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

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off road driving
8 days ago

Came up with a two brother in law’s and a friend. All stock rigs. 1st, 2nd, 3rd gen 4runners and 1 stock full size tundra. There were some spots on rock pile where it got tricky for the tundra otherwise, it was a good drive. Will definitely have a much easier time with a good spotter on trucks with clearance issues or full size. Camped on lake and the fish were biting good.

off road driving
8 days ago

Came up with my brother in law and his two kids. Both rigs are stock 1st and 3rd gen 4runners. Made it to lookout without issues. Had a good snack and then headed to court right to camp.

off road driving
1 month ago

Since my first trip up here back in 2016 i have been here 2 times. Once with my everyday driver 1999 4Runner 5speed with only a 2 inch lift and was able to make it to the top with no scrapes by taking some super careful lines. Love this place. Love this place, the Views are amazing so high up in the sky. Can't wait to go back up late winter early spring while the snow is melting.

1 month ago

We did this 11-3-18 and although it took about 2.5 hours from Fresno, the weather was gorgeous. The fishing however was horrible with not a single bite. The last mile or so of the trail was tough but still gorgeous. Rock lake looks really close on the map but it ends up being down this huge hill that you eventually have to come back up.....we left too late to do it but hopefully next time. :)

12 miles round trip from Quartz Mountain Trail head to middle lake. Easily doable in a day, in and out, but pretty uphill on the way in. About 3 hours up and 2 hours back with a daypack.

Incredible day hike! Started from valley which makes the mileage a tad over 20 miles with 6300+ elevation gain. Got a late start of 8am but finished within 7 hours including a few breaks. Forgot my bladder so only had a liter Nalgene bottle. Not a huge problem as there were plenty of creeks to purify water from if needed (however didn’t need to fill up in the end). Trail starts with steps along the falls and then flattens out quite a bit before reaching switchbacks about halfway through the hike. Some exposure as you get near clouds rest so be wary if you are bringing anyone who is a timid hiker. The hike had great diversity and was really pleasant as it wasn’t incredibly steep or mundanely flat. Definitely doesn’t feel like you’ve climbed 6300 ft in the end. However, the knees did feel it quite a bit after the descent. This hike is by far the best one I’ve done in Yosemite. Amazing payoff, great terrain, comfortable and you get a bit of altitude. Looooved it and would highly recommend to anyone who loves hiking.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike, beautiful sights, but cold night as expected for the time of year. Best part about the cold though, No mosquitos. Fun overnighter overall

hiking
1 month ago

Quite an easy going, but beautiful walk to the Twin Lakes. Most of the trial is in the shadow (late October). The destination is breath taking and absolute worth it.

on Twin Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful hike. Lots of trees and shade. Also a ton of sand, dusty trail. We saw 6 horses with riders on this trail beautiful views and peaceful nature hike. It was smoky at the time, so we unfortunately didn’t make it to the lakes. We will definitely go check this trail out again. Our wiem loved the hike. Friendly hikers. We hiked back in July 2018

hiking
1 month ago

This route is closer to 71km (44.12mi) than the reported 63.9km (39.70mi) (and I didn't visit Chain Lakes!).

Thank you to the originator of the track - the detailed waypoint labels were a huge boon on the walk.

After completing Rae Lakes a couple of months ago, I wanted another challenge and felt this would be roughly equivalent in difficulty. Based on previous pace I'd hoped to complete the loop in 15-16hrs and given available daylight wanted to do the lollipop stick in the dark (about 4h). I set off Saturday 06:05 and the light was hitting towards the first stream crossing.

The loop becomes interesting around Merced Pass where we snatch glimpses towards the Valley. Seeing Half Dome from around here was a pretty cool moment for me and seeing it in the distance but still relatively close (just 21.9mi according to an upcoming sign) made Yosemite feel small in my mind.

The approach to Red Peak Pass is very good - extremely well maintained trails with no routefinding issues whatsoever. Presumably this is because the section is shared with the more popular "Clark Range Loop" which starts and ends at the more accessible Happy Isles. The lakes on the way up offer great views and seeing Merced Peak up close is also extremely impressive. Topping out at Red Peak Pass was absolutely *the* highlight of the loop. The visa here is huge - all of the main peaks such as Dana and Conness are laid out in front of us. I'm not great at names but an app like PeakFinder AR is a great option here. Better still is that as you descend just a few switchbacks you get your first glimpse of the Minarets over to your right.

The descent of Red Peak (and Post Peak and even moreso Fernandez) Pass is quite hard going with scree (talus) under foot. I'd hoped to run down some sections of the descents but didn't want to risk it so far out in the wilderness. In late October there was icy snow on the north side of Red Peak Pass but this was only present for a handful of switchbacks.

