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Great loop hike. Recommend to anyone wanting just a few days in the woods. Bring a map. More turnoffs than I expected.

Planned for one night at Jennie and one at Weaver lake. Jennie lake was so beautiful, ended up staying both nights there. A little crowded due to labor day weekend but still enjoyed it. Plenty of campsites even when crowded.

Hammocked both nights under the stars. No mosquitos! Beautiful weather. Highs of 70s and lows in 40s.

Hike was moderate. Under 6 miles from fox meadow trailhead to Jennie. The forest road to trailhead is in bad shape. Go slow and stay away from the sides as the bushes are thorny and will scratch up your car.

Sawyer mini was enough for filtering water from the lake. There are fish. Saw them but didn't see any getting caught by at least 5 people trying to fish over the two days we were there.

Wow! What a trail. We split this up over three days and two nights, going counterclockwise around the loop and hitting Jennie Lake on the first day. Happy to report that when we hiked, we did not meet a SINGLE mosquito on the entire trail! Unprecedented. I’m a mosquito magnet, and I didn’t need any spray. The ranger said it was because the nights were finally getting cold enough. Anyway!

Jennie Lake was amazing, though a little busy thanks to the holiday weekend. If you’re continuing on to Weaver Lake after, make sure to stock up on water before you go. Water sources are few and far between, and we really only passed one on the 9 or so like trek to the next lake.

Weaver Lake was also stunningly beautiful, though also busy thanks to being only a few miles from the trailhead. It’s also very picked over, firewood-wise, so maybe start gathering on your way in!

Did a 3 night 4 day trip with my 12 year old and his friend and dad. We went from Jennie lake around to Weaver lake. The lakes are beautiful and pretty warm. On the weekend it was really busy but by Sunday the crowds had cleared out. Saw a good amount of trout in the lakes. Only 1 stream down by boulder creek was flowing. Plan your water accordingly.

backpacking
25 days ago

My hiking buddy and I did this loop in the clockwise direction over 4 days in late August, camping at Pinto Lake, Upper Big Five Lakes, and Columbine Lakes. Overall a challenging but rewarding experience!

Pros
- Scenery: the views from Black Rock Pass and Columbine Lake were 5 stars. The alpine territory of Big Five Lakes and Lost Canyon were also incredible. The rest of the hike was pretty, but not quite as memorable.
- Logistics and solitude: this hike has become a lot more popular (permit demand has doubled in the last year alone). Nevertheless, obtaining permits is relatively easy and trail congestion remains low. We passed by only ~12 hikers per day on the trails and felt like we had our campsites all to ourselves.
- Charm: one thing I liked about this loop is you revisit a lot of the same locations from different points of view. For example, you get to see Columbine Lake from far away, then up close and personal. Or walk up Black Rock Pass, then admire how much altitude you climbed from far away 2 days later!
- Easy to customize: there are many variations of this loop if you have extra time, such as a detour to Nine Lake Basin or going over different passes.

Cons
- Difficulty: this hike kicked my butt! Although it's only ~7-8 miles per day, in the clockwise direction the first two days involve a LOT of uphill. The last day involves scrambling up and sliding down Sawtooth Pass. The packs and altitude only add to the exhaustion. On the flip side, the hike generally gets easier with each day.
- Getting there: Mineral King is less accessible than some other parts of the Sierras, so you might need to add 1-2 days to your itinerary to account for travel time.

