Explore the best trails near Three Rivers with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Excellent! Lots of campsites. No bear boxes, so definitely bring a bear canister. The squirrels and Marmots are everywhere and not afraid of people at all. Hike up the talus from the pit toilet. You can reach the Miners ridge. Becareful of loose talus rock. The view up there is amazing. You can see Mosquito lakes all the way across the valley to sawtooth pass. Also out of all Mineral King area Eagle Lake had the most Pika's I've ever seen. Made a really fun camping trip, but be warned this lake is popular. During the summer I'd recommend Franklin Lake to get away from people.
Camped at Cold Springs the night before and left camp pretty early. The additional few miles from Cold Springs to the Eagle Lake trailhead are very easy - flat and well maintained. The climb up to Eagle Lake is not an easy hike by any means. The elevation gain is rapid and there's a fair bit of scrambling up and over boulder sections. Extremely worth it - breathtaking views and a gorgeous little lake at the top with some evergreen groves to relax in.
As other reviewers have mentioned, the drive in is pretty hairy. Winding/narrow gravel roads with some (I'm assuming locals) flying 30 mph around blind curves. Be safe!
Made a day hike up today (10-12-2016) the 3.6 miles is deceiving. All trails tracked me at the beginning of the trail head and when it was all said and done I topped out at 8.2 miles round trip. Didn't do much "exploring" since it was only a day hike. Tough little climb but you are definitely rewarded once you reach the lake. I plan on returning for a 2-3 day trip, going over the ridge and checking out the Mosquitos next year.
There is not a moment where the views aren't amazing on this trail. Couple of things to note - the distance is actually 15.3 miles each way, at least according to the signs on the trail. The turnoff road to go to the Crescent Meadow parking lot had a ‘road closed to traffic’ sign, but the park staff let you drive through when you show them your Wilderness Permit (this way you don’t have to take the shuttle to the trail). The first mile or two was pretty bad in terms of bugs (gnats / mosquitoes?), but got much better later on. A head net came in very handy.
The trail after Bearpaw Meadow descends about 1.5 miles and then has a 2.4 mile climb up to Hamilton Lakes. This part is exposed a good amount, and if you have a fear of heights (like I do), things stay pretty spicy.
I have to say, the pit toilet at Hamilton Lakes has the best views in the world a toilet can offer. You’ll see. The creeks along the way still had a decent amount of water, so finding a source of water was not much of a problem. Overall, the trip took 7 hrs 10 mins going to the lakes, and about 7 hrs 30 coming back. Highly recommend this trail.
I hiked Eagle Lake trail today and I have to say this is the most beautiful scene I have ever seen, although the drive is bad. As soon as you start the trail you hear the waterfalls and are walking along side a creek. The entire way up to the lake my eyes couldn't believe what they were seeing. Hands down 5 star trail!!
This was my first trip into the Mineral King area and if you’re willing to endure 24 miles of extremely curvy, narrow and jacked up road to get back into this little valley you’re going to be rewarded. The trail begins in shadows of some amazing peaks that offer adventure and excitement so we started off at a quick adrenaline induced pace which ended abruptly as we started to climb. So you’re pretty much climbing the entire 3.5 or so miles to get to Eagle Lake. We managed to overcome the 2,000 plus foot climb in a couple hours despite our casual pace. The lake and surrounding area basically sit in horseshoe of granite peaks. The brook trout were very active so we added a little catch and release into our trip. I have to agree with the moderate rating for this hike and despite the challenging drive into Mineral King, Eagle Lake definitely has me interested in exploring this area some more in the future.
Great view. Difficult climb, but the way down was not as bad as I was expecting at all. The scree catches your feet in a similar way to going down sand, so while slipping is a concern, it is not as bad as many other steep trails I have had to climb down.
The drive to South Fork campground was almost as rough as the hike. Haha. We went on this trail expecting only a 2.5 mile hike in, but ended up going the full 5 miles in to Garfield Creek. The elevation was brutal on me. I do not work out regularly and wasn't really expecting such a continuous climb all 5 miles. BUT, it was definitely worth it! The dramatic changes in scenery was most memorable to me. It almost feels like you've been to 5 different forests when all is said and done.
This is an awesome trail for early spring. Went all the way up to Garfield Creek and back to make it 10 miles and 3400'. The trees out here are very tall, but dont expect it to look like the Giant Forest. This is more like hunting for Sequoias in the wilderness. It takes about 4 miles to start hitting the big trees, but the hike is work it. You can see Moro Rock and the Giant Forest off to the left of the trail. If you are wondering about elevation gain, this is essentially going to the ridge across from the one that CA 198 drives up, and walking it with less switchbacks. The dirt road out to south fork is easy to navigate in a passenger car, just go slow. Take South Fork Road till it stops at the Campground, Trailhead is on the right of the road to the parking area at the Ladybug trailhead
Edward T. on High Sierra Trail to Hamilton Lakes
Started Sugar Pine Trail at the Crescent Meadow parking lot heading toward Moro Rock. The first part of the trail you pass through an area that looks like it has been through a fire. There are a number of downed tress, but allot of new growth that is five to ten feet tall. The trail traverses over and through massive granite rocks and slabs. This might be part of the foundation of Moro Rock . You travel down the trail .5 mile and then cross over Crescent Creek and commence on an upward climb to Bobcat Point. There are wonderful views of Moro Rock through the trees along the trail. Once you reach Bobcat Point the area opens up and you have magnificent views of Moro Rock and the Middle Fork of Kaweah River. After checking out the views you recommence your upward climb and meet up with the High Sierra Trail. You turn left and return to Crescent Meadows parking lot. If you were to turn right onto the High Sierra trail, you could also see Eagle View, another wonderful spot to see splendid view of the area. It might be recommend to take this hike in the winter when the heat induced haze and smog are greatly reduced.
Starting from South Fork Campground (elevation 3620 ft) it's 3 miles of steady climbing to the grove. At about 3.5 miles there a few nice camping spots (Snowslide Camp). I stopped about 5 miles in, elevation was just over 7,000 ft when I turned back. There were several small streams running and a few patches of snow around them. You'll get some great views of Mt. Denison, Homer's Nose, and some giant trees on this hike. It's definitely a worthwhile trek.