Explore the most popular wildlife trails near Big Pine with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Have had my eyes on this trail for a while. Will definitely hike it within one year, if not within the next few months before it gets too cold.

About 1.32 miles up the trail there is a creek crossing that is nearly impossible. The water has washed away the tree trunk that used to serve as a bridge and now it’s impassable. We watched as one backpacking couple attempted to walk across, the current was so strong the man fell and cut his foot and leg in his struggle to get out. Wouldn’t recommend this hike unless you have some plan to navigate across safely.

The wildflowers along the trail were spectacular and swimming in second lake was very, very wonderful.

Loved this hike! We went to the second lake and back from big pine campground- was about 5 miles there and 5 back. It was a hot day but that glacial lake was WORTH IT. The second lake is a 5 minute walk from the first- make sure you go to at least that:)

Great hike! Pictures don’t do the view justice at all! It was hot and there were a ton of mosquitoes past the waterfall so be prepared! Definitely would recommend!!

Probably better for backpackers, but we hiked it in one day. Went all the way to the third lake and it was incredible. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.

13 days ago

Beautiful breathtaking views! It was great to hike next to the creek in order for us and the dogs to stay cool. Only reason I’m giving only 4 stars is because there are several mini detour trails that do no have proper signs and we got lost towards the end. Took us an extra 3.5-4 miles to get out.

Fabulous view of the first and second lakes with temple Craig in the backdrop. Highly recommending Take a detour between lake 1 and 2 to find the perfect spot for lunch break right by the waterfall before heading back down!

20 days ago

Nice hike, but is very hot this time of year. It is approximately 5.5 miles to the third lake. Also, mosquitos are brutal right now so hiking in the early AM is a must! Overall, great views and nice trail.

Great hike. Still plenty of snow all the way up the route starting about 11.5-12K but melting fast. No need for any technical gear as it can almost all be bypassed... 1-2 months ago likely not the case. Tons of scree/talus and was 80-100 degrees depending on altitude.

totally worth the hike. My dog and I hiked to second lake, it was breath taking. also make sure you drink plenty of water with high altitude. if you have a dog the ground gets very hot so make sure to check their paws.

1 month ago

Hiked all the way up to Seventh Lake. After the Third Lake, it was pretty un-crowded. Trail is snow-free but a bit muddy crossing the meadows on way to the Sixth and Seventh Lakes.

1 month ago

Camped at Big Pine Creek campground and hiked to the second lake on June 1st. The entire hike is absolutely beautiful and the view of the second lake with Temple Crag on the back is just breathtaking. Words can't describe how beautiful this place is. We are definitely coming back for an overnight camp by the lake.

1 month ago

Hiked on May 29, to the 3rd lake, trail till which is relatively snow free. Attempted to continue up to the Glacier trail but was unsuccessful; pretty much covered in snow, and I lost the trail fairly early and had to turn around. Perhaps doable with ice axe, crampons and good route finding skills

Amazing trail , Great Lakes views , es una hermosura devén de venir es uña experiencia única


Started at the trailhead parking lot and hiked to the third lake. It was warmer than expected but very pleasant. The trail was very well maintained and there was no snow/ice. The hike was almost entirely uphill with decent tree coverage once you pass the cabin. We (couple) were comfortable with a backpack, water bladder, and some breakfast bars. This is a great day hike.

1 month ago

Have hiked this trail many times. Absolutely one of a kind. You’ll be hiking parallel to a creek nearly the entire hike with waterfalls on the way up. If you’re a fisherman, bring a compact rod.
Don’t miss out on this one of a kind trail.

1 month ago

Went to the Third Lake only which was a pretty clear trail - some leftover snow. Heard that heading towards the Fourth Lake had more snow so we just turned around at the Third. I'm deducting one star because I had heard the Third Lake was more turquoise in color, and we were really disappointed it was not - maybe it was the time of year or the time of day?? Any tips on that would be appreciated.

We somehow took a wrong turn on the way up and the way back so we did almost 15 miles. It was a pretty strenuous hike and we both think we were battling slight altitude sickness. Overall it was an amazing experience. We were so glad we opted to stay at the Glacier Lodge the night before and the day of the hike.

Tip: bring sunscreen for the exposed areas; stay at the Glacier Lodge the night before so you get a good night's sleep and the day of the hike so you get a nice hot shower!