Advice
- I recommend doing this in the clockwise direction from Timber Gap if possible. The first day is a slog and while pretty, it doesn't live up to the next 3 days. In the clockwise direction, the views improve with every day!
- Trail is well marked with a few exceptions. 1) If you're planning on camping at Pinto Lake, know that the lake is not signposted nor visible from the trail if you're coming from Timber Gap (i.e. from downhill). We initially missed and passed by it. Keep track of your location on the map and be on the lookout for a marshy area with trees in an otherwise completely sun-exposed area. 2) The detour to Upper Big Five Lakes fizzles out at one point, but you can keep on going deep into the canyon off the trail. 3) When going from Upper Big Five Lakes to Lost Canyon, when you reach the last lake, you will need to cross the creek to the other side. The trail not clearly marked, stay close to the edge of the lake on the opposite and look out for cairns. 4) The trail between Columbine and Monarch Lakes is not well established. At the top near Sawtooth Pass, there are use trails in the decomposed granite, but the trail lower down near the lakes requires scrambling over rocks and some pathfinding.
- The NPS rangers will recommend against camping at Columbine Lake as there are few campsites and the area has been "abused" by hikers (e.g. leaving trash, illegally camping next to the lake, etc). The will instead advise hikers to camp in Upper Lost Canyon, where there are some sun-exposed sites near the switchbacks leading to Columbine Lake, or covered sites in the forested area before the switchbacks. We ended up camping at Columbine Lake unintentionally and it was incredible. If you do too, please respect the space!

I definitely recommend this hike to anyone who wants to get out and get some miles under them. Did this as an older trip for our local Boy Scout troop. I took the suggestion of going counter clock wise on the loop, hitting Jennie Lake first. I highly recommend that, not only did we get a lot of the elevation out of the way but the first 6 miles is a great accomplishment on the first day. I was surprised about how many people were on the trail and at the lakes, but that didn't detour from the enjoyment of being there. Beautiful back country that is slipped in between to great parks. We spent a full day at Jennie Lake, before continuing. I highly recommend making the scramble up to the 9600 peak that over looks Jennie Lake. The third day was a quick 9 miles to Weaver Lake. Enjoyable dips in both were a great reward. Overall it was a great trip. Nine In, Nine Out!!!

Myself (26M) and my girlfriend (23F) did this beautiful loop in 2.5 days going counter clockwise stopping the first night at Jennie Lake and the second at weaver lake. I was a wilderness guide for 3 years and this was my girlfriends first backpacking trip ever so here are my two cents.

We decided to stay at the Big Meadow campground the night before to acclimate to the higher elevation and one thing I highly recommend if you decide to do this in the late summer is to bring water jugs in your car for that first night as the creek isn't running and the water is still and extremely dirty. I filtered the water and added iodine tablets for safety measures but as a 3 year guide that was some of the dirtiest water i've had to filter, luckily no gastrointestinal problems for either of us.

The weight of your packs are going to dictate a lot of how tough the inclines are. A net elevation gain of 3,000 feet with a 25lb pack on is pretty intense so if youre doing this with 25+lb bags like we did I would rate this more as moderate/hard. We are both active people, in shape outside of backpacking and we were both pretty sore after this hike (bring plenty of moleskin too to protect your feet from any hot spots/blisters from happening!). Keep in mind the distances listed are from the fox meadow trailhead NOT the Big Meadow trailhead, if you leave from big meadow it's another 3.2 miles total so roughly a 19mile loop instead of 16 mile. The drive in to the fox meadow trailhead is pretty bumpy so make sure you have a car that can handle bumpy non paved dirt roads.

The days were sunny and around 72 degrees, in the sun it was hot but there are plenty of shady spots to stop and relax. Make sure to have a shirt that can wick sweat, bring a hat, and baby powder to reduce chaffing (especially for the guys out there). The nighttime dropped to around 50 degrees. If you're a person who gets cold easily then bring a good jacket and some good night sweats/pants. My girlfriend gets cold really easily and has a 20 degree bag (more of a 40 degree bag) and had to wear her pants, long sleeve, down jacket, and beanie to bed even in a tent with a rain cover on for insulation. The camping spots at the lakes are pretty scarce with firewood but we managed to have one the first night at Jennie, so I would be prepared with a lantern or similiar in case you're too tired to hike out for wood. There are mosquitos (surprise surprise you're camping by water where they breed like rabbits) but long sleeve clothes with a 40% max deet will do the trick to keep them away at night.

