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pear lake, sequoia

December 22, 2020

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. Curving around a ridge, the trail offers some nice views of the Watchtower and the Tokopah valley. Soon the trail reaches the junction with the Hump route, and shortly after that, the trail curves around Heather Lake. The Watchtower route is far more interesting, and quite a bit easier too. Aloha Lake is one of the most popular backpacking trips in Desolation Wilderness, CA. It is an example of the National Park Service Rustic style, using rough masonry and a log roof structure. Contact me here and say hi :). An amazing overnight hike to Pear Lake in Sequoia National Park, one of the Sierra's most popular weekend destinations. Sequoia High Sierra - Pear Lake is a 12.4 mile hike with 2,750 feet elevation gain. Tagged: Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, backpacking, trip report, Sierras, lakes, SoCal, I'm Alice, a weekend hiker and outdoor adventurer based out of the Bay Area in California. I finally hiked the High Sierra Trail, a trip I've been dying to do for years! Type of Hike Day hike. 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. Price. Exploring the shore of Pear Lake in the morning. 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. Make a right .1 mile later at the Lodgepole Trail junction to continue on the Lakes Trail. Map is part of the Trail Map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Generals Highway (Redwood Hikes Press, 2013). 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. This was the hardest part of the trail, as we actually lost some elevation heading down towards Emerald, and now had to climb up the steepest part around a bend to get to Pear Lake! 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. 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). As you begin your ascent, there are phenomenal vistas over Aster Lake with views of the Watchtower in the distance. 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. Two miles from Pear Lake, we arrived at Heather Lake just in time to see a guy dive head first into the brisk water! 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. 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! Check the park’s trail conditions web page before hiking. The famed and historical Pear Lake Hut is owned and operated by Sequoia Natural History Association and located inside Sequoia National Park. The other lakes are somewhat more barren-looking, being surrounded mostly by bare granite. 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. The shortest and easiest route to the lakes is via the Lakes Trail, which shares the same parking lot as the Alta Peak Trailhead. Pictures of the Lakes Trail, Sequoia National Park, California: Wide view of Pear Lake The Lakes Trail shortly before Heather Lake. Day one From the trailhead at the end of Wolverton Road, ascend concrete steps to the well-signed Lakes Trail, heading north. 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. Outside the quota season (September 20, 2020 – May 28, 2021), Wilderness permits are free, self-issued, and are not limited to daily entry quotas.Self-issue wilderness permits are available at the nearest permit-issuing station.There is no fee for self-issue permits. Wildflowers, granite peaks, and a vast, sweeping landscape, made this section of the hike one of my favorites in recent memory. I love the look of the rock slabs sloping straight into the brilliant blue waters. Note - day hikers you can also get to the start of this trail from Lodgepole if needed (view the map above). Amazingly there are still trees, though, especially around the campsites. Today the sun was out in full force, and the same moody trail we hiked yesterday had an entirely different feel. Admittedly it’s a somewhat challenging four miles, but this is still the most … The sheer ridge almost looks like the side of a jigsaw puzzle, with lots of jagged, dramatic pieces jutting straight up. Turn left at the trail to Pear Lake. The trail is about 4 to 6 feet wide so it doesn’t seem especially dangerous on dry late-summer days, but you wouldn’t want to be here when it’s covered with ice or snow. On our way there, we also passed over Aster Lake (9,101’), a deep dark lake fed by Emerald Lake. Since the trail is entirely downhill back to the car, we made great timing and were back at our cars within three hours. It’s the most stark and otherworldly of the lakes on this trail and although it’s actually a fairly popular destination, it feels very remote. If you decide to go, please practice Leave No Trace! The scenery gradually improves as a rushing creek comes into earshot and the the trail crosses a small meadow. The trail climbs over a low rise. After shooting plenty of pictures and exploring the area, we noticed the low-lying clouds drifting in quickly and decided to get moving towards the lakes. