Hiking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
by Laurel Scheidt (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Laurel Scheidt/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
I've hiked this trip on a 3 day backpack every year since 1997. Every year someone new wants to get into backpacking, and of all the places I've packed, this is the best one to get someone into it. It's not easy, and it's not long. It's steep, absolutley stunning looking, and just the perfect first trip. You can Cliff dive on the far side of the lake. I've been every month from early june to late august and it never disappoints. Always weatherous (this is the high Sierra after all) and always fun. If you had to backpack one place to see if this sport is for you, this is it.
This is a well marked trail with great views,the trail splits off after a bit to Alta peak then splits again to give you the option of the "Hump" route or the "watchtower" route. We took the Hump route up and the Watchtower route back.The watchtower route is much more scienic allthough there are a couple spots that may be an issue for some with height/droppoff problems.The lakes at the top are awesome and overall I would go again in a second.Some in our party had a little difficulty with the elevation.
This is a beatiful trail that combines both lush forest and classic high sierra views. The views from the Watchtower onwards are particularly stunning. You can gaze up at craggy snow covered peaks and into the canyon with a roaring river and waterfalls 1500 feet below. Emerald and Pear lakes are in enormous amphitheater like bowls with waterfalls coming down sheer rock walls prdoced by snowmelt from the peaks towering above
When I went there in early July, there was still lots of hardpack snow on the trail after the Watchtower. This made the trail quite tricky and difficult to negotiate - and I lost and found the trail several times. The snow really added to the scenery though. I would highly recommend early in the season for a visit.
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