The water sources were plentiful enough just make sure to fill up every time you cross one, the lakes were absolutely beautiful with hardly any campers during the monday-wednesday we went and the water was pristine. No sight of bears or snakes the whole trip and no problems with animals getting into our food (we used a bear canister), but you can also do bear hangs if you'd like. I highly recommend doing the loop to jennie then weaver, as the first two days are tough and the last day is a nice leisurely hike out. The first day to jennie was about 5-6 miles, the hike to weaver was about 9 miles and the hike out was about 2 miles.

Overall a great backpacking trip and would recommend to those who are decently in shape and would caution against bringing heavy packs as the inclines will make you pay for it.

This is a beautiful loop! We went clockwise and I would certainly recommend that direction; first day camping spots are better and scree skiing down Sawtooth is much better than trying to scramble up it from Monarch Lakes. I agree with others that noted the All Trails distances are off. Red numbers on map are more accurate than the All Trails lines and better match the trail signs. Rangers were still recommending marmot precautions as of 8/1/18. Trail crews did a good job of addressing the washout west of Pinto Lake and were actively fixing the one east of Pinto. Water was available pretty much throughout the loop. The only real tough patch was from Pinto to Little 5 Lakes. There's a stream at about 10,200 feet right before some switchbacks. Next water is 3+ miles away, over Big Rock Pass and down at Little 5 (the last lake is the cleanest). Mosquitoes were out around both Little and Big 5 Lakes but weren't really a problem. Caught trout all around the loop, but they were small and only good for the story. Nymphs seemed to be key. Hope this helps! Have a great trip!

We hiked this trail july 29- august 1 in the opposite direction. First day was spent at long lake where a lot of people had camped to summit mt langley. Then over new army pass the second day and into rock creek. We camped at rock creek but we should have headed to soldier lake. Oh well. Last night we spend at chicken spring lake before we hiked out the short 4 miles out the last day over cottonwood pass. Not too many mosquitoes and no ice. Great hike! The fires did spoil our views in some parts. Lakes were beautiful.

My very first backpacking trip and it was great! We did the whole loop over a 3 day period. Started our hike from big meadows trailhead and spent first night at Jennie lake. Don’t believe whatever distances you have read here. They are woefully wrong. Jennie lake is 8 miles. The next length to weaver lake is 9.5. Finally the last leg back to the big meadows parking lot is 3.5. Total loop is 21 miles. Don’t know why this site can’t get their distances correct. Beautiful hike. Great weather. Lousy fishing at both lakes. Me thinks both lakes have been fished out this late in the summer. Always stock up on water wherever u come across it. Many streams are dry this time of year.

We had a wonderful time hiking this loop. We spent the first night at weaver lake and the next at Jennie lake. The water was clear and cool. Not to cold, perfect for swimming. The landscape was breathtaking. The hiking was a bit challenging, but moderate enough that I’m working on plans to take my youngest sister and some of her friends out to Jennie lakes for their first backpacking trip.

3-Night Backpacking trip with kids in July 2018. Great scenery and the lakes were pretty (Jennie Lake had about 4 groups on Friday, Weaver Lake had 10 on Saturday). The small lake at the base of Shell Mountain is definitely worth the side track! Cut across Shell Mountain to avoid JO pass to weaver and reducing the length of the hike by a third. Moderate hiking, but try to get over Poop Out pass before 10 am, otherwise it's pretty hot and exposed. Bugs were present, but nothing a bit of Picaridin couldn't solve. Was not able to catch any trout.

Spectacular. Went late June. Saw 12 people in four days (including a kind ranger). Did the loop counterclockwise, which is recommended unless you are otherwise itching to crawl/scramble/struggle up the skree of Sawtooth Pass. Camped Cliff Creek, Middle Lower Five Lakes, and Upper-Middle Lost Canyon. Mosquitos were out and about, but with the year’s lighter snowpack, we may have faced the worst of it. To be safe, bring ample Deet and invest in mosquito resistant clothing (including face netting). With some long stretches out of tree-cover, also bring ample sunscreen (though 3oz was more than enough for two of us).

