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Lillian Lake Trail from Fernandez Trailhead

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(56)
Sierra National Forest

Lillian Lake Trail from Fernandez Trailhead is a 13 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Mammoth Lakes, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 13.0 mi Elevation gain 2,139 ft Route type Out & Back

Dog friendly

Kid friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (56)
Photos (67)
Recordings (30)
Completed (81)
Scott Mercer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Lillian Lake was beautiful! Trailhead access was complicated by the Beasore road closure at Upper Chiquito Bridge. Apparently it will be several more months until the bridge repair is complete. The trail is pretty easy to follow in most places, a couple of areas had rock ducks across some of the larger granite slabs. Incredible vistas and gorgeous scenery. A few stretches of trail have moderately strenuous climbs, but the hike back down isn't too bad. Almost ZERO mosquitoes, which was a pleasant surprise. We didn't fish a lot, but the one we caught was a magnificent 12 inch brookie at Lillian. Overall, worth the effort!

Andrew Neumann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingGreat!Off trail
View Andrew's Recording
Ben Fox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
BackpackingBugsRocky

Yes the skeeters were out but a few bites were WELL worth the price of admission. There are two bathrooms that have hooks for hanging clothing or backpacks near the parking lot. There is certainly a steady climb to be had at the beginning of this hike. Just think how nice walking back down will be! This path is shared with the Minarets Packing Station and they do leave a trace! So on this trip you will find flys and mosquitos but more mosquitos than flys. Pack the spray and lose clothing. The climb is steady at first and we kept a 2 miles per hour pace the whole trip. At one point you will have to ignore the trail sign to go left if you want to stay on the right side of the Lillian loop. Once you hit water at the ponds near Lake Vandy it undulates some but really a peaceful hike with no difficult areas in my opinion. The Staniford Lakes were like ponds but held fish for sure. Don’t hesitate to take your time to absorb some of the amazing views as you cross the granite face during the last half mile or so. Also there was a rock arrow formation that points straight up at this point I did not remove it but it also does not lead to the lake. Lillian Lake was only occupied by two other souls and a ton of trout. I somehow only managed to catch one, but the setting truly makes each cast a reward. There was a fire smoldering in the area I camped, just buried under wet pine needles and not in a fire ring. Honestly it was difficult to determine what happened, but it was definitely a hazard. My hiking partner doused it a few times. Please be fire safe. Also, check the road closures, depending on which way you make it to the trailhead. When I completed this trail July 10 2020ish the bridge was out on Beasore Rd. A ways past Beasore Meadow. There is a detour but it is always best to know where you are going before you get outside of cell range. https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sierra/home/?cid=stelprdb5399344 Also there was a lady named Sandra missing in the area. She apparently has blue hair is white middle aged and may be in some sort of physical, medical or mental distress.

Scott Leopold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingBugs
View Scott's Recording
DC Hassett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Rated 3/5 for some of the worst mosquitos I’ve ever seen at each lake we stopped at, especially Lillian. Besides the bugs, the trail was in great shape, not too busy, awesome views, and a fabulous high lake.

View DC's Recording
Kyle Pickering
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
BackpackingBugs

Everything was fantastic on this trip (besides some mosquitos). We hiked in to Lillian lake on a well maintained trail. The group found it challenging, but rewarding. The views, the lakes, the granite. On the second day we circumnavigated Lillian lake, hung out on the rocks, and swam in the icy cold water. The third day we hiked up to Chittenden Lake, relaxed by the shore, and a few of us explored the route towards Sing Peak. A fantastic long weekend surrounded by absolute beauty.

View Kyle's Recording
Megan Lindsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020
BackpackingBugsRockyScramble

This will be the longest review I've ever done, I hope it helps. This was our first backpacking trip and we felt like it was a challenging enough test run. We were able to use our gear and decide what we did and did not like and what we would do different in the future. Overall the hike was incredible, one of the best experiences we've ever shared. 1st of all- make sure to check your maps the night before because Google and AllTrails gave us different directions to Fernandez trailhead and both were slightly off. Make sure you download a map on your phone because you will loose service on this hike. Even with a map you may get lost in small sections where the trail isn't marked very well. It's manageable as long as you have the map on your phone. About 17 miles of Beasore Road is VERY difficult to drive. Lots of potholes and half missing asphalt. Bumpy and long. However the dirt road 5SO5 we took to the trailhead was perfect. Better to do this trip in a larger car with ground clearance. The trail is mostly well maintained except for the first 2 miles. You will see and have to climb over many downed trees. On the hike we followed trail signs for Lillan Lake and it lead us in a counter clockwise loop that did not match the map in AllTrails. To save battery we were only able to record bits and pieces so don't go off my recording either. Just know there are 2 options to get there. We felt like counter clockwise was great, it saves the best views for the return trip. The return trip on Fernandez Trail is harder to follow due to rocky terrain, but the views are breathtaking. Just keep your navigation handy, check it often and you'll be fine. During this time of year it was MOSQUITO ALLY. We wore Picaradin and extra strength DEET and we still got pretty wrecked. Bring long sleeves and a mosquito net if possible. Bring ingredients/utensils to cook trout if you plan on fishing, the lakes were teeming. Our 20 degree bags were warm enough. Go for a few days, 2-3 nights is ideal, lots to explore and the most beautiful landscape ever! Other lakes were really incredible too and worth the side trips. Peaks all around you, if you want to bag those as well. Read other people's reviews, that really helped us before we went. Things like the Winderness permit are important and other reviewers left detailed advice which comes in handy. The last tip we have is to stay at a hotel the night before and the night after if you live any great distance away. The last 1 hour 40 minutes are spent driving straight up a windy mountain road, with portions that are washed away and eroded. The last thing you want to do is get back off the mountain and trek straight home. We live in San Diego and it was quite a drive. We stayed at the Best Western in Oakhurst and it was really fun. We visited Bass Lake for several days before hiking. We swam, picnicked, relaxed, floated in rafts, hiked to Angel Falls etc. The area is so awesome you should plan to take advantage since you will already be up there.

