The Griswold Trail (31E18) is a very old and hardly used trail. It junctions with the Eastside Trail within the Mountain Home State Experimental Forest on the Sequoia National Forest side of the wilderness. This trail provides a steep but quicker (mileage wise) access to Maggie Lakes.
The trailhead starts with its junction at the Eastside Trail. The easiest way to get to the Griswold Trail is to park at Moses Gulch campground, cross the North Fork Middle Fork Tule River, head south on the River Trail past Miners Cabin. Take the Eastside Trail up the ridge until you arrive at the trailhead to Griswold (see photo above). From here the trail continues to trek up the mountain to towards the Summit Trail and Griswold Meadow.
The trail itself is in pretty good condition with so little maintenance happening over the past couple of decades. There are places were trees are down and blocking the trail. It wasn’t a problem to get around them. We were only able to get to the 8,000 foot elevation contour due to snow. We had to turn back and was probably about 0.5 to 1.0 miles from the summit trail. The conditions from that point onward are unknown. Recommend using the Tom Harrison map for accuracy.
If one wants to use this trail to access the wilderness, be prepared for a strenuous hike and you’ll want to start earlier when it is cool. Of course the depends on the time of year you plan on hiking the trail. There are some beautiful views and scenic places to “stop and rest” while you hike up hill.