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Piute Mountain to Peeler Lake Loop Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(15)
Toiyabe National Forest

Piute Mountain to Peeler Lake Loop Trail is a 53.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Bridgeport, 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.

Length 53.3 mi Elevation gain 9,458 ft Route type Loop

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Fee

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Tips

Note: There is a $15 parking fee at Mono Village.

Obtain a Wilderness Permit from the Bridgeport Ranger Station off of HWY 395, park at the Twin Lakes Resort for the duration of your trip ($15), and obtain a fishing permit from CDFW if you plan to fish.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (15)
Photos (68)
Recordings (16)
Completed (32)
Sydney Mayes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
Backpacking

Beautiful canyons, meadows, and streams throughout this hike with plenty of elevation gain. We did this loop counterclockwise in mid July in 3 nights and 4 days. Be aware that what other reviewers have mentioned is true: the current AllTrails mileage is wrong (as of July 2020 it says 45.3 miles). The route is actually 50+ miles and another guidebook clocks it at around 54 miles. Our entire party agreed with this estimate, (especially if you do a little meandering off to some lakes) and found it to be one of the more physically demanding trips we've been on in part due to this unexpected extra mileage, but also because of the long stretches of ups and downs. I would recommend an extra day for a little more leisure time by the beachy lakes, although 3 nights is totally possible if you're a group of confident hikers looking for a good challenge with minimal breaks. One more word of caution -- be prepared for thunder and lightning and hailstorms. We experienced all of these on two separate days and were caught in a hailstorm that left us scrambling to find shelter as we descended the steep Burro Pass. On a brighter note, the rain set up the sky for some of the most beautiful sunsets. July temperatures were comfortable and mosquitoes were present but not swarming (but definitely bring spray!). It should go without saying, but have good hiking shoes because the terrain is very rocky. One of the members of our group learned the hard way that Rx bars can double as orthotics. On our final day we ran into a friendly ranger checking permits so make sure to have them printed and easily accessible. Would love to come back sometime for a 4 night version of this trail to leave time for more lake swimming!

Comment from AllTrails

- 16 days ago

Thank you for the review! We have modified the route to include your information.

Katy Storm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
BackpackingGreat!RockyScramble

Completed the loop clockwise as a 3 night/4 day backpacking trip. Conditions were perfect! The scenery was amazing and the views at the top of Mule and Burro Passes were unbelievable. We were pleasantly surprised that the mosquitoes weren't that bad, as others had reported. Nighttime temps were in the low 40s/high 30s. Daytime temps 80s-90s. We camped at the lakes under Finger Peaks, Smedberg Lake, and near Arnet Lake (off trail near the meadows). This was the longest and most difficult trip I have been on thus far. We initially planned to hike 10 miles the first 3 days, leaving the big climbs for early morning (fresh legs), but we pushed further on and ended up doing more like 12-13 miles each day and climbing in the afternoon, leaving the 4th day mostly flat and downhill to the TH. It was tiring but again, the scenery and experience were worth it. GPS, Fitbit, and Apple all clocked different mileages between the 2 of us, so I think this loop is closer to 52+ miles. We took our time, stopping to wade in the streams and lakes, eating on the trail, and setting up camp around 7/8pm. If you like to arrive to camp earlier to cook and chill, I would recommend doing this as a 5-7 day trip. Some days we only saw 1-2 people, except on the main trail to Peeler/Barney Lake from the TH, which can get busy. We had the entire Matterhorn Canyon to ourselves and spent over an hour at empty (but windy) Benson Lake. No bear sightings, but we did have a marmot or pika chew the straps off 2 of our hiking poles while we slept. I would totally do this trip again!

Lizzy Hummel
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!