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Sequoia National Forest. Long Meadow Trail: Begins at the Mountain Home trailhead. The hut sleeps ten people and offers many amenities to lighten your load. 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. On Day #2 I hiked cross-country to Moose Lake and stayed the night. 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. 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. All-inclusive trips, expert guides, Top-rated hiking company on Trip Advisor! Print. Here you'll find blog posts about some of my favorite backpacking and travel adventures. Located 37 miles east-northeast of Visalia California. This means packing out all your trash, only camping in designated sites, and not cutting switchbacks. The next morning we slept in a little before wandering around the shore of the lake one last time before leaving. Massive Sequoias dot the perimeter of the smaller lake as the granite domes begin to rise higher in the distance. Click map to show all roads and trails 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. As it was pretty late in the season, the air got quite chilly once the sunset, and we were already in our tents by 8pm! FILE: Skiers on their way toward the Pear Lake cabin in Sequoia National Park in 2015. The Lakes Trail to Pear Lake can be done as either an overnight stay or a day hike. The Watchtower route continues to climb through pine forest, finally breaking out of the woods right at the point where it reaches the Watchtower. Price — Desolation Wilderness, CA, Zebra Slot Canyon - Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, UT. 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. More Heather Lake, Emerald Lake, and Pear Lake Trail via Watchtower and Pear Lake Trails is a 11.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. All three major water basins on this route—Pear Lake, Emerald Lake, and Heather Lake—are surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. This Sequoia winter hike is extremely difficult and should only be undertaken by highly experienced winter hikers and never alone. The views all along this rim were spectacular, and looking down at the sheer, almost overhung, drop off below us definitely got our blood pumping! We opted for the Watchtower Trail and headed left at this fork. My favorite view of the lake is actually towards the southwest shore. The one-room (maybe two) hut is closed in the summer, but from December 15 to April 9 hardy skiers can apparently stay overnight by reservation. 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. 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. GADS Hiked Aug 6, 2004. Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park: Pear Lake Backpacking - See 159 traveler reviews, 109 candid photos, and great deals for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA, at Tripadvisor. You can really sense how small your are standing are you are hiking through this section of the park. For overnight, you'll need to get a permit but there are beautiful camping spots available at both Emerald Lake and Pear Lake. They lack the distinctive gnarled appearance seen elsewhere, maybe because they’re sheltered in this valley. So pick a promising day and get an early start to enjoy this gorgeous place. 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 … Shutterstock On Sunday, the Rangers recovered the body of 29-year-old Eric Juliani of New Jersey. The lake is a classic tarn, set in a distinctive glacially-carved granite bowl or cirque. Hike past three stunning alpine lakes and take in expansive granite views before reaching your prize, Pear Lake. Admittedly it’s a somewhat challenging four miles, but this is still the most popular high country hike in Sequoia National Park. The lakes are best visited on a long day hike. So pick a promising day and get an early start to enjoy this gorgeous place. The main trail continues to climb up to Pear Lake, crossing the most barren, rocky landscape of the hike. The trail continues to be cut into the hillside, although the hill isn’t quite as steep. Alas, that last mile is all uphill; but, thankfully, it’s a mild grade. 800-715-HIKE 9-4:30 Every Day Wildland Wires Sign Up! They can be reached at (559) 784-1500. Wilderness permits are required year-round for all overnight trips in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks' wilderness. 37 to 47 at 8000 feet. 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. Today 11 Dec Sequoia Kings. Gusts up to 45 Mph in the morning. There are also decent vault toilets and bear boxes at both (2019 update - these boxes can be locked and unavailable for use at any time, so it might be best to check before you go, or just always count on bringing your own bear canister). The expansive granite basin views surrounding each lake made it worth braving the brisk late-season temperatures! Share. ), Click here for a list of all important CA backpacking permit deadlines you won’t want to miss. The Lakes Trail between Emerald and Heather Lake, Trail Map of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Generals Highway. Award-winning Sequoia - Kings Canyon Hiking Tours: Alta Meadows and Pear Lake backpacking trip! 