Hell For Sure Pass is a 42 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lakeshore, California that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking.

Length42.0 miElevation gain6,079 ftRoute typeLoop
BackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeRiverViewswild-flowersWildlifeBugsRockyScrambleOff trail
Description
Waypoints (2)

This backcountry thru hike covers backcountry terrain through to magnificent peaks, Sierra lakes, and off-trail to deep canyons, all in about 4-5 days. Begin at the Maxson Trailhead and continue to the South Fork Kings River. You will follow the river to Bench Valley and walk amongst a series of lakes. From here, you will continue hiking to Mount Hutton and then onto Hell For Sure Lake. Next, you will pass Disappointment Lake, Rae Lake, and Fleming Lake before making your way back to Post Corral Meadows and Courtright Reservoir.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (8)
Photos (121)
Recordings (9)
Completed (16)
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Will Nicholson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
BackpackingOff trailScramble

I did this hike a couple weeks ago. 5/5 for everything except the pass south of Alpine Lake, which gets a 1/5 for sketchiness. The final ~150' or so of elevation gain is a mix of scree'd out mess with very limited safe footing, and climbing between/over boulders. Most of the pass is very exposed. It also gets progressively more difficult, so by the time I was reconsidering the pass, I had ascended too far to safely retreat. I really only recommend doing this if you are extremely comfortable with that sort of terrain. Other than the pass, this is a great hike with very little traffic. I only saw 1 other party once I got past the fork at the meadows.

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Emilien Marchand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
Hiking

Finished yesterday. We started Friday morning camping ag the reservoir Thursday eve, then took it easy and camped a little bit south of the fork at post corral creek where you find a section of the creek with a proper pool to jump in. Saturday night at Disappointment lake, and doing a hike up the pass for the sunset (without the big pack thank for). Then a little hike on Sunday to reach Devils Punchbowl and chill hard for the day (highly recommended ;)). And 16miles back to the car Monday. Great views and zero mosquito this time of year.

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David Toderich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
HikingBugsOff trailRockyScramble

Completed this exact trail 2 days ago. I found it to be significantly longer than what AllTrails claims. I got approx 43 miles in total. This made the trip very difficult since we only had 48hours to complete. Though we made it, I’ve never felt so fatigued in my life. Also, I don’t recommend this trail if you’re scared of heights. The pass near hell for sure lake is so incredibly steep and exposed I had to throw my backpack and hoist myself up to the point that I was rock climbing. I have no clue why no one has commented on that section since any novice or less capable backpacker will probably not make it over the pass. This trail must be done clockwise since the pass would be very dangerous going down. It’s possible that I somehow missed the trail but I my gps said otherwise. If you do this trail, make sure you have some form of gps like the pro version of this app since it’s absolutely crucial in order to navigate. I definitely lost the trail countless times and actually had to wing it for a couple miles since no trail was visible. That said, mosquitos were surprisingly dormant and the hikers are friendly. I still highly recommend this trail as it is absolutely stunning. Unless you like exposing yourself, I recommend that you plan your route so that you avoid the pass. Also, do yourself a favor and plan a minimum of three full days on the loop. The scenery is so good and the fishing looks amazing.

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Cailin Bailin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 11, 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Did part of this hike, started at Maxon and ending at fleming lake in July, 2019. The bugs were killer and were a huge nuisance, but the views were worth it. Very tough hike if you experience altitude sickness easily or have asthma, but doable. We ended up camping at Fleming and hiked around the area. Definitely worth it.

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Johnny Upshaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2019
Hiking

Unbelievable area. Worth the hike. Mosquitos were terrible.

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Jake Rainey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2017
Backpacking
First to Review

Completed this route in August of '17 in clockwise fashion. The first day we ended up at the trail intersection just past Fleming lake, south of Rae lake after about 11 miles out of the Maxson Trailhead. The next day hiked past Hell For Sure and took the East side of that peak just to the right (on the map) of Mt Hutton due to the snow coverage of what I guess you could call Hutton pass that the route shown here goes through. Views were epic here, the whole panoramic was incredible and especially out and beyond Goddard canyon, but the climb was sketchy and would not recommend doing this for the less experienced. As our luck would have it about half of this climb was spent under a lightning storm, including marble-sized hail that we could do little to avoid until we found a small overhand towards the top. Thankfully the cell passed and we were able to make decent time and stay on track. After the pass we made our way down to Crabtree lake (which is not shown on the Alltrails map, view the topo layer to locate) and spent the night there. Spent a zero day at Crabtree and scoped out Schoolmarm, Six Shooter, and Holster lakes for very picturesque and solitary locations. Fished at Crabtree with great success. The following day we struck out from there and pretty much followed the route as shown here through Bench Valley, along Horsehead and McGuire lakes and then down to Kings River where we stayed another night just north of the Gaging station. The last day we hiked out for about 7 miles back to the trailhead and started to see people entering the area, we hadn't seen anyone since just before reaching Hell For Sure lake. I recall the mosquitoes being a bother, but not the worst I'd experienced. Overall I would confirm the difficulty rating and mileage on this route. This is a great route for solitude once into the Bench Valley, considering the difficulty of even getting to this area. I definitely cannot wait to go back!

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Ross Goedde
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2019
Backpacking
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Tom Tostenson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2019
Hiking
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