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.

Length6.5 miElevation gain2,214 ftRoute typeOut & back
HikingRunningForestLakeViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips

FIRE CLOSURE: As of March 2021 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm. Sequoia National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. SEASONAL ROAD CLOSURE: Roads leading to this trailhead are subject to seasonal closure. For more information, please visit https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm 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.

The 25 mile long road to Mineral King Valley from Three Rivers takes about 90 minutes to drive. So if you are planning to come in hike and get out of the valley, plan accordingly. Acclimatization at high altitude will definitely help since the hike reaches about 10000ft at Eagle Lake. This seemed to be a popular day hike in the area and you will find a lot of hikers during the weekend. Talk to a ranger about the marmot problem during spring and early summer.

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Reviews (253)
Photos (318)
Activities (173)
Completed (462)
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Liz Forbes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 9, 2021

I did this hike in August and the weather was perfect. This is probably one of the hardest hikes I've ever done. I took lots of little rests on the way up to catch my breath on account of the elevation and exertion. After making the switchbacks up the mountain, it's a sort of chose your own adventure to the top. But don't quit before you get there! It's magical! The blue water is perfectly clear and crisp. There was actually a hail storm that covered the trail behind me while I was up there but it didn't hit me. Going down is quick and easy going, so enjoy your day at the lake. ps: The road to the trail is long and slow going, make sure you have plenty of gas!

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Asad Abdullah
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Definitely not an easy hike. Lots of steep parts but plenty of shade. Flattens out in the middle before the last mile of scrambling over rocks. Lake is 100% worth it. It takes 2-3 hours to get down so budget time for that so you’re not hiking in the dark!

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Zoë Floyd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 23, 2020
HikingGreat!

Most beautiful hike I’ve ever experienced! Steep rock climb towards the end before you get to the lake

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Conley Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

(Note: did this hike mid September) - for starters, this trail is beautiful! GO DO IT. though, I will not lie this trail is a HOE. The incline is steep for a long time and there is a lot of large rocks you are climbing over. Which was super fun but also very tiring! I say this so you know whats ahead! But like, pls still do the trail and get ur lazy butt out of bed and accept the challenge! you’re missing out if you skip this one! Also, there is a DOPE lake at the end that is chilly but definitely swimable. Go do some laps too. Be a king and go conquer MINERAL KING! ig: @harrishikers

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Jack Bassett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. Views at the start of the trail are absolutely spectacular, the Mineral King valley is really, really special, it was probably my favorite part of the hike. The trail then steeply switchbacks at hillside through a mixture of forest, meadows and rocky slopes before eventually culminating at Eagle Lake. The grade on these switchbacks and the climb through the boulder field is so tough that it starts to take away from the experience. Eagle Lake itself, however, is strikingly clear and beautiful. Something about the bare granite bowl makes it less attractive than other lakes in the Sierra, but it is nonetheless a worthy destination. The trail is shockingly difficult, and surprisingly steep. The huge majority of the elevation is concentrated in the latter two-thirds of the hike. The road sucks, big time. It's unpaved, windy and narrow. It features potholes so large it puts some roads in the upper midwest to shame. Took me almost two hours to get up. Got a rock wedged in my wheel well in the dirt road section of this road that disabled my car until I removed it, and I was going much slower than average. I wish they'd re-pave it all the way through. Parking sucks big time too, day hikers will have a tough time finding a spot on a weekend. Watch the weather. Mineral King is notorious for its thunderstorms, the weather can change in a matter of minutes. Completely clear skies on the way up, two hours later a huge thunderstorm. Hiked 7/25/2020

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kaylee graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 28, 2020
HikingGreat!

Definitely a more difficult hike! I think we ended up at 8 miles. We saw several deer and the views were beautiful. The lake is beautiful and very clear!

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Carl Pio
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
Hiking

Did this hike on 9/6. the air quality here was surprising good at the time, even when the surrounding areas were really smoky. The rock scramble towards the end was very challenging, but not overly difficult. The lake at the top was a great reward. The view right at the beginning of the trailhead also made for some great photos. The drive there was tense at times, but totally worth it!