06/21/20 - 06/25/20: Overall this trip was really hard for us but we are also really out of shape. Despite the difficulty, the trip was 100% worth it for the gorgeous sites and sense of accomplishment. We started by parking at Twin Lakes Resort - $15 for the duration of the trip. From there we walked through the campground and up to Barney Lake. This hike is a steady incline but not too bad. We saw a lot of people and young kids doing this hike. We stopped at Barney for lunch and luckily had the whole beach to ourselves. the lake is beautiful. From there we finished the first day by hiking up to Peeler Lake at about ~9,600'. This hike kicked our butts with 2 river crossings and a steep incline up. Peeler is really pretty too but the mosquitoes are BAD. There's tons of fish there but we couldn't get any to bite. The second day we hiked out to Benson Lake in Yosemite. This hike is easier with less elevation gain but really long (~11 miles). We went from Peeler Lake, through Kerrick Meadows, over Seavy Pass, and down into Benson Lake. The mosquitoes in Kerrick Meadow are horrendous! It was a really long day of hiking but reaching Benson's expansive beach was such a relief. The beach is huge and once again we were lucky to have it all to ourselves. We fished from the beach and crossed the river to fish in deeper water. The fish were biting like crazy - we couldn't miss. Benson Lake was our favorite spot on our trip! On the fourth day we hiked out of Benson, back over Seavy pass, and back to Peeler Lake. We did come across a ranger at this point who asked to see our Wilderness Permit.The hike out of Benson is rough and we were pretty tired at the end of our trip. The final day we hiked down from Peeler back to Twin Lakes. This hike is easy as it is all downhill. We saw a lot of people coming up to Peeler for the day or a night. It took us about 5hrs with lots of breaks, the river crossings, and sore everything. We were just as relieved to make it back tour car as we were that we did it. This hike is beautiful, fun, and hard. I would definitely do it again!

Scott .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020
BackpackingSnow
View Scott's Recording
Tommy Zounes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 14, 2019
Backpacking

4 day 3 night backpack beginning Aug. 14, 2019. Lots of great scenery of lakes and meadows. Trail is difficult having many steep climbs and some very steep descents. Some snow at Mule and Burro passes, but easy to cross. There is a lot of water throughout the hike. Waterproof hiking boots is a must. There are mosquitoes: more in some areas than others, but not too bad overall. Bring repellent. Bensen Lake was our favorite camp spot. And swimming in the lakes after a days hike was very rejuvenating. water temp temperature was a nice 60 degrees. My GPS measured the full loop hike to be about 51 miles instead of 45 miles.

View Tommy's Recording
Chrissy Jean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 19, 2017
Backpacking

Did it counterclockwise. Climb up to Smedberg was longer than we thought. Beautiful!

Angelina Souther
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2017
Backpacking

Started at Twin Lakes to Barney, then in to Peeler. The trail is covered in snow in some spots closer to Peeler. Definitely tired when we reached camp. There were mosquitos everywhere. The lake is a beautiful sight to see.

Jay C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 26, 2017
Hiking

Similar to Bryan below, started at the campground went to Barney and continue to peeler. I was definitely keeping a fast paced hiking speed, so I was pretty tired when i got back to the campground, but the hike was well worth the views. There was some snow towards the last half mile to peeler, but nothing unmanageable in hiking boots. Cannot stress enough how many Mosquitos were by the lake though if you are planning on back packing and camping.

erik trudelle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 20, 2016
Hiking

My wife and I did this hike in august of 2016. It was very difficult, but had some of the most stunning views I've seen in a backcountry trip. The trails were marked very clearly, there were lots of great camping options at each of the lakes we had decided to stay at, and there was the perfect amount of neighbors to make us feel like we could get help if needed, but stay secluded enough to feel like we weren't in a drive up campground. Highly recommend this loop! Smedburg lake ended up being our favorite spot to stay at.

David Weller
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2013
Hiking

Did counterclockwise in 2013. Fantastic views going from Twin Lakes up into higher elevations. Excellent sights along the way. Rivals any loop or trail in Yosemite.

Bryan Long
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2013
Hiking

I hiked starting in the campground at twin lakes up to barney and then continued on to peeler lake, we did it as a day hike, and let me tell you that doing it in a day is super tough. but the views and the sense of accomplishment are well worth it if you are in the area its a great hike

Eric Heath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 1, 2011
Camping
First to Review

This is a hike we used for client trips at Leave No Trace Adventures. For beginning hikers we opted for staying just at the end of Barney Lake on first night although a short distance, seemed to make it much more enjoyable for the clients. The switch backs that begin shortly after Barney Lake on the way to Crown or Peeler Lakes can be difficult for first time backpackers. We then move off to the right towards Peeler Lake and stay one or two days, depending if anyone wants to bag a peak. We then head back to Crown Lake for a night and another nice set of switches await you to the hike to 20 Mule Pass if you wish, but without packs. Great scenery, fishing, and the view atop the peaks at Peeler Lake are incredible.

Michael White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2019
Hiking
View Michael's Recording
Galo Arias
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2018
Hiking
View Galo's Recording
Linica Suceava
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2017
Hiking
View Linica's Recording