Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

hiking
4 hours ago

Went to the Third Lake only which was a pretty clear trail - some leftover snow. Heard that heading towards the Fourth Lake had more snow so we just turned around at the Third. I'm deducting one star because I had heard the Third Lake was more turquoise in color, and we were really disappointed it was not - maybe it was the time of year or the time of day?? Any tips on that would be appreciated.

We somehow took a wrong turn on the way up and the way back so we did almost 15 miles. It was a pretty strenuous hike and we both think we were battling slight altitude sickness. Overall it was an amazing experience. We were so glad we opted to stay at the Glacier Lodge the night before and the day of the hike.

Tip: bring sunscreen for the exposed areas; stay at the Glacier Lodge the night before so you get a good night's sleep and the day of the hike so you get a nice hot shower!

My friend and I enjoyed this hike! It’s easy and falls are beautiful. Lots of people hike this so parking can become difficult to find. I recommend arriving earlier, doesn’t offer much shade until you get close to the falls. Great for bikes and dogs.

Tons of mosquitos- wear spray! We were eaten alive around 10am

This was a very confusing yet beautiful hike the flowers were so pretty but the trail
Was not marked or maintained at all we just kinda keep going with what we thought was a trail until we came across the waterfall

Easy as far as distance but when it comes down to the incline it’s a bit difficult rocks make it hard to walk sometimes

Great trail!

Great hike!

This hike has some lovely parts and some crappy asphalt parts.
The views can be great and it's an easy way to get out of the city and away from the crowds.
I would recommend this hike if you're not super choosy about your flavor of nature.

This was an excellent hike! The trail was easy enough for an adventurous 7 year-old, including the navigation down the rope-assisted section.
I would plan on spending an hour at the waterfall and just chillin with a snack, that way the crowds come and go in waves so you end up getting time alone.
Would highly recommend as a pretty easy hike!

Great loop, be aware thou.
the whole loop it's block by rocks, so it is flooded. You need to go upper side of trail at one point. Probably 1 mile, going between Rocks, over tree trunks and under tree trunk. So, not as easy for now. We got Sun, Rain and Mosquitoes.
Si dress accordingly to the weather.
Still thou, a challenge for beginners like us. I found a stick about 6ft. came very handy to go through this obstacles.
Great spots for pics!

This is a great route to hike Baldy. We left the Manker Flats camp area around 11am and made it through the whole loop with 30+ minutes at the summit in about 7 hours. I would HIGHLY recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise. The way down was steep and looser material without the double view to the north and south; the way up allowed us to stop and enjoy the seas of clouds on the ocean AND desert sides.
Overall: very true to the description. Follow the warnings (ie, don't take FAR left trail) and you will have a strenuous but exhilarating hike!
(Don't forget to top off your water at the Notch, that was key for us).

Great trail with lots of Giant Sequoias. The 2 mile dirt road to get to the trail head looked like it was recently graded so no major potholes, would be easy to get to in a low car. The start of the trail is a gradual downhill and then it's a gradual uphill. With a backpack I was a little out of breath, but really wasn't too steep or difficult. Lots of great trees and scenic spots with small steam crossings. We turned left at the fork and camped along Redwood Creek. Luckily, not very many mosquitoes. We were planning on doing the sugarbowl trail loop back, but got a late start and just did the redwood creek trail back up. That was a gradual uphill, but not too difficult. Watch out for patches of little pine cones, I slipped on those buggars.

Only did the Mist Trail. Didn’t go all the way to Vernal Falls. It was difficult. Uphill the whole way. Spectacular views of the waterfall. I highly recommend!

Whitney in May is totally where it's at. I climbed it on a Saturday with a group of 3 in one day and maybe 10-15 other folks made it to the top. The lack of crowds was fantastic and it was a load of fun. Be prepared for snow and ice and it's good to have crampons and an ice axe for going up (and glissading down) the chute. We left at 4am, summited at 11:30 and got back at 5pm and it was great but did make very good time. If you're somewhat less experienced, of recommend leaving an hour earlier but it's really not too bad of a hike. During be summer months, I think it's akin to San Gorgonio just shifted up a few thousand feet (which does make a big difference) and during the winter, it's a perfect place to work on beginner mountaineering skills. Overall, a fantastic mountain and the tallest in the lower 48!!!

13 hours ago

Awesome hike. Easy down, hard getting back up. But good views and lunch along the river make it worth the effort. Never seen it too crowded but you will have to step off the trail and let someone pass now and then. Lots of lizards and butterflies. Watch out for ticks.

I am writing this after my ibuprofen has had a chance to kick in the day after! I am an older, slower hiker but I peaked this mountain yesterday. It was challenging yet so rewarding. It became steep after Spruce Grove Campground. The shaded, foggy trail kept me cool...making the uphill trudge more bearable. I loved reaching the top and going to the lookout area immediately to the right when you summit. You will find the elevation/Mt. Wilson sign there. After that, a trip to the Cosmic Cafe for some tasty food is a well earned treat.
I thought I got off trail on the way down. I would recommend getting the map at the little store at Chantry Flats. It includes the locations of all the campgrounds, call boxes, river crossings, etc. and can be helpful when your electronic devices don’t work.
My phone tracked this hike as a 16 miler...if I can do it, you probably can too!

Very bad trail no maintenance the picnic and bathroom looks like a trash.the trail you can not go through.this has to be a close please,that way you don’t have to drive and lose your time and gas.

great trail to go on especially for beginners. took our 4 year old daughter she had great time. was a little tricky to find. there is a camp ground at the trail head and a small parking lot. the lot was full when we arrived had to park on top of the hill about .5 miles from trail. even with parking a bit away from the trail it was still worth it.

i am writing this review for those parents that are looking for trails to take your kids. This trail is perfect! I have a 8 and 6 year old and they enjoyed this trail. Bring snacks or pack a lunch there is plenty of spots to stop and give them a snack or take a picture. The ruins will be their playground and the waterfall will not disappoint. Although they cannot play in it.

Amazing! There is some rock climbing in the end but I I managed for a short person.

Just finished this hike last Saturday. We camped at the Outpost camp Friday night and headed for the summit at 5am Saturday. We reached the summit around noon, with clouds rolling in, just in time to start heading down before the weather got bad.

Conditions were generally good, with snow cover starting around 11k feet.

This trail was absolutely beautiful. The first mile and the last couple miles up are the hardest but trekking poles help a ton. The juice is worth the squeeze on this one as the sights from up top are breathtaking.

Wonderful trail and beautiful lake.

I never grow tired of this hike! we hiked two days ago, got caught in a bit of hail and rain but the falls were incredible and it was still a wonderful day.

such a great trail to relax and just enjoy nature.

It honestly lives up to hype with the sights to see. It is a challenge despite what other reviews might say. It’s continuously uphill and the altitude climb can really get to you (nausea, dizziness, and headaches). It takes about 2-3 hrs to get to the first lake depending on how many times you stop to rest. Bring lots of water/snacks and come prepared for a nice challenge. You’ll be sore but if you can push through it then it’s worth it. Lakes are beautiful blue green water and the views truly are breathtaking.

Really cool hike. over shot the water fall by like a mile or two tho...

Challenging. Start early in the day. Expect to lose the trail several times and backtrack. Be cautious when heading back down, as it is easy to get off trail and onto a steep ledge, ... then difficult getting back on trail.

Please see Taylor M’s review

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