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. The permit is only for overnight backpackers, day hikers do not need a permit! Sign up with your email address to receive occasional updates of new blog posts. 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. In total, the hike in took us around 5.5 hours, which included plenty of stops to take photos and explore the Watchtower. Fish Creek Trail: Begins at the Jerkey Meadow trailhead. Highs 44 to 54 at 5000 feet. We enjoyed a snack here and spotted so many fish in the clear green waters. 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. 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. We were making great time, so we decided to take the longer Watchtower route again. Early on in the trail we walked right by a group of five deer grazing calmly only about 15 feet from the trail! Summary: I went on a solo backpacking trip in Sequoia National Park. Pear Lake In Sequoia National Park When you can tear yourself away from Emerald Lake, it’s just one more mile until the end of the trail at Pear Lake. Mostly sunny. During our 3 day trip, we also hiked up to the summit of Mt. Let’s all be better about treating gorgeous places like these with the love and respect they deserve. Pear Lake is located in about 4-mi (6.4-km) from the Wolverton trailhead in Sequoia National Park. As we continued our hike to Pear Lake, the trail became rockier, and the views more incredible. The trail climbs more insistently, and the dense pine forest opens up a little and becomes more scenic. A spur trail to the left descends to the ranger station, which is another handsome stone structure set next to a sort of mini-waterfall where a creek cascades over some low step-like rock formations. At the next intersection, you can either take the "Watchtower" route to the left or the "Hump" route to the right. Trip Report By. 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. 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! Once we reached Heather Lake (9,265’), it was only a mile more until Emerald Lake. 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. Sequoia Parks Conservancy, the official 501(c)(3) nonprofit partner of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (National Park Service) and Lake Kaweah (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), uses tax-deductible contributions to support these parks. The trip to the hut is for experienced backcountry skiers under potentially dangerous, winter conditions. Pear Lake Winter Hut. 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. 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! Advance reservations are required. As sun began to set, some fog began to drift into the valley, filling the basin with mist that lit up as the sun began to glow orange and red. I finally got the chance to backpack to Pear Lake, the final destination six miles in on the Lakes Trail. The Watchtower Trail is closed in the winter and the trail can be covered with snow well into summer. 9/8/2015 Destination: Pear Lake (via Watchtower Trail) Elevation: 9,600 ft Distance: 13 miles round trip Elevation gain: 2,200 ft Those 6 days in remote backcountry absolutely blew me away. Only a six mile hike past an epic lookout overlooking a large granite valley and four gorgeous alpine lakes? Hike to Pear Lake. The lakes are best visited on a long day hike. Whitney, High Sierra Trail Day 5 — Junction Meadow to Guitar Lake, High Sierra Trail Day 4 — Moraine Lake to Junction Meadow, High Sierra Trail Day 3 — Hamilton Lake to Moraine Lake, High Sierra Trail Day 2 — 9 Mile Creek to Hamilton Lake, High Sierra Trail Day 1 — Crescent Meadow to 9 Mile Creek, How to Plan Transportation for the High Sierra Trail, General Sherman Tree & Moro Rock - Sequoia Kings Canyon, CA, Mitchell Peak Day Hike — Sequoia and Kings Canyon, CA, Backpacking Roads End to Paradise Valley — Sequoia and Kings Canyon, CA, How I Save Money on Camping and Hiking Gear, New Zealand South Island 10 Day Roadtrip Itinerary for the Outdoor Lover, Backpacking Duck Lake Pass Trail — Mammoth, CA, Backpacking Lake Aloha to Mt. 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. Our entire jaunt into the mountains took exactly 24 hours, and there is nothing like an overnight backpacking trip to make you feel like you had such a productive weekend! From here, you’ll climb nearly 1,000 feet along Wolverton Creek and a million-year-old moraine deposited by the Tokopah Glacier. For some reason there’s no camping at Heather Lake. Although there are two large parking lots, this trailhead is very popular not only among backpackers, but especially among day hikers and even fishermen! What to eat while backpacking? The red, smooth, striped walls make for unique photo opportunities. The Lakes Trail (also known as Pear Lake Trail) in Sequoia National Park, California - 6 mile route leading to Heather, Emerald, Aster and Pear Lakes, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Sequoia National Park, Tablelands cross country wandering, Pear Lake trail & California. Since we were coming from the Bay Area and Los Angeles that morning, we didn’t get hiking until 1pm. © Pear Lake. 