one has fear of ridges and height the Watch Tower might not be a good idea just take the Hump Trail it'll get you to the lakes too. But some cardio work though. We decided to take the Via Hump at Heather Lake just to test it out on out way back.

hiking
4 days ago

Great hike! Lots of big trees and saw a momma bear and cub! Late in the afternoon.

One of my most challenging hikes

Nice day hike. The trail is mild to moderately uphill going out and downhill coming back and the trail is very well marked and traveled. You are taking the twin lakes trail out of Lodgepole camp ground.Today met a number of hikes going in both directions. Fun to stop and chat with other hikers finding out where they are going and where they have come from. At approximated 1.75 miles you must overland East approximately a quarter mile to get to the meadow. You can not see meadow from the trail because of the forest density. I followed a dried stream bed down to the meadow, and it was difficult to maneuver over and around the many fallen trees. It was fun trying to find the easiest way. The meadow is wild and natural because it is off the trail and hence not traveled over by humans. Today it was tall grasses blowing in the wind, but in the spring I believe it will be filled with wild flowers. It is well worth the off trail experience.

Easy and quiet, just enjoy the Sequoias. Not many people do the entire loop.

This has to be one of my favorite hikes. We took the lollipop route on the Lakes trail and made the trip up to the Watchtower before heading onto Heather Lake. We then took the Hump trail back to the parking lot. It was a total of 9.2 miles and 2,326 total elevation. The views from the Watchtower are stunning and the drop off from the edge down to Tokopah Valley is scary yet exhilarating. Heather Lake is a small alpine lake and a nice place to have lunch. I’m really glad we took the Hump trail down and didn’t attempt climbing up. It was pretty steep downhill with lots of loose gravel. Best part of the hike were the views from the Watchtower. Pictures don’t do justice to the immense grandeur.

Great trail that is well taken care of. Beautiful scenery. Cant wait to go back when the water is flowing in the spring. Worth the trip up!!

100% agree with Asdfasdf. I will add that during that narrow section of the Watchtower, which lasts about 100 ft, I hugged the wall & crouched low. I have vertigo & that section spooked me. Because of the peripheral vision issues & the way the cliff went, I’m not sure I could have done it in reverse, therefore I chose Hump Trail back. (Going in you can focus on the wall to your right & avoid the peripheral differences. Going back, I don’t think you can). I would NEVER take Hump Trail in if I had the choice. It is absolutely brutal in elevation gain/loss.

Amazing hike. Beautiful scenery. Pear lake is definitely the icing on the cake!!!

backpacking
9 days ago

It was a great hike, my wife Kathy and I hiked a steady climb 5 miles, past Merthon meadow and across a small stream. On the right side of the trail is a small campsite, it was nicely shaded and had a great kitchen area and fresh water. We set up camp, cooked dinner, had a small fire and Kathy read to me. The next morning we had a great breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs and coffee. We set up a couple day packs and began the 2 mile hike to Alta peak. It was steep going and took about 70 minutes. (For those from LA the final ascent was similar to Mt Baldy). The ancient pines at the top were spectacular as they stood there strong and proud against the elements. The peak was bordered by sheer drops. The view from the top was a 360’ of the eastern and western Sierra’s. In the distance east you could see the back side of Mt Whitney, and the Whitney windows. To the West was Pear lake and the great divide. The views were well worth it and we want to do it again one day. The weather was the best, 70’s during the day and 40’s at night. We had a wonderful time, God’s creation is truly glorious.

This is such a wonderful hike. It is difficult, with the first mile and a half being the hardest and most exposed. It's also the worst part when returning - steep, hot, and your feet are dying to rest. We clocked in 11.3 miles on this hike, not 8.4, but we also went to the upper monarch lake as well (worth it). This was a surprisingly shady hike for the most part and the water at Monarch is very cold but refreshing. We had the first lake to ourselves for close to 30 minutes and it was wonderful. Love that the Mineral King area has relatively few visitors compared to the main part of the park. Just a note, the trail splits at one point and the other trail leads to Crystal lake. That is an unmaintained trail. So if you don't feel like dealing with some scrambling, I recommend doing Monarch instead.

Not really a hike, nice paved walk to see General Sherman. I thought the General Grant tree in Kings Canyon was a much more majestic tree and the short hike was much less crowded. Glad I saw both.

My favorite easy hike in sequoia- if you only do one hike in the park this is it. Watch for bears in the meadow.

A very worthwhile sequence of beautiful lakes within granodiorite-rimmed cirques provide a fulfilling day of out-and-back hiking.

9/8/2018 - First, Yes. Watchtower is on a cliff, but the path is wide. If you are afraid of heights, I recommend still doing it. If you are deathly afraid of heights, Hump Trail is in the woods/does not have a cliff. (See below for details)

I day hiked from Wolverton Lot --> up via Watchtower Overpass --> Heather Lake > Emerald > Pear --> backdown via Hump Trail --> Wolverton Lot

Description of hike: The trail head begins at Wolverton Lot where you can park your car right next to the trailhead which is nice. Has a restroom for use. Wolverton to Heather Lake is 4.1 mi basically going up. The route forks at around 2 miles to Watchtower or Hump. They rejoin and you're on the way to Heather Lake. The trees provide shade for majority of the hike. After Watchtower, you are in the sun. If you keep going beyond Heather Lake, it's another 2.1 miles where you descend and ascend another 100 - 200 feet climb up to Pear Lake.

