Explore the most popular views 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.

Went Tuesday and there was No parking fee :)
Easy to follow and not a lot of people was there :)
Went with my dog and it was good :)

hiking
18 hours ago

This tops 3 sister falls on difficulty! Hardest hike I’ve done! Between 3-4 miles. Take the 40 yard off course trail and see the old gold mines. They are only about 8 feet deep. But they are great for a nice lil break or to cook your MRE

Great area! 3 or 4 trails that connect to this loop, very well marked. I saw a mama bear and two cubs!

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Backpacked into Rock lakes from Lindsay lake. The trail is a fairly good 4x4 road to Lower Rock lake. Easy hiking with slow uphill grade. Lots of water and lakes. Beautiful scenery once on top. We went in Mid May and there was still a little snow around. Strong winds and one night we got lots of thunderstorms and hail. Lots of camping options in this area.

great view and great experience

hiking
22 hours ago

5-22-18 I started around 0830 and was back at my car around 1430.
This hike is very tough. I was the only one on the trail, I did not see anyone else. lots of great scenery. but the falls were dried up but i figured that going into the hike. i would recommend hiking poles to help. I took 3 liters of water and i had it finished by the last mile or so. There is a lake and after my hike it was nice to relax and dip my feet in. Overall I would recommend this hike.

Beautiful flowers, great views.

backpacking
23 hours ago

This was my first time up this trail. I met lots of people below Cathedral Lake. Only saw 3 other people above that point. I spoke with two others that stated that the amount of snow had added a lot of time to their trek to the top. For me, the Novice, the snow did make it difficult to tel where the trail was supposed to be. Often I would follow tracks in the snow only to discover that they were way off base compared to the app map.

I'm really glad that I pushed past all the reasons to turn around and made it to the top. The view was great. There was a group of Marmots living at the top. The latest weather was rolling in so I quickly ate my lunch ad headed back down. I can understand why people do this hike over and over. Well worth it!

It was so beautiful and easy and I know nobody felt close one of them Bianka most

this is a great trail! pretty easy with a couple of little hills. great scenery, runs along a little stream. stroller friendly and not too busy

Went on a cold and foggy day and the hike was still amazing! Also got to hang out with a couple of marmots at the top. Loved the gigantic trees on the way up.

Just hiked on 5-22-18 trail is in great condition right up until the final switchbacks start going up to valentine lake. There are none, because it’s covered in snow. The track goes straight up so bring your micro spikes and get ready. It’s tough but short. Lake is still mostly frozen. Incredible hike with so many highlights I could go on forever. Rained on me and my dog the whole way back with a hale storm thrown in to boot!

off road driving
1 day ago

Went up after heavy rain and was surprised it was open. Awesome views, blue difficulty, most stock 4x4s can get through when it's dry.

Breathtaking spot!
Awesome hike!
Highly recommend !!

1 day ago

Great trail!! Lives up to its name and kicks some butt (in the beginning). Definitely worth the trek as once you make it to the "top" it opens up into a beautiful expanse. There are several other trails to follow that are pretty flat and easy to maneuver. The trail is clean and clear of brush. Saw one dead snake on my run today, but otherwise nothing other than some birds. The grass and trees are all still so green and quite lovely!! Gonna go back again next week!

on Preston Falls Trail

hiking
1 day ago

This is one other amazing trail to hike. You hike along the bank of the vibrant river and its very refreshing.I had been on a mid spring sunny day when the weather was around 70F. I had started to hike by 1030 hrs and found it highly draining and had got dehydrated by the time i got back, may be I am used to hiking a lot during fall and winter and had still not acclimatized to the spring weather. My suggestion is to hike during dusk or dawn so that you will to get enjoy the hike thoroughly. It took 0430 hrs for me to hike this 8.9 mile hike.
Note on the travel direction: after you cross the vehicle bridge in the cherry lake road while driving from Highway 120, please turn to the right towards the cottages. There is no sign board directing to the trail head and mostly you will tend to get lost. from there it is just a 3/4 mile to the trail head and it is called as Stanislaus National Forest Trail Head.

