Absolutely loved this route, and shout-out to the reviewers that help us decide to go counter-clockwise! Whatever we wish. The combination of three USGS 7.5-minute quadrangles: Mineral King, Chagoopa Falls, and Triple Divide Peak. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. Does anyone know any good routes that hit a lot of lakes, preferably without too many miles? Distance: 36.3 miles. save hide … The route begins with a big climb up Farewell Gap Trail toward Farewell Gap, but you’ll make a left turn before the gap and continue climbing to Franklin Pass. Consisting of 3 high passes and dozens of High Sierra Lakes, there is reason this loop is one of the more popular backpacking routes in the area. Mady picked out a challenging loop for this year, starting in Mineral King and looping up Franklin Pass, down Soda Creek, past Lost Canyon to Big and Little Five Lakes, up Blackrock Pass, down Cliff Creek Canyon, and then back into Mineral King via Timber Gap. Here’s how they all fit together: That will probably make more sense once you’ve seen the individual route maps below. Just because it's tough doesn't mean it isn't fun as hell. I liked this way! Then smoke began to thicken. We decided to stop at the closest of the Big Five Lakes, which was a good idea for us because we were pretty wiped out from Sawtooth and the steep descents afterward. The following permits are issued from the Mineral King Ranger Station: Atwell-Hockett Trail (from Atwell Mill Campground): Easy to moderate climb. I’ve had the pleasure of hiking the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and countless shorter amazing trails throughout the western US. He ran a pack station at Mineral King from 1958 for about 25 years. Note: As of October 2020, the Mineral King area and surrounding wilderness areas are closed due to the SQF Complex Fire. We were in adequate shape - not great, but not bad. I have been looking for maps of trails my Father mentions in his book, “Mountains Mules and Memories”, by Bill DeCarteret. 5. Cairns mark the established path. Backpacked this incredible loop clockwise 7/20/20 - 7/23/20. There are several day and multi-day backcountry hiking loop options available from the Mineral King Valley. Lingering snow can pose a danger in early season or high snow years, especially on Sawtooth Pass. View from Sawtooth Peak (11,600ft) on the Mineral King —> Little Five Lakes trail in Sequoia NP. We woke up at 5:30 (15min before sunrise) to do some shooting at the biggest of the lake... some of the best photos I've ever taken, no doubt. ... We camped overnight at the Cold Spring campground in Mineral King. First night stay at pinto not lake it’s a marsh (beware of skeeters) it’s the best before you go up black rock. No campfires above 10,000 feet. Got a late start, arriving at 1:00pm, tarped my car to protect from marmots (per the rangers recommendation). The two miles between Pinto Lake and Cliff Creek suck. Access to Glacier Pass, Big and Little Five Lakes. This was my first alpine lake swim… Once you reach the Mineral King Ranger Station, you'll want to pick up your overnight permit and rent a bear container if you don't already have one. BLOG; ALL THINGS BIKE ... Little Five Basin is arguably one of the most magical spots in the whole Sierra–but I may be biased since I lived there for one mind-blowing summer as a backcountry ranger. When parking at Mineral King Ranger Station, put all your food in the bear boxes and beware of marmots. ... From Mineral King, we planned to cross the Great Western Divide over two passes, Glacier and Black Rock, rather than the easier, but much longer, single-pass route over Sawtooth Pass and … Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. A beautiful alpine lake and scramble … They're probably OK in Big Five because it doesn't get a lot of visitors, but check with Mineral King R.S. Fill up your water at the river by Pinto. