The Lake Trail in Sequoia National Park is a beautiful hike from the giant sequioas into the famed High Sierra. The 12.8 mile out-and-back trail can be done in a day, or you can savour the full experience with an overnight stay at the rustic Emerald Lake Campground.
Situated 5.1 miles from the trailhead, Emerald Lake is wedged below the peaks that form the western line of the High Sierra peaks. At 9,200 feet, there's a lot of hill-climbing to reach the campground. Your reward is a serene highcountry setting without the crowds of the hikes closer to the Generals Highway.
The campground now includes 10 campsites, two bear lockers and two vault toilets. The campground is marked with a small sign along the trail and a map of the campground layout. Eight of the loosely marked campsites are nestled within the handful of trees the line the creek running from Emerald Lake to the nearby Aster Lake, while one lies on the northern side of the trail and one closer to the vault toilets. All campsites are primative backcountry sites, and there are no trash collection facilities, so be sure to pack out all that you pack in.
The campground is open year-round. Advance reservations are not required; however, you do need to obtain a free wilderness camping permit, and the campground can be popular through busy summer periods.