Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Inyo National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I have spent time on several sections of the pct the section between Kennedy meadows campground and mt. Whitney is absolutely beautiful.

me and five of my Grandchildren did this hike going in was fun ,lot of work coming out ,but we're talking about doing it again. My age hope I can

backpacking
3 months ago

I go backpacking around here almost every year, and the Pine Creek Trailhead is one of the less crowded trails in the area. The first part of the hike is steep, with a quick elevation gain and a lot of switchbacks. It can get really hot and there's not much shade on the initial portion, so it's a good idea to bring a lot of water and start early. Once you get to about 10,000ft it's a pretty easy hike to Honeymoon lake. From Honeymoon, you can go on to Pine Creek, Italy pass, or a number of other lakes in the area!

3 months ago

One of the most rewarding views ever!

Beautiful hike in winter conditions (Jan 1-2 2018)
50% snow and ice currently to 7300 ft. Trail is showing wear and needs a little love but is still easy to follow. Variety of water crossings from solid ice, logs and requiring boot removal and getting wet. Campsite near the springs is comfy with easy water access and a built up fire ring.

hiking
6 months ago

One of the prettiest Alpine Lakes I've seen on the west coast. I went during the height of summer and expected a lot of traffic on the trail, because the town was packed however it was quiet and peaceful. I would recommend once getting near the lake to hike to a view point above the lake and take in a 360 view of the surrounding area. 6 hrs or so would be enough time for most people to hike and spend time by the lake swimming etc.

The road to the trailhead requires a high clearance vehicle. Driving a Honda Civic, the closest that I could get to trailhead was a good 4.3 miles away! (End of asphalt in Fuller road). I could never figure out the start of the trail and hence just climbed the hill till I saw something that resembled a trail. I again lost the trail after the small pond. Nonetheless it made the hike that much more interesting. Did it on Oct 14th as a day hike.
There are too many use trails after Red lake to get to Split mountain. On the way back you will see the good ones :-)
Just remember to come back to the correct ridge. There are use trails from the top which take you further down to the lake on the left (looking down) and possibly to the ridge on the left fork (looking down). We want to be on the right fork.

Pretty solid hike with intermittent lovely views along the way. The first chunk is a grunt heading out of the parking area, with some excellent views of the lakes down in the valley basin. There are lots of day hikers in the first part of the hike, but it thins out later.

Headed toward Mammoth Pass you lose tree coverage it can get pretty hot in the sun. Again, there are nice views here. Then you move into long crank up to a bit over 11,000 feet. You lose the views for a while until you get to a point with a great view back down a rocky valley to the floor below.
The three lakes are nice. We had great luck fishing in the lower lake, but didn't see anything in the northern lake, where we camped. Ended up doing a day hike to the ridge looking back down to Lake Mary, which also gave some nice views.

7 months ago

Beautiful hike, back country camped right by the minaret lakes, no one around , the scenery and the gorgeous Minarets make this hike one of my favorites, it's better to camp and enjoy the shining moon on the lake, watch for mosquitoes they were way too aggressive throughout the whole hike !

Hiked for 6 days sobo during early September in 2017. exit at Kennedy Meadow. The water is just OK. The view is good, though not very beautiful... The trail is relatively easy compared to the Sierra part, I like it.

backpacking
7 months ago

Fantastic scenery and great backpack trip. I did North Lake to South lake using this loop

Difficult stream crossing near the top of Convict Canyon in July, fascinating geological features. You can continue this from Lake Genevieve to Edith and Cloverleaf Lakes if you follow the inlet stream up about half a mile.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike but didn't quite make it to Minaret Lake. Probably spent to much time enjoying the meadows, creeks etc and didn't leave enough time to make it to the lake. It's the journey not the destination that counts and it was a great journey.

backpacking
8 months ago

Magical hike with barely any foot traffic. The trail is all uphill to the lake (and conversely all downhill back to the trailhead). Tough hike but well worth the stunning views of the lake and the valley at the top of the trail. We brought our pup and spent the night by the lake. We went on Labor Day weekend and were pleasantly surprised at how quit the trail was...Only saw a handful of people each day. Definitely check it out if you are looking for a challenging day hike or an overnight backpacking trip.

Beautiful hike! Long and worth it. Awesome trees and we saw a bald eagle fly over and land on a tree. Gorgeous!

backpacking
8 months ago

This was a spectacular trail and we LOVED camping on the peninsula. Bring lots of bug spray and nets.

Nice hike past two beautiful lakes. Mosquitoes were not too bothersome. You need to cross a stream to get to nice part of Valentine. Flowing to fast for my dog to make it ove

Views and solitude are your payback.

hiking
8 months ago

Well made switchbacks makes the climb easy

Split mountain via Red Lake. We did this one with an extended route because the road is too bad to take a regular 2wd low clearance car all the way to the TH. If you have high clearance 4wd, you should have no trouble making it to the trailhead.

We started at the car around noon and made it to the trailhead about 2pm. Then made it to the lake around 7pm.

The following morning we got up and hit the trail again at 4am and made it to summit by 10am. The only tricky section was at the top of the glacier, there is a pretty steep scramble. Look at the waypoints on my map for detailed areas.

backpacking
9 months ago

Tough hike, lots of elevation gain/loss, but its worth it all for the beautiful views and scenery!

Love this trail...always a lovely hike, but lots of work being done on Agnew which ruined my photo shoots!

Nice hike if you're in the area. Unfortunately the smoke from the Detwiler fire was abundant even in the June Lake area. Be aware that there are only a handful of shade areas on the trail. Definitely worth pushing on past Agnew Lake. The waterfall from Rush Creek was on overload when we hiked last week.

hiking
10 months ago

Great trail, very beautiful all the way up! There is still a small snow patch at the very end of the trail that covers the river coming down so be careful and stay near the top of the snow patch where it covers the trail. It was pretty buggy (lots of mosquitos) on the right side and the left side of the lake has fun massive rocks to climb around on. The lake itself is gorgeous! This place was recommended for backpacking...I'd say the one caveat is that the left side doesn't have much camping so you're left with a mosquito battle on the right side.

I feel in love with the Sierras at this point. I had no idea what was ahead on the John Muir trail.

Got it class of 2017. Great section, but still a bit dry.

Holy cow!! We did this baby yesterday. We started around 5pm, got back down right as darkness hit. I think doing it in the evening made it more magical. The lighting was perfect for taking photos. There wasn't any snow on the tail which was a contrast from all the other trails we've been doing in the area. The waterfall made the hike! It was gushing!!! Took my breath away as we moved closer and closer to it. We only saw a handful of people on the trail. I felt like it was a hidden treasure. Agnew Lake was spectacular, especially once the sun went behind the trees. We wanted to stay for sunset at gem lake so that we could get amazing photos. However it was a bit chilly, and the wind was crazy- so we opted out and spent more time at Agnew.

Much more removed than Agnew, bald eagles flying by and a beautiful lake to be had. Geologically the rock formations had a lot of interesting things to see as well.

this trail is not accessible due to snow damage!

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