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Walk through meadowy green scenery until finally it opens up and you are surrounded by massive mountains on either side. Fire regs are by basin by elevation. The ascent up Blackrock after getting up to Little Five Lakes is a little rough, mostly because it's hot and uninspiring - and this is the easy side. To Bearpaw and exit at Crescent Meadow. The water crossing at Big Arroyo is apparently tricky when the water is high. Temps: 85H-50L. Reserve a Wilderness Permit. Thanks for reading! like everyone says. 1/4th of the quota is available on a walk-up basis at the issuing station closest to the trailhead on the day you are starting. Die Route ist am besten von März … Lowest elevation: 7,161 feet (bottom of Black Rock Pass climb on west side), Highest elevation: 11,729 feet (Franklin Pass), Recommended direction: either (slight preference for counterclockwise), Trailhead: Farewell Gap / Franklin Lakes Trailhead (ccw) or Sawtooth Trailhead (cw), Permit entry point: Franklin Pass (counterclockwise) or Timber Gap (clockwise). Slow down your pace, this ones a marathon, not a sprint. 9 comments. Reservations can be submitted by email or fax starting on March 1 and no later than two weeks prior to the trip. 5. Trail is well-maintained and well-marked, except for section from Sawtooth Pass down to Monarch Lakes which is just a big hill of loose rock and sand. There are no trees though, so you will definitely need a bear canister if you choose to. Pick your own route up, try to stick close to the All Trails route, look out for cairns, rest and reevaluate often - it's genuinely fun. It is well worth enduring the poorly maintained, 25-mile Mineral King Road to access this subalpine glacial valley; you will not be disappointed. 2 thunderstorms. Alpine … Continue on the Big Five Lakes Trail to Buckhorn Pass and veer right towards Columbine Lake and Sawtooth Pass at an intersection with the Lost Canyon Trail. Sawtooth Pass Trail to Columbine Lake [CLOSED], Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass to Timber Gap Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King: Black Rock Pass Loop [CLOSED], Tar Gap Trail to Hockett Meadows [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass and Franklin Lakes Loop [CLOSED], Sawtooth Peak and Columbine Lake to Timber Gap [CLOSED], Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED], https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm. This stop was ideal while we got acclimated (coming from sea level) and rested before Sawtooth pass. Permits are $10, plus a $5-per-person wilderness fee. Tons of tough trail, lots of climbing on steep gradients, and an absurd amount of sierra scenery. Day 3: 8:30 - 3:00, 10 miles, Upper Big Five -> Monarch Lake We can spend the day doing day hikes around the lakes, go back up to Little Five Lakes and chat with the ranger who might be there, read a book, clean our bodies and our clothes, et cetera. Franklin Pass, Black Rock Pass, Timber Gap. Each break you take, you can look back to see the picturesque green valley you just came up. After a little bit of research Mineral King Timber Gap, Big 5 Lakes, kept coming up. 1 wild buck and 2 marmots. This loop can be done either direction, but typically clockwise is recommended because the west side of Sawtooth Pass is quite a slog when going up. Moreover, I was also specific wondering if some of the backpacking routes like Rae Lakes or Mineral King to Little Five Lakes would be open during this late march period. Each foot of elevation counts heading up to Monarch – you don't lose it until after the pass – which makes it psychologically easier, if you need that. We camped at Pinto Lake, Upper Big 5 Lakes, and Columbine Lake. There are also places to pull off and spend a quiet night in your car, if that’s how you roll. Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED] is a 44.6 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Loop 3 is purple up, right, and down, then the bottom orange track down, left, and up. 9 comments. Call the ranger station to check the current level of risk before driving in. BLUF: If you get a wilderness permit and pay online, you must then email that payment confirmation to the ranger office. There are more than 5 little lakes within this basin but the "Five" that are named are the three that lie within basin below Black Rock Pass and the two larger lakes north of this basin. Spring Lake cross country to Black Rock pass trail, Black Rock pass, little five lakes, big five lakes, lake 10040+ (2nd night). but rain is possible. Where there's smoke, often there's a ranger … Er führt entlang eines Sees, entlang eines Flusses und es gibt einen Wasserfall und schöne Wildblumen. We'll ascend nearly 1,500 feet before reaching the junction with the Black Rock Pass and Little Five Lakes Trail, where we'll make camp not far from an old patrol cabin. 