Explore the most popular river 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.

Just hiked on 5-22-18 trail is in great condition right up until the final switchbacks start going up to valentine lake. There are none, because it’s covered in snow. The track goes straight up so bring your micro spikes and get ready. It’s tough but short. Lake is still mostly frozen. Incredible hike with so many highlights I could go on forever. Rained on me and my dog the whole way back with a hale storm thrown in to boot!

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

All I can say is wow! This Trail starts off at a nice gentle slope for about 1 mile, after that be prepared for some serious altitude gain. I did this hike in May 2018 and the mountains surrounding the trail were still covered in snow. there was a small river running across the trail which require waterproof boots and some careful footing. If you're looking for a real leg workout about halfway up you will come across a set of railroad tracks that were used for a pulley car to haul supplies up to the dam. You can take this track up to the dam but your legs better be in excellent shape. I measured a 37 degree incline.
I continued on to Gem Lake and it was worth the extra time and effort.

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

The hike begins at Reds Meadow Resort. It continues gradually downhill toward the San Joaquin river. You cross Boundary Creek a little over half way to the upper viewing area. We were there in October 2017, the lower viewing area was closed for repairs, but the views of Rainbow Falls and valley down stream are worth the walk. Enjoy!

3 months ago

One of the most rewarding views ever!

I have hiked this trail 5 or 6 times. The trail is fairly steep at times, and narrow in a few spots. The last time I did this hike was in 2014 with my wife and son. I was excited to show them the mine shaft and all the other mining equipment. I was disapointed when I saw that the shaft had been collapsed or collapsed on its own. It is still a gorgeous hike, and one I hope to take a few more times.

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.

Perfect day for a perfect long hike (note: We continued to the far side of Gem Lake, 5 miles in from the trailhead and 5 miles back.......but if this hike isn’t rated “Hard”, I can’t imagine what would be. So to call it "Moderate" is a bit of an understatement, IMHO. However to think of it or categorize it as “Hard" might scare away a few hikers, and in truth this climb is do-able by most. Lots of loose rocks and scree. Hiking shoes or boots highly recommended. Advice: When in doubt the trails goes UP, (except on the way back, LOL)

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.

Wow. It is October and the colors are incredible right now. We headed up at 10am. It was hot at first then got windy and cold at Agnew. The dam was quite a site. The trail is easy to follow and maintained. It is noted as MODERATE but for me it was tougher. The altitude to begin with and the elevation climbing was what made it tough for me (I have two new stem cell treated knees!).

The weather was perfect.

Great hike with beautiful fall color near Lundy Lake. Historical remnants were interesting and added a desolate vibe to the area.

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 !

It’s mind blowing!

on Sotcher Lake Trail

7 months ago

Beautiful starter hike for beginning hikers or for getting used to the altitude if you're newly arrived to the area. Gorgeous lake and many tiny streams feeding into the lake. The best treat is a small but breathtaking waterfall along the way.

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.

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

hiking
9 months ago

Well made switchbacks makes the climb easy

Beautiful area!

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.

hiking
9 months ago

This is a great walk from bus stop 7 to stop 10...or the other way around...great views of the lake and the falls with the egg shape formation was very cool...what I found interesting is that two park rangers had no knowledge of this small waterfall when I asked them for additional trail information...hike safe folks!

backpacking
10 months ago

Spent 3 nights at Oneida Lake with a college roommate from 1973. Beautiful setting with excellent fishing for brook and raunbow trout. Explored the Lundy Mine, high above Oneida Lake. Come prepared for possible wind and wet trail.

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.

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