Continue hiking through open granite dotted with trees and wildflowers, climbing past Emerald Lake, then reaching your final destination of Heather 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. 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. Heather Lake via Watchtower - Sequoia The Heather Lake Trail is 8.1 miles with just over 4000ft elevation gain and rated as moderate. Just be warned, it’s a lot steeper. Lakes Trail Sequoia: Hike Details Starting Elevation: 6,596 ft. From the trail head, go straight ahead (east), avoiding the Long Meadow Trail. This is also the point where any crowds start to thin out. You'll hike to four alpine lakes in six miles: Heather Lake, Aster Lake, Emerald Lake and Pear 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 … Permits for backpacking are first come first serve and do not have any advanced online reservation options. Climb up a moraine ridge and soon you'll be hiking above Wolverton Creek, which darts through small meadows strewn with wildflowers. 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. The Watchtower Trail will lead to all of these, and you can continue beyond Heather Lake if you wish to see more. In the Lodgepole area of the park, you’ll find a variety of trails to Sequoia groves, alpine lakes, and mountain vistas. https://jessieonajourney.com/hiking-the-lakes-trail-sequoia-national-park 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. Pictures of the Lakes Trail, Sequoia National Park, California: Reflections of granite cliffs on Heather Lake 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. 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. 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. 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