Explore the most popular forest 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.

hiking
4 hours ago

An amazing view. The hike feels more like 15 miles long. And it took about 8 hours in total including staying at the peak for about an hour. The last 2 miles going up is very tiring but it’s worth the view! Hiked it July 15. If I was to do it again I would do it maybe a month or two earlier in the year so maybe I can catch some snow in the mountains!

Nice trail. Leads to Hazelwood trail and more rock trail.

hiking
20 hours ago

Even though the weather forecasted high of 73, definitely felt like 85 with the strong sun. Don’t let the weather’s temperature fool you. Roundtrip 7 miles from Big Meadow trailhead. Lots of horse poo on the trail so beware. Either go with long sleeves/pants or wear repellent because you will get bit. Steep climbing up but manageable. There were quite a bit of people on the trail but nothing too crazy. Definitely recommend either taking a lightweight chair or hammock to rest while @ the lake. Be sure to take water shoes/sandals if you’re planning on getting in. Water was cool not cold, great to jump into.

hiking
21 hours ago

We used this trail to connect us from Moro Rock to Crescent Meadow. It was a hot, dusty trail and more dust was kicked up by all the people using the trail. Perhaps we will try again when it’s not blazing hot hiking along with all of the summer’s crowds.

hiking
21 hours ago

Although barely a hike, it is a minor detour off the Giant Forest-Moro Rock Trail. It has a steep ascent but it’s short so not a big deal. The Hanging Rock is great for fun photo ops and amazing views of the foothills and Valley.

Beautiful and easy walk around a large meadow. We saw four deer in a mile and a half walk. Although there are masses of people brought in via shuttle buses, the trail was surprisingly empty. Any visit to Sequoia should include this trail. It can be easily completed by all ages and skill levels.

hiking
1 day ago

I absolutely loved this trail. The views are stunning and barely any people on the trail. Seeing a hawk soar across the open space while looking at the Great Western Divide has become one of my favorite Sequoia moments. We were so tempted to just keep going on the High Sierra Trail and see all it has to offer. Definitely coming back to this trail and this spectacular view.

The trees are certainly something to see and if you're nearby you should definitely go. Be warned, the hike down (and back) up is pretty steep. I was thoroughly winded.

My one complaint is the tourists just aren't considerate of the natural space. Climbing all past the signs and on top of the roots. Go see it now because this is how wonderful things get ruined. If you go, don't be a jerk.

Went here on June 23. I thought the weather was beautiful but the Northerners with me were a little too warm. Well-marked; you don't need a map to do this one. This is a trail I wouldn't hesitate to take with fit friends but depending I think the altitude and distance might be tough for some.

It's worth it though, the view is lovely at the top and on the way up. Bug spray is essential. Consumed 2L of water round trip, could have used more.

Excellent hike. It goes above the tree line so take a hat. There is wildlife so keep your eyes open. Watch out for the R.O.U.S.’s!!! (Rodents of unusual size) Lol, I’m referring to the Marmots. Large bushy tailed Beaver looking guys that live under rocks. They can become very aggressive, so be “hiker smart” and don’t leave your stuff unattended. Never had any problem with Marmots myself, but have talked with others that have.

Beautiful with lots of wildflowers. Guard your stuff at the peak, the marmots will steal it and gnaw on it, including plastic and rubber. Start very early and bring lots of water.

Beautiful!

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful trail, and we were the only ones on it. But even with long sleeves and bug spray, we were walking in a cloud of gnats, esp the first mile, which took a lot of enjoyment away, especially for my kids (6 and 10)

Also you really can't access the creek except at crossings as the embankment is pretty steep

A true highlight of Sequoia, and a great taste of the high Sierra within a few miles of the General Sherman tree and his tour buses!

We hiked to Pear Lake via the Watchtower Trail, camped for the night, and hiked out the next morning. Wilderness permits were readily available at Lodgepole at 1 PM the day prior. The climb up to the Watchtower from the parking lot was gradual, with beautiful forest views and alpine streams flowing down the hillside. The Watchtower Trail was a bit unnerving for a step or two with full packs! The last couple of miles from Heather Lake to Pear Lake felt more strenuous, with short climbs/descents and exposed rock. We got to Pear Lake in ~3.5 hours from the parking lot. Pear Lake was stunning, although the mosquitos and marmots were very interested in our presence; a face net came in handy. There were about three other groups with 1-3 people each camping at Pear. The hike out took ~2.5 hours. A must-do!