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Claire Hall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

It’s true that the road to the trailhead is long, winding, and narrow. It’s also pretty rough, would definitely recommend taking a vehicle that can handle steep inclines, pot holes, sections of very bumpy dirt road. I took my truck and had no problems, just keep an eye on the road and go slow. The hike is definitely not something I would recommend for someone new to hiking and I definitely wouldn’t recommend that you take kids. The last mile or so to the lake is mostly climbing up large rocks with lots of smaller, loose rocks at a pretty steep incline, if you don’t have decent cardio/balance this could be tricky. There are plenty of beautiful spots to stop along the way and see the view of the mountains behind you. You get a nice variety of scenery following the creek up to the lake, going through redwoods, meadows, and finally up the rocks. There is also great wildlife on this trail. I saw 5-6 deer, sooty grouses, a tarantula (eek!) . Beware of the incoming smoke from the Creek Fire near Fresno, it was getting pretty bad as I was leaving and there was considerable ash falling from the sky. Other than that, great hike. I used a tarp to protect my truck from the marmots but a lot of cars in the parking lot didn’t and seemed to be okay. Proceed at your own risk. It also wasn’t too crowded today. I also went early and there were a lot of people headed up as I was heading out. There are several people camping by the lake usually, but there is lots of room to spread out and hang out for a bit. That’s usually where we eat our lunch and take a quick dip in the water. Trust me, it’s cold but it feels amazing after that climb.

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Lacy Garrison
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 31, 2020
HikingGreat!Rocky

The drive to the trailhead is down a long, twisting, single-lane road. The quality of the road shifts from decent to dirt and back again. It's a slow drive. Bring some music and enjoy the ride. The hike itself is great. There are sections where the climbing is challenging, but in the end the lake is worth the effort. It took us about two hours to reach the lake. We took a quick swim in the chilly water and then hiked down. Climbing down the boulder field felt more treacherous than climbing over it. The hike up was hot; the hike down was pleasant. But we loved the hike and want to do it again. We saw marmots and deer.

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Rian Garcia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
HikingRocky

Driving on Mineral King Road was an experience I never want to repeat. Crazy huge potholes, one lane road pretty much the whole time, and the unpaved dirt sections have massive dips you need to watch out for. Some cars in the parking lot weren’t covered in tarps, but most cars were, and I sure didn’t want to risk it with those pesky car-eating marmots everyone talks about! Completed the hike and got back to the car with a total of 9 miles hiked/walked, so it’s definitely not 6.5 miles. Got to the lake in about 2 hours with a few five minute breathers. Lake was beautiful and well worth the crazy drive and uphill, rocky terrain. One of the most challenging day hikes I’ve gone on, but definitely rewarding!

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Nathan B
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 21, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Giovanny Bojorquez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking

One of the most beautiful

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Butch Brazil
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Work but good, rain and a hail storm. But good

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Cody Haage
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

We're avid hikers and found this trail to be really great! It's really diverse going from soft ground in the forest to big rocks that requires small amounts of climbing. We live in the valley and wanted to get away from the 109° temps and it couldn't have been better weather. We had a clear hike up and spent some time at Eagle lake with our feet in the water then we got a good rain shower on the way back. The drive out Mineral Ridge Rd isn't great because its basically wide enough for one car in most spots and there were a few people going fast around the corners coming from the other direction. Just be careful. It was really worth it! Will do again!

