Hikes in Sierra National Forest

Sierra National Forest protects over 1.3 million acres in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (or more specifically on the west side of the Sierra between Yosemite National Park and Kings Canyon National Park). At elevations ranging from as low as 900 feet to just under 14,000 feet, the forest has a variety of environments, including tranquil sequoia groves and dramatic High Sierra scenery.

The park has numerous campgrounds, hiking trails, and other opportunities for outdoor recreation. Explore the outings listed below, or visit the Sierra National Forest Recreation Page for more inspiration, and to find a conditions report for the campgrounds, trailheads, and other sites. When the national parks get slammed with visitors, Sierra National Forest still offers solitude.

Closure Notice: The Nelder Grove area of Sierra National Forest was closed because of the Railroad Fire in the fall of 2017. Check the status of the area before visiting.

Highlights of Sierra National Forest

  • Step up to the broad, impressive base of this giant sequoia.
  • Learn all about giant sequoias along this self-guided nature trail loop.
  • Hike down Lewis Creek Trail to a viewing platform in front of this cascading waterfall.

Sierra National Forest Hiking

Big Ed Tree Trail Nelder GroveBig Ed Tree Trail
This 0.2-mile hike is quite short, but visits a tree that is quite big – part of the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias in Sierra National Forest.
Bull Buck Tree Trail Nelder GroveBull Buck Tree Trail
This 0.8-mile loop leaves from Nelder Grove Campground and leads to a single giant sequoia with an incredibly broad base.
Shadow of the Giants Trail Nelder GroveShadow of the Giants Trail
This 1.1-mile nature trail visits giants sequoias and imparts wisdom about the great trees and their surroundings.
Corlieu Falls Lewis Creek TrailLewis Creek Trail to Corlieu Falls
This 0.8-mile round trip hike travels down along a rushing creek to a viewing platform in front of an enthusiastic, cascading waterfall.


Sierra National Forest Camping

Nelder Grove CampgroundNelder Grove Campground
This 7-site campground offers cozy nights in a partially logged grove of giant sequoias.
View Sierra Nevada trails and campground in a larger map
Or explore hikes around Sequoia National Forest on the Hike Finder Map
Housekeeping Camp Yosemite National Park Lodging Accommodations Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite National Park receives four million visitors per year, filling the park's campgrounds and hotels. When all the campsites are reserved and the hotels have no vacancies (or list prices that are uncomfortably high), consider a middle option provided at Housekeeping Camp in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Housekeeping Camp offers 3-walled units with canvas roofs... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 19, 2018
Happy Isles Trail Yosemite National Park The Happy Isles Merced River Hike Yosemite Valley California
Near the amazing hiking trails in Yosemite Valley is the designed-to-be-delightful Happy Isles Trail. The easy 3/4 of a mile walk at Happy Isles explores a pair of small islands in the Merced River at the east end of Yosemite Valley. While the trail doesn't feature a show-stopping attraction (like Lower Yosemite Falls Trail), the Happy Isles live up to their name – a... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Wheelchair-Friendly · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 0.75 miles · Elevation change: 50 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 19, 2018
Camp 4 Campground Yosemite National Park Walk-in Campground Yosemite Valley California Tent camping
Camp 4 is a historic campground in Yosemite National Park – and that's not even hyperbole; the campground is listed with the National Register of Historic Places "for its significant association with the history of modern rock climbing in America." Reservations are needed at the other campgrounds in Yosemite Valley, but Camp 4 is the exception, with 35 shared first-come... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 19, 2018
Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail Yosemite National Park Bridge Hike South Fork Merced River Swimming Hole Wawona California
Swinging Bridge in Yosemite Valley seduces photographers with views of Yosemite Falls. This is not a hike to that bridge, which isn't actually a swinging suspension bridge. This is a hike to Wawona Swinging Bridge, which has plenty of bounce in it's step, spanning a boulder-framed chute in the South Fork Merced River. Wawona Swinging Bridge is located at the south end of... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Swimming Holes · Wawona
Distance: 0.7 miles · Elevation change: 70 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 10, 2018
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail Yosemite National Park Wawona area day hike Wawona Hotel Walk Wawona Meadow Nature Trail
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail weaves through the forest surrounding a large meadow at the south end of Yosemite National Park, offering a relaxing hike that receives less attention than those in Yosemite Valley. Starting from trailheads on two sides of Wawona Hotel (Big Trees Lodge), Meadow Loop Trail follows an old road for 3.3 miles and can be connected by paths across the... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Nature Trails · Wawona
Distance: 3.9 miles · Elevation change: 250 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 11, 2018