Personal Hygiene kit has been reduced and repackaged already, Still need to for bug and sunscreen. Though the climb up to Blackrock Pass is only about 1200ft from there (compared to 5,000ft from Cliff Creek), it's best to start early. Mandatory pit stop at monarch lake for refreshing like before your 5 mile DESCENT to the car. This was actually our favorite night - washing up in, and falling asleep next to, a small waterfall there was the perfect last night for our trip. Popular horse trail. However, we couldn't wrap our heads around why anyone would do this route clockwise. For updates, please visit https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/conditions.htm Day 3 - The best day of the trip, because this is the day that cements your delight in going counter-clockwise. Fires are prohibited in Little Five Lakes Basin. You'll offer a few hollow words of encouragement, but you know the truth - they've barely even started, and the sun's already high in the sky. The Mineral King region of this park is a perfect example of its diversity. If you can, spending a night at Cold Springs Campground (currently closed due to COVID) before you start hiking could help with acclimation and make the trip more enjoyable. 5. This day was tough. Location: Mineral King, CA. We camped at Pinto Lake, Upper Big 5 Lakes, and Columbine Lake. Lakes, vistas, access to Glacier Pass, Big and Little Five … May 17, 2019 - Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail is a 27.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. We saw a friendly deer, hummingbirds, and (unfortunately) a few flies. Upper lake is 5.25 miles. One thing is definitely true no matter which way you slice it: Mineral King Loop is a burly, stunning, pristine High Sierra backpacking route in Sequoia National Park. Trail: Sawtooth trailhead to Franklin Lakes trailhead Distance: 38.9-miles loop Elevation Gain: 10,487′ Location: Sequoia National Park, Mineral King, CA. This loop can easily be hiked in either direction, so take your pick based on which direction you can get a permit for. Overall, this is a quite difficult trek, best done in at least 4 days, but 5 is better. It'll also be tough either way. Each has a different daily quota, found on page 11 of the Wilderness Trip Planner. I loved the climb up to Timber Gap. Day 1 - A shorter day, our first stop was Monarch lake after starting from the trailhead around 11:00. 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. ... From the pass, drop down into Little Five Lakes Basin and continue on to the Big Arroyo. I have been looking for maps of trails my Father mentions in his book, “Mountains Mules and Memories”, by Bill DeCarteret. 5. Lakes, forests, alpine vistas. Overall, this was one of the most epic trips I've had the pleasure of doing, and also one of the most challenging. 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. Going down Sawtooth was fun and not too bad. They consist of two lakes, Upper Bullfrog at 10,900 feet and Lower Bullfrog at 10,700 feet. Mineral King Trail Map: Bearpaw Meadow, Franklin Pass, Little Five Lakes, Hockett Meadow, High Sierra Trail, Funston Meadow, Silver City, Chag (Tom Harrison Maps) by Tom Harrison Maps (2012-07-03): Tom Harrison Maps: Books - Amazon.ca You can do it in a regular car (no 4×4 required), but should allow plenty of time (at least an hour) and take it slow. He ran a pack station at Mineral King from 1958 for about 25 years. Route map for 'Mineral King - Little Five Lakes - Sawtooth Pass' - a 45.32km walking route near Sequoia National Park, US. Temps: 85H-50L. The Big Five Lakes Trail, itself, is not difficult, but reaching it requires a long, strenuous hike, no matter which trail or route you take.Little Five Lakes are much better known because they are on Blackrock Pass.The Big Five Lakes are often bypassed as hikers loop from from Blackrock Pass to the Lost Canyon or Soda Creek trails. 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. Ascending Sawtooth Pass actually might be the most epic ascent I've ever done - it's treacherous, but it's not the nightmare it's made out to be. I liked this way! Today would be a bit of downhill after a day hike over to the Big Five Lakes. 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. The hike up is very rocky, so watch your step so you don't twist anything. Loop 4 is purple up, then blue up and over and down, then middle orange (or lower orange) back left. Both of these lakes once had Little Kern … I also found that the campsites going counter-clockwise were perfectly spaced apart for a 4-night trip. Thanks for reading! SEKI site has updates form 7/21. Any recommendations for a backpacking loop with a lot of lakes to fish on? The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. 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. 4 days + is mandatory. Does anyone have current updates. We ran into two fit guys that came from Little Five Lakes thru Black Rock Pass at the Trail Junction where Timber Gap Creek meets with the creek that originates from Spring Lake at around 2PM. This was my first alpine lake swim… Franklin Pass, Black Rock Pass, Timber Gap. First allowed campsite - Mosquito Lake #2 (4 miles). Timber Gap Trail: Begins at the Sawtooth Parking Lot. After you pass timber gap, you start to descend into a lush canyon with lots of greenery. From Mineral King A pretty arduous route, but the quickest way to get there. Fill up your water at the river by Pinto. If we could do it again, I'd add in a zero day at big 5 lakes for some fishing and resting. Here’s how they all fit together: That will probably make more sense once you’ve seen the individual route maps below. We even laid out on the edge of the lake and napped with our feet in the water. 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