Descending through the meadows towards Post Peak Pass was absolutely gorgeous and the only real time on the loop I wanted to stop and spend some time. In particular one "unnamed" lake that was accompanied by a waymarker would be an ideal stop for me. For now I can only imagine how gorgeous this would be in summer with more greenery.

Post Peak Pass was a great ascent - crossing over an alpine meadow (again, summer would be a great time to be there) and then slowly ascending and looking back at the meadow as well as the Clark Range. As crazy as it sounds this is where things start to feel really remote. Obviously people ascend this pass but throughout the hike there were signs listing the distance to Fernandez Pass but very few to Post Peak Pass. Amazing views walking along the ridge into Ansel Adams Wilderness. This is where I drew in my last views of the Minarets before starting the descent to the next ascent of Fernandez Pass.

At this time things went downhill for me. I'd already noticed that my pace was slow (I hoped for 14:00/km but instead finished with 15:14/km) but was now beginning to notice just how much of a sandbag the trail was. Due to the low resolution of the track a lot of distance in switchbacks, etc. were cut and as a result my walk was extended by around 7km or close to two hours. I had anticipated on being close to the top of the lollipop stick around the time it got dark and then finish with a two hour descent to the trailhead. In the end I reached Fernandez Creek Trail Junction after dark and walked the next four hours by headtorch. I have no idea what the views from Fernandez Pass are like or any other section on. I expect they were great and regret not having had a chance to see them myself. Perhaps in future I will walk up to Fernandez Pass out and back from the trailhead with an easier approach.

My gripes/thoughts:

The lollipop stick 10km walk is really not fun. Nor is the narrow windy singletrack down from Fernandez Pass. This route can never be 5/5 with those two sections. To add insult to injury you do the 10km lollipop stick twice - that's four hours of pretty grim walking and a significant chunk of this walk.

I debated with giving this a 3 but I think rushing to do it in a short space of time, not seeing Fernandez Pass, etc. I erred on the side of caution.

Finally - this trail is HARD. I thought it would compare favourably to Rae Lakes but that's a doddle by comparison. Your feet, legs, back, everything will take a beating. Three passes (even if neither is as high as Glen Pass) is brutal and mentally challenging. I enjoyed almost every minute of Rae Lakes but would not personally recommend this be done as a day loop - in summer with more daylight it will be too hot and in winter you miss too much.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite trails from our Yosemite trip. This is a fantastic backpacking trail. In the first half of the trail, there are so. many. wildflowers. Probably the most variety I'd ever seen on a trail. Orange, red, yellow, blue, purple, and white blooms reached out to us from the side of the trail. Lots and lots of butterflies. In addition, the first half of the trail is very flat, and only gets steeper in the second half. This trail was secluded and quiet as compared to the craziness of more popular destinations. When you get to the lake, there are many good campsites. Just search around the lake until you find one you like. We found one that had 2 fire pits, soft flat spaces for tents, waist level logs to use as surfaces for cooking or drying out clothes, and was a 30 second walk from the lake. Here are some of the things you can do while at the lake: fish, start a fire, swim (just make sure you have something to wrap around yourself afterwards because the wind can be chilly when you're wet), and hike up to hilltop above the lake. (totally worth it- great views!) Near the campsite we stayed at, there were lots of dead pine tree branches. Let me tell you, if you want to start a fire, use dead pine needles! Overall there were only two negative things about the trail. In the beginning, there's some portions where the trail is very thin, and the vegetation can make your legs itchy if you're wearing shorts. The other thing is that there are some sections of the trail where a wildfire has passed through and there's just a forest of black dead trees. However, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

on Twin Lakes Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Very good hike. You walk through a lot of trees and it breaks out into some awesome views at the lakes. Nice and quiet. Not too many people, but it is late in the season. You don’t have to get up there super early because the walk is only around 2 1/2 hrs. Plenty enough time to walk around and relax.

hiking
1 month ago

We decided to hike this trail. It is a 4x4 road but does make for a nice hike. The trees at the top were amazing. I recommend this trail for a good workout. The road you drive to get to the start of the trail is very bumpy, I do not recommend that you take a car.

hiking
1 month ago

Finding the trailhead was a little difficult. Drive past Vermillion Valley Resort and then signs will pop up for the trailhead. Well marked trail with a beautiful end point. In mid October it was really windy and cold on a sunny day with a predicted temp of 60 degrees. I would say it was closer to 40-50 with the wind chill so we weren't able to swim. It took us about 3.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down. About 3 miles into the hike, there is flatter ground to the right of the trail where there is a beautiful view of Edison and the surrounding mountains and valley. The view was just as beautiful if not more beautiful than the Devils Bathtub.

off road driving
2 months ago

Excellent trail! Did this Oct 6, 2018 with Overland Bound, wonderful time. Trail in great shape. Other than the first gatekeeper, all obstacles had a bypass, the gatekeeper might of had one as well but I did not notice it. Need 4x4, lift and bigger tires, also skids. As said do not go alone, on weekends there will be others on trail so stay alert. trail can be ran up and back or up and return a different trail. Trails not marked completely so have a map. Edison camp is wonderful camping area.

