Franklin Lakes Trail

HARD 43 reviews
#26 of 93 trails in

Franklin Lakes Trail is a 11.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

Distance: 11.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,458 feet Route Type: Out & Back

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

Directions from Lookout Point Entrance: Drive eastward on Mineral King Road to the fork at the end. Follow the right side of the fork to the Eagle/Mosquito Parking Area. (This is the trailhead for the Eagle Lake Trail.) Walk back to the bridge that crosses the river and follow it. Turn right on the dirt road that leads to the Mineral King Pack Station. Pass the corral and look for the Farewell Gap Trail sign.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike and on the tougher side if your not use to the elevation. Great fishing out of both lakes. Caught over 10 in the upper lake and about the same in the lower lake. Not very big fish but fun to catch and relase. Camp sites are pretty exposed as you dont have much tree growth but campsites are easy to find.

3 months ago

Just did this as a moderate backpacking overnighter with a group of 5 on a Friday. Picked up a walk-up permit the morning of since the more popular Mineral King loop from Timber Gap were already claimed. A steady but pretty climb about 5.7 miles up to the gorgeous lakes. Took some breaks since the elevation was getting to some of us. Plenty of campsites scattered around the trailside edge of the lake along with a bear locker! We had the lake to ourselves the whole day and night. Scrambled up to the ridge line to view the smaller of the two lakes and Rainbow Mountain. You also have the option of extending this into a longer loop.

hiking
4 months ago

Not too many people on the trail today, but lots of deer, marmots, and pika. The lake was beautiful. If you park in the lot where the AllTrails GPS coordinates take you, the trailhead is about 0.3m down the road.

hiking
4 months ago

The lake was very very pretty, the trail is long and sometimes boring. Not too many people though, which was very nice.

no shade
rocky
5 months ago

backpacking
bugs
5 months ago

backpacking
snow
6 months ago

Just came back from here and the lake was stunning! There were two sections of the trail to Franklin Lakes that you would need an ice axe and crampons for but the rest of the trail was fine. The first Creek crossing was the worst, about 2' 6" high at the deepest point and fast moving so definitely something to be cautious of. The upper lakes were completely frozen over with snow on them still but the main lake was only 50% frozen. We were able to catch some small Brook trout from there. Marmots were everywhere so make sure to keep your things packed away any time you leave camp. Temperatures were around 40 at night and 60 during the day.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked the trail last week for the third time in four years. Most snow I’ve seen this time of year. Several massive snow fields on the way up. Crampons or yak tracks highly recommended. The first crossing of Franklin Creek is difficult—very strong knee to thigh current. The campsite with the bear box is snow free. Lower lake is still 80% frozen, upper lakes 100%. A bazillion marmots. We attempted the pass with crampons and self arrest gear but could not make it. 90% snow covered once you get back on the trail past the campsite. Snow coverage as you almost reach the pass is at dangerous slopes. Still beautiful, just don’t expect to make it to Forester or Little Claire yet.

hiking
6 months ago

Permit is required for overnight camping at Franklin. Two great camp spots are perched above and next to the lake, one with a bear box. People also camp below the lower lake. Check conditions on the SKI trail conditions website before you head up. Lots of snow and ragging rivers right now.

hiking
7 months ago

Guys do you need a permit to go there ? :) Thank you

backpacking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Absolutely stunning! This was one of the best backpacking trips of my life. Hiked in day 1 and spent two nights at the lake. On day 2 we hiked to the top of the pass and it was definitely worth it. We didn’t want to leave! We found a great secret place to camp in the area that’s was used as a quarry for the dam. Will be back!

backpacking
Sat Aug 18 2018

Beautiful lake, and definitely hike up to the pass and see the view! The altitude was a bit tough for our group, had to stop and catch our breath a few times on the way up, but well worth the effort. The lake was pristine and we had a great swim after setting up camp.

Sun Aug 05 2018

Hiked it 8-4-18. It is a pretty hard hike, but the views are incredible! A steady climb all the way there but worth it. Took Us 4 hrs up an 3 down with taking alot of pics along the way. Flowers almost all the way up with plenty of deer to spot. Trail path is good, but watch ankles towards the top the rocks get rough. Next time we're spending the night to explore the lake more.

backpacking
Thu Jul 19 2018

The trail was very strenuous but easy to follow and well worth it. The views going up the trail and at the lake were amazing, and the Brook trout fishing in the main lake was excellent.

Tue Jun 12 2018

Franklin lakes is one of my favorite hikes, beautiful views, random deer along the way. In any given summer I’ll day hike it a few times...

hiking
Thu Jun 07 2018

Nice walk, easy to follow, good speed. No snow (or barely any) as of late May.

Sat Dec 30 2017

This is my favorite backpacking stop in Mineral King. Gets a bit tiring about a mile before you get to the lower lake, but an absolutely wonderful place to set up camp. Beware of overly friendly marmots!

backpacking
Mon Aug 14 2017

Just hiked this yesterday. Unbelievable hike. So pretty. There were wild flower blooms along the trail for a good portion of it along with snow patches. It was not an easy hike with the gear I had (>40lbs and also my first solo backpacking trip) but it was so worth the views at the lake. Franklin Lake is gorgeous and the sunset is magnificent there.

backpacking
Wed Jun 07 2017

I'm concerned about camping here ... did you guys see bears? Should I bring any bear spray or something to help just in case I see one?

Thu Feb 02 2017

Trail is nice and eazy with AWSOME veiws, however, not many places to camp at the lakes. we hike up Franklin Pass and into Forester Lake. Not much farther and a lot more spots to camp.

hiking
Sun Oct 30 2016

My favorite Mineral King hike. I'd definitely recommend camping at the first campsite with the bear box. It's an easy 5 minute hike to the dam, and then on to the shoreline.

backpacking
Wed Oct 19 2016

Nice even accent to Franklin Lakes from the trail, does take a bit of getting used to as it is a 3000 ft gain. Lake is a nice Alpine Lake with excellent views back down the canyon and up towards Farewell Gap. Late season had few mosquitoes and flies, so very present. Easy rest spot before continuing up to the pass and over to Rattlesnake Canyon and up to Lake Forrester.

Tue Sep 06 2016

I tried earlier in season couldn't make it due the water fall. But tried again last week as a day hike and loved it so much that I went back for my first backpacking trip ever it was definitely more difficult with a 30 lb pack but still worth it:)

hiking
Tue Jun 28 2016

Lots of water ways to cross we didn't make it past the 3 rd water ford it was way to powerful for us to chance only made it 3 miles in we turned back and hiked up Eagle lake still difficult but doable

hiking
Tue Jul 02 2013

We've hiked this trail a few times before, but this was the first time that we ran into snow. The sun was out and the weather was awesome. We had a few marmots to deal with though. They stayed away from our gear. The trail had a variety of beautiful views; Wildflowers, waterfalls, pine trees, and snow covered granite. It is definitely a challenging trail but well worth the effort.

camping
Wed Sep 19 2012

Went on a 4 day trip to the Franklin Lakes this summer and had a great trip. The hike up strenuous so be in shape. Lower Franklin was nice and the fishing kept us busy. Took a quick hike to upper franklin (lots of boulder hopping) but it wasn't much besides really cold. I plan on doing this one again next year.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Load More