Crown Lake Via McKinley Grove Road

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(5)
Sierra National Forest

Crown Lake Via McKinley Grove Road is a 22.5 mile out and back trail located near Mono Hot Springs, California that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, camping, fishing, fly fishing, and horses. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 22.5 miles Elevation Gain: 4,737 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash




horseback riding


Tue Jun 05 2018

I did this trail back in 2014 as part of a semi-loop. Day one was the trailhead to what is marked as Moore Boys Camp on the USGS topo map (pretty much a meadow with two square depressions lined with stones where cabins used to be). The second day was from there to Crown Lake (one of the best views was when the trail broke the 10,400 ft contour line on the topo map and rounded a corner with an excellent view of the crest of the Sierras in the distance, before the trail began descending to Crown Pass and Crown Lake). The third day is where we differed from the trail description and started to make this a loop; we followed the trail south to the outlet of Crown Lake, and the outlet joined Scepter Creek. The trail goes south for a bit until it hits a trail junction. The left trail continues south, going towards Crown Valley. The right trail junction heads towards Chuck Pass, and we took this trail over Chuck Pass to a trail camp next to a meadow marked on the topo as Indian Springs. The fourth day we continued westward on the trail to rejoin the trail as described about a half mile south of Moore Boys Camp. From here it was west and south back to the trailhead. This was a leisurely trip (it was the first backpacking trip in a couple of years for my friend & I), but could probably be made into a two day trip with Crown Lake as the mid point and the trail I described as a way to change up the views a bit.

Mon Nov 13 2017

pretty challenging trail. easy to lose the trail which I did several times. combined a couple other trails to make a 29 mile loop

Mon Oct 10 2016

Hiked to Woodchuck Lake the first night after deciding counterclockwise was best for my time crunch with the sun. The portion after Woodchuck Lake was overgrown with vegetation and followed along the side of the trench. Upwards towards Crown Pass was a bit disorientating and keeping a good eye out for stone totems was a must. A view of the Sierras left me in awe as I sat for a light snack. The traverse down was a few simple switchbacks leading to a meadow and the edge of Crown Lake. After a small nap and some food at Crown Lake I decided to hike the rest of the loop in a timely fashion. The trail gets a bit distorted from pine cones and brush until back to the original trailhead.

Sat Nov 11 2017