Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail

HARD 154 reviews
#9 of 93 trails in

Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail is a 6.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and running and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,214 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

A day hike from Mineral King Valley to Eagle Lake and back. The hike from Mineral King to Eagle Lake is short and steep. The hike starts at an elevation just above 7,800' and climbs to just above 10,000 ft at Eagle Lake. Passing from forest to clearing and back again, the trail is often shaded. The Eagle sinkhole is a unique attraction just before the junction with the Mosquito Lakes trail. This is a moderately difficult hike and can be finished in half a day, although it might be more relaxing if you have a full day.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a pretty tough 3 miles of straight up hill climbing. Once you get to the lake it takes your mind off the buring legs. Do yourself a favor if you have the energy and scuttle up one of the peaks.

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked this trail yesterday. Beautiful views for most of the trail, we got lucky and did get to see some color change in The Valley !! The trail gets very steep from the point where you see the sign to Eagle Lake. It does level out some and leads trough a beautiful forest....time to get some wind!! The hard part after the forest is the bolder field, takes a lot of energy to climb it at 9500 ft. The lake is beautiful, not many people up there. We rested for 30min before we went back down. The trail is not 6.5 miles but it’s 7.2 miles (sign by the forest service) we clocked more than 7.2 miles. The drive up to the hike is a challenge, narrow road that gets steep at times with MANY hairpin curves!!. Turns into a one lane road in serval spots. We made sure to come down that mountain before the sun went down. The hike took us 6hrs. We did stop a lot to catch our breath, we live at sea level

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

My wife and I just hiked this on 09/27/19. Let me start with the drive there. It is a long 25 mile narrow/windy road. Lots of hairpin turns and bumps in the road at points in the route. I suggest you think twice if you have a low sitting car. We drove in darkness on the way there(5:30am we were at Three Rivers). I prefer night driving as you can see oncoming headlights, although there was no one on the road at that hour. It takes approx 90 mins from Three Rivers. Simple to find the dirt parking area with signs well posted throughout. As for the hike, it should be rated difficult. It’s relatively short at 3.5 miles but the incline can be brutal. It gets steep about a half mile in. You hit the first sign/fork in the trail about 1.2 miles in. Prepare to really climb for the next 3/4 of a mile. From the first sign/fork to the next junction it’s about a mile. At about the 2 mile marker you hit another sign that will have arrows to Eagle Lake or Mosquito Lake. About 1/3 of a mile after this sign you will see a beautiful rocky mountain in front of you and this is where you begin the last ascent. It is boulder hopping and serious elevation gain but the trail is well marked. Take your time here. Once you get over these rocks you’re about there and the views are amazing. We reached the the top and had the lake to ourselves for about 2 hours. The lake itself is incredible! The views looking back the route you came is pretty spectacular as well. For a Friday we saw a total of 6 other people total. We talked to a gentleman who’s said the weekends can get a bit crowded so we were fortunate. The hike back is steep and one can slip a bit on the loose rock/gravel. Overall, it’s a hike with an incredible payoff if your fitness level is pretty good. My wife and I work out/hike pretty consistently and it had us breathing pretty heavily. Definitely recommend if your up to the task. Note: Trail permits are not required for day use.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

While the distance of this trail will fool you into thinking that it's not that strenuous of a hike - think again. Almost a half-mile (2200 ft) vertical gain in a little more than 3 miles, one way. Don't get me wrong - it was absolutely amazing going through the riverbed meadows, the canopied forests, the open switchbacks - it was the last 20 minutes or so of the hike that will really test your meddle. A boulder field at mile 2.5 and 9500 feet up is the last challenge on the trail that takes some skillful footwork - bring poles with you. Although it is a fairly clearly marked trail at this point, there are areas where you have to scramble over boulders and weave through narrow passages to reach the top. Once you've cleared the boulders, you have about another 5 minutes - you will be exhausted, but the reward is definitely worth it - a crystal blue alpine lake surrounded by 12,000 foot peaks. Timewise, I would budget 7 - 8 hours to fully enjoy this hike - we did it in 5 1/2 with several rests and we felt rushed to reach the parking lot before dark. This is a very strenuous hike that will take your breath away at several points - not "moderately difficult" as the description above states. Enjoy!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Yep, it's an uphill slog to get to the lake. Went on a Sunday. Started about 10:15. Took 5 hours 45 minutes total hiking with breaks, as I am a show hiker with bad knees. Poles were quite helpful. No bugs. Other people were camping at top of the lake and we saw multiple other homes hikers on the trip, but mostly it was a quiet, secluded hike. Nice scenery on the way.

