Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in John Muir Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Wonderful trail and beautiful lake.

It honestly lives up to hype with the sights to see. It is a challenge despite what other reviews might say. It’s continuously uphill and the altitude climb can really get to you (nausea, dizziness, and headaches). It takes about 2-3 hrs to get to the first lake depending on how many times you stop to rest. Bring lots of water/snacks and come prepared for a nice challenge. You’ll be sore but if you can push through it then it’s worth it. Lakes are beautiful blue green water and the views truly are breathtaking.

Gorgeous hike! Stunning vistas. When we started the gate wasn’t open, but it is now. Lucky hikers can park and start right at the trailhead!
We had hiking shoes and were fine, but micro spikes would have worked well today, -still large spots with snow, though melting quickly. Snowshoes as you get deeper would surely come in handy. We turned back 3 miles in (we started late) but I imagine our shoes would have taken us all the way. Just be careful as the snow is melting and it’s easier to fall through.

hiking
17 days ago

Stunning views all around on this trail. However due to the late season snow we were forced to navigate that on most of my groups' three-day backpacking trip.

We camped at Chocolate lakes, just under Chocolate Peak which turned out to be an amazing lakeside site.

The next day we carried on to our next camp site near Bishop Lake. Getting to Bishop Pass was fairly annoying with the late season snowpack on the ground. While it was mostly solid and post holing wasn't much of an issue, it was pocked with holes from melt

Nice hike

Favorite trail to date! Was well cleared and easy to follow, a lot of switchbacks along a steady incline but very doable. Go on a clear day and the views are unrivaled!

backpacking
3 months ago

Camped overnight at Barney.

fishing
4 months ago

Hiked this trail early October. Tough fishing at Duck Lake but awesome scenery.

Excellent hike. Amazing views of the Sierra and Owens valley. Not an easy hike but well worth it. Not much snow at 10,000 for January. Lake was frozen solid. Ice appeared to be a couple feet thick.

Hiked this trail 4 days ago - absolutely beautiful! Blue lake is frozen over, the area made a gorgeous campsite. There is a lot of snow up at that elevation, and several patches of ice on the trail leading up.

Truly a "gem" of a hike - the views are spectacular! Starting at 10K, but not a lot of elevation gain in the hike. Did this over the summer, but created my account in January, so we did NOT go in the winter!

This is not for the weak!! I got slight elevation sickness (headache and mild nausea). Not recommended if you have asthma or any condition. Overall STUNNING views. Amazing. The trail is extremely well maintained!

What an amazing experience. We loved every step and it awesome to reach out the beautiful lake.

Great hike! The road to the trailhead is closed due to snow 1.3 miles short of the trailhead. Luckily others had hiked before us so the snow was slightly packed out. When my gps said we were .8 away from gem lake the footprints stopped. The snow was now too deep, in my opinion, to posthole for another mile and it was getting late so we turned around. Still a beautiful hike!

A quick hike on a steep, but extremely well maintained trail. Hiked this over Thanksgiving with snow on the higher portions of the trail. Still didn’t need micro spikes though. I recommend walking to the far side of the lake to get a full view of Thor and Whitney. Benefit of going during the winter is the frozen lake provides great access to the other side *Attempt at your own risk*.

The hike is all uphill with plenty of switchbacks . It definitely takes time to complete but the view and lake are beautiful ! Snow was more common the higher in elevation we went . By the lake in certain areas it was almost knee deep . Slippery ice as well!

We went up to Bishop for a night with our pup two weeks ago and decided to try our hand at this trail—glad we did. Every turn gave you a new breathtaking view of snow tipped mountains and several lakes. We even saw a few people playing ice hockey on a frozen lake! We aren’t experienced hikers, but the intensity of the trail was doable with a few breaks along the way. Due to a flare up of an old back injury, we turned around with a mile left before the turnaround, unfortunately. It took us about 4 hours for 5.5 miles and the views and experience were definitely worth putting in the miles!

i hiked on November 21st and there were quite snow after second creek and i was happy that i had spike to make the hike easier.. in afternoon, there’s not much sunlight so you might want to hit it before midday. i didn’t find this hike “hard”. technical and trail is well tracked. just steady incline. i hike a lot, and took me 2.5hrs for return including short break.

This hike is amazing. The hike down is even more amazing. Worth the drive and I would love to do it again. I brought my 7 year old daughter and she didn’t give up, but she is used to hikes like this and we took breaks.

Great views the entire way.
For someone who lives at sea level and doesn't do a ton of hiking, I found the elevation gain challenging.

This is a beautiful trail! It is very well maintained and our 5 year old and 9 year old hiked it fine.

Our only issue was initially finding the trail, as many websites hardly mention it.

“From Bishop go North on Highway 395 to Tom’s Place. Follow Rock Creek Road to Mosquito Flat to the end of the paved road where there is plenty of hiker parking.”


Those were the best direction I found. No distances listed.

hiking
6 months ago

Gorgeous trail. Well maintained. Views are spectacular. Hike is quite challenging, primarily because of the altitude, especially toward the peak of the pass... about 1 mile with 1000 foot elevation change up to about 12,000 feet. We went at the end of October and there was a little snow at the pass but overall the weather was gorgeous and the trail was easily passable.

this is one of my favorite day hikes it's just absolutely gorgeous there and such a rewarding hike

I loved everything about this hike. It was a nice steep climb to a gorgeous lake. The views on the way were spectacular and you get to hear the sounds of the falls as you make the climb. Every switchback offers a beautiful view. This was a perfect way to end the weekend after we had completed Big Pine Lakes the day before. Try to get to the lake when the sun is up high, you'll have great reflections off of the lake.

The trail starts off at a slight incline and then you'll pass through a section of aspen trees mixed with boulders which makes the landscape look absolutely beautiful! I hiked this trail in the beginning of October and the golden aspens mixed with the gray boulders was breathtaking. You'll pass by 2 waterfalls and then the switchbacks to get over the ridge. Let me tell you, after all those switchbacks, the views of blue lake blew my mind! Absolutely worth it. My intention was to do this as a day hike, but really, I should have spent a few nights here. Well, there's always a next time.

Very scenic hike, slight incline the ap says it’s “easy” it’s a little harder then easy for beginners but the scenery is absolutely beautiful, the trees, rocks, lakes and mountains are just perfect. Worth your time.

Beautiful hike to the lake. Lots of small streams, at least in October. Make sure you allow enough time, or it will be a dark hike back. Headlamps or flashlights are a must.

Epic trail def want to start early

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