Megan Lindsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 11, 2020
HikingBugsRockyScrambleWashed out
View Megan's Recording
Nikka Dorado
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 6, 2020
HikingRocky

Trail is in good condition. Bugs very mild day time on and off sun night pack extra clothes dropped temperatures quickly.

Angela Cushing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2019
BackpackingBugs

Beautiful wildflowers. Many options for side trips. Well maintained trail. Heavily trafficked this weekend. Lots of mosquitos but we had a nice breeze to keep them at bay.

View Angela's Recording
Tony Moses
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2019
Hiking

Moderate trail.

View Tony's Recording
John Goddard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2019
BackpackingBugsMuddySnow

Beautiful hike. We did it as a loop in 2 days: day 1 we started at Fernandez trailhead and did the loop clockwise, camping at Lillian Lake (~8.2 miles with some detours), day 2 we finished the loop and hiked out (~6.8 miles). You could easily spend 3 - 5 days out there exploring different lakes & peaks. Some notes: - We had no problem getting a walk up wilderness permit (for 2 people) at the Oakhurst office the Saturday after July 4th when Yosemite was drowning in people. - The the last few miles of road to Fernandez were a bit beat up, but definitely accessible by car. There were a bunch of small sedans & hatchbacks in the parking lot. - Route finding was a serious issue with all of the snow, especially in the stretch between Vandeburg Lake & Lillian lake. We lost the trail a few times but were able to stay on course by using the map, landmarks, & Google Maps. Almost every party we talked to ran into issues. - Mosquitos were bad but I didn't think they were any worse than other mountain lake areas in summer. - Didn't run into any bears, but there were some very people friendly deer.

Joseph A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 6, 2019
Hiking

Is this 11.8 miles round trip or each way?

HIKING INCLINED TOURS
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 1, 2018

great... lots of mosquitos, but beautiful lakes and peaks to climb

Glen M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2018
Backpacking

8/7 - 8/11 hiked from Fernandez TH to Vandeberg 1st day then to Lillian 2nd day. Hike was moderately challenging with our heavy packs - training was key. All creeks were dry but lake water levels only couple feet down. Day hiked to Rainbow and Chittenden for fishing. Air quality pretty good considering Ferguson and Lyons fires were pretty close - blue skys most of the time with haze for couple hours at a time. Smoke seemed to settle down hill from us. BTW no campfires allowed except at Lillian. Overall the area is gorgeous and I recommend you go see for yourself!

Alec Eaton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2017
Backpacking

Hiked up last weekend for a three day night trip. Left at midnight from the trail head and arrived around 4:30 a.m Saturday morning. Great fishing caught over 40 trout in the total of three days. Definitely going back.

Wesley Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2017
Backpacking

I've done this loop twice now. Most recently I went on July 7th, 2017. It's one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. However, at this particular time of year, especially given the amount of snow the Sierras received this year, the mosquitoes were relentless. They're are especially bad up near the lakes were there's a lot of standing water. I would recommend this trail in September/October. The fall colors are really breath taking and there's plenty of fresh water in these lakes.

Beau Ryan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 5, 2017
Backpacking

Went 4th of July weekend. Weather was clutch. Wake up at 4am for your long exposure Milky Way photo. Snow made trail difficult to find at times. Pack thick thermals and your winter sleeping bag, it's still cold up there this time of year and prep for mosquitoes in the day.

Yuji I.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 3, 2017

Was a snow covered wonderland in June-July. Getting up it the first day is unexpecting and could feel a little exhausting if novious, but the view and scenaries are beautiful. Also, watch out for elevation sickness if not used to it, like I was. Ibuprofin or other anti-inflammatory may be beneficial. Lots of marshland and pure snowmelt water was available. Colder at nights, 45-40 degrees, and warmer by day, around 70-75. Pack in, and go check it out!

Eric Stephens
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 6, 2017

The reviews you see here are pretty accurate. Mosquitoes will be worse earlier in the season. However, I have no idea why they say the season is from March. There is far too much snow on Minarets Rd to get up there that early in the year. In a heavy snow year, you'd be lucky to be able to access this trail even in early June.

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