Terra Firma Adventures

Hiking the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake, Sequoia NP

Kristopher Artz April,2012 6 Comments
Hiking the Lakes Trail to Pear Lake, Sequoia NP

This 12 mile round trip hike has it all.  Mature growth pine forests, narrow switchbacks, approximately 2,200′ of elevation gain, picture perfect alpine lakes, and breathtakingly beautiful rocky and rugged mountain vistas.

If  your planning to camp obtain your overnight permit at the Lodgepole Visitor Center.  The trail head of  this hike is not far from the Wolverton parking lot. (GPS 36.594722,-118.742222)

The trail eases you into this hike as it winds its way through the pines at an elevation of approximately 7,400′. The trail is very clearly marked and fairly easy to navigate.

Warm Up Section Before the Climb

The trail will begin to climb and narrow and you will find yourself on some fairly steep switch backs. Take it easy on this section you still have a ways to go but know that after you climb this section, the hard part is over  and you will soon be rewarded when you reach crystal clear Heather Lake at approximately mile 4.

Half Iced Over Heather Lake

Continuing on, the trail will traverse the mountainside and reveal some  stunning vistas to your left.

Views of  Aster and Emerald Lakes Below are not easy to miss and are an indicator that your not far from Pear Lake.

Pear Lake, Nearly at Sunset

There is camping near Pear Lake, but the park service  limits it to 25 people per day.

When I did this trip with my good friends Matt and Adam, it was Early December. The trail was ice covered and slick in some spots and as you can see there was some snow on the ground.  I have heard that this is a very popular trail in the summer and I can see why, but the only other people we came across on our tour was a couple who were day hiking to Heather Lake. We had our choice of campsites and complete solitude from both people as well as bears.

Matt, Me, & Adam Enjoying a Cup of Hot Coffee, the View and a Few Snowflakes

This was one of my first back country experiences in Sequoia National Park, and with the combination of diverse terrain and amazing scenic views, it certainly did not disappoint.  So, next time your in Sequoia National Park, and whether your looking for a difficult but extremely rewarding day hike or a little more laid back and relaxing overnighter, this is one to put on the top of your  list.

PS: Special Thanks to Matt and Adam for photo sharing!

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  1. Matt Rouse May,2012 at

    Such a beautiful park, I had an amazing time on this one! I do remember getting a pretty bad headache once we reached the lake (9200ft), so a good reminder for those of you trying this hike is to keep hydrated and have enough energy food. Kris’ famous trail mix got me through the tough spots on this one for sure!

  2. Adam Allegro November,2012 at

    Thanks for that awesome write-up! What was the temp when you guys went?? I am looking to do this overnighter (maybe turn it in to 2 nights, camping at another lake first) in the next couple weeks. Any additional info would be great! I have a bunch of cold weather gear but wanting to be prepared, especially if I do it Solo. Also, I am a Photographer, so any awesome spots you noticed that you could tell me about would be awesome!


    • Kristopher Artz December,2012 at

      I hope I’m not too late to respond…When we went the daytime temperature was in the low 50′s. It was perfect for hiking, and in some sections you still had to slow to keep from getting too sweaty. in the evening, it dipped into the low 30′s to upper 20′s. When we woke up it was snowing, so it was clearly freezing, but not too cold. I imagine with the weather we have had so far this season, you could expect similar conditions. I haven’t seen large amounts of snow getting dropped anywhere really. General cold winter gear would be fine. I assume you mean a 4 season tent and winter bag. I don’t know how much winter camping you do, but my experience is to take a folding neoprene mat as well as a 3/4 thermorest self inflatable mattress, and I use them both at the same time. The folding mat is great insulation and the thermorest is comfy and helps get me further off of the snow or cold ground. Good luck and there are plenty of great photo ops and being a photographer, you probably will get some excellent pics. let me know how it goes or if I was too late to catch you I’d like to hear how it went. Have fun and thanks for reading.

  3. ricky dom February,2013 at

    Great pics you uploaded here and nice view. If Looking for a Los Angeles getaway? Sequoia Resort is a getaway for those seeking a relaxing escape from the big city.

  4. Josh October,2013 at

    Hey Man,

    Good write up! I’ve done the day hike to Heather Lake in the summer but have never gone back to Pear Lake. Was just wondering if the camping @ Pear Lake will be ok with a hammock. Do you remember seeing plenty of trees?


    • Kristopher Artz October,2013 at

      Thanks Josh-
      yes there are quite a few sites with trees, and although I haven’t used a hammock (but desperately want to), I am pretty sure you should be able to find some that would work great.
      Thanks for reading and enjoy the fall weather.

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