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Mineral King Loop

HARD 13 reviews
#34 of 91 trails in

Mineral King Loop is a 37.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

Distance: 37.5 miles Elevation Gain: 11,148 feet Route Type: Loop

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wildlife

no dogs

This route starts at the Sawtooth pass trail head in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park. Mineral King is a little known section of Sequoia. The hiking area starts a 7700 ft. of elevation, where the ranger station is. The trail climbs to the Franklin Lakes and the Franklin Pass. On the other side the route goes down and around the Forrester and Little Claire Lakes. A classic itinerary in this area is to return to Mineral King through the Sawtooth Pass but our route continues towards the Big Five and Little Five Lakes and then on to the Black Rock Pass. After that, a long downclimb leads to the Cliff Creek crossing and then up to the Timber Gap. From there, it’s all down to the car. In total it’s 37.6 miles and 10680 ft. of elevation gain in 5 days with a maximum altitude of almost 12000 ft.

backpacking
1 month ago

Completed this loop over Labor Day weekend (4 days). It's a tough one with all the elevation gain and altitude. I would recommend staying at least 1 night, preferably 1 night + 1 day at altitude before attempting. In our group everyone felt the altitude at different points. The views were spectacular, and the lakes serene (good swimming). No issues with snow, mosquitoes were annoying at points but not too bad. Some of the passes are quite exposed, so go over them morning or evening, if you can. Trout were abundant, especially in Little Claire Lake. Definitely felt at times like a stairmaster - in a good way! Go counterclockwise, and stop often to admire the beauty and how far you've come.

backpacking
2 months ago

I backpacked a variation of this route and absolutely loved it. We hiked over Sawtooth Pass and then went through Big Five Lakes and Little Five Lakes. Then we headed up over the Kaweah Gap and camped at Precipice Lake (gorgeous!). From there, we hike along the High Sierra Trail to Bearpaw Meadows and then hiked out to Mineral King via the Timber Gap Trail. This is one of my favorite loops! Here is a report I wrote that describes the route with a lot of pictures and maps: https://backpackers-review.com/trip-reports/sequoia-mineral-king/

backpacking
9 months ago

Did this trail going clockwise (last day was going over sawtooth pass). Did this trip in 4 days with a buddy and both of us wished we had an extra day to camp out by one of the lakes. This is a hike that offers an all in one package. Waterfalls(at least 5), tons of lakes, cliffs, mountains, swamp, woods, etc.... It’s my all time favorite!

Monday, September 18, 2017

We did Timber Gap to Frankiln Pass,Black rock pass is pretty tough from this way but very rewarding. Over all just a beautiful trek and loved every minute of it! We took 6 days to do this route.

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The trail start is actually Franklin Trailhead. If you are reserving a permit, indicate Franklin at the start.

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