Needles Lookout Trail
ElevationAscent: 591' 180 m
Descent: -289' -88 m
High: 8,103' 2,470 m
Low: 7,765' 2,367 m
GradeAvg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)
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“A steep climb with great views along the way and especially at the top.”— Mario Zamora
Just before your ascent up the last peak, there is a small campground where you can take a breather, as well as an area up the peak, but before the steps where you can circle up. The final climb is all singletrack up the switchbacks to the lookout steps and is rocky.
The lookout is no longer there, but the steps up to where it used to be are still there and safe. Once at the top, you can see Dome Rock (which you can get to via a less intense trail which you can access along the same highway) to the south.
Depending on the time of year that you visit a gate may block your entrance to the upper parking area. If the gate is closed, you'll need to park lower, adding mileage to your outing. Additionally, the trail may have parts where snow remains through the spring and it can be difficult to pass. You may also run into several spots with down trees. Expect a longer outing under those conditions as you'll often have to navigate your own trails.
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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: USFS - Sequoia National Forest Office
Mar 15, 2020: A NOTICE TO ALL USDA FOREST SERVICE VISITORS