Twin Lakes Trail, Sequoia National Park

Distance: 7 miles (11km) one way
Elevation:6,700-10,200 feet
Difficulty: Strenuous
Time: 8 hours round trip (not including stops for rest or picture taking)

Scenic alpine lakes, peaceful forests, and ever-changing meadows alive with animals—all this awaits the hiker of the 7-mile-long Twin Lakes Trail in Sequoia National Park. This out-and-back hike can be done in a single long day—or spread over two days by camping at either Clover Creek or near Twin Lakes. The trail serves as the springboard for longer loop hikes, either by climbing over Silliman Pass into Kings Canyon National Park or over JO Pass into the Jenny Lakes Wilderness in Sequoia National Forest. Trail distances are 7 miles (11 km) to Twin Lakes, 8 miles (13 km) to Silliman Pass, and 10 miles (16 km) to Ranger Lakes.

From the Lodgepole Campground, the trail ascends steadily through deep conifer forest with occasional small meadows blooming with seasonal wildflowers. After two miles, you reach Cahoon Meadow, a quintessential Sierra Nevada meadow nestled in a cove of granite. After skirting the meadow, the trail climbs in dense forest over Cahoon Gap and descends to Clover Creek with pleasant shaded campsites. Just beyond the creek is a junction with the trail to JO Pass. The main trail continues to the right towards Twin Lakes and steadily improving views of craggy Silliman Crest. Beyond the lakes, the trail climbs steeply to Silliman Pass and majestic views of the remote southern part of Kings Canyon National Park and the rugged Sierra Nevada beyond.

No permits are required for dayhikes. Backpackers can obtain overnight permits at the Lodgepole Visitor Center. Even if you have a reservation, you must still check in and pick up your permit prior to starting your trip. First campsite is at Cahoon Meadow (3 miles/4.8 km). Limit 30 people/day. For more information, contact the Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP Wilderness Office: Phone (559) 565-3766, Fax (559) 565-4239, E-mail

Help us keep this place beautiful. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints. Please pack out your trash.

Know the Bear Facts! Whether staying in the picnic area or going for a longer hike, always store food away from bears. Use large, brown bear-proof boxes to store food and scented items. Never leave food or scented items unattended.

Be Safe! Bring plenty of drinking water and snacks/lunch. Wear sturdy hiking boots or shoes with good traction, as well as long pants (due to ticks and poison oak). Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Bring insect repellent.

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Latitude: 36.604504 Longitude: -118.733368 Elevation: 6672 ft

Vertical Gain or Loss

3,500 feet.

Trail Distance

7 miles one way to Twin Lakes.

Eco-Friendly Notes


This trail traverses land managed as wilderness where natural processes are allowed to unfold. Please use Leave No Trace principles when hiking this trail.

ADA Accessibility Notes

This is a dirt trail, which is narrow and winding. It may be steep, slippery, wet, and rocky in some areas and will not accommodate wheelchairs, strollers, or bicycles.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not permitted on any trails within Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, but are allowed 100 feet from roads in developed areas (picnic areas, campgrounds, and roads). Where allowed, pets must be on leashes no longer than 6 feet in length. Never leave pets in cars when it is warm, or they overheat quickly. Pets must not be left unattended in the parking area or in vehicles.

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