sequoia national park, ca
Distance: 3.3 miles roundtrip (out and back)
Elevation Gain: 709 feet
Seasonality: Best Spring through Fall
Trailhead: Marked trailhead on eastern side of Hwy 198 approx 100 ft from road.
Parking: Along the side of Hwy 198. Parking is allowed in the Little Baldy Saddle turnout.
Facilities: None, no potable water
The Little Baldy trail is a relatively short trail that has a lot of switchbacks in the beginning, but opens up to a beautiful (almost magical) forest at the top that you have to walk through to get to the mountain summit. The Little Baldy summit gives a 360 view of Sequoia National Park - one that rivals the more popular Moro Rock, minus the crowds. This hike is one of the favorites out of all the hikes described on this website.
Trip Planner Details:
This trail is located in Sequoia National Park, approximately 6 miles north of the Lodgepole Visitor Center. The only parking available for this trail is along Hwy 198, but there is a large turnout on the west side of Hwy 198 called the Little Baldy Saddle that you can park in. The nearest restrooms and potable water are at Dorst Campground 2.5 miles north of the trail that you will pass on the way in if you are entering through the Hwy 180 park entrance.
There is a park entrance fee of $35 per vehicle to enter Kings/Sequoia National Park. For more information on what else you can do in the park, visit the Sequoia/Kings National Park website.
When You Do Your Research:
There are many elevation gains reported for this hike, which may be inaccurate. According to the park sign, the elevation standing at the Little Baldy Saddle, where you will start this hike, sits at 7,335 feet and the summit marker at the top reads 8,044 - which puts this hike at a 709 elevation gain. If you don’t deviate off the trail, which there are not many points where you can, the total length of a one way trip is 1.65 miles according to CalTopo.
Tips From One Who Hiked It:
Don’t think you have finished the hike at the false summit. Shortly after you get out of the forest at the top, you will get a 180 degree panoramic view of the park - this isn't the summit. Go another quarter mile and you will reach the summit which allows a 360 degree view of the park.