If you’re young and/or in tip-top shape (and, more importantly, very prepared and carrying a light pack), you could do this in two days, though take caution with altitude sickness over some of these passes. Otherwise, take your time and enjoy this underappreciated escape.

Hard, but not overly painfully so. I have asthma and had to stop many times for air, but there was no need for a fast pace. Even with my slowness, we planned for four days but did it in there. Aside from normal backcountry gear, bring A LOT of sunscreen and zinc and GOOD mosquito repellant. Our GPS recorder logged significantly more miles than as posted on this and other trail sites. This map has the trail going in straight lines that do not exist. Expect closer to 35 miles maybe.

Day 1: Timber Gap Trail to Timber Gap. The trail is moderately steep out of the parking lot and continues so for some time. Reaching the top of Timber Gap has nice views with plenty of shade. Descend fast to the junction with Cliff Creek. This is the most psychologically challenging parts of the trip—to descend to below where you started and then have to climb for miles with a tall pass at the end of it. At the junction with Cliff Creek there is the most beautiful creek passing with several little pools. I wish it wouldn’t have been a waste to camp there, otherwise we would have. Have lunch. Walk along the creek and through the dry bed (which can be confusing—some cairns arranged; alternatively look for mule poop) as you pass epic waterfalls as you approach the switchbacks to climb to the Pinto Lake Area. At Pinto Lake, full water in stream that is clearly audible. Several campsites in front of and across the path from the bear box area. Choose a site on the rocks above the bear box—the breeze up there keeps the mosquitos away and the sunset is incredible.

Day 2: Fill your water. Then have fun figuring out how to get across the marsh and connect with the trail. Once you find it, begin the 3000 vertical feet in 3 miles to the top of Blackrock Pass. You’ll pass a steam going down the side of the mountain near the beginning of the climb up the switchbacks. Fill water here as it is the last water on this side and there won’t be mosquito free water for a bit on the other side. Then get ready—if you look straight up the mountain, slightly behind the stream, you can see the pass. It looks forever away. It sucked. I had to stop often (every 20-30 steps) to catch my breath. The grade is steep most of the way. But the views are the best views of the trip, as you see Columbine Lake and Spring Lake and the other lake across the valley. Take your time getting to the top and then enjoy the pass. The views are also quite good, as you look down on Little 5 lakes below. As you descend, turn around and look at the pass and you’ll understand why it’s called Blackrock—all of the rock to the right off the pass is sand colored. Get down, enjoy the view of the first couple of Little 5 lakes from above, but then put on your turbo boosters and get past them as fast as possible—horrible mosquitos. There is a creek draining from one of the lakes at the trail junction that takes you to the ranger station. Bugs were slightly less horrible there if you need water. Continue onto Big 5. You’ll hit a junction for Lower or Upper Big 5. Just know that if you choose Lower Big 5, you likely won’t come back to see Upper Big 5–there are quite a few switchbacks on the one mile trail to lower Big 5 and elevation to get back up to Upper Big 5 would suck. Lower Big 5 has some nice camping spots near the bear box and other spots across the lake on a small shoulder above where we were told there was a nice pond. AND YOU CAN HAVE FIRES HERE! Remember—no wood larger than you’re forearm.

Day 3: We had a leisurely morning of breakfast, a couple of swims, cards, and snacks. We slowly packed up, departed at 1230, and began the moderate climb to start, then mostly easy going hike to the end of Upper Lost Canyon. The creek and valley are absolutely stunning with Sawtooth and a couple other peaks in the background. We camped at a small, cleared area just a few switchbacks up the trail at the start of the climb to Columbine. We were directly next to one stream with another up the side of the mountain. Take your time along here—you’re in no rush and the valley is picturesque.