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Oscar Torres
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 14, 2020
Fishing

We did this trail on 08/14 to 08/15. The drive up on Mineral King rd from the 198 is lengthy but worth it in my opinion. However, the road is narrow in some areas so be careful driving on the road. The road has areas that are wide enough for two vehicles to squeeze by each other but do it slowly and safely because there is a big drop off. Once we got to the trailhead/mineral king valley, it was beautiful! There was a decent amount of cars parked out there in the parking lot and many were tarped for marmots but not all of them. We tarped the undercarriage of the truck the best we could and started the trail. This is almost all uphill, it was a challenge for sure but the views were worth it. Make sure to eat a lot of calories and drink plenty of water because you’re going to need it for this hike for sure. The weather was awesome (fresh 75 degrees or so) and partly cloudy with some distant thunderstorms. On the hike back to the car it did rain on us a bit which was cool in my opinion. This trail has waterfall views, creeks in certain areas (eagle creek), forests, a huge rocky area just before the lake, wildlife, awesome mountain views and of course the awesome lake area. Once you get to the lake there are areas you can camp at. The lake was full of trout which jump out of the water regularly to eat bugs. The hike back down is a lot easier. It was a moderately trafficked trail so we saw hikers every now and then but not too crowded. At the lake we didn’t see too many people and it is big enough for the most part for people to pick their own little space of peace. It was well worth it and will go back. Ps we didn’t see many marmots so we didn’t have to deal with them very much at the parking lot, the trail or the lake. I guess we just got lucky. I was expecting a lot more based on prior reviews.

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Diana Gonzalez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 13, 2020
HikingGreat!

My best friend and I decided to tackle this trail absolutely beautiful! The majority of the trail was uphill it was definitely a challenge but so worth it. The views amazing! So glad we decided to do this trail I’ve never felt so small in a good way the world is sooo beautiful definitely recommend this hike even if you feel a little hesitant because of all the uphill take breaks every so often, lots of water + snacks and you’ll get through it! I recommend taking trekking poles definitely helped me out!

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simi johl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

I went on this hike with the intention of wanting to find myself. I was feeling anxious at home and wanted to do something special. This trail forced me to lose myself and find myself. My bf said be careful what you wished for. This trail starts decent and it’s beautiful and feels nice. My asthmatic lungs did not feel nice during any of this. Once we turned at the sign to go right towards eagle lake was when our troubles REALLY started. The climb up was SUPER STEEP and I needed to stop every .25 miles to take as much of a breath the nature would allow me. Then we kept going up and up and up and people were so sweet and told us we were almost there. We weren’t almost there. It kept going up and up and up and up. Before I knew it, I was in Switzerland mountain climbing. It was HARD. I broke down and cried while my boyfriend held me. Then we climbed some more. And more. And more. Until I asked someone if the lake was worth it and they shrugged. After my crying, I just wanted to get to the lake, didn’t want to stop when I was so close. So we climbed more. As soon as we reached the lake, it was a serene quietness. NO SOUND whatsoever from nature. It was a zen feeling. The lake was a beauty. If you can physically hike this mountain, I say you should do it. The way back I rolled my ankles a few times and considered how much I would have to pay to get a helicopter to come pick us up. The mountain is super steep. Make sure you have the right gear because I sure didn’t. I saw kids doing this hike and I want to personally congratulate them because they have so much endurance and strength that I had to re-find within myself. Overall, this is a beautiful hike. The meadows are beautiful, the lake is beautiful, the deer are magic, the stream sounds like ASMR and the nature is amazing. Do this hike but just be prepared with water and supplies and the right shoes and the mindset to conquer this mountain!

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David Hay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Good hike! The way up is all up hill and is for sure a grind but it's definitely worth it. Make sure you jump in the water when you're at the lake during the summer. It's not too cold and extremely refreshing!

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Moses Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

This trail was awesome! definitely exceeded my expectations. It has a dynamic and changing landscape. There were plenty of beautiful waterfalls, meadows, and wildlife to view along the way. This trail can be challenging for some, as it is mostly uphill and it has a rock scrambling section towards the latter half of the climb. It gets pretty cold even during the summer (we hiked up at 3pm, Aug 8th) , so pack some layers. There are lots of car-eating marmots in the parking area so be sure to bring a tarp to cover the undercarriage of your vehicle. (there are tarps that you can borrow in a shack located across from the Ranger Station) The drive up is a small winding mix between paved road and dirt roads. The road can be challenging to navigate especially at night. So, make sure to slow down for the blind corners. The road is narrow with a sharp drop off and there is no buffers or railings between you and the drop off.

