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. Some areas remain closed. Check the status before visiting.

Highlights of Sierra National Forest

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

Sierra National Forest Hiking

This collection of trails in the Sierra National Forest lists hikes from north to south. 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.

Bull Buck Tree Trail Nelder Grove400Bull Buck Tree Trail
This easy loop leaves from Nelder Grove Campground and leads to a single giant sequoia with an incredibly broad base.
0.8 miles
120 feet
Big Ed Tree Trail Nelder Grove410Big Ed Tree Trail
This hike is quite short, but visits a tree that is quite big - part of the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias in Sierra National Forest.
0.2 miles
25 feet
Shadow of the Giants Trail Nelder Grove420Shadow of the Giants Trail
This nature trail loop visits giants sequoias and imparts wisdom about the great trees and their surroundings.
1.1 miles
200 feet
Corlieu Falls Lewis Creek Trail430Lewis Creek Trail to Corlieu Falls
This hike passes down along a rushing creek to a viewing platform in front of an enthusiastic, cascading waterfall.
0.8 miles
275 feet
Way of the Mono Trail440Way of the Mono Trail
This interpretive trail rises to a granite perch with grand views over Bass Lake and the surrounding Sierra.
0.6 miles
140 feet


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
Fallen Leaf Lake Moraine Trail Lake Tahoe Basin South Lake Tahoe Hike
What's better than hiking by a lovely creek - maybe hiking by a lovely lake. You can do both on Moraine Trail, visiting Fallen Leaf Lake and Taylor Creek in the Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest Lands near South Lake Tahoe. This easy and level loop is 1.1 miles long, including a short side trail to Fallen Leaf Lake Dam. The mountain-cradled Fallen Leaf Lake is located just south of Lake... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Lake Tahoe Basin National Forest Lands · Lakes · South Lake Tahoe
Distance: 1.1 miles · Elevation change: 35 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 26, 2023
Way of the Mono Trail Sierra National Forest Bass Lake View Hike Oakhurst California
Interpretive trails are usually good places to appreciate the finer features of a forest, but they tend to lack grand vistas. This is not the case with Way of the Mono Trail, which rises to a splendid view over Bass Lake, a beauty in the Sierra Nevada Mountains south of Yosemite National Park. Way of the Mono Trail is a 0.6-mile loop with 140 feet of elevation change. Panels along this... Read more.
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Tagged with · Bass Lake · Free Trails · Lakes · Morteros · Native American Heritage · Nature Trails · Oakhurst
Distance: 0.6 miles · Elevation change: 140 feet
By: Published: Last updated: June 30, 2021
Chimney Beach Trail Lake Tahoe Nevada Chimney Beach Hike Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Before your visit to Lake Tahoe goes up in smoke, take a hike to Chimney Beach - where a standing-on-its-own fireplace and chimney serve as an unsual landmark for a lovely little cove. The brick chimney is all that's left of an old cabin built in the sand between boulder-strewn points on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. If curiosity about the chimney draws you to Chimney Beach, the beautiful... Read more.
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Tagged with · Beaches · Carson City · Free Trails · Ruins · South Lake Tahoe
Distance: 1.1 miles · Elevation change: 215 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 26, 2023
Cave Rock Trail Lake Tahoe Nevada Overlook Hike
Gaze out from Route 50 as it travels along the southeast side of Lake Tahoe and you'll find nice views of the lakeshore and its surrounding mountains. Seven miles up from the state border in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada Route 50 slips through a tunnel in a tall pointed ridge of volcanic rock. The road itself is scenic, but the sight of Cave Rock should have you speculating how superb things must... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Glenbrook · South Lake Tahoe · Summits
Distance: 0.9 miles · Elevation change: 165 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 26, 2023
Columbia Rock Yosemite National Park Columbia Rock Viewpoint Yosemite Falls Trail Hike Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite Valley looks great from the bottom up, the top down, and even the middle out. For this neither-up-nor-down view over Yosemite Valley, visit Columbia Rock, a viewpoint on Yosemite Falls Trail perched about thousand feet up the north wall of Yosemite Valley. The hike from Camp 4 up to Columbia Rock is 2.2 miles round trip with 985 feet of elevation change. Of course, continuing up... Read more.
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Tagged with · National Parks · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 2.2 miles · Elevation change: 985 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 31, 2018