Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes

HARD 51 reviews
#7 of 113 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

hiking
1 day ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
23 days 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
24 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

backpacking
28 days 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
30 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month 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
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Worth the hard work. What an amazing place on this planet!

hiking
10 months ago

Hiked this Trail September 8th thru 11th 2016 hiked to the end of the Kearsarge basin explored JMT Camped our third night Kearsarge Lakes hiked out on 11th perfect weather great experience fantastic doorway to Kings Canyon.

hiking
11 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

11 months ago