Ranger Lake is a 16.3 mile out and back trail located near Sequoia National Park, California and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from July until October.
Backpacked this one from Lodgepole Center to Ranger Lake this past weekend (Sept 30 - Oct 2). Like the review below the info on this page is outdated and the trail is just over 10.5 miles. The hike to Ranger Lake has alot of elevation gain but once you get to Silliman Pass its all down hill from there. This is a fairly tricky trail and can take a good amount of time if your not in shape, so just make sure you are prepared for some good hiking! There were 2 campsites at Ranger Lake that had bear boxes so that was nice to have, plus you can have fires there which was nice because night temps ranged from 26-33. We stayed 2 nights so we could explore the lake for a bit and give our legs a rest! Ranger Lake was the only lake in the area that you could legally have a fire. Both Twin Lakes and Beville Lake have camp spots but no fires allowed. Views were very good throughout the whole entire way, from huge sequoias to beautiful lakes. Very low traffic throughout the whole entire trail only saw 2 group of 2 and that was it.
Backpacked from the Rowell Meadow trailhead to Ranger Lake over labor day weekend. I wrote this review mainly to point out that most information on this hike is outdated—they have rerouted the trail in recent years, making it about 10.5 miles each way. The hike had a lot of elevation gain/loss. When we finally got to Ranger Lake, we stayed there for two nights. The views of Mt. Silliman and Kings Canyon beyond are epic. We seemed to be the only people camping there, although we did run into a few others passing through. Beautiful and special place that I would like to return to someday.
Hiked 10.1 miles from lodge pole campground to ranger lake. Spent one night there, then continued on to Roswell meadow and then jo pass. - the hike from lodge pole to ranger lake was challenging, with a lot of "up" and a somewhat difficult trail to maintain after sillman pass down into the Ranger lake area... But it was totally worth it. We had the entire place to ourselves and only saw 5 people on the various trails in our three day trek. We did it in first week of June... Didn't see a single bear even deer.
A spectacular out and back that is more challenging than it looks on the topo map. Several moderate to steep ascents and descents make for tough conditions going both up and down. It begins at the Rowell Meadows trail head and follows the Roaring River trail to the junction with Seville Lake trail, which veers southeast to the four lakes on the east side of the Siliman Crest.
Views are limited for most of the hike, but nearing the top of the ascent to Ranger Lake, you're presented with a panoramic view from Ball Dome to your immediate NW, across to Palmer Mountain and Barton Peak and on to the Guards, Thunder Peak, and Mount Brewer of the Great Western Divide. To your SE is the northern tip of Glacier Ridge and the start of the Tablelands. Campsites at both Seville and Ranger Lakes are idyllic to the point of being ridiculous. You'd be hard pressed to wish yourself a better place to lay your head.
Once you get to Ranger Lake, you have the option of tracking back the way you came or making a 24 mile loop out of it, by crossing Siliman Pass via its trail from Ranger and linking up with Twin Lakes/JO Pass trails. Head north to JO Pass and take the junction to Jennie Lake and camp for a night. The hike out from there follows a gentle descent back to Rowell Meadow on the JO Pass trail.
Option 3 (which we chose) is to stay at Ranger but climb the ridge at the north side of the lake up to the East Twin of Twin Peaks. This off-trail route requires some Class 3 scrambling on all fours. The view from the peak overlooks the same panorama described above, but from 1100 ft higher, and it now includes Lost Lake directly below you to the north, and Seville Lake a little beyond. Walk the easy, rounded ridge line over to Siliman Pass and watch the sunset. Find the trail back to Ranger and descend the mountainside in the dark.
Any way you slice it, it's a great trek, and depending on when you go, you may not see another person the entire time. Highly recommended.