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Natasha Cerrato
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingScramble

Beautiful but difficult climb up. My big piece of advice is be careful with the altitude. We weren’t very experienced in higher altitudes and we got to the top and felt sick so had to climb back down a bit which kinda put a damper on the lake experience. But if you’re good in higher altitudes this hike is truly beautiful, just quite the climb up but I believe it’s doable for moderately experienced hikers as well

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Brooke LaFleur
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

First, for context I’d say I’m a 24 y/o newbie hiker in relatively good shape. Reading the reviews had me a little apprehensive but it was so worth it! The reviews aren’t lying when they say the road to the trail is no joke. Long and windy 1.5 lane road but if you have experience driving mountain roads it’s very doable. Took us about 1.5 hours to the trailhead from Visalia. Trail head is clearly marked with a couple of parking lots right near the trail head. The ranger station is closed because of COVID so make sure you have your own map. That being said, the trail is well maintained and easy to follow. It took about 2 hours up and 2 hours down with an hour break at the top. The elevation gain and switchbacks will have you winded quickly but take breaks and bring lots of water and snacks. Mile 2 was the hardest for me but nothing close to being super crazy. You do have to scramble rocks a little but the views are amazing. The lake is just warm enough to swim a little but still pretty cold. We all jumped in and ate lunch at the top so bring a swimsuit if you plan on being there for a while. Took just as much time coming down as it did going up but with a lot less sweating lol. My only recommendation would be to take breaks and enjoy the meadow parts of the hike more don’t feel like you have to rush to the top. Saw a lot of people with wrapped cars for marmots but we just popped our hood up and we were fine. Parking lot was pretty full and we got there at 8:30am. All around great hike, BEAUTIFUL, with just enough challenge and relaxation. Do it!!

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Lee Reinertson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 30, 2020
HikingRocky

Absolutely gorgeous trail, worth the climb! I’m an average hiker, so this trail was a bit of a challenge but lovely nonetheless. Mile 2 was the most difficult part for me, and there is a rocky portion towards the end that requires some scrambling, but it was a lot of fun. All in all, gorgeous hike, beautiful views, and the lake at the end was wonderful to swim in.

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Mike Baldy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2020
HikingRocky

Wonderful trail we did this afternoon. Took a little less than 4 hours - beautiful meadows, rivers and views along the way. Bugs were not too bad but I could see them being bad at dusk. The drive up to Mineral King is long and windy, and took about 90 minutes at a modest pace, so be prepared for that. Fishing looks like it would be excellent.

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Kim Kline
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingRocky

This trail is incredible! Wonderful views of waterfalls, meadows, some wildflowers and beautiful trees. That being said, this is a difficult hike with a lot of switchbacks. The final mile is the most challenging. You have to scramble up rocks that seem never ending. The elevation gain is about 2,000 feet. It’s a tough hike, but once you reach the top it’s totally worth it. The lake is beautiful and serene. The water is really cold, but definitely refreshing after hiking in the summer heat. I would recommend the following: bring plenty of water, snacks, good hiking shoes and bug repellent. Layers are also a good idea as it gets chilly once you’re at the lake. It’s also important to note that in order to get to the trail you have to drive 24 miles (approx. 1.5 hour) up a VERY narrow, winding road (unpaved in many areas). We also saw a black bear on this road on the way down.

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Randy Flores
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
HikingRocky

This trail was harrrrrrrrd. It inclines so much and I rolled my ankles like 283838 times on the rocks coming back down, if you suffer from high anxiety don’t take the drive to get here, it’s one of the worst one lane mountain road drives I’ve ever had to make, reminds me of the road to Hana drive in Maui. The lake was beautiful but it was too cold to swim by the time we made it up there (about 70 degrees) and it started raining/thunder. All in all it was a beautiful scenery once you actually get there and do it but I’d never do this hike again.

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Leanne Skirzynski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful hike. Poles definitely help. The lake is nice. This is worth the effort.

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