Little Lakes Valley to Gem Lakes

MODERATE 387 reviews
#2 of 64 trails in

Little Lakes Valley to Gem Lakes is a 7.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.2 miles Elevation Gain: 994 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

A day hike from the Mosquito Flat trailhead through the Little lakes valley to Morgan Pass. Little lakes valley hike is a beautiful day hike in the eastern sierra that takes you through scenic lakes formed by snow melt. It is a moderately strenuous hike, not due of the elevation gain, but because of being above 10000ft. The trail starts from the Mosquito flat trail head, located at the end of Rock Creek Road, about 10 miles from Hwy 395. The trailhead is at an elevation of 10000+ft, so acclimatization at high altitudes will definitely help.

After hearing so much about it, I finally got to hike this trail Saturday October 26, 2019. It’s beautiful! The beginning portion is uphill but slow and steady does it. From there it’s gentle ups and downs and flat parts. There are lots of pretty lakes along the way but also pretty meadows and beautiful Mountain views. We made it to Box lake before turning around since it would soon be sunset. Highly recommend this hike.

hiking
25 days ago

This trail is gorgeous and you hike right along about 5 alpine lakes. Once you’re about 4 miles in you’ll see the off trail to reach Gem Lakes which is stunning and sits right up against a rock wall with snow pack. This allows the color of the water to be a pristine teal blue. If you stay on the main trail you can hike up to Morgan Pass which consists of a few switchbacks gaining elevation quick. Highly recommend!!!! Can’t beat the scenery.

hiking
muddy
rocky
26 days ago

Beautiful hike! I arrived around 9am on a Monday and the parking lot had plenty of room. Went up to chicken foot lake for a lunch & headed back down. There was a cold breeze and I was grateful for layers. Enough people on the trail to not feel completely alone, but plenty of privacy as well- especially after the first and second lakes. I took my time and got back around 1. The parking lot was pretty full. I will DEFINITELY be back- the scenery is extraordinary.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike past a series of lakes with towering peaks lining the whole way. Best views seemed to be from Heart and Long Lakes (maybe other side of Box lake), while best spot to chill would be be gem lakes. Very cold - my water spout froze within a few minutes of not using it. Foot traffic started to pick up considerably after about 10am (on a Saturday)

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty with all the Lakes to pass on the way in October. Some Fall color.

Amazing!!!

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Trail was icy early October, then muddy later in the day, midweek naturally had no trouble parking but Saturday on the way out, the trail is very heavy, and parking lots were full. Temperatures ranged from mid 20s at night in early October to 60s, beautiful and sunny. Plenty of catch and release Brook and Rainbow trout, Long and Chickenfoot lakes. Saw a deer, squirrels, chipmunks. Beautiful area!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Beautiful and easy trail with stunning views. Morgan Pass is the easiest Pass I’ve been up in the Sierras, altitude is the only thing that makes it more difficult. It is also very crowded.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this hike! It was an easy hike with the exception of the altitude. Incredible views, trail is easy to follow and well maintained.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Incredible views. Very cold in the morning (freezing). But worth it. By afternoon trail is muddy but passable.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike. lots of spots to camp. get acclimated first.

hiking
1 month ago

Spectacular views as you ascend the valley

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Beautiful trail, well-maintained and not very difficult. We went as far as Long Lake before coming back. There are rocky places and a few creek crossings, but the trail is clear and easy to follow. The first part of the trail is uphill, not steep but a steady climb. After you reach the first major lake though, there weren’t any further uphill sections, just meandering ups and downs. Every lake is beautiful and has little side trails leading to the waterside. Probably bugs in summer, but as of this review, it was bug-free.

This trail is amazing. Gem Lake is gorgeous. I do this hike every year!

hiking
2 months ago

No bugs. Lots of doggies. As with any alpine lake trail make sure you plan to do this on a sunny day. Hike about a mile up mono pass to view the lakes from above. If you walk all the way around gem lakes and walk up to mono pass for the big vistas this hike will be 11.1 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

good trail conditions. great for dogs. we arrived after noon, had a .25 mile walk to trail head. took our dog and found the trail and hikers great in sharing. looking forward to the hike again.

hiking
2 months ago

A really nice hike, not too difficult in terms of elevation gain, more so just from the altitude. You can stop off at each of the lakes though as you make way along the trail, to catch your breath though. Great hike to take your lunch and eat at the side of one of the many lakes.

One of my favorite hikes in the Mammoth area. Many lakes and streams. Bestr to leave in early morning to make the hike back more enjoyable

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing all the way to the top !! Great for all and for dogs ! A must see !

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

Beautiful trail all the way to gem lake. Good hike for dogs. Lots of beautiful lakes.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorites. I don’t know if there is anywhere prettier. Great hike for kids.

hiking
2 months ago

The most difficult part of the hike is finding parking ;). But seriously it was worse than we expected - got there around 4pm and figured we would catch people leaving - finally did catch someone after about 20 minutes which was lucky. The hike is gorgeous - literally beautiful views around every corner! Take the little side hikes to get the great views straight on of the lakes with the mountain crags in the background since the hike mostly skirts the edges of the lakes. We didn’t see too many bugs but uses our deet and did still get a few bites: We just went about 2 miles in (box lake?) and then turned around. There is some rock scrambling in a few spots and the trail was a little wet still - we could keep our feet dry but I could imagine earlier in the season it would be a mess. Loved this one! Hiked with 4 children (youngest is 9) and they were so grumpy about a hike until we started and they saw the creek/lake/wildflower views.

hiking
2 months ago

If you are acclimated to 10k altitude this is a very easy hike with fantastic mountains views, lakes, meadows and more. Did it in under 2.5 hours. Good shade but definitely wear sunscreen!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. So many lakes and streams. Not too hard. Took us about 3 hours to get to Gem lake with a stop for breakfast. hung out at the amazing Gem lake for almost 2 hours and then 2 hours to hike back. Highly recommended.

Absolutely beautiful!

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