Awesome Tree, I mean REALLY amazing BUT I agree with many of the other reviewers, if you hike for peace and quiet, nature and a few courteous interactions with others that prefer the like, this is NOT gonna be it! Very Tourist attraction as is most "Paved" trails IMHO. Def need to see but be prepared that it's overwhelming and not likely to be relaxing!

7 days ago

Perfect for our young kids. We took our stroller and found no problems navigating it on the trail. Plenty of spots for our 2 year old to climb on rocks and explore.

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike. My friend, who is just getting into hiking, did this hike yesterday just for the day! We made it to the lake in an hour and a half, taking little rest stops here and there. We stayed by the lake for a couple of hours and then headed back down! I recommend hiking early in the morning, at least during these summer months, because it definitely makes a difference! Lots of wild flowers and butterflies! Beautiful. Great workout!

Awesome hike with beautiful views. Hike was strenuous at times- especially not being used to the altitude. The marmots were very used to humans- one took a few bites out of my shoe! Bring mosquito repellent. I stayed the night and was able to enjoy peace and wake up to beautiful views of the lake.

went this week and enjoyed these amazing large trees. if you walk out onto the granite face with all the stones you can see the rounded tops towering across the small valley of the Muir Grove.

Planning to come back and camp at the campground next year so we can enjoy all the little swimming holes along this trail.

It was perfect.

The earlier sections of this trail can be quite crowded, but it’s worth it to see the groves of giant sequoias! We did it in the late afternoon on a weekday in mid-Summer and there were some crowds, but the free shuttle bus between trail heads and the parking lots made it super easy to get around (if you’ve already hiked lots that morning like we had and don’t feel like hiking the whole way!).

The most peaceful and magical walk I’ve ever done. Super easy and just breathtaking. If you love giant trees and meadows, you’ll love this walk.

This was a great day hike but I’d definitely recommend an early start to avoid the worst of the heat if you’re doing it in Summer, as more than half of the trail is in the full sun. We were prepared with plenty of water (2L per person for us), sunscreen, and insect repellent. Despite the heat we were both wearing long pants, which I would definitely recommend because of the scratchy burrs that kept attaching themselves to my pants (and would otherwise have been scratching my legs). It took us about 2 hours each way. It’s almost all uphill on the way in and then almost all downhill on the way out, which is exactly how I like to hike :-) We saw a deer on the trail, and some hikers behind us also saw a rattlesnake. Some parts of the trail require caution, for example at some parts near the falls the trail is eroding away a bit, and on those bits I’d rate it as hard, not just moderate. But overall we really enjoyed this hike.

Awe inspiring views. Easy trail

Bring a bug net when hiking in the summer, trail on Elizabeth pass may be covered in snow. Doable in 4 days

The walk/hike was WONDERFUL to experience. A couple of things to note. 1) From the parking lot it is a steep walk that descends 212 ft in elevation to see General Sherman. The path is paved with steeps and plenty of benches to stop at along the way. 2) You can take a shuttle back to the parking or hike the same path you just descended in which case the benches may be more welcoming.

I would suggest taking the Congress trail to extend your viewing of other giant sequoias in the area too.

Spectacular. Went late June. Saw 12 people in four days (including a kind ranger). Did the loop counterclockwise, which is recommended unless you are otherwise itching to crawl/scramble/struggle up the skree of Sawtooth Pass. Camped Cliff Creek, Middle Lower Five Lakes, and Upper-Middle Lost Canyon. Mosquitos were out and about, but with the year’s lighter snowpack, we may have faced the worst of it. To be safe, bring ample Deet and invest in mosquito resistant clothing (including face netting). With some long stretches out of tree-cover, also bring ample sunscreen (though 3oz was more than enough for two of us).

If you’re young and/or in tip-top shape (and, more importantly, very prepared and carrying a light pack), you could do this in two days, though take caution with altitude sickness over some of these passes. Otherwise, take your time and enjoy this underappreciated escape.

