Lillian Lake Trail

MODERATE 27 reviews
#17 of 96 trails in

Lillian Lake Trail is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Oakhurst, 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.

Distance: 11.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,283 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


horseback riding

nature trips

trail running


bird watching




wild flowers


4 months ago

Is this 11.8 miles round trip or each way?

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

10 months ago

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!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

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.

Monday, July 10, 2017

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.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

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.

Monday, July 03, 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!

Monday, March 06, 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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

We took the clockwise direction for the Lillian Lake loop. Ended up finding a nice campsite on the north side of the lake. As others have mentioned there is a lot of ups and downs getting to this lake and it is one of the more difficult days that we have done. It took us about 4 hours on the hike in and 3 on the way out (on the Walton trail). The lake was warm enough for a comfortable swim, and there were very few mosquitoes. There were quite a few bees and flies... and they had a wonderful ability of getting between the tent and the rainfly. We did a couple of day hikes, and the scenery is really breathtaking. A good destination for this time of year.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The photo above is of Chittenden Lake, not Lillian lake.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Great, but short hikes

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Nice trail. Lots of up and down. More challenging than we thought it would be, but a beautiful little lake and nice camp group. There was a fair amount of traffic because it's one of the first sites from the trailhead. Fishing was not great but I heard that rainbow is much better.

Friday, July 10, 2015

This was my first backpacking trip so it proved difficult for me. However, the views are spectacular from the green marshy trails to the stunning blue lake. I couldn't get enough of this trip.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

This is a gorgeous hike. During the loop, there are several lakes to see, beautiful panoramic sights of Sierra mountain tops, meadows, wildlife, etc. The loop can be completed in 2-3 days (I would recommend 3 to see all the area has to offer.) I went in June 2015 and low temp was about 40 high was around 75. I would recommend taking the Fernandez trail head and head clockwise. Other information: The trail can be accessed by car if you're very, very careful. I would recommend a truck or suv if possible. The only reason why I would not rate this hike 5/5 stars is due to the massive amount of mosquitoes. I have been camping and doing all various out door activities all my life, and I am not one to complain about mosquitoes. The mosquitoes here were so bad, we ended up cutting our trip one day short just out of pure frustration.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I love this general are. I've only done the actual loop one time counter clockwise and it was great! Started from Noris Trailhead and got to Lillian lake the first night where my group stayed for 2 nights. We got hit by a missive thunderstorm that came out of nowhere on the second night, but cleared up by morning. Then we finished the rest of the loop the next day. If you have the chance to climb to the top of any of the three peaks do it!!! It's tough but worth it!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My group started at Walton Trailhead and did the loop counterclockwise, which I thought was really fantastic way of going about it. We also made a detour to go see Flat Lake, but never made it to Rainbow Lake as the trail disappeared and the cairns we tried following had been put up by people going cross-country to Lillian Lake. And speaking of small spurs, the largest of the Staniford Lakes was beautiful, and Chittenden Lake was definitely worth going to, but not with packs unless you're going to camp up there.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This was my first backpacking trip ever. I have wanted to do this for many years of my life and now 37 years old, had the opportunity to do it. It was spectacular. This hike was challenging for a first timer, but just made me want to do it more! Beautiful scenery and views. Great hike.

9 months ago

10 months ago

10 months ago

Friday, June 15, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Thursday, July 07, 2016

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