Hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
Below is a collection of trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These hikes are listed from north to south and west to east, but the table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these trails. An interpretive map is also provided.
Hiking the Sierra Nevada Mountains
This magnificent mountain range covers much of the center of California, running 400 miles from north to south. Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks all lie within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, as well as a patchwork of other state and federally protected lands. The highest peaks are located on the east side of the range. The highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney rises to 14,505 feet, and is one a dozen 14ers in the High Sierra. This land of mountain meadows, lakes, rivers, and peaks was made for hiking. Choose a trail from the list below and begin exploring the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
|050||North Grove - Big Trees Trail in Calaveras Big Trees State Park|
This easy loop explores the first giant sequoias discovered by settlers in California.
|060||Upper Natural Bridge Trail|
This fun hike visits a limestone tunnel (that you can swim through) in a creek in Calaveras County.
|070||Dragoon Gulch Trail|
This loop follows a creek and up a ridge to views over Sonora.
|150||Wapama Falls in Yosemite National Park|
This level hike tours the reservoir in Hetch Hetchy Valley to a thundering waterfall in the northwest corner of the park.
|160||May Lake in Yosemite National Park|
This short east hike visits a peaceful alpine lake in the high elevation region of Yosemite north of Yosemite Valley.
|170||Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park|
This easy hike visits a relaxing reflective pool on the east end of Yosemite Valley.
|2 to 2.8 miles|
|180||Half Dome in Yosemite National Park|
This epic hike climbs from Yosemite Valley to the top of the most iconic crest in the Yosemite Landscape.
|190||The Mist Trail in Yosemite National Park|
This exciting trail climbs the Merced River past Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall, two of Yosemite's prize waterfalls.
|1.8 to 6.5 miles|
400 to 1,900 feet
|200||Panorama Trail in Yosemite National Park|
This hike travels from Glacier Point down to Yosemite Valley in the most scenic way possible, ending with the Mist Trail.
|10 miles (one-way)|
This 7,214-foot overlook towers above Yosemite Valley and provides incredible drive-up views.
|210||Lower Yosemite Fall in Yosemite National Park|
This electrifying loop delivers visitors to the base of the tallest waterfall in North America.
|215||Taft Point in Yosemite National Park|
This out and back hike visits an overlook on the south wall of Yosemite Valley with fascinating rock fissures carved into the exposed granite.
|220||Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite National Park|
This easy paved trail visits the base of a 620-foot single-drop waterfall on the south side of Yosemite Valley.
Pull the car over at this extraordinary must see viewpoint looking up Yosemite Valley.
|230||Chilnualna Falls in Yosemite National Park|
This out and back hike begins near raucous cascades and ends atop a waterfall.
|235||Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park|
This hike explores the biggest trees in Yosemite, which can be seen on foot or by tram.
|1.6 - 8 miles|
400 to 1,200 feet
|243||Thousand Island Lake|
This exceptional lake is a true gem of the Sierra, reached via a section of Pacific Crest Trail through Ansel Adams Wilderness near Mammoth Lakes.
This hike crosses a picturesque canyon and passes a plunging cascade to visit a mountain lake in Ansel Adams Wilderness near Mammoth Lakes.
This hike ventures above Shadow Lake along a creek to a beautiful lake below Mount Ritter and Banner Peak.
This short extension off the trail to Ediza Lake heads to a higher lake in a sublime setting below a ridge of steep spires called the Minarets.
|1 mile (extension)|
This beautiful lake along John Muir Trail lies between Shadow Lake and Thousand Island Lake, making it an ideal stop on a backpacking loop.
|251||Ediza Lake - Thousand Island Lake Loop|
This multi-day trek incorporates sections of John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail to visit a series of stunning Sierra lakes in the Ansel Adams Wilderness of Inyo National Forest.
This out and back hike from Devils Postpile National Monument connects with Pacific Crest Trail to reach the base of a waterfall that tumbles and slides down a rocky slope.
This hike visits the columnar basalt cliff that Devils Postpile National Monument is named after, with top-down and bottom-up views of the impressive formation. The hike can be extended to include Rainbow Falls at the south end of the monument.
|1 - 1.35 miles|
40 - 215 feet
This hike passes the Devils Postpile Formation to reach an attractive 101-foot waterfall with rainbows in its mist.
|5.1 - 5.25 miles|
325 - 435 feet
|260||Grizzly Falls in Sequoia National Forest|
This stroll at Grizzly Falls Picnic Area reaches the base of an 80-foot waterfall along the Generals Highway near the Cedar Grove Area of Kings Canyon National Park.
|264||Roaring River Falls in Kings Canyon National Park|
This paved out and back hike reaches a thundering little waterfall on a tributary of the Kings River.
|266||Kanawyer Loop Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This loop is scenic and easy, exploring east from the backcountry gateway at Road's End along both sides of the South Fork Kings River in Kings Canyon.
|270||Panoramic Point in Kings Canyon National Park|
This short out and back hike reaches an exception overlook with views into Kings Canyon.
|280||North Boundary Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This lollipop loop hike starts on the trail between Grant Grove and Grant Village and passes the General Grant Tree to reach a 2.75-mile loop through the pine forest north of the Grant Grove.
|284||General Grant Tree Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This loop in the Grant Grove passes through a Fallen Monarch to reach the General Grant Tree, one of the world's largest sequoias.
|286||North Grove Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This loop explores a quiet grove of sequoias near the crowded Grant Grove and can combine with Dead Giant Loop Trail for 3.25-mile hike.
|288||Dead Giant Loop Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This loop passes a small meadow and a large dead sequoia to reach Sequoia Lake Overlook and can combine with nearby North Grove Trail for 3.25-mile hike.