Day 4: after sleep, the hike up to Columbine from the base of the switchbacks wasn’t too bad—took maybe 45 minutes. The views are incredible; you can see the switchbacks up Blackrock Pass Trail. Contrary to what the rangers say, there are plenty of camping spots up there. When you reach the lake, follow the trail to the right, over the stream and you’ll find over a dozen great spots. The hike up to the pass is steep and challenging in sections, but the views are top notch and scree skiing down the mountain is so, so fun. Gaters and poles are a must for the descent. There isn’t really a trail for a while, so just choose a good skiing spot and keep your eyes open for the use trail toward the bottom on the way to monarch lake.

We chose this as our first backpacking trip. We're in our 40's. Started at about 10 AM from Big meadow on 6-29-18. We hiked to jennie lake the first day. It was a gorgeous but tough 6 miles with full packs ( mine was 30+). The lake is stunning and there were only about 8 other people there. Unfortunately we didn't sleep well and were really wiped out on day 2 so we ended up bailing out at JO pass down to wuksatchi and hitched a ride back to our car. This was an amazing hike as well though, with one of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. All in all this is an amazing hike it just turned out to be a little too much for us for our first time with all the weight.

Awesome scenery in this loop! We did a variant wherein were cut down to South Fork Lakes, otherwise the same. All the lakes are spectacular. Chicken Spring Lake was on my list to see and it didn’t disappoint. Lower Soldier Lake was also great. Tons of fish to catch at South Fork. There was still some snow blocking the trails at both Old and New Army Passes but nothing insurmountable. Good number of mosquitos and Lower Soldier but no surprise this time of year (late June) so we had nets and spray. Some marmots about but our food was only hassled by chipmunks. Nothing proper storage didn’t fix. Would do this again for sure!

We did this route in the opposite direction. We spent our first night at Weaver, hiked over JO Pass to Jennie Lakes on our second day, and then over Poop Out Pass back to the trailhead on our last day.

A few notes:
• JO Pass was a lot tougher than we had anticipated. The climb is fully exposed and it was hot. Be prepared with lots of water!
• The road in is definitely not good for commercial vehicles. I don’t have 4wd and I spun my tires out coming in.
• The mosquitoes are BAD. Despite being covered in Deet and wearing long clothing, we got eaten alive. They were chewing through our clothes which became unbearable at times.
• The trail from Weaver to JO Pass is a bit difficult to follow. There are lots of fallen trees so make sure you keep an eye on your map.

All in all, the scenery and wildflowers were beautiful, the trails nice and quiet, and the lakes were breathtaking. I think next time, we’d start with a hike in to Jennie Lake instead of doing the full loop. We’re all pretty experienced hikers and agreed that this was more Strenuous than Moderate for a backpacking trip. But for a day hike Moderate might be okay.

This loop was more difficult than I anticipated and more beautiful than I could have imagined. The pictures don't do it justice. The altitude and the grade of the slopes make it difficult and the distances were longer than what is stated on the trail guides. I tracked my progress with my Garmin GPS watch and racked up considerably more distance than indicated on the maps. Maybe the maps don't account for the switchbacks or when the trail goes up and down in elevation? The snow also added to the difficulty and made it a bit more dangerous. I think I could do the loop more easily now that I know what lays ahead of me and I also think it would be easier when the snow melts off the slopes. I highly recommend this trail. Its one of those adventures that will make you ask "What was I thinking" during the hike and a week after you get home and recover you'll be trying to figure out how you can return and do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

I went up to Jenny Lake starting from the Big Meadows Trailhead on Sunday May 27th 2018 at 0930. The beginning of the trail at the trailhead was warm at probably 60 degrees with no clouds. It was a beautiful day when I began my ascent. There were a number of hikers along the way but since it was Memorial Day weekend I was expecting that. Once you get to the highest point on the trail you cross over to the north side and snow patches are still on the ground. A number of creeks are running, not very strong, and they're still passable but if you're not careful you will get your boots wet. There's one tricky part on this Trail when you're right at the summit as you're walking down the pass full of rocks are is a loan Redwood Sequoia that you come up on and there is a fallen branch laid along the left hand side of the tree. This is to let you know do not go to the left of that tree the trail actually continues to the right but it is very easy to mistake and if you continue to the left you are dumped into a very dangerous crevasse of sharp Jagged rocks. I've included a pic of it in my uploads.

