It’s a nice location but I’m not sure why it’s called a ranger station, since there aren’t any actual rangers there. Heather Lake is, I think, the most attractive (if also the most ordinary) of the lakes in this area, since it’s pleasantly wooded. Type of Hike Day hike. Shutterstock On Sunday, the Rangers recovered the body of 29-year-old Eric Juliani of New Jersey. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corp starting 1939 this stone and log hut stands as one of the few historic buildings still used for winter recreation inside a … They can be reached at (559) 784-1500. Located 37 miles east-northeast of Visalia California. Here you'll find blog posts about some of my favorite backpacking and travel adventures. Most people hung out around the right cliff, shooting photos from here, but a few walked around the rim and out onto the spine of the Watchtower itself! Share. The trail climbs over a low rise. Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps. Hike to Pear Lake. Nestled up in the mountains at 9,200 feet, the Pear Lake Winter Hut offers access to the pristine winter wilderness of Sequoia National Park. Contact me here and say hi :). Two miles from Pear Lake, we arrived at Heather Lake just in time to see a guy dive head first into the brisk water! Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness. Here are some of my favorite snacks, breakfasts, lunch, and dinner meal ideas for your next backcountry trip, Outdoor gear is not cheap, so here are a couple of tips I’ve found that have helped me save a little on gear, Here's our 10 day road trip itinerary along with things to do on New Zealand's south island to help you plan your trip. Print. We had clear views of the surrounding peaks, and the lakes we passed were even more blue under the bright sun and blue skies. On Day #2 I hiked cross-country to Moose Lake and stayed the night. The steep six-mile trail begins at Wolverton and gains 2,000 feet in elevation to reach the Pear Lake area. July and August are the b Less than 10 miles roundtrip, the Duck Lake is the perfect overnight backpacking trip to experience classic Sierra lakes and mountains. The trail is rocky and can be a little slow to negotiate. The one thing missing from this trail are sweeping mountainous views; the trail never climbs out of the Tokopah Valley and the views are mostly limited to the valley. The lakes are best visited on a long day hike. An amazing overnight hike to Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park, one of the Sierra's most popular weekend destinations. Climbing into a stark granite landscape studded with glacially-formed lakes, the Pear Lake Trail offers some real alpine scenery that’s only about four miles from the Wolverton trailhead. I love the look of the rock slabs sloping straight into the brilliant blue waters. The Wolverton to Pear Lake Ski Hut winter route follows nearly the same route as the popular summer Lakes Trail that leads up to Heather, Aster, and Pear lakes. During our 3 day trip, we also hiked up to the summit of Mt. This time we got to take our time and enjoy the views of Tokopah Valley from this exposed section of the trail. No wonder this trail is so popular that it’s the only backpacking route in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park that is only first-come-first-serve and doesn’t accept reservations. About 1.5 miles from the split, we reached a clearing in the forest and suddenly found ourselves on the edge of a large cliff and an insane view of the mountain range in the distance. Summary: I went on a solo backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park. Pear Lake Winter Hut. We enjoyed a snack here and spotted so many fish in the clear green waters. Trip Report By. Mostly sunny. Pear Lake is the largest lake of the bunch, evident by its small mouth that expands into a bigger area. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Aron Bosworth Sitting at 9,200 feet in a rugged alpine basin within Sequoia National Park, Pear Lake Ski Hut is the highest, and arguably the nicest, of California's winter backcountry huts. The lakes are best visited on a long day hike. Permits are only first come first serve, and they are available beginning at 1pm the day before your hike at the Lodgepole Visitor Center (I suggest arriving a little earlier to get in line! The famed and historical Pear Lake Hut is owned and operated by Sequoia Natural History Association and located inside Sequoia National Park. At both Emerald and Pear Lake, you are only allowed to camp in numbered sites to reduce the human impact all the foot traffic this place sees. The advanced level ski/snowshoe trail offers a chance to explore the beautiful wilderness of the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter months with a cozy cabin waiting for you at the end of your day. The final 0.6 miles to Pear Lake climbs a little, passing over a field of boulders to the edge of the water, at elevation 9,550 feet. You can only see the back of the watchtower and it’s nothing special; of more interest is the expansive view of Tokopah Falls from above. The permit is only for overnight backpackers, day hikers do not need a permit! We started off on the trail, which made switchbacks through the forest and slowly gained elevation. FILE: Skiers on their way toward the Pear Lake cabin in Sequoia National Park in 2015. The main trail continues to climb up to Pear Lake, crossing the most barren, rocky landscape of the hike. There is no camping at Heather or Aster, and when we finally reached Emerald Lake (9,229’) 5.3 miles from the trailhead, we saw there were quite a few backpackers who had already set up camp, so we decided to push on the final mile towards Pear Lake. I can see why this Sequoia National Park trail is so popular - you get four alpine lakes and the Watchtower views all in an overnight trip. 6.4 miles from the trailhead, we finally arrived right as the golden light started to hit the top of the mountains and create the most perfect reflection in Pear Lake, the largest lake in the area. Moderate climb. So pick a promising day and get an early start to enjoy this gorgeous place. I finally hiked the High Sierra Trail, a trip I've been dying to do for years! Beautiful Pear Lake, a 1.1 miles past Emerald, is set amid a