Blue Flower

This hike is a little over 2 miles and is a very mild, mostly shaded trail. The hike features many cool plants and fungi if you know where to look. The trail ends at Rancheria Falls. It is a gorgeous waterfall with a small pool at the base. You can swim in this pool, if you can withstand the cold temperatures. Below the pool, the water flows down a beautiful canyon. This is fun to explore, but be careful of slippery rocks. This hike is its best in the Spring and is great for all ages. There are often a lot of people on this trail, so if you want something a little more remote, see the other hikes described in this section. The trailhead is up a small road, about a mile past China Peak Ski Resort, on the right. There is a small sign which reads "Rancheria Falls." There is a parking lot and bathroom at the end of this road and the trailhead is right there.

This is an amazing hike. The 13 mile road to the trailhead can be a little rough. It is "passable" in a car, but a 4x4 is recommended. The trail can be confusing to follow, but there are trial markers the whole way, so look for stacked rocks. This hike is about 7.5 mile the whole way. You will first hit First Dinkey Lake, then South Lake, Swede Lake, and Mystery Lake. Swede Lake is home to a huge waterfall, and is a good spot to stop, eat, and take in the surrounding area. When you get to the trail junction, make sure you go towards First Dinkey Lake first, this will make your hike a lot easier. It is steep at first, but once you get to the lake, the rest is downhill. Highly recommended hike if you have a car that can make it to the trailhead (no Prius's). (See photos:


The trail to George Lake, via the Potter Pass Trail, is about 9.5 miles long and is on the rugged side. There are areas on this trail that are very steep. These are the most difficult areas. The length of this trail and the steep areas are the reason for the "rugged" description. This hike is very much worth the difficulty, and is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the area (See photos:

The parking lot for Potter Pass Trail is about 5 miles up Kaiser Pass Road. The trailhead is on the opposite side of the road from the parking lot. You will steadily ascend about 1,100 feet in about 2 miles. This climb will take you to Potter Pass. Potter Pass will provide phenomenal views of the surrounding mountains and a small meadow below. This is a great place to take a break after the hard climb, and if you left the parking lot at about 10:30, you should reach the pass at around lunchtime. When you leave the pass, you will immediately start heading back downhill. The first 1.5 miles downhill are fairly steep and the ground can be loose, so watch your footing. At the bottom of the steepest downhill section, the trail flattens out and you will have another 1.5 miles to Lower Twin Lake. You can fish here. The deep drop off on the West side of the lake is the best place, and 10-12 inch trout are not uncommon. A few hundred yards up the trail from here, is Upper Twin Lake. There is a small outlet cave on the Northeast side of the lake that provides some cool exploration opportunities. You can fish here too, but fish are generally smaller and less common than they are at Lower Twin. The trail from Upper Twin to George Lake is a steady uphill for about 1.5 miles, but much less rugged that the first part of the hike. About a quarter mile up the trail to George Lake, there is another cave.this cave goes all the way through to an exit on the other side, and is very cool to explore as well. Once you reach George Lake, you will realize why this hike is so popular. You will see 2 peaks towering over the lake, and Kaiser Peak is visible to the West. You can fish here too. Fish are mostly between 8 and 10 inches and are most common in May and September. You can do this whole hike in a day, or you can camp on the Northeast side of the lake. Either way, I highly recommend this hike.


The trailhead is on the side of Dinkey Creek Road before Rock Creek Road. The first part of the hike is a steep incline to the top of a mountain. The trail is well-marked, so watch for trail signs and markers. There is a ranger that will live at the ranger station on the top of the mountain year round. The stairs are blocked for a reason. The ground will feel loose on the way back down, so be careful. Take lots of water, it can be exhausting. It's about a 9.2 mile loop, and the reward at the top of Bald Mountain is most definitely worth the work. (See photos:

Indian Pools is a fairly easy trail due to the fact that it is very flat almost the whole way. This trail has a lot of amazing views in the spring and summer. There are small, calm pools that you will pass every so often that you can jump in and swim in, so bring you swimsuit. The trailhead is located in the corner of the farthest parking lot at the China Peak Resort. There should be a sign next to the trailhead that reads "Indian Pools Trail." The trail starts off very easy, but towards the end, you may have to climb over a few downed trees and climb over some rocks. It is nothing outrageous and is totally doable for everyone. Sometimes, the trail isn't very well marked, but if you just keep going in the direction that makes the most sense, you will run into another trail marker (stacked rocks). There are more pools and waterfalls farther up the trail, so make sure you bring your swimsuit and try it no matter how cold it is.