Bloody Canyon Trail

HARD 1 reviews
#8 of 10 trails in

Bloody Canyon Trail is a 7.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near June Lake, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from August until August.

DISTANCE
7.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2565 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

trail running

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

hiking
2 months ago

The Trailhead is from Walker Lake, you need to drive to the Walker Lake campground along Forrest Road 1S23. This road is a dirt road in reasonable condition, although when we went there was some residual storm damage from the winter, but our Toyota mini-van did manage the drive and by the time we left they had filled in the worst divets.

There is a nice campground at the end of the road, it will be obvious when you get there. A pit toilet is there and nice small campground if you want to spend the night before you set off. You start walking through the campground and within 50 feet on your right the trailhead takes you up immediately a small hill from which you can look down to Walker lake. You immediately start down a steep incline until you reach the bottom along the shore of Walker Lake. The trail is well marked and easy to follow.

The hike up to Lower Sardine Lake takes you every upwards with nice switchbacks, but this trail is not heavily used and parts are not well maintained. Small areas are washed out, fallen trees along trail and areas of significant overgrowth of brush. You will have 4 stream crossings and this year with the historical rains a few will challenge your balance with a heavy pack. Lots of wild flowers along the trail and the pleasant scents of wild oregano liven the senses. We did not scout any significant campsites at lower Sardine lake and went on to Upper Sardine. This is the most difficult part of the trail. Ice and Snow cover some of the most steep sections of trail and there is lots of scree and loose rocks to navigate to get up to Upper Sardine lake. This small section after already going up 2000 feet taxed us greatly.
At Upper Sardine Lake there are actually two lakes, plenty of quality campsites can be found, but the best are at the second of the two lakes which is actually Upper Sardine Lake. Great views of Mono Lake are a treat from the ridges on the east side of Upper Sardine lake (which is where the good campsites are). Upper Sardine has great quality fresh water that is constantly being fed from streams above.

We dropped our packs on day two and made the easy hike to Mono Pass and into Yosemite. This part of the trail is easy and beautiful. We then hiked to Parker Pass at 11,000 feet.

The hike out of Bloody Canyon was a real grind due to the areas of iced trail and attempting to find safe routes down the steepest, rockiest parts of the trail. As others have indicated the hike back up to the Walker Lake Campground from Walker Lake is a real work-out. It is a nice trail, but very few switchbacks and just straight back up to the campsite, it is a great cardiac stress test with a full pack.
Enjoy