world of glacial polished granite slabs and cliffs framed by Alta Peak to the south. Begin your trip at 7,200 feet at Wolverton and ascend a steep six miles east to the Pear Lake area of 9,200 feet. The sheer ridge almost looks like the side of a jigsaw puzzle, with lots of jagged, dramatic pieces jutting straight up. We were making great time, so we decided to take the longer Watchtower route again. This trail starts at Wolverton Meadow (7,200 feet elevation) and climbs 2,000 feet over six steep miles of snow-covered trail until you reach Pear Lake. Exploring the shore of Pear Lake in the morning. I think this trail makes the perfect intro to backpacking for any beginner, or anyone looking for a short backpacking trip near the Bay Area, CA. We opted for the Watchtower Trail and headed left at this fork. Since the trail is entirely downhill back to the car, we made great timing and were back at our cars within three hours. Curving around a ridge, the trail offers some nice views of the Watchtower and the Tokopah valley. Price. Admittedly it’s a somewhat challenging four miles, but this is still the most popular high country hike in Sequoia National Park. Beautiful Pear Lake, a 1.1 miles past Emerald, is set amid a world of glacial polished granite slabs and cliffs framed by Alta Peak to the south. The red, smooth, striped walls make for unique photo opportunities. For overnight, you'll need to get a permit but there are beautiful camping spots available at both Emerald Lake and Pear Lake. For some reason there’s no camping at Heather Lake. Read About these trails in our Hiking Guide We had a fantastic 5 night backpack trip in Sequoia National Park. There are several bear boxes at the start of the trail for you to store any scented items so you don’t leave them in your car. Pear Lake. The trail switchbacks up the hill, then passes through two vertiginous stretches where it’s carved into the side of a steep granite hill. The other lakes are somewhat more barren-looking, being surrounded mostly by bare granite. Dates: Oct 13 - Oct 14Miles: 12.8 roundtripElevation change: 3,416 ftTrail type: Out and backPermit: Required (first come first serve May - Sep, self issued Oct - May)Cost: FreeTrailhead: Google Maps, Because of its popularity, this is the only trail in Sequoia and Kings Canyon that does not have reservable overnight permits. Early on in the trail we walked right by a group of five deer grazing calmly only about 15 feet from the trail! As you begin your ascent, there are phenomenal vistas over Aster Lake with views of the Watchtower in the distance. Sign up with your email address to receive occasional updates of new blog posts. First campsite - Summit Lake (7.6 miles). The shortest and easiest route to the lakes is via the Lakes Trail, which shares the same parking lot as the Alta Peak Trailhead. Backpacking the Lakes Trail Overnight to Pear Lake — Sequoia National Park, CA, Backpacking Fontanillis Lake to Dicks Peak — Desolation Wilderness, CA, Sequoia Kings Canyon wilderness permit info here, 2020 Backpacking Permit Deadlines for California and More, 2019 Deadlines for CA Backpacking Permits You Don't Want To Miss, Backpacking the High Sierra Trail in 6 Days, High Sierra Trail Day 6 — Guitar Lake to Mt. I finally got the chance to backpack to Pear Lake, the final destination six miles in on the Lakes Trail. In total, the hike in took us around 5.5 hours, which included plenty of stops to take photos and explore the Watchtower. Highs 44 to 54 at 5000 feet. Over higher Elevations, northwest Winds 25 to 30 Mph with Gusts to around 50 Mph in the morning. Since we were coming from the Bay Area and Los Angeles that morning, we didn’t get hiking until 1pm. After we warmed up under the sun a little, we started our journey back out. My favorite view of the lake is actually towards the southwest shore. As we started to see Pear Lake (9,544’), the clouds also happened to clear, and we were finally able to see the tops of the surrounding mountains, giving us a true scale of how enormous the basin was. Make a right .1 mile later at the Lodgepole Trail junction to continue on the Lakes Trail. The next part of the hike is one of my favorites, as the trail hugs the side of the cliff and continues climbing above the valley below. The hut sleeps ten people and offers many amenities to lighten your load. Turn left at the trail to Pear Lake. The beginning portion of this trail is nothing particularly special, but the forest did have that distinct dry and brown Sequoia forest feel, and I love the way forests like these smell - dry and cedar-like! Although there are two large parking lots, this trailhead is very popular not only among backpackers, but especially among day hikers and even fishermen! Soon the trail reaches the junction with the Hump route, and shortly after that, the trail curves around Heather Lake. There are climpses of the hills and granite outcroppings across the Tokopah Valley. From here, you’ll climb nearly 1,000 feet along Wolverton Creek and a million-year-old moraine deposited by the Tokopah Glacier. So pick a promising day and get an early start to enjoy this gorgeous place. Alas, that last mile is all uphill; but, thankfully, it’s a mild grade. © At the next intersection, you can either take the "Watchtower" route to the left or the "Hump" route to the right. Since this trail is normally walk up only, I had to wait until after the permit season ended, which was September 22nd for this year (Sequoia Kings Canyon wilderness permit info here). The Lakes Trail between Emerald and Heather Lake, Trail Map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Generals Highway. Day one From the trailhead at the end of Wolverton Road, ascend concrete steps to the well-signed Lakes Trail, heading north. Wilderness permits for the following trails are issued by Sequoia National Forest. The Watchtower Trail is closed in the winter and the trail can be covered with snow well into summer. Fortunately for those who have to take the Hump route, the best scenery doesn’t come until after the two trails re-join. Map is part of the Trail Map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Generals Highway (Redwood Hikes Press, 2013). The Lakes Trail shortly before Heather Lake. 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