|290||Grant Village to Grant Grove Trail in Kings Canyon National Park|
This mile-long trail connects the visitor center at Grant Village with the parking lot at Grant Grove, passing through Azalea Campground to reach giant sequoias, including the General Grant Tree.
|295||Buena Vista Peak in Kings Canyon National Park|
This out and back hike reaches a granite summit with 360-degree views over the Redwood Mountain Grove and Kings Canyon.
|297||Hart Tree and Fallen Goliath Loop in Kings Canyon National Park|
This loop on Hart Tree Trail and Redwood Creek Trail passes tranquil streams and interesting sequoias in the Redwood Mountain Grove.
|300||Tokopah Falls in Sequoia National Park|
This gradual out and back hike visits the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park.
|310||General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park|
This paved out at back hike visits the world's biggest tree.
|320||Congress Loop in Sequoia National Park|
This easy paved loop visits the fourth and fifth tallest Sequoias in the world (among others).
|330||Sunset Rock in Sequoia National Park|
This out and back hike visits a large granite dome with great views to the west.
|333||Big Trees Trail in Sequoia National Park|
This easy, educational, and beautiful loop explores the giant sequoias around Round Meadow.
|340|| Beetle Rock in Sequoia National Park|
This short walk from the Giant Forest Museum to Beetle Rock visits a granite dome with great views and stunning sunsets.
|350||Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park|
This level loop visits a Sequoia you can stand inside (Chimney Tree) and another that someone used to live in (Tharp's Log).
|353||Sugar Pine and Bobcat Point Trails Loop in Sequoia National Park|
This short but diverse loop peaks at Bobcat Point, which presents a fierce perspective of Moro Rock and a massive canyon.
|358||Hanging Rock in Sequoia National Park|
This short out and back hike passes views of Moro Rock en route to a balancing boulder on a canyon rim at the edge of the Giant Forest.
|360||Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park|
This short out and back hike (with a lot of stairs) sports panoramic views and should be considered a mandatory hike for first time visitors to Sequoia National Park.
|370||Marble Falls in Sequoia National Park|
This out and back hike takes a flower-lined path up a mountain canyon to a powerful waterfall.
|380||Paradise Creek in Sequoia National Park|
This short stroll leaves Buckeye Flats Campground to visit the perfect swimming hole for a hot summer day in the Sierra.
|0.5 - 6 mile|
|390||Panther Creek in Sequoia National Park|
This out and back hike follows the Middle Fork Trail to a 100 foot waterfall into the Middle Fork of Kaweah River.
|6 miles (or farther)|
|420||Hockett Trail in Sequoia National Park|
This out and back hike descends through sequoias to East Fork Kaweah River and farther into the backcountry of the Mineral King area.
|3 to 5 miles (or farther)|
|440||Monarch Lakes in Sequoia National Park|
This out and back hike visits a spectacular pair of lakes high above Mineral King Valley.
|430||Eagle Lake in Sequoia National Park|
The out and back hike climbs the west side of Mineral King Valley to a high-elevation lake.
|550||Mount Pickering in Sequoia National Park|
This 13,485-foot summit rises above Sky Blue Lake to offer sweeping views of the sierra.
|560||Sky Blue Lake in Sequoia National Park|
This hike extends beyond Lower Soldier Lake up Miter Basin to a deep blue lake surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks.
|570||Primrose Lake in Sequoia National Park|
This trek visits a lake off the side of Miter Basin near Sky Blue Lake and below Mount Pickering.
|580||Mount Langley in Sequoia National Park|
This trek travels past Cottonwood Lakes Trail over New Army Pass to a 14,042-foot summit with towering views of the Sierra.
|590||Lower Soldier Lake in Sequoia National Park|
This 19.2-mile loop crosses Cottonwood Pass and New Army Pass to visit a beautiful lake that is an ideal camping spot for backpackers heading higher and deeper into the sierra.
|17.6 -20.8 miles|
1,500 - 2,350 feet
|600||Cirque Peak in the Inyo National Forest|
This 12,900-foot summit can be reached via off-trail ascents from New Army Pass, Cirque Lake, and Chicken Spring Lake.
|13 - 19 miles|
|620||Cottonwood Lakes in the Inyo National Forest|
This scenic trail provides a day hike through a lake-filled basin and access to New Army Pass, a 12,300-foot pass on the border of Sequoia National Park.
|10 - 15 miles|
1,400 - 2,350 feet
|630||Old Cottonwood Creek Trail in the Inyo National Forest|
This hike follows a secluded trail through mountain meadows to the South Fork Lakes and Cirque Lake.
|8 - 9 miles|
|650||Chicken Spring Lake in the Inyo National Forest|
This hike continues past Cottonwood Pass to an alpine lake that makes a nice day hike destination or a good first camp for backpackers.
|700||Cottonwood Pass in the Inyo National Forest|
This trail leaves Horseshoe Meadow for an 11,200-foot pass and a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, with access to Golden Trout Wilderness and Sequoia National Park.
|800||Needles Lookout in Sequoia National Forest|
This out and back hike visits a fire tower with unbeatable views of the region.
|830||Dome Rock in Sequoia National Forest|
This short out and back hike just off Western Divide Highway provides a great view of the valley below.
|860||Natural Water Slide in Sequoia National Forest|
This out and back hike visits a refreshing natural water slide on the eastern side of the Great Western Divide.
|900||Trail of 100 Giants in Sequoia National Forest|
This paved loop explores a grove of giant sequoias alongside Western Divide Highway.