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Emerald Lake Campground

Southern Sierra, California

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Emerald Lake Campground

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  • The campground remains hidden from view as you crest the ridge after Heather Lake.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Small signs on the trail denote the campground and advise of the 10 site locations.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • The single site on the northern side of the trail has great views over Aster Lake and down the valley.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • The majority of sites are nestled in among the trees and surrounded by rising peaks.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Emerald Lake.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Beautiful sunset colors.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • On clear evenings there can be spectacular contrasts from the snow, rock and twilight colors.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • A beautiful sunset from Emerald Lake Campground in Sequoia National Park.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • The the tree and undulations provide a nice buffer between the 10 campsites.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Trees provide good protection from sun in summer and snow in winter.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Looking toward the campground from the vault toilets.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Clear open skies are perfect for starwatching and evening exploring.- Emerald Lake Campground
  • Wilderness permits are required to camp at Emerald Lake. Collect your permit at the Giant Forest Museum or Lodgepole Visitor Center.- Emerald Lake Campground
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Spectacular scenery. Marked trail that travels from the green valley to the rocky High Sierra alpine. Dark skies for stargazing. Vaults for secure food storage.
Cons: 
No potable water, bring your filtration system.
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Region:
Southern Sierra, CA
Access: 
Hike-in
Managed by: 
National Park Service
Congestion: 
Occasionally full
Pets allowed: 
No
Distance: 
5.10 mi (8.21 km)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Park entrance fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Reservations possible: 
No
Total number of sites: 
10
Current Local Weather:
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Campground Description

Campground Description

Pro Contributor

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.

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(15 within a 30 mile radius)

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(50 within a 30 mile radius)

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