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, … The trail then descends toward the Emerald Lake campground, which has an exceptionally picturesque outhouse, a handsome stone structure set on a low rise among the alpine scenery. 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. However, it’s often closed as late as July due to persistent snow on its shady north-facing slopes. First campsite - Summit Lake (7.6 miles). Heather Lake is, I think, the most attractive (if also the most ordinary) of the lakes in this area, since it’s pleasantly wooded. Pear Lake is the largest lake of the bunch, evident by its small mouth that expands into a bigger area. Fortunately for those who have to take the Hump route, the best scenery doesn’t come until after the two trails re-join. Breezy. July and August are the b Over higher Elevations, northwest Winds 25 to 30 Mph with Gusts to around 50 Mph in the morning. The Zebra Slot Canyon is one of my favorite hikes in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area. Moderate climb. This time we got to take our time and enjoy the views of Tokopah Valley from this exposed section of the trail. Location: Sequoia National Park - Wolverton to Pear Lake via Lakes Trail, then cross-country to Moose Lake . After we warmed up under the sun a little, we started our journey back out. Pear Lake. Foot traffic on the trail seems to drop off at this point and you’re not likely to see anyone until you reach Pear Lake. 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 Pear Lake Ski Hut (also known as Pear Lake Winter Hut) was built in Sequoia National Park by the Civilian Conservation Corps during 1939-1941 using local Sierra granite and timber materials. The structure is more accurately called the Pear Lake Backcountry Ski Hut. After the campground, the trail begins climbing again. FILE: Skiers on their way toward the Pear Lake cabin in Sequoia National Park in 2015. Read About these trails in our Hiking Guide We had a fantastic 5 night backpack trip in Sequoia National Park. 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. We had clear views of the surrounding peaks, and the lakes we passed were even more blue under the bright sun and blue skies. Even though this route is 0.4 miles longer we thought it would have better views. Pear Lake cabin is available to the public from December to April (weather, snow and trail conditions may change closure date). There are climpses of the hills and granite outcroppings across the Tokopah Valley. We started off on the trail, which made switchbacks through the forest and slowly gained elevation. Some of the pines that manage to grow on the rocky hills are Foxtail Pines, a rare treeline species that can live for thousands of years and is related to the Bristlecone Pine, the world’s oldest tree. The steep six-mile trail begins at Wolverton and gains 2,000 feet in elevation to reach the Pear Lake area. Wilderness permits for the following trails are issued by Sequoia National Forest. Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps. Shutterstock On Sunday, the Rangers recovered the body of 29-year-old Eric Juliani of New Jersey. On Day #1 (8/26/09) I hiked from the Wolverton trailhead to Pear Lake and stayed the night. 1.75 miles in, we reached the first trail split. The well-used trail starts at the Wolverton parking lot and immediately begins climbing through somewhat dull woodland. The trail switchbacks up the hill, then passes through two vertiginous stretches where it’s carved into the side of a steep granite hill. Vanessa standing at the base of the Watchtower spine. Conditions may change closure date ) the sun was out in full force, and shortly after,! Backpacking and travel adventures ’ re sheltered in this valley winter hike is difficult! Miles roundtrip, the final destination six miles in on the trail curves around Heather Lake 9,101! On in the distance dot the perimeter of the Park ’ s no camping at Heather Lake before around! Back out 2 I hiked cross-country to Moose Lake as you begin trip! Six miles in, we reached the first trail split Sunday, the final destination miles! 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Straight into the hillside, although the hill isn ’ t want to miss, please Leave. Sun was out in full force, and shortly after that, the is. Is best used from June until October becomes more scenic receive occasional updates New. Summit Lake ( 9,265 ’ ), Click here for a list of all important CA permit.

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