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Little Lakes Valley to Gem Lakes

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John Muir Wilderness

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 September until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.2 mi Elevation gain 994 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Kid friendly Backpacking Camping Fishing Hiking Walking Bird watching Forest Lake River Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Snow
Description
Waypoints (9)
Tips

Please note that the road leading to the trail head is closed adding 1 mile to the hike. A day hike from the Mosquito Flat trailhead through the Little lakes valley to Morgan Pass. Please note that parking at the trailhead is extremely limited. 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.

Please bring water if you don't have a water purifier. There is no drinking water available at the trail head.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (597)
Photos (1255)
Recordings (475)
Completed (1043)
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Rob Daves
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Hiking
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Wes Culp
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Hiking

Beautiful vistas at every corner. End of November not many people

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Ken Liu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 21, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike on a sunny day. Lakes were snowed in or frozen. The only thing I wish I would have done was bring an extra pair of socks, since we didn’t expect to be ankle deep in snow. But I would do this hike again in a heartbeat

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Stewart Carnes
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Hiking

Great hike. The gate is closed so add 1.3 miles to the front and back of a spectacular hike. The trailhead area and route have signs. Parking at the trailhead when it’s open. The route took me up through Little Lake Valley past five beautiful lakes. The hike ended at Gem Lakes (10,988 ft), an area of six lakes surrounded by mountains. Spectacular views and scenery.

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Stewart Carnes
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Hiking
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Van Traveler
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HikingGreat!

October 31 2020: the US forest service closed the gate for the end part of the road leading up to the parking lot. However, you are actually allowed to hike in. The official US Forest Service Inyo red "closed forest" map has a small gap from east to west all the way through the mountains. In fact, the bathrooms at the parking lot were unlocked, and no signs saying the trail was closed...

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Joanne Kim
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 23, 2020
Closed

10/22/20 There is a gate closing off access about 1.3 miles from trailhead. The trail is closed.

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maritza hernandez
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Hiking
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Santhosh Cheeniyil
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Hiking
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David Bartholomew
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Hiking

Beautiful trail. Gorgeous setting. Very smoky and poor visibility

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Carlos Ortuno
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Hiking
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Chris Rood
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Hiking

Wow. Amazing trail with awesome lakes. Whole lotta people but worth it

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Kristina Kyle
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Hiking

LOVE this trail! Happy dog. Great weather.

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Wendy Seyfert
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Backpacking

Great, well-maintained trail and not too much elevation gain but hiking and backpacking at 10,000'+ is very different! Bunches and bunches of day hikers so if you're looking for a place to be alone this isn't it, but the many lakes along the trail are worth it.

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Linda Hite
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Hiking
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Jules Dea
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HikingGreat!

Great adventure! We arrived at 7:30 am plenty of space to park. Trail was busy when we were coming back. What’s the rush? There is no place to go lately so we packed a picnic and enjoyed each lake! :) Don’t drop your mask on the trail! We saw a few along the way. Mask litter is a problem these days :(

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Kyle Borrowman
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Hiking
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Ankur Tyagi
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HikingRocky

Nice trail as you have so many lakes to explore. Some people had inflatable Kayaks and many were fishing. I took an off trail route to a snow line which you can see from Gem lakes. Wont recommend since the granite is little dangerous at places

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Jess Marfisi
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HikingGreat!Rocky

One of my all time favorite trails! This is a stunning trail every step of the way. If you’re not used to high altitudes like me, bring a ton of water. Also, Gem lakes is worth those extra steps up. We arrived at the trailhead at 7:30 on a Saturday and found parking in the main lot.

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Steve Eat
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HikingBugsGreat!Rocky

An amazing trail with top notch views. On the difficult side for people new to hiking like myself. Remember to bring plenty of water! Get ready to be challenged and rewarded with an incredible experience. We arrived at the parking lot at 7:30 a.m. and were able to find parking; but I wouldn't get there any later! With a lunch break at Gem Lake and strategic rest breaks we wrapped up the trail at 3:30 p.m. (started at 7:40 a.m.)

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Arthur Edelman
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Hiking

Spectacular views on a well graded trail. Come early, parking is limited.

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Robert Vogel
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Hiking

Great

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Sherry Eric
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Hiking
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Cindy Rodriguez
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HikingGreat!

Awesome trail

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Richard Gomez
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Hiking
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Lauren Burtz
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HikingGreat!

This is one of our all time favorite trails, water all along the way for the dogs to cool off while we enjoy the beauty of the alpine lakes. The majority of the include is at the beginning, then you can just cruise the rest of the way. Get there early to get a parking spot, or there’s overflow parking 1/4mi down the road. There are signs along the road between the two saying no roadside parking, but by the time we finished it was jam packed with cars parked along the road. Such a gorgeous trail! Pro tip- grab a slice of homemade cobbler from the Rock Creek Resort Lodge after.

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Rashid Khalid
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Hiking
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