hiking
1 day ago

This trail was a great workout. It's a fire road for the 4.2 miles to the tower. Lots of burn scars from the recent fires but the views were amazing and lots of wild flowers. We will be back again.

one of the most challenging hikes I have ever done. It is long and strenuous, felt like it doesn't end. We went on a cool day but still ran out of water, make sure to grab at least 3L for each person going.
there were patches of snow along the trail
the way back hurts the legs, note to self was to grab pain-killers to survive the way back

Really good local hike. We decided to trek the shorter route, from SR 67. If you can, park on the same side as the entrance to the hike. The cars on that hwy speed by! We took our three year old son, and he made it all the way up and down. It has a paved road the entire way up, which was ideal for our little one. And just like most other reviews it was definitely steep throughout. The hike has great views and a ton of huge rocks that line the path. This hike is great if you want to reach potatoe chip rock quickly, and go during a weekday. It’s less crowded. Overall it was fun and moderately challenging at times.

clockwise May 19 2018, 3 days 2 nights. Camped at Vernon lake and Rancheria (considered Tiltill but limited sites and unlimited mosquitoes).

In the early season, this is as good as any Yosemite backcountry hike (lakes, waterfalls, views, variety of ecosystems and vegetation)
+ and!
no crowding (walked up for permit, saw fewer than 10 people when away from lower trail along the reservoir).

In later season I can imagine the dust and heat and aridity might change the balance and drop a star.

It may distract from your enjoyment if you think about the history of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Consider the info from online and national park service as well as from San Francisco department of water that is on the placards.

Prep suggestions:
* we liked clockwise, not only to get elevation out of the way early, but facing into nice view coming back down to Hetch Hetchy :
* be ready for wearying uphill and downhill in and out of Hetch Hetchy Valley
* check if you will need to wade. We waded across parts of Tiltill Valley (water above boot line and no way around, for approx 20 yards each side of the valley). Soft soil and grass means barefoot is fine.
* fair amount of bogs and rock hopping and downed trees changed our time calculus.

Highlights:
* great campsites + no fire restriction
* water at Wapama falls is enough to get wet walking across the bridge but not enough to close the trail
* wildflowers!! (So so many and so many species, especially at lower elevations)
* Tiltill Valley = spectacular in a peaceful way, well worth seeing (think baby Yosemite or tiny pre flood Hetch Hetchy)
* Vernon lake, especially from the ridge above the lake (toward Tiltill/Rancheria)

Note on mileage: Trails illustrated is 25, not counting unavoidable .5 each way from parking to the dam and variable to get from junction to actual camping at Vernon (.3 each way, but could be more). My gps said 27.5. I would use 25+ for planning assumption, not the 23 from AllTrails (sorry guys!)
Final note that the backcountry office says 28 miles, but I believe that is the trails illustrated 25 plus 3 miles optional extra around laurel lake.

great long hike loved fern canyon nothing like it do bring waterproof boots or water shoes or just take off your shoes to not get your socks wet also walking stick helps while crossing the logs over the creek in the canyon

great trail, amazing views and cold drinks available once you reach the top via the tank trail...

camped at blue lake last night it got 1-2 feet of snow overnight so be prepared. with prior accumulation there were some waist deep sections and snow shoes would help

hiking
1 day ago

I remember hiking here 40 years ago ... only tiny dirt trails. How time changes. Beautiful nevertheless

hiking
1 day ago

great trip with fantastic views at top. A bit crowded but that is expected given accessibility. Go early to avoid the major crowds. Been up here many times and always like it.

1 day ago

one of my favorite hikes in San Diego County. So nice to be hiking for four and a half to 5 miles and find a beautiful Visitor Center with information about local species and nature and a ranger there to chat with.

off road driving
1 day ago

Great trail but definitely go with others. My stock two door rubicon did well, tho I did scrape the skid plates underneath a bit. It’s better suited for vehicles with more ground clearance and bigger tires.

hiking
1 day ago

Great walk through a magical place. Walked with 3 little ones who loved the informative brochure that you can borrow at the beginning of the hike.

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