What should you bring?
1) Small day pack
2) Food + Water: I ate a light breakfast, 4 cliff bars, some chocolate, and drank 2 liters of water. If you don't want the weight of water, bring a filter plus one liter of water to get you to the first lake.
3) Sunblock
4) Hat or Sunglasses
5) Swim trunks if you plan to take a dip in the water
6) Fishing rod if you like fishing!

Should you stop at Heather Lake or keep going to Pear?
I say finish the hike and go to Pear Lake. It's a sense of accomplishment. However if you're tired/short on supplies, be aware the hike stays equally difficult all the way to pear lake. Overall, I thought Heather Lake was the best. The water is vibrant and the mountains are a nice backdrop.

Watchtower or Hump?
Do Watchtower at least one way. Yes Watchtower is on a cliff but the views are 200% worth it and a great spot to take a break and take in the view. The path is about 3 people wide. There is one portion where it's about 1.5 people wide, but it's very very short, and nothing scary. Hump trail has nothing special that you won't see just doing the normal hike. I reiterate do Watchtower at least one way.

Time: I am a slow hiker (26 yo with bad knees... ) I entered the path at 8am and returned at 4pm. I spent about 1 hr 30 minutes relaxing/taking pictures at the lakes.

Overall: This hike is beautiful. If you can commit a day to this hike, it is 100% worth it.

Hiked the HST one year ago this week. We made from Crescent Meadow to Whitney Portal in 7 days (6 nights). We had big thunderstorms with hail at Precipice Lake, Crabtree Meadow and Guitar Lake. Soaking in Kern Hot Spring was a perfect break in the middle of day 3. We did an alpine start on Whitney and got to see the sunrise and lightning across the Valley on White Mountain. I can’t think of a better way to spend a week.

easy walk to see some BIG trees. arrived around 730-8am and there were only a few other people but more were coming in on the way out. get here early!!

hiking
15 days ago

short and sweet! arrived just in time to catch the sun rise which was cool but the light blocked the view of the dividing range to the left. would be a great spot for sunset. please put your rubbish in the bins!

hiking
16 days ago

What a day hike! The views were just incredible. The last 1.5 miles or so to the summit were brutal, but well worth the effort! Bring plenty of water (I suggest 3-4L) as the hike took our group 8-9 hours total and there was only one spot to refill if you have a filter.

hiking
16 days ago

Hello all,
We did this hike in order to take photos of the grove so I'll include some information regarding that at the end.

One-Way distance 2.5/2.6 miles according to two different models of trackers. The sign at the trailhead calls the distance 2.3. The larger path from the trailhead leads to the campground, hang a quick left along the stream to start along the trail.

We feel this is a moderate/easy hike. There is plenty of shade in the morning but mid-day hikers will probably want sunscreen/hats. There are some switchbacks/grades to negotiate but nothing difficult. But the distance, the area where the trail traverses a bit of the granite dome and grades would probably be a bit much for young kids.

There are two small streams so if you have a water filtering system you can refill if needed.
PHOTOGRAPHERS: The light was very nice in the grove itself an hour or two after dawn. The grove and surrounding giants have loads of possibilities. There is very nice view of the valley from atop a granite dome you pass on the trail. There are areas of ferns which will be shaded on your way out but by the time you are coming back there will be very nice dappled light in the draws.

CAUTION: In the grove itself there are a amazing circular grouping of trees. In the base of the one of the closest one is a hive of bees. If you have kids you might want to keep an eye on them before they race into the middle of the sequoias or up to any of the trunks. We did run across some bear scat on the trail so making some noise going around the blind corners/brushy areas is probably good.

hiking
17 days ago

We are staying at the Azalea Campground and started out with this easy trail. It’s my first time at this park and it’s absolutely majestic and wonderful. This trail is an easy introduction to the park. It’s 2 miles from the campground and it was not crowded at all. There were no buses parked when we went so maybe we just got lucky. I’m giving this a 5 Star because it’s easy, well paved, worth the hike, and leisurely.

I have done this hike about 4 times. It is moderate until the climb out of Pear lake, which is off trail. It then becomes quit difficult. It's a scramble and at times you will be using your hands. Finding the correct route up from Pear to the table lands is tricky. Once on top it's moderate again. The scenic overlook on the NW rim is breathtaking and well worth the trip. If you plan to do this in one day, you better be a lot younger and fitter that I. A little land navigation is necessary, but I would classify that as moderate.

Beautiful views of a meadow and easy paved walking trail. Had a lot of places to sit and enjoy the view. One of the most beautiful places in Sequoia National Park

The hike and views are amazing. Biggest recommendation I have is to plan on taking 4+ full days. Doing 16 miles through elevation change each day is tough. There are bear boxes every site, so renting a canister really isn’t needed. Make sure to get some coffee at the Bearpaw Station early in the morning!

hiking
18 days ago

My favorite hike in Sequoia - if you like climbs and views from above this is the hike for you. Looks easy but don’t be fooled, high elevation climb during this short hike.
*Don’t forget bear spray

Some tough places but the views are worth it and the lake is amazing. The path along the way passes many meadows and streams. Water was perfect temp in September for swimming.

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