Recess Lake, Hopkins Lake, and Pioneer Basin Lake

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Recess Lake, Hopkins Lake, and Pioneer Basin Lake is a 23.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Scheelite, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

23.8 miles
6784 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips


horseback riding




wild flowers





  • Mosquito Flat Trail Head
    This is where our journey begins. You are already over 10,000 feet in elevation!
    37.43370, -118.74809
  • Mono Pass Trail Head
    Here is the fork in the road where the left takes you up Morgan Pass and the right goes to Mono Pass. We go right.
    37.42897, -118.75109
  • Junction for Ruby Lake
    We come across the trail head for Ruby Lake here, if we have time we can stop by this beautiful lake.
    37.41857, -118.76392
  • Mono Pass Switchbacks
    This is the beginning of where most of the climbing takes place on Mono Pass. You gain about 700 feet in a mile.
    37.41857, -118.76585
  • Final Push of Mono Pass
    The trail takes a right hand turn and you start your final push to the top of Mono Pass. You are at 11,750 feet and only have 250 left to go!
    37.41861, -118.77268
  • Mono Pass Summit
    Congratulations, you are not at an elevation over 12,000 feet high! The landscape is now moon like with some snow patches likely at this elevation.
    37.42535, -118.77264
  • Summit Lake
    Just pass the top of Mono Pass if Summit Lake. A high altitude lake against the barren land. This lake has crystal clear water in it.
    37.43094, -118.77006
  • Off Trail Scenic Overlook
    Hike a little off the trail just pass Summit Lake to an overlook that shows the vast Sierra Wilderness.
    37.43459, -118.77105
  • Upper Trail Lake
    Descend down the Pack Trail to another high altitude alpine lake (11,200 feet).
    37.44066, -118.77551
  • Trail Junction for Fourth Recess Lake
    At this point in the trail, take a left towards Fourth Recess Lake.
    37.44870, -118.78753
  • Fourth Recess Lake
    After 7 miles of hiking, we reach our home base for the trip. We will be camping around this lake which is at an altitude of 10,000 feet.
    37.44263, -118.78611
  • Junction for Pioneer Basin Lakes
    Take a right here to head to the lakes.
    37.44870, -118.78881
  • Pioneer Basin Lakes
    Climb up 800 feet in elevation to 10,800 feet for the beautiful Pioneer Basin Lakes.
    37.46042, -118.80285
  • Junction for Lower Hopkins Lake
    At this trail junction, take a right up towards Lower Hopkins Lake
    37.44393, -118.81825
  • Lower Hopkins Lake
    Climb up 1,000 feet in elevation to the stunning Lower Hopkins Lake nestled up at 10,300 feet in elevation.
    37.45418, -118.82705

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