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.

DISTANCE
23.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6784 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

  • 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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