Onion Valley Campground to Flower Lake

MODERATE 34 reviews
#12 of 45 trails in

Onion Valley Campground to Flower Lake is a 4.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
4.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1335 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

fishing

hiking

lake

views

waterfall

wildlife

bugs

rocky

Directions from : Take Highway 395 to Independence, CA. Turn west on Market Street and follow the road 13 miles. Road ends at Onion Valley Campground.

backpacking
18 days ago

Great hike up to Flower Lake, patches of snow on the hills, but trails and campsites are clear. A bit cold at night, no bugs. Saturday night there were a handful of campers but Sunday night had the place to myself. Take a left when you hit the lake and find more secluded campsites on the hill. The lake is clear and green, you can watch the trout swim past your line. I day hiked up to Kearsarge Pass. Fill up on water before you go, it's not as plentiful as you climb. It's also very exposed, a challenging but doable climb. From the top you can dip into the valley below and camp at the Kearsarge Lakes or push on to Charlotte Lake or up to Rae Lakes, both are supposed to be gorgeous.

22 days ago

Love this hike.

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes I did in this area (probably nr.1). It is definitely moderate to strenuous (I hike quite a bit) so be prepared for a steep hike. The gate was closed, so we had to park our car further down the street - which added an extra 2 miles one way to our hike. You can go higher up if you feel like it once you reach Flower like (which is the third lake. The first one is very small, the second one is also beautiful). When we went, in late April, the lakes were still frozen. There were some patches of snow along the way but no need for snowshoes if you only go up to Flower lake. You can go further if you want but would not recommend this time of the year without some experience and the proper gear.

There is lots of space around the lakes to camp at night if you feel like it. Will definitely do this hike again. I loved the views along the way and the frozen lake with the massive mountains in the back as a reward at the top are just majestic.

hiking
7 months ago

good

backpacking
9 months ago

We packed up to Gilbert Lake after spending the night at Onion Valley campground (highly recommend site #25) spent one night at gorgeous Gilbert Lake then a short skip to the even more beautiful Flower Lake. Plenty of campsites on the southern side of the lake and plenty of hungry trout to be caught!
This is a challenging uphill trail for anyone except for the most fit hiker. The elevation gain is to be respected and some may be more effected at 10k elevation than others.
Stunningly beautiful scenery and comparatively easy access to the John Muir Wilderness and Eastern Sierras.
Plenty of parking at the Onion Valley trailhead with vault toilets, trash and shared bear lockers.
Bear cans are required for overnight per park services although, most people we ran into didn't carry one.

backpacking
11 months ago

Hiked this trail on 7/3/17, the road was closed about a 1/4mi before the campground but there was plenty of parking on the side of the road. The trail was very nice with incredible views of the valley, a few waterfalls, & three lakes on the way to Flower.

11 months ago

Great trip

camping
Monday, June 12, 2017

Great trails and amazing views. Snow made the higher lakes difficult to get to but this year there was a massive amount of snow. All around A++ would recommend.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great first time hike. I'm hooked!

hiking
Monday, November 09, 2015

Beautiful hike - took my boys (under ten) for an overnighter. Hiked up to horseshoe and Gilbert lake and camped there. So much snow, but it was great once the sun came out.

hiking
Monday, August 03, 2015

Gilbert Lake was stunning.

hiking
Monday, May 11, 2015

Easy hike coming from Onion Valley Campground. Would suggest to check out K-Pass too!

camping
Monday, May 11, 2015

Amazing place to camp and hike. Beautiful lakes and the campsites are clean and the host is wonderful!

hiking
Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Great trail, beautiful views, pretty remote - we only saw 2 people and there were only 2 other cars in the parking lot. The elevation gain was mild and the switch backs are large and not to steep. There lots of picturesque lakes to stop at, some were frozen over today. We went on the last day of March and we were blocked from getting to Heart lake by snow (if we had better gear we could have made it but we weren't prepared to trek through 2ft of snow) We saw lots of little animals, birds and chipmunks, and on the way up we saw a deer hanging out in the road.

camping
Tuesday, January 08, 2013

This was my first camping/hiking experience after moving to California. I must say it was an amazing one! I only camped out for a couple of days but definitely got my fill. About 100 yards from the campsite is a small ice cold stream, which is good for soaking your feet after a long day of hiking.
The trails werent too difficult. Non-experienced hikers need not to worry. It's mostly switchbacks all the way up. There are a few small lakes to enjoy once you reach the first clearing. After that you will have to muster up some strenght to get to the next lake (which i believe is called heart lake). The rest of the trails up are pretty steep but the views from the top make all of your hard work totally worth it!
I hope i can make it back one of these days..

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
25 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

backpacking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

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