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Indian Pools

Sierra National Forest

June 23rd, 2013

1.6 miles
140 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:30

Starting elevation
7050 feet
Max elevation
7200 feet

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Huntington Lake, take Highway 168 toward Shaver Lake. Go past Kaiser Pass Road and past Rancheria Falls, turning left into the ski resort (currently called China Peak; it apparently used to be called Sierra Summit). Drive through the resort all the way to the back, where you'll find a large parking area and a trail sign for "Indian Pools" at the far end.   View Driving Map

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GPX File

There were a handful of cars parked near the trailhead, a handful of cars in a huge gravel parking area. It looked like the resort was hosting some big mountain biking event, but they were all off in some other area. Based on the descriptions in a hiking book I have, this hike used to be longer, starting from before the mobile homes in the resort area. But it looks like the resort has since cleared out a section of forest to make this large gravel parking area, shortening the hike.

It was overcast but pleasant as we started the slightly uphill hike. The trail basically follows Big Creek upstream, so you can see the water most of the hike. After only about 0.2 miles, we reached a nice section of the creek with a small pool where the boys stopped to throw rocks in the water.

Small pool in Big Creek

Big Creek

We continued uphill, coming to a larger set of pools about 0.4 miles in. A large group of hikers was just leaving as we arrived, so we had this area to ourselves for a while.

Pool at Big Creek

Pool at Big Creek

Big Creek flowing into pool

Flowers near the pools

After a break at the pools, we continued upstream, following the increasingly hard to follow use trail as it curved to the left, following the creek. We did see rock campfire rings along the way, but the trail bascally disappears eventually. About 0.8 miles in, we stopped and decided to turn around. The best parts of the trail appear to stop at the large pools about 0.4 miles in.

Big Creek seen from our turnaround point

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