Lakes Trail

Sequoia National Park, California 93262

Elevation Gain1,211ft
Trailhead Elevation7,276ft
Elevation Min/Max7276/8318ft
Elevation Start/End7276/7276ft

Lakes Trail

Lakes Trail is a hiking and horse trail in Tulare County, California. It is within Sequoia National Park. It is 4.1 miles long and begins at 7,276 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,211 feet. The Wolverton Trailhead Info information board is near the trailhead. There are also parkings and a picnic site. Along the trail there is a camp site. This trail connects with the following: Hiking Trail, Panther Gap Trail, Lakes Trail - The Watchtower and Lakes Trail - The Hump.

Lakes Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Hiking Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (Falcon Guides)
Laurel Scheidt
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"This jaunt culminates at exquisite Pear Lake, the last lake on the Lakes Trail. In the shadow of Alta Peak, this austere glacial bowl is a marvelous destination. The trip starts by ascending concrete steps, heading north on the signed Lakes Trail. Treading uphill you meet an unsigned trail on the left (west), leading downhill, which is part of the Long Meadow Trail (Hike 26). Continue around the curve to a junction at 0.1 mile with the Wolverton Trail leading left (northwest) to Lodgepole. Make a right (east) turn, staying on the Lakes Trail, and almost immediately pass another junction with the Long Meadow Trail."

Lakes Trail Trip Reports

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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.
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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.
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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.

Lakes Trail Photos

Trail Information

Sequoia National Park
Nearby City
Sequoia National Park
Skill Level
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (559) 565-3341
Local Contacts
U.S.G.S. Lodgepole Sequoia Natural History Assc.— Lodgepole/Wolverton
Local Maps

Trail Log