Just amazing one thing to note this trail on AllTrails app brings you to the backside of clouds rest you won’t be going up the side they show on you tube also don’t take the same trail down take the John Muir down avoid the crowd crawling up

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful lake. Did an overnight trip with my daughter. Temperature at the lake felt about 10 degrees cooler than on the trail. Probably due to the wind gusts. Ended up camping about a 1/2 mile from the lake. Fishing was great as well.

fishing
2 months ago

Hello twins. ;)

Gorgeous trail. Hubs insisted on driving to the trailhead, which he then couldn't find, so we ended up cutting off a corner and coming in from the Park and Pack station down the street.

The views, particularly those around Kaiser Peak, were amazing.

We reached Upper Twin Lake and continued on past it to Lower Twin, where we made camp our first night. After a quick swim and dinner, I got to practice my nighttime photography with a spectacular view of the milky way.

For day 2, we headed back up past Upper Twin and continued on to George Lake, which was the hardest part of the hike. The trek up there is rocky and at times very steep. The payoff at the end was amazing though. We camped at the base of Kaiser and if I'd had any juice left in my body, we might have tried to summit it. But alas I was too tired and too altitude sensitive.

Overall an amazing weekend thanks to this really nice entry trail to the Twin Lakes area.

There are several stream crossings in the early part of the trail, one of which has a log bridge. The trail follows the stream for a while. If you're not careful, you might run into a bear! Hubs and I startled one that was drinking at the stream. Be sure you're aware of your surroundings.

For those of you backpacking that will be spending the night at the lakes, there is no need to bring tons and tons of water with you if you have a filter. You can access the creek pretty frequently and the lakes are easily accessible from your 200ft offshore campsite.

fishing
2 months ago

Great fishing at cliff lake and and an equally rewarding hike to nearby Rock lake

backpacking
2 months ago

It was absolutely gorgeous. Wish I brought my fishing pole. Passed 5 guys who said all together they caught 30 fish. Great hike.

off road driving
2 months ago

Great wheeling up to the lake. I wouldn’t take a stock rig past gate keeper

Do not attempt the drive to trail head unless you at least have a high clearance vehicle. And if it rains, you had better have four wheel drive. I drove in my Ford Edge and barely made it. Spun my wheels and scraped car under carriage a few times. But the destination was well worth the worrisome journey. Absolutely beautiful. There really are no mosquitoes at this time of year and no bear activity which really adds to the enjoyment. Very high altitudes though. Take it slow especially if you are a sea level dweller like me!

I will be back, but in a truck!!

BTW I have a tried and true formula for mosquito repellent. Mix vapor rub (menthol) with coconut oil. Three weeks in Fiji with hummingbird size mosquitoes and I didn’t get bitten once!

off road driving
2 months ago

Nice trail. You definitely need a good spotter. Had a great time. Took my stock Nissan Frontier 4x4 and had some problems going up but nothing major.

Very proud of myself for completing this hike. It took me a little over 10 hours. The view from the top is absolutely spectacular. The first half of the hike to the top is almost completely uphill. There is a flat stretch right after Nevada Fall that I really began to appreciate more on the descent. lol Take a moment to chill next to the stream there. When you get to the sign that says 3.8 miles to Clouds Rest..get ready to work. I'm a little scared of heights and that final staircase to to the top almost got me to turn back..but I conquered it. Going down was of course much easier, and I even thought to myself right before I descended the Mist Trail "Man, I could probably keep going 5 more miles after this." But of course at the bottom of Vernal Fall all I could think was that I would be needing 2 new kneecaps and a back e atomy. Fantastic hike nonetheless. Bring plenty of food and water. I took just enough at 4 liters.

off road driving
2 months ago

We did this trail in Sept 2018. Beautiful views of Shaver from the tower. I did the trail in my ‘94 YJ and my buddy took his 99 TJ. Neither had any problems with the trail besides a couple of scrapes on the skid plates for the stock size Jeep. This was my first time off road and my first trip with my Jeep. I recommend taking a friend and you’ll have a great time.

very fun off road trail, the dinkey lower green gate route is easier then the tamarack route. only one spot caused problems for my open diffs cause of loose sand but there is a bypass.. I've got a 87 4runner stock on 31s and I scraped pretty bad in some areas. invest in some sliders unless you have about 2' clearance

on Twin Lakes Trail

backpacking
3 months ago

Did an overnight trip this weekend and camped at Upper Twin Lake. Found a nice established camp up the hill on the north side of the lake. Awesome! Stone fire pit and logs for seating. Several areas to set up tent and a hammock. Perfect weekend! A bit chilly, but worth it!

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