This is one of the places on the trail that my alltrails Pro membership came in very handy. I had dropped my Verizon connection because there's no signal up there once you get to poop out pass and so I had intentionally downloaded my Jenny Lake Trail Loop map before leaving. Misses we're having that map on my phone using the GPS works wonderfully. The GPS is still able to track you no matter where you are in the outback Wilderness and you can see exactly where you are on the map. All trails Pro puts the trail on the map and so you can tell exactly where you are in relation to that trail even if the trail is washed out covered over or hidden underneath snow. That's why I knew that I was going the wrong way even though it was not obvious. I could tell very easily on the All Trails map after walking 10 feet off the path that I was no longer going the right way. This is not the first time all trails downloaded maps have saved me from countless hours of wandering around lost. And since they offered a Year's membership for half price during Memorial Day weekend I snapped that up really fast!

At Jenny Lake itself the north side of the lake wall is covered in snow but the camping areas are completely cleared.
This Trail is a very nice Trail for the most part well-marked but there are sketchy points that your All Trails map will come in handy. I would say that the trail is accurately rated at moderate and you should be aware that elevation makes it very difficult right before the summit for about three-quarters of a mile. I did my Day hike to Jenny Lake and back and it was about 13 and a half miles and it took me about six and a half hours all together not including the time I stood around taking pictures and sightseeing.

Once I got to Jenny Lake it was very cold I could see my breath and it felt like it was in the very low 50s if not high 40s. on the return back to Big Meadows Trailhead it even began to sprinkle as a cloud that moved in and the temperature had dropped perhaps 10 degrees. It was beautiful. Check out my pics!

Did half of it late may, I had to take the shortcut at sawtooth since I was doing this as a day hike. Went counterclock. I think it'd be doable to do the whoel thing as day hike without the snow, but with the snow it was very hard to have good speed. There is some pathfinding needed. And sawtooth is really hard to climb because of the terrain. The shortcut was hard to negotiate due to snow and lack of marks, but it was fun.

We did the entire loop
hike on one long day (12 hours). We went to Jennie Lake first then continued onto JO pass. If you decide to do this be aware that after JO pass you descend about 3 miles into a canyon then ascend out to Weaver Lake. This last portion of the hike is very hard and tiring. We almost didn’t make it and we are in decent shape. Also start early. We left the car at 10am and had to walk out in the dark. Awesome hike highly recommend! Maybe doing it in more than one day would be better next time.

Awesome hike and pretty lake !

Attempted this loop 5/17-5/19 2018. Parked at Big Meadows trailhead and hiked in to Weaver Lake on 5/17. I was the only one there for the night which was quite nice. There are a number of campsites and fire rings already set up here. Just make sure you get your fire permit from the Hume Lake District ranger station on your way up the mountain. My one complaint about Weaver was that there was a bit of garbage scattered around. My guess is that this is a pretty popular day hike from Big Meadows and so the commitment level is low for a lot of people who stay out there. It wasn't awful but it was indeed noticeable.

5/18 I left Weaver Lake in the morning and headed east toward Rowell Meadow. Right away I noticed that the trail was difficult to follow due to snow on the ground. I had to double back several times to find the trail. I ended up hitting the trail junction and turning south towards JO Pass. The snow on the ground got worse as I climbed and there was a point when I wandered far enough off trail to be lost. Luckily I was able to rediscover the trail after some scrambling before running into another lone hiker heading the opposite way. He informed me that JO pass was still a mile up the trail and that I could follow his footsteps in the snow to get there no problem. I thanked him and we parted ways. Once I hit JO Pass I decided that instead of heading toward Jennie Lake which was my original plan, I was going to descend down the other side of the pass into Sequoia Nat'l Park towards Clover Creek/Twin Lakes area. The ground was completely covered with snow on top of the pass and I did not want to venture towards Jennie Lake without a clear trail. Unfortunately the trail was hard to follow even as I descended the other side. I ended up off track again and I began to follow Clover Creek southward for a few more miles. At night fall I set up camp somewhere alongside Clover Creek.

