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Nine Lakes Basin Loop Trail

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Sequoia National Park

Nine Lakes Basin Loop Trail is a 57 mile moderately 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 June until October.

Distance: 57.0 miles Elevation Gain: 13,585 feet Route Type: Loop





nature trips

bird watching







no dogs

8 months ago

Myself and 3 friends took on this route as one day training run. We are all fairly experienced ultra runners so taking on 47 miles wasn't too crazy of an aspiration. But... this is not a 47 mile loop!!! It's about 57 miles. The Alltrails measurement is more of an "as the crow flies" measurement, it does not take into account all of the switchbacks. All that said, I highly recommend this route, it was an epic day full of amazing views!

9 months ago

We had a great time, beautiful views. But this is pretty difficult. Steep climbs every day. Highly recommend going clockwise. Lots of Water every mile or so. We launched from the wolverton parking lot, We hiked about 9 miles to buck creek the first night it was nice, able to take a swim in the river. And there was bear boxes at every place we stayed so we didn’t need to have a bear can, 2nd day was a long one, from buck creek to Hamilton lake for some fishing, caught some trout in a small gold inline spinner. Then hiked up to precipice lake over into the 9 lake basin and down to aroyo canyon camp ground. Was about 12 miles. If I had a bear canister I would have prolly stayed at nine lakes basin, would have been off trail a bit but would have been nicer there than the aroyo campground. It was pretty buggy, but was able to start a fire and keep them at bay. From aroyo we headed to black rock pass, this was a steep early morning climb in the forest up to little five lakes. Rested there a bit. Then up and over the pass. Which is very steep. 70% grade in some spots. But the views are worth it. Then over and down the other side. It’s pretty much down hill from there for awhile, passed pinto lake and chilled there. Then on to cliff creek camp ground. Kinda buggy but nice. From there went up to bear paw, had a nice fire and watched the sunset on the cliffs at high serria camp. From there we hiked back the next day from bear paw to wolverton. And camped out in the parking lot.

Sat Mar 23 2019

Wow what views ! We did the nine lake basin to mineral king. 59 miles total trip. Beautiful the whole time !! I highly suggest it. There’s a YouTube video up called sequoia to mineral king. Very helpful!

Tue Sep 04 2018

The hike and views are amazing. Biggest recommendation I have is to plan on taking 4+ full days. Doing 16 miles through elevation change each day is tough. There are bear boxes every site, so renting a canister really isn’t needed. Make sure to get some coffee at the Bearpaw Station early in the morning!

Thu Nov 23 2017

I hiked this loop, or at least most of it, back in about 1980. It was my first week-long, moderate-distance backpacking trip. I was about 13 at the time. What I remember most is sleeping on a granite slab at Hamilton Lakes, the long climb the next day (through the tunnel), the spectacular view from Kaweah Gap, and water slides in Big Arroyo. It was a lot of work to get through that week, but well worth it.

Wed Jul 26 2017

I did a similar loop that goes through the Nine Lakes Basin, Little Five Lakes, Big Five Lakes, Hamilton Lakes, and Columbine Lake. Here is the trip report: This is great area that is very beautiful!

Fri Feb 17 2017

As with all the Sierra hikes I've done, they just don't disappoint. We did this loop back in July of 2013, and it was as good as all the rest we have done. I started this trek from the Wolverton parking area just up the road from Lodgepole. We hiked the first day to Buck creek and camped there. That was far enough for one day. Lots of people push on to Bearpaw, but I'm glad we stopped here. Not many places to camp here though, maybe 4-5 spots, that's it. The next morning we headed up to Bearpaw and checked out the High Sierra camp area for a while before continuing on to the Hamilton Lakes. Quite a few places to camp at Bearpaw. We spent our 2nd night at the bigger Hamilton Lake. Plenty of places to spread out up there and pitch a tent. Nice spot for sure. The next day we headed up the trail from there towards Kaweah Gap. This is a fairly steep section of trail. It takes you past Precipice Lake which has some awesome color to it. Greens and blues. We stopped here for a while to take a break. Then on up and over Kaweah Gap and down into the 9 Lakes Basin. We went cross country from the main trail to get to where would camp for 2 nights above Horseshoe Lake. Just beautiful in there. Old weathered Foxtail pines all around us. The next day, we hiked up to the highest of the 9 Lakes as a day hike, without the packs on. Incredible views up there and you are right beneath the Black Kaweah and Kaweah Queen of the Kaweah range. The last morning the reflection shots down at Horseshoe Lake were worth getting up early for. That day brought us down Big Arroyo Canyon and then back up to the Little Five Lakes for our next night. The hike up from the bottom of Big Arroyo was a pretty good pull. Wasn't expecting it to be that tough. Another night by a high country lake with views of the Kaweah range that were awesome. The next day brought us up and over Black Rock Pass. This was steep, but not as bad as I thought it would be. Another incredible viewpoint. You could see all the way to Mt. Whitney from here. Now the hike down the other side into Cliff creek, was long and seemed it would never end. The trail was overgrown in a lot of places and it began to wear on you. Was really glad when we got to the Jct. of the Timber Gap trail. We went about another mile and camped right along side the creek. A spot I found once again from Google earth. Our second last day dawned as another clear blue Sierra day again. Love it. We headed down stream towards Redwood Meadow where we thought we would take our first break. The mosquitoes were so bad right there, it forced us to just keep going.. FAST. So we stopped at Eagle Scout creek instead which was bug free. Then from there it was back to Bearpaw and retracing our steps at that point. We camped again at Buck creek and the next day walked back to the truck. Great loop hike, but it has a lot of up and down in it. A lot!!! A good portion of this is on the High Sierra trail which goes all the way to Mt. Whitney. You can also start and end this hike at Crescent Meadow in the giant forest. That is the actual start of the High Sierra trail. Love the High Sierra, can't get enough.

9 months ago

10 months ago