Nine Lakes Basin Loop Trail is a 47 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.

47.0 miles
13,585 feet






nature trips







no dogs

1 month ago

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!

10 months ago

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.

Wednesday, July 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!

Friday, February 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.