2 comments. As you're climbing up, be sure to look back and admire the canyon you just walked through. This loop has it all - meadows, forests, beautiful lakes, amazing mountain vistas, and wildlife (saw marmots, deer, chipmunks, lizards). Check with a ranger for current conditions. Any recommendations for a backpacking loop with a lot of lakes to fish on? Whichever loop you pick, here are some tips: Whichever Mineral King variation you choose, it’s impossible to go wrong in this gorgeous part of the high Sierra. There are two campgrounds along Mineral King Road: Cold Springs and Atwell Mill. 4 days + is mandatory. Outside the quota season (September 20, 2020 – May 28, 2021), Wilderness permits are free, self-issued, and are not limited to daily entry quotas.Self-issue wilderness permits are available at the nearest permit-issuing station.There is no fee for self-issue permits. Mineral King loop This adventure is a 5 day hike in the Mineral King section of Sequoia National Park. Personal Hygiene kit has been reduced and repackaged already, Still need to for bug and sunscreen. I also found that the campsites going counter-clockwise were perfectly spaced apart for a 4-night trip. They're probably OK in Big Five because it doesn't get a lot of visitors, but check with Mineral King R.S. See the NPS permit page for current details. I wouldn't necessarily recommend one over the other, but we mostly stuck to the route shown on the AllTrails map. The 4.5 mile, 2,600ft climb to Monarch took us a solid four hours to do; we were waterlogged by weak sea-level lungs and an unforgiving sun. save hide report. You’ll cross both Franklin Pass on the south side of the loop and Black Rock Pass / Timber Gap on the north side, but you’ll skip Sawtooth Pass in the middle. First campsite - Deer Creek (4 miles) Daily quota = 25 people. Bing Maps has a collection of great trails with directions to trail heads as well as photos. We saw a friendly deer, hummingbirds, and (unfortunately) a few flies. Thank you Bonnie Kanae. In actuality, it ended up being the most fun mile of the trip – the slope was nicely shaded until 9:30am, and we had a great time working our way up. Going clockwise also saves the most scenic section for the second half. Permit: Wilderness permit required. Seriously, like another reviewer said - buck the trend, go counterclockwise, you'll thank us later. Little Five Lakes to Pinto Lake via Black Rock Pass – 6 miles. Day 4 - An uneventful final morning for us, the hike out of that valley was challenging and lasted a while, but it was an amazing trail through miles of lush forest in the cool morning air. Show more Show less. ... From the pass, drop down into Little Five Lakes Basin and continue on to the Big Arroyo. Either way, spending a night at higher elevation before your hike is a great way to acclimate and make those high passes a bit easier. Both passes were the right way up, going up sawtooth was brutal and the view was incredible. Trailhead at Mineral King with a distance of 4.4 miles to the lower lake, a 2570 feet gain. Going down Sawtooth was fun and not too bad. The valley floor lies at an elevation of 7,400 feet (2,300 m), while the granite peaks rising above the head of the valley reach heights of 11,000 feet (3,400 m) or more. Lakes and spectacular vistas. Easy, all down hill, pretty views. Between loops 1 and 2, your choice might be made for you by permit availability. Columbine Lake was absolutely amazing, if a bit windy, and the fishing was really good. Eagle Lake Trail: Begins at the end of the Mineral King Road. The trail around the edge of the short ridge that separates the Big Five and Little Five Lakes is well traveled and we met a few hikers along it. The Story. This was a great stop - like Monarch, bug-free and scenic. Finally, you'll reach Columbine Lake (so many beautiful lakes!!!). It took us about 1h45m to cover the 1400ft up to Sawtooth Pass. Congrats, the hardest part is done. The adventure described below is an extended version of this traditional hike, which includes part of the famous scenery of the High Sierra Trail, while still maintaining the … Backpacked this loop from 7/10 to 7/14. Mineral King Ranger Station: … We had pretty much perfect weather, however we were informed by a ranger that it was unseasonably hot so make sure to check weather & snow level before you go if it's early in the season. 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