It honestly lives up to hype with the sights to see. It is a challenge despite what other reviews might say. It’s continuously uphill and the altitude climb can really get to you (nausea, dizziness, and headaches). It takes about 2-3 hrs to get to the first lake depending on how many times you stop to rest. Bring lots of water/snacks and come prepared for a nice challenge. You’ll be sore but if you can push through it then it’s worth it. Lakes are beautiful blue green water and the views truly are breathtaking.

Beautiful!! the first and second lakes were frozen and the third was halfway melted. Not very hard but amazing views.

It’s an incredible hike! Like some other recent posts, we only went to 2nd lake but the entire way had such beauty there was no boring aspect. The weather was perfect. The hike isn’t strenuous and can be taken quite leisurely. I had a knee issue recently and managed to complete this hike without much issue. And my Maltese/Pomeranian did too! According to my Suunto Traverse we did just under 10 miles round trip. Can’t wait to come back when the lakes have thawed. We hiked on 05/05/18

on Big Pine Lakes Trail

2 months ago

Wow. Just wow. Spent all yesterday morning, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. hiking up to the second lake (group felt that going up to the third would’ve been a little more dangerous considering we didn’t anticipate so much ice) and the views were absolutely breathtaking! It started to snow as we were making our way back down (which made the hike all the more better) and ran into many anticipated fishermen. Sadly for them the lakes were frozen over leaving only a small little area for them to fish. However, all in all, this was probably the best hike I’ve done so far this year and I would LOVE to go back when the weather gets warmer!

2 months ago

I completed this trail on 27April18. Up to lake 3 is a safe hike and is where the best views are, beyond that, there is nothing moderate about it, at least in the winter time. I decided to push myself and continued (I only had crampons, no snow shoes) but there is still so much snow that is actually dangerous. Is so deep in some areas that my whole leg would get buried on it, and I am a 6’1” tall guy. There are so many creeks that you can hear them under the snow so you wanna be careful. The other lakes are smaller and not so impressive like the first three. Since the snow was so deep I didn’t go around lake four and intercepted the trail in the other end, which btw is nowhere to be seen, I just followed my GPS. The snow was so unstable that I had to crawl, slide on my rear, etc. I lost part of my hiking pole, stuck somewhere in the deep of it, even I almost lose one of my boots in a similar scenario. I had to dig it out. About the course, is continuous uphill up to lake four. Lake 1 is at 10000 ft., highest point 10800 or so. The loop which is somewhere around 5 miles long starts after 4.5 from the parking lot. The uphill is moderate in general, strenuous at times. Weather was chilli but comfortable.

3 months ago

Not sure if I need to add to the big review pile for this trail, but why not. It lives up to the hype and the access is easy. I would say this is an excellent trail for beginning backpackers who want to experience the Sierra Nevada at its best.

It is popular for a reason, but the presence of people dwindle the further up you go, and there are options to expand beyond this trail (such as Agassiz Col which I attempted but failed, a successful failure I must say).

Why does the summary on this trail's description say it "features a lake"? As a matter of fact, it features so many lakes the namers half-assedly named them numbers. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...!

Unfortunately we were there without snow shoes end of march. We had to turn around. What we saw.... 5 stars although we didn’t make it to the lakes.

Very nice up the North Fork Trail. We hiked until the snow was too deep just before First Lake.

This was the most beautiful hike I’ve been on! The lakes were like turquoise gems against the snow patched craggy mountains. The switchbacks take you up into the John Muir Wilderness where a surge of water runs along your path. You can rest by Lon Chaney’s old cabin and continue on to find more gorgeous lakes as you walk. True story: I inhaled a mountain fly and within a few minutes it came out my nose. I swear...disgusting but true. The nice thing is that you can choose to go out six miles or complete the whole trail and you will feel accomplished either way.

6 months ago

Hiked to the first lake in mid-January. We used the trail along the side of the mountain to avoid hiking in snow. There’s some elevation gain on that side. After the initial climb, you’ll be hiking in some snow to the cabin. Some parts the snow was ankle deep as no one had hiked before us. After the cabin is all snow. Lake was frozen over. Beautiful sight to see. Only had two other hikers trailing us. On the way back, a few backpackers were headed up for camping.

Worth the hard climb. Hiked this trail during the summer, bring a lot of water!!!!!!! So beautiful but I was sore for two days

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