Florence Lake to Evolution Valley is a 30.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lakeshore, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

30.7 miles
3,772 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





horseback riding

nature trips

trail running






wild flowers




washed out

Approaching by way of the rugged canyon of the San Joaquin River and surrounded by a host of jagged summits, this trail delves into the secluded heart of Kings Canyon's northern wilderness - the lush, green parkland of Evolution Valley. All overnight backpackers must obtain a wilderness permit from the ranger station. Campfire permits are required for the national forest. No fires are allowed in King Canyon National Park above 10,000 feet. Note: Ferry takes you to trailhead and makes several scheduled trips per day, conditions permitting. A radio on the eastern shore allows you to call for additional service. If you bypass the ferry and take the connector trail, you will add another 4 miles to your trip, in each direction. The late-season drop in the reservoir level may affect ferry service. The Muir Trail Ranch does not encourage visits from non-guests.

2 months ago

This was hands down one of the best hikes I've done in the High Sierras. We made a few mistakes that cost us a lot of time, however....we didn't take the ferry out, and lost the trail around the lake - a mistake that cost us several hours to climb over boulders and ledges. The ferry is $25 roundtrip, or $13 one way. I recommend taking the ferry to avoid the lake hike; the view doesn't much change, and there's a lot of clutter around the lake campsites that take away from it.
The hike isn't strenuous, and even the switchbacks didn't feel that bad. The views along the way make up for it.
Saw plenty of deer, and other hikers saw a few bears in the meadows. Plenty of water along the trail and also plenty of places to camp.
We fell about 2 miles short of the destination endpoint with loss of daylight...lesson learned, if this is a short weekend excursion, you need to get there early and push through hard. I'll be going back next weekend into the Evolution Basin higher up. Pictures posted.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

4 months ago

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Thursday, August 22, 2013