Explore 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

2017 Map
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hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful trail. The end of the trail is magnificent!

backpacking
1 month ago

Nice hike through a giant redwood forest to begin with. The trail was pretty beat up by stock animals, so it was a bit uneven in spots. Summit lake was nice, but no real view from there. Fish weren’t biting, but it was pretty cold.

Awesome little hike! First mile gets you broke in pretty well, after crossing the creek and getting into the wooded area, it’s fairly easy going. Take your time, remember your up over 9k ft elevation and still climbing! Did not make it up to Upper Monarch as I got a late start and I was running out of daylight. Logged just over 10 miles and the entire hike took me about 4.5 hours. Awesome views of the Mineral King Valley.

It was another awesome trek to the top the scree is perfect and seeing both monarch lake and the entire Sierra mountains are so wonderful Mineral King is a fantastic valley and mountain getaway thank you to all that make the Sierra mountains the perfect place to call our home mountain range

backpacking
1 month ago

Highly recommend trekking poles if you have a heavy pack. If you’re staying overnight there is a bear box and latrine (albeit without an enclosure) at the lower monarch lake. When we overnighted we were informed there were no open fires allowed above 9,000’ so plan accordingly. Beautiful views and a beautiful little lake, you’ll probably see other people there during the day at least.

I’m ok shape, middle age, 20 lb pack. Got to Summit Trailhead at 2:00 Friday. Camped about 2 miles from Lakes at 5:00. Saturday hiked around all three lakes and back to car by 3:00.

Middle Lake is prettiest. Some snow, a few hunters. Very similar to Dinkey, Cliff and Jenny Lakes, but no other people.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing views. Short and challenging hike, We stopped several times to enjoy the view. Came early and greeted with several groups coming up on our way down. The 3 miles drive FS21S05 was unpaved road to the parking lot.

This is such a wonderful hike. It is difficult, with the first mile and a half being the hardest and most exposed. It's also the worst part when returning - steep, hot, and your feet are dying to rest. We clocked in 11.3 miles on this hike, not 8.4, but we also went to the upper monarch lake as well (worth it). This was a surprisingly shady hike for the most part and the water at Monarch is very cold but refreshing. We had the first lake to ourselves for close to 30 minutes and it was wonderful. Love that the Mineral King area has relatively few visitors compared to the main part of the park. Just a note, the trail splits at one point and the other trail leads to Crystal lake. That is an unmaintained trail. So if you don't feel like dealing with some scrambling, I recommend doing Monarch instead.

backpacking
3 months ago

Absolutely stunning! This was one of the best backpacking trips of my life. Hiked in day 1 and spent two nights at the lake. On day 2 we hiked to the top of the pass and it was definitely worth it. We didn’t want to leave! We found a great secret place to camp in the area that’s was used as a quarry for the dam. Will be back!

hiking
3 months ago

A quiet hike to a classic climbing spot. Bring your own water.

hiking
3 months ago

The first 2 hours are a bit monotonous. Once the views open up, it becomes amazing, and the lake is gorgeous. I wanted to go on to Maggie Lakes, but unfortunately some of the signs past Summit Lake aren't very clear and some of the trails aren't well maintained. I went in the wrong direction for a bit, then turned around and went to South Fork Meadow instead, which is also gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike, good for weekend warriors to cut their teeth on a trail with varying levels of inclination. Bring lots of water and get ready for 3 hours of amazing hours. Lots of shady spots to take a break - take your time and buckle up for the last quarter mile to lookout gate. Stunning!

great day hike! can be hard with the elevation climb but beautiful views and amazing history. there is a beautiful waterfall and some cool mines. starts hard but easy at the end.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike and well shaded. I started at the bottom at Freeman grove off of Lloyd Meadow Rd and hiked up then came back down. There is a great rock about 1.25 miles from the top near one of the bridges that overlooks the creek that is a perfect place to stop for lunch.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful lake, and definitely hike up to the pass and see the view!
The altitude was a bit tough for our group, had to stop and catch our breath a few times on the way up, but well worth the effort. The lake was pristine and we had a great swim after setting up camp.

backpacking
3 months ago

Pretty nice hike. Drove up Friday night and slept maybe a mile before the trailhead. The road getting to the trailhead was rougher than I expected. Some decent sized rocks. I saw a sedan at the trailhead so I guess any car could make it, but there was a piece of a broken off skid plate from a car up there too. We left Saturday morning and it took us about 5 hours to get there. It’s mostly shaded and the trail is well defined. Some meadows and flowers. The lakes are very pretty plenty of good campsites. The upper lake reminded me of something out of a fairy tale. It’s small with a tiny island and a single funny looking tree. We stayed the night and made it back in 4.5 hours. Overall it’s a really nice hike!

hiking
4 months ago

Great little hike for trail running and families. The views are worth the trek throughout. Bring plenty of water.

hiking
4 months ago

We liked it. We only completed a portion of it. Weather was warm. But the construction en route delayed us and we didn’t want to stay stuck in the mountain overnight.
It took us about 2 hours to hike up about 6km
(I was carrying a 45lbs bag and had 3 teenagers with us, so we made many stops.)
Route down was easier took almost 80 min

We each consumed 2-4 litres of water. Although there is a local spot at around 3km mark with drinkable water.

