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

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

trail running

walking

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.

hiking
9 days ago

Pretty lakes & mountains with snow caps

1 month ago

Outstanding hike and views! We missed the fall color up here but still well worth the trip!

hiking
1 month ago

Oh yeah. Trail starts you at 10000 feet and hikes you incredible views of the eastern escarpment of the Sierras. Not bad for a 7.4 mi day hike.

hiking
1 month ago

One of our favorites

2 months ago

We loved this trail! Great for a hot day. There are clear cold lakes to jump in every half mile or so. There were a lot of people but everyone was very friendly and didn’t even make comments about my dog off leash. My pup is very friendly but she is a pit bull so many people make incorrect assumptions about her. We all had a great day. I was wishing I had brought sleeping gear. I wanted to keep going and going!

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail, the lakes are amazing,our dog enjoyed it too. The trail starts at mosquito flat, just follow the rock creek road to the very end, the road to parking lot gets narrower but the parking lot is huge.

2 months ago

Ok hike. To many people

2 months ago

Best hike ever, you will not be able to take a bad picture, the whole trail is huge a scenic view, each lake different, each unique.
Highly recommended!
Not a difficult hike, but moderate rating is correct

2 months ago

For those who’ve been on the trail recently, what are the weather conditions at the top of the mountain, ie lowest Temperature, wind speed, rainfall?

2 months ago

awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

This is stunner. I do it every time I visit the area. One of my very favorites. Word of caution for older hikers with bad knees, hips, etc, however. Allow extra time for return due to multiple "steps" as you approach trailhead. I did this hike again yesterday. I had no trouble with altitude since I live in the mountains. Took me three hours to reach Gem Lake including 30 min lunch stop at Long Lake. Took four hours to return from Gem Lake to parking area since I really had to take my time on the descent due to my bad knees. Probably best to allow 8 hours to be on the safe side. Best to get started early morning due to limited parking also. Bring hiking poles to save those knees! Those with no knee issues will complete this hike much faster though. Enjoy! It's a beauty.

hiking
3 months ago

can be crowded but very few places have so much to see in such a easy hike

3 months ago

Great trail, stunning scenery. Did it the week after Labor day so reasonably quiet. the only downside is that it starts at 10,000 ft so a day or two at altitude before is a good thing.

hiking
3 months ago

Great day hike out to Gem lake with my two sons. (17 and 27) At my normal pace it’s not a difficult hike, but trying to keep up with the two of them make the hike more difficult than it should have been. Lots of opportunity for great pictures and you can gauge your progress by the number of lakes you pass. Only negative, there was a lot of traffic on the trail. We were rarely alone. If possible, I would avoid this trail on busy weekends, otherwise great hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Went with my friend Don. Camped at Chickenfoot lake and day hiked to Gem Lakes. Awesome scenery. This is a very easy hike for a couple of 58 year olds. There was some pack animal traffic and a lot of day hikers. We had one late afternoon thunderstorm, but not too bad.

hiking
3 months ago

I docked a star from my rating because the trail is so dang busy! I hiked it on June 10, 2018. Arrived around 8:00am and had plenty of parking spaces to choose from. We took our time (more of a stroll than a hike) stopping frequently to take photos. By mid - day there were hikers in view almost constantly. Many had dogs. Consequently there was no sign of any wildlife other than birds and ground squirrels.

hiking
3 months ago

As stated in the trail description, this trail is entirely above 10,000 ft. You will pass by many different lakes. The views are awesome and its almost impossible to take a bad picture. The only drawback is that this is a very popular trail head and parking can be a challenge so come early.

3 months ago

beautiful scenery and so many lakes within relatively easy hike .

backpacking
3 months ago

A beautiful area that is easy to navigate. Bugs are minimal at this time and the smoke from the fires was not in the valley the two nights we were there. Although we did have smoke haze on the 395 getting there. Afternoon thunderstorms gave us a variety of weather but nothing too major. Love coming here!

backpacking
4 months ago

Just got home after backpacking to Gem lake for the night. From the trailhead the elevation gain is just less than 1000, but the altitude will likely slow you down a bit. The flowers are spectacular, God had a wonderful palette of paint; purple, red, yellow, pink, white, orange. It is like an amazing garden of color. There are nice campsites at Gem lake and the mountain scenes are awesome. We got rain during dinner for about three hours. The thunder and lightening was a treat, far enough away not to be dangerous but breath taking. Had a wonderful morning and lunch filled with sunshine and birds singing. On our hike down it rained and we made a quit exit and drive to Mt Whitney restaurant in Lone Pine for a great burger and onion rings. Before our ride home on my Ninja. This is a must do hike, best if you can camp at Gem lake.

4 months ago

Didn't know it was a difficult trail until now. I struggled but I can say I did it. Went all the way to Gem Lake. Gorgeous!

hiking
4 months ago

Great easy hike! So many lakes and great views. You have to make it to the end at Gem Lakes

4 months ago

Excellent views . Highly recommend it

hiking
4 months ago

One of our favorite hikes You pass Mack, Marsh, Heart, Box & Long lake before you reach a short side trip to Chicken Foot Lake at 10,789. A side trip around Gem Lakes is a great stopping point for a quick dip and lunch before getting back on the trail and heading up to Morgan Pass. We couldn't resist "the bear goes over the mountain" temptation to see what we could see. All we saw was more mountains to climb, so we headed back...

hiking
5 months ago

The best!!!

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome scenery on this one!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful hike, easy one night backpacking. The temperature dropped to 32 degrees at night. Also mosquitoes were insane so be prepared. You need to have a strong repellent and mosquitoes nets would be very helpful

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! There were a lot of day hikers but only saw a few that were staying overnight. Definitely one to add to the list.

5 months ago

Most amazing views. Definitely worth going!

6 months ago

June 3rd hike. Like most, had to turn back at Chicken Foot the snow was too much for us. I'll be back soon though. This hike is a must do!

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