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The Lakes Trail is the best day hike in Sequoia National Park that features 4 different alpine lakes within 6 miles. The trail hugs the cliff for a short section before rounding a bend and dropping down to picturesque Heather Lake. 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. The Lakes Trail visits four such lakes: Heather, Aster, Emerald and Pear, and had been on our radar for the last couple of years. Heather Lake is nestled between pines and makes for a great spot to take a well-deserved snack break. In the Lodgepole area of the park, you’ll find a variety of trails to Sequoia groves, alpine lakes, and mountain vistas. Around the far side of Heather Lake, you'll pick up the trail again and begin a slow climb out of the basin. https://jessieonajourney.com/hiking-the-lakes-trail-sequoia-national-park From the trail head, go straight ahead (east), avoiding the Long Meadow Trail. The trail then follows along the cliff face (it’s a nice drop of about 2,000 feet if you fall) until you reach Heather Lake, the first of three lakes on this trail. Lakes Trail – The Best Hike in Sequoia. The Lakes Trail in Sequoia can be done as a moderate overnight hike or a day hike. You'll hike to four alpine lakes in six miles: Heather Lake, Aster Lake, Emerald Lake and Pear Lake. Rated as difficult for its length and elevation gain, we clocked in 13 miles while climbing more than +3100 feet in about 5.5 hours. Climb up a moraine ridge and soon you'll be hiking above Wolverton Creek, which darts through small meadows strewn with wildflowers. Heather Lake is said to be spectacular and the views from the watchtower jaw dropping. 11. Lakes Trail Sequoia: Hike Details Starting Elevation: 6,596 ft. Heather Lake and Pear Lake are popular destinations along this route. The Watchtower Trail will lead to all of these, and you can continue beyond Heather Lake if you wish to see more. Permits for backpacking are first come first serve and do not have any advanced online reservation options. Continue hiking through open granite dotted with trees and wildflowers, climbing past Emerald Lake, then reaching your final destination of Heather Lake. Just be warned, it’s a lot steeper. Pictures of the Lakes Trail, Sequoia National Park, California: Reflections of granite cliffs on Heather Lake Heather Lake via Watchtower - Sequoia The Heather Lake Trail is 8.1 miles with just over 4000ft elevation gain and rated as moderate. HEATHER LAKE TRAIL | 8 miles (out and back) If you pack accordingly and start early, Heather Lake trail will provide a peaceful workout with stunning views. This is also the point where any crowds start to thin out. Watchtower Trail to Heather Lake. If you’re uncomfortable with heights, or the Watchtower portion of the trail is closed due to ice, you can take the Hump Trail to Heather Lake. We went about a mile and a half in before turning around, but would have loved to spend more time on this trail had we prepared for a … First serve and do not have any advanced online reservation options is the best day hike Creek. To picturesque Heather Lake 11 and do not have any advanced online options! If you wish to see more this route short section before rounding a bend and dropping down to Heather. The Watchtower jaw dropping meadows strewn with wildflowers along this route Creek which! 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