Hard, but not overly painfully so. I have asthma and had to stop many times for air, but there was no need for a fast pace. Even with my slowness, we planned for four days but did it in there. Aside from normal backcountry gear, bring A LOT of sunscreen and zinc and GOOD mosquito repellant. Our GPS recorder logged significantly more miles than as posted on this and other trail sites. This map has the trail going in straight lines that do not exist. Expect closer to 35 miles maybe.

Day 1: Timber Gap Trail to Timber Gap. The trail is moderately steep out of the parking lot and continues so for some time. Reaching the top of Timber Gap has nice views with plenty of shade. Descend fast to the junction with Cliff Creek. This is the most psychologically challenging parts of the trip—to descend to below where you started and then have to climb for miles with a tall pass at the end of it. At the junction with Cliff Creek there is the most beautiful creek passing with several little pools. I wish it wouldn’t have been a waste to camp there, otherwise we would have. Have lunch. Walk along the creek and through the dry bed (which can be confusing—some cairns arranged; alternatively look for mule poop) as you pass epic waterfalls as you approach the switchbacks to climb to the Pinto Lake Area. At Pinto Lake, full water in stream that is clearly audible. Several campsites in front of and across the path from the bear box area. Choose a site on the rocks above the bear box—the breeze up there keeps the mosquitos away and the sunset is incredible.

Day 2: Fill your water. Then have fun figuring out how to get across the marsh and connect with the trail. Once you find it, begin the 3000 vertical feet in 3 miles to the top of Blackrock Pass. You’ll pass a steam going down the side of the mountain near the beginning of the climb up the switchbacks. Fill water here as it is the last water on this side and there won’t be mosquito free water for a bit on the other side. Then get ready—if you look straight up the mountain, slightly behind the stream, you can see the pass. It looks forever away. It sucked. I had to stop often (every 20-30 steps) to catch my breath. The grade is steep most of the way. But the views are the best views of the trip, as you see Columbine Lake and Spring Lake and the other lake across the valley. Take your time getting to the top and then enjoy the pass. The views are also quite good, as you look down on Little 5 lakes below. As you descend, turn around and look at the pass and you’ll understand why it’s called Blackrock—all of the rock to the right off the pass is sand colored. Get down, enjoy the view of the first couple of Little 5 lakes from above, but then put on your turbo boosters and get past them as fast as possible—horrible mosquitos. There is a creek draining from one of the lakes at the trail junction that takes you to the ranger station. Bugs were slightly less horrible there if you need water. Continue onto Big 5. You’ll hit a junction for Lower or Upper Big 5. Just know that if you choose Lower Big 5, you likely won’t come back to see Upper Big 5–there are quite a few switchbacks on the one mile trail to lower Big 5 and elevation to get back up to Upper Big 5 would suck. Lower Big 5 has some nice camping spots near the bear box and other spots across the lake on a small shoulder above where we were told there was a nice pond. AND YOU CAN HAVE FIRES HERE! Remember—no wood larger than you’re forearm.

Day 3: We had a leisurely morning of breakfast, a couple of swims, cards, and snacks. We slowly packed up, departed at 1230, and began the moderate climb to start, then mostly easy going hike to the end of Upper Lost Canyon. The creek and valley are absolutely stunning with Sawtooth and a couple other peaks in the background. We camped at a small, cleared area just a few switchbacks up the trail at the start of the climb to Columbine. We were directly next to one stream with another up the side of the mountain. Take your time along here—you’re in no rush and the valley is picturesque.

Day 4: after sleep, the hike up to Columbine from the base of the switchbacks wasn’t too bad—took maybe 45 minutes. The views are incredible; you can see the switchbacks up Blackrock Pass Trail. Contrary to what the rangers say, there are plenty of camping spots up there. When you reach the lake, follow the trail to the right, over the stream and you’ll find over a dozen great spots. The hike up to the pass is steep and challenging in sections, but the views are top notch and scree skiing down the mountain is so, so fun. Gaters and poles are a must for the descent. There isn’t really a trail for a while, so just choose a good skiing spot and keep your eyes open for the use trail toward the bottom on the way to monarch lake.

Definitely a must do to see Sherman tree (and all the other trees). Serious hikers might not like the paved trail and the crowds (I didn’t). In this case I would recommend extending the trip to log/crescent Meadow as I did.

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