Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes

HARD 56 reviews
#7 of 118 trails in

Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes is a 11.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, 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. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
11.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3592 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

snow

backpacking
4 days ago

Tough, beautiful, well kept trail . Very scenic. Ran into several parties that were mid - PCT or beginning a portion of the PCT with interesting tales to tell. Can't wait to return with my family.

5 days ago

An spectacular trail with beautiful views of lakes, forest, cascades and moderately trafficked.

backpacking
7 days ago

Really nice trail.

backpacking
8 days ago

We did this trail last week to resupply some people hiking JMT. It was awesome. The trail is very well maintained, lots of resting areas to catch breath if need to. It's def a challenging hike but the three of us were all at different levels as far as experience and were able to do it just fine. We hiked over pass to the lakes on the other side, incredible experience! Views amazing!

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike this past Saturday. Absolutely breathtaking views, since there was still snow on the mountains behind the lakes. I'd highly advise you bring trekking poles, otherwise it might be difficult to cross the snow patches you'll see on the hike. They're no big deal, even in trail runners, but just to be safe I'd have the poles.

This is a difficult hike. The hardest part for me was coming back up over the pass from the other side, so pace yourself for that.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

This trail is rated correctly as hard, One starts at Lone Pine to obtain the proper permits titled "Kearsarg Trail" then head to Independence, then all the way up Onion Valley. This is a very popular exit point for the PCT and the JMT so pay it forward and pick up some hiker trash.

I modified the route to end at Lake Charlotte which is an additional 3.5 miles past Kearsarg peak. Which goes along the PCT and JMT for a short period. Once at the lake the views are stunning. There is also a ranger station at the lake. Camping is limited to two days only.

Water: from the trail head water can be obtained at the first lake easily. If only going to the pass then three liters will be fine, if continuing water can then be obtained at the Kearsarg lakes I recommend two liters to make Lake Charlotte.

Round trip is roughly 15.5 miles with a start elevation gain of 2369 from Onion Valley then on the return an elevation gain of 1390.

To Each Hiker Is Their Own!

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Difficult as a first hike of the season. Only made it to First Lake because the Pups were worn out. Beautiful views, plenty of water, stream crossings, snow in July.

hiking
2 months ago