We will try to head out to mineral king area tomorrow to see if any of the trails there look good.

Pretty awesome hike. Take lots of water and light snacks. Make sure to stop in ponderosa for a beer when you leave! I always go past the gates and get on the top of the hill as well. There is a marker on the top of the hill w amazing views!

backpacking
4 months ago

Awesome!

4 months ago

Hiked it 8-4-18. It is a pretty hard hike, but the views are incredible! A steady climb all the way there but worth it. Took Us 4 hrs up an 3 down with taking alot of pics along the way. Flowers almost all the way up with plenty of deer to spot. Trail path is good, but watch ankles towards the top the rocks get rough. Next time we're spending the night to explore the lake more.

backpacking
4 months ago

Incredible views and well earned solitude during the middle of the loop. We went counterclockwise heading over Farewell Gap a few hours in then passed up Bullfrog Lake to make a little more headway before camping near the Broder’s Cabin site (which we didn’t actually find even though we looked). Expect that once you’re over farewell pass and into the Golden Trout Wilderness you’ll gain a real appreciation for the maintained trails of Sequoia Nat’l Park! Day two we continued through the brush only losing the trail once, until we intersected Shotgun Creek where there’s a sign pointing to Silver Lake. Here the trail basically ceased to exist and it’s uphill land-nav at its finest until you reach Silver Lake. Once you’re at the lake the trail becomes visible again and it’s a tough slog up loose sand/pebble mountainside to get to Shotgun Pass. The trail gets tough to follow again but it’s easy hiking down to the marsh area after which there are cairns marking the way down to Rattlesnake Creek where you pick up a well groomed trail again. The hike up to Franklin Pass is rewarded with some of the best views of the trip. The switchbacks down to Franklin Lakes take forever but would be even more boring if you were slogging up! We camped at Franklin lake then it was all downhill easy going back to Mineral King on day three. Awesome trip. Right at 48 hrs at a moderate pace. Definitely wear pants for the portion through Golden Trout as you’ll beat bush quite a bit. I definitely will do this trip again one day.

Nice hike! We did it about a month ago and despite the altitude it was still quite warm. It took us about three hours, could have been done faster but we stopped quite a lot to let my daughter's dog rest his paws, not for me to catch my breath

backpacking
4 months ago

The trail was very strenuous but easy to follow and well worth it. The views going up the trail and at the lake were amazing, and the Brook trout fishing in the main lake was excellent.

Great views and today the ice is still a cave at the end :) . Hard hike after 1st mile as you pass fork. Its steep from the fork until old cabin. Awesome Hike for newbies.

hiking
5 months ago

Short and sweet due to huge views of the high Sierras in the distant east. The old lookout is gone but the stairway acts as its bones, a reminder of a romantic past when hardy rangers would stand watch over our forests. I hiked with my dog and he seemed to enjoy himself. The trail head has a toilet and nearby are some picnic tables and a few level campsites. I saw several children on the trail who were smiling which is always a good sign.

hiking
5 months ago

I truly enjoyed this trail it was fabulous and anytime you get to spend time in The magic of the Sierra Mountains that is where it’s at.. the shale to the top of the pass is the best it’s a wonderful workout and the view is amazing I will have to say the undefined trail in the shale makes sense once you have climbed to the top.. I really loved this hike

hiking
5 months ago

NPS website is not lying when they said "start early because it's a west-facing slope". The first mile was incredibly hot and sunny in the afternoon. After the first mile, it gets much easier. it took me 3pm-10pm including lots of picture-taking and slow progress on the way up.

Saw many marmots and grouse. If you hear a deep "whoop whoop whoop whoop", that's the male grouse's mating call.

This year, going earlier in the season would've meant fewer mosquitoes, less heat, and less crowds if you're also visiting Lodgepole. Late May-early june would be ideal this year. June in years when there's heavier snowfall.

The views were pretty good but I wish I had hiked Eagle Lake instead, considering I started late.

This trail is great for beginners to test their skills and see if hiking is meant for them. The trail is easy to complete but has everything you would see on moderate trails in a short package.

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