hiking
2 months ago

There are two things that need to be said about this hike: 1) It's simply great. Great views with valleys, wildlife (a few deer, that is), mountains, and finally, the lake. Not a lot of people are around - I was at the lake for about an hour, for the first 30 minutes I was all alone, for the second half there was only one other guy (on a Sunday afternoon). It's a fun hike, sometimes really steep, but with some flat parts that get you reenergized. Finally, the drive on Mineral Lake Road is super entertaining as well of course. So DO THIS TRAIL. 2) With this being said, this is, in my opinion, NOT a MEDIUM trail, but a difficult one. I don't really know how AllTrails rated this the way they did (on the same level, by the way, as Moro Rock Trail in the same park, which is simply a five minute walk upwards). Again, this is steep and the final 20 minutes are actually technically difficult at parts as well, as you scramble over a massive boulder field, sometimes still via the trail, sometimes simply over rock formations. When I was at the top of the boulder field, I saw several people that I had passed before - and which were already exhausted when I did - failing at getting through this section, as they were not prepared for it. This is not me trying to sound like the ultimate hiking pro - which I'm not. I'm just saying that if you don't feel ready to a difficult hike, then DON'T DO THIS TRAIL.

Fantastic hike up to eagle lake. You have to go up 2,200ft of elevation gain in about 3.6 miles one way, so there are some steep uphill sections. But just take multiple breaks along the way and enjoy the amazing views as you walk deeper in the valley.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

Great hike for the whole family. Do the rock scramble above the lake for views of mosquito lakes, sawtooth peak, and the great western divide.

hiking
3 months ago

UPPPHILLLL. The last little push is crazy. Exposed granite. Awesome reward.

gorgeous. good to get an early start so you avoid crowds & afternoon sun. the alltrails GPS route is wrong towards the lake -- follow what actually looks like a path and ignore the "you're off trail" warnings as you head along the Rocky part just before reaching eagle lake. no bugs. lake was too cold for me to do more than soak my legs but others were swimming.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Many different types of terrain to experience. A little challenging going up, but we took breaks along the way. The lake at the top was very rewarding and just so beautiful! The cold water feels amazing after the hike to the top. Bring bug spray!

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
bugs
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

super beautiful! lots of changes in types of terrain. a really fun summer hike

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great hard hike, beautiful views. Some scrambling at the top before the lake. The lake was beautiful. The ride up mineral king road is windy and road is narrow, dramamine highly recommended, but the ride is less bumpy than it used to be. Was more like 7.6 miles round trip. Went on 8/17/19.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
4 months ago

For it being a my first time out to Mineral King And Eagle Lake, the drive was a great experience, little alone the hike! The views were so unreal to the naked eye. Completed an intense 6.7 mile hike. The best part was definitely jumping into the cold lake, felt great for the fatigued calves. Definitely well worth the wait as you climb up the lake. Recommend this hiking trail to everyone!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Great overall! Very easy to follow, and if you find yourself questioning your direction, there are multiple signs posted pointing which way to go. Was able to run the first 2 miles (with great effort) until the rocks. At first glance it seems it’s not correct to keep right and go up the rocks, but just continue and it will become apparent. Awesome lake with great views.

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 months ago

The drive up there is absolutely the worst. For me nothing in life worth the drive 22 miles in 1:40 hours. However, the hike was absolutely great biggest elevation I’ve ever did. The lake was sooooo cold took a swim in it in a very hot day which was awesome. NOTE:- follow the recording of the people the app will through you out of the trail specially on the rocky part of the trail

hiking
bugs
off trail
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Excellent trail, beautiful! Bring sun screen and bug spray. Trekking poles will make it much easier.

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