5/19 woke up early and continued south along Clover Creek toward the Kaweah River Valley. Stumbled out of the woods at Wuksachi Lodge and hitchhiked back to my car at Big Meadows.

I would not do this loop again this early in the season without a solid GPS. Not being able to follow the trail easily due to snow added a fair amount of stress to the trip. Other than that, this is a beautiful area and I look forward to visiting again so that I can actually see Jennie Lake and stop by Rowell Meadow as well as summit Mitchell Peak.

We hiked to Weaver Lake in early May, 2018. There was still snow covering portions of the trail, which made the trail hard to follow at times. We actually had to follow other hiker’s footprints in the snow, otherwise, it was hard to see where the trail was! That’s my only complaint. Once we made it to Weaver Lake, it was a beautiful sight. It too was still snow-covered, but still an amazing, crisp lake. The available campsites at Weaver Lake were hard to get to because of the snow, so we had to camp elsewhere. Visually, Weaver Lake is spectacular & well worth the hike to see! Just pay attention to the the trail & follow it diligently. The beauty of the Sequoia National Forest is worth your effort!

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing trail for only being 2.5 hours from DTLA.
My GPS gave up ~3 miles to the end on my recording below, but if you take the shortcut both ways it seems like it is only ~18.5 miles.

Trailhead to pass: A slog, scenery similar to hikes in the San Gabriels.
Pass to PCT Junction: A nice segway going through an alpine meadow.
(Optional) Shortcut from PCT Junction trail to PCT (This is a "trail" I saw marked on USGS map on caltopo. It follows a stream and then disappears but knocks off around 1.5 miles one way and some elevation gain/loss. View my recording below.)
PCT: Endless views to the west over the Golden Trout Wilderness.
PCT to summit: No trail, easy route find through a rocky forested section opening up to a long Class 2/3 boulder field. I approached the summit block from the south and got stuck at a section right below where it was Class 4 and gave up as I was too tired to re-approach. Recommend approaching from the west / northwest.

Water source:
Stream at shortcut junction and also along PCT.

camping
4 months ago

Went for a 3 day, 2 night camping trip with the Boyfriend. It was incredible. Beautiful views with every step! Be ready to get your feet wet if you are planning on hiking out to Redwood Meadow! The water is so crisp and refreshing to drink (with a LifeStraw) but it doesn't feel to good when you get wet. We built our basecamp on a quiet little peninsula near where the Panther Creek and Middle Fork creek merge. It was so peaceful I didn't want to leave!

This trail does not actually connect as shown. You will have to make a bit of our own path to connect. Went end of April and there was snow about 3 miles in.

backpacking
5 months ago

The trail was a nice and challenging trail. My first backpacking trip/trail. Two nights two days. Parked at Buckeye campground and hike up to the trailhead. Hit the trail up this April of 2018. Before the rain the river crossings weren’t bad. After a night of rain they were impossible. Waited for the river to die down a bit and crossed. The trail is well blazed and has nice views along the whole trail. AllTrails Pro did not really work out there though. Only downside.

Great trip. Going over black rock pass is challenging but completely worth the effort to get to little five lakes on the other side.

Perfect time of year to be on this trail. I took it to Panther Creek and camped there on a Saturday night. Lots of spots to tarp/tent or hang. Excellent weather(70/40) with nice snowy views to the east. Water was plentiful, but none of the creek crossings to that point had any deep water. The road to the trailhead/Buckeye Flat campground is closed at this point for the winter but do not let that stop you from jumping on this awesome trail. You’ll need to park at the picnic area on Sherman’s Highway at the intersection of Buckeye Flat. It tacks on an additional two miles but was along the river and I encountered many mule deer along the way. When the road forks, go left on the rough road. The gate on the right goes to Buckeye Flat campground and Paradise trail. Happy hiking!

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