Explore the most popular rock climbing 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.

Very nice hike with amazing views. We had good weather except for a brief rain shower but the other than that beautiful. Would not mind getting back out and doing it again. We didn't go over the pass to Tully's lake but would like to do it sometime.

hiking
8 months ago

It was one of the stranger hikes I've been on for sure! I was enjoying the amazing scenery when I came upon a couple fornicating on the big log near the marina turnoff. The rest of the walk was uneventful but I did come across at least 3 piles of human feces. I was warned about that but didn't believe it. Have respect!

8 months ago

Beautiful but...
As stated previously, the two first Creek crossings are very challenging, especially with full packs where balance may be an issue. Still very high flows, so don't take any risks. Expect to get wet.
Mosquitoes above first crossing bad, and get worse as you go up in elevation. I'm no wimp when it comes to mosquitoes, but when we were up there during the last weekend in July, it was pretty much unbearable. And it never let up at night - I was getting swarmed even at midnight. Of course, this is likely to reduce substantially later in the season, assuming it dries out a bit.
But the wildflowers were awesome! The water was cascading everywhere, and it was good to see all the snow so late in the year.
Have fun!

backpacking
8 months ago

Did this over 7/19-7/21 and couldn't ask for better conditions. Wildflowers were exploding, Pass itself was challenging with snow bridges and multiple water crossings but no specialized equipment or skills beyond awareness needed. Brook, Golden and Rainbows were biting on every cast from Muriel, Summit, Upper and Lower Golden Trout Lakes. Would revise difficulty level to hard due to length and elevation gains but will do this trip again in a heartbeat.

beautiful valley. The creek is flowing strong. We planned on hiking up to Big McGee Lake but the bridge 2.5 miles in is washed out and broken. The bank is washed out also. The creek is flowing so strong it's dangerous. But the hike up with snow on the peaks and the green valley is gorgeous. coming back one day to make it up to the lakes. You may get wet at Horse Spring Falls crossing. great half day hike

9 months ago

Only hiked about 3 miles in and even though it was a hot mid afternoon hike, there was still a breeze an plenty of places in rest in the shade along the way. Beautiful scenery, plenty of wildflowers and of course McGee Creek was full and furious! Great hike. I highly recommend it.

hiking
Thursday, August 04, 2016

Tremendous! The views were outstanding. 3 hours up to the lake at a good pace and 3 hours back. Tired at the end and enjoyed a nice dinner and wine!

hiking
Monday, October 13, 2014

This is part of McGee Creek Trail and just one destination of many. We hiked it as an overnight backpacking trip with Big McGee Lake as our stopover. Our goals for the trip: autumn color and Red Slate Mountain. The first day, starting past bright yellows drawing lines all over the hills, we kept to the old road to hike up to Scheelore Mine, then dropped back and hiked up to the lake. The second day, we hiked up to McGee Pass, then continued generally along use trail up to the top of Red Slate Mountain. It is possible to do this as a class 1, but you still have to know what you are doing when climbing it. The mountain isn't much to look at, but you aren't looking at the mountain when sitting on top of it. The canyon above Convict Lake and the lakes and basin south of Mammoth are both amazing. Red and White Mountain, which dominates the view above Big McGee Lake, is stunning. All in all, a most excellent peak to sit atop. If you go over the pass, the trail will end at the Pacific Crest Trail (and John Muir Trail). Besides the spur to the mine, there is also a spur to high Steelhead Lake.

hiking
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Took the mining road up to the lake to camp, then kept going up it to the mine at the end of the tram and started climbing the scree to the top. A few cairns show some route, but it's generally a choose your own adventure. The mine and tram workings were interesting to poke around. Snow and ice kept us from going anywhere dangerous around what appear to be vertical shafts. Stopped by more mine workings in Hanging Valley, but hard to see much under the snow.

hiking
Monday, August 06, 2012

Nice trail passing along a beautiful meadow about a mile in. About half way to Horton lake lower is an old mining cabin that sits along a stream full of Brooke trout. About four miles in we arrived at the lower lake. It's a great little lake with awesome scenery everywhere. The trail to the summit is moderate until about 12,400. From here there is not a trail really and a lot of scrambling. We chose the western ridge to climb and it worked out. Once at the top (13,652) the views are endless. To ascend we chose one of the many chutes. This is tricky because of the loose rock. From Horton lake lower (where we camped over night) the hike to the summit took about 4 hours and two hours back to the lake. Permits required. Great hike.

3 months ago

on Big McGee Lake

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

10 months ago

on Piute Pass Trail

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

on Piute Pass Trail

hiking
Monday, November 02, 2015

camping
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

on Big McGee Lake

camping
Sunday, October 02, 2011

on Steelhead Lake

camping
Sunday, October 02, 2011