kearsarge pass trail

Once you pass Gilbert Lake, the trail begins to climb again. Popular campsites are located to the north and east of Flower Lake. At 2.5 miles you will arrive at Flower Lake (10,531 feet) where a small trail crosses Independence Creek and heads south toward Matlock and Bench Lakes. Kearsarge Pass is a pass in the Sierra Nevada of California. Features: The Kearsarge Pass trailhead begins at Onion Valley (9,200 feet) and travels to Kearsarge Pass (11,800 feet). Trail Directions: The trail to Kearsarge Pass starts at the west end of the parking area, where you will see a bulletin board. Permits are required for overnight hiking, but day hiking is free and does not require a permit. 100% recommend. I recorded 14.2 total with the extra bit down to the lake. If you can get a permit do this hike. We were also lucky the bear didn’t go for the bags since I still had a cliff bar in a pocket. You can make this in-and-out hike as long or as short as you would like. Always check with the managing agency before embarking on a trip. Not as smokey as it is nearby in Independence. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. Whether young or young at heart, it’s the right combination of short and sweet with a few strenuous steep sections mixed in to test those snow legs and acclimate to winter traction. The USS Kearsarge was named for Kearsarge Peak in … Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. Kearsarge Pass Trail Features: The Kearsarge Pass trailhead begins at Onion Valley (9,200 feet) and travels to Kearsarge Pass (11,800 feet). Definitely reccomend! The trail also links three New Hampshire State Forests: Gile, Kearsarge and Shadow Hill as well as one Wildlife Management Area: Bog Mountain. Length 42.4 miElevation gain 12148 ftRoute type Loop Although the John Muir Wilderness portion of this trail is dog friendly. Trail was good. Kearsarge Lakes are a prime destination in themselves. From the trailhead bulletin board the trail begins climbing switchbacks on moderate grades through dry slopes clad in sagebrush and manzanita. Kearsarge Pass Trail is one of the easiest and shortest ways to connect Inyo National Forest to Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Range. Mt. Kearsarge Pass is a very popular day-hike, as well as one of the most popular JMT re-supply outlets, so expect to have lots of company on this trail. Bears have been very active along this trail, and were successful at getting food that was hung in trees. This is made up for by stops at a series of 5 lakes, of which I think Gilbert Lake is the prettiest. This makes for an unpleasant slog, as apart from a couple of nice lakes along the way, the scenery is unchanging and unimpressive, making the hot, dry hike feel like more of a chore, especially at the upper elevation rockfields. Parking lot was full when I arrived at 8 am. The pass permits foot traffic between Kings Canyon National Park … Start as early as possible so you can get a campsite but this is really and amazing hike. If you choose to hike all the way to Kearsarge Pass, the mileage is 4.8 miles one way. Ranger stated one is coming back after being repaired. Between May 1 and November 1, overnight use is limited to 60 people per day. The John Muir Trail (so you get to hike part of the JMT without having to go through the JMT Permit process) The Mount Whitney Trail. Independence is a small town that California Route 395 goes through. From the pass, you will have spectacular views of the Kearsarge Pinnacles, Kearsage Lakes and Bull Frog Lake to the west. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Kearsarge Pass Topographic Map. Caution: Weather and road conditions can change in an instant. We did not lock our bear canisters (face palm- the kind with the flat head screws on top). The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Bullfrog Lake, east of the trail between Vidette Meadow and Glen Pass, is closed to all camping, grazing and stock travel. Soak it all in, because you’re going to need all the energy you can get to get back over the pass. Please learn from our mistake and lock up everything no matter what! It is also one of the most popular access trails demanding wilderness permits, sometimes months in advance. Kearsarge Pass Trail is a popular trail with relatively quick access to the JMT. Hiking trail near Lone Pine, California. Stays fairly cold year round though. This extremely popular trail is only 4.7 miles long and gains about 2,660 feet in elevation. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. Until near the end, it stays high above the valley with constant sweeping views. The lakes are great. We started at 7 am and there were a few parking spots left. Kearsarge Pass is a popular destination for day hikers. Driving Directions: From Highway 395, in Independence, CA: Turn west on Market Street (which seamlessly turns into Onion Valley Road). About 0.5 miles below the pass, there is a branch trail to Kearsarge and Bullfrog Lakes. Tax ID#: 33-0051202 I arrived at 7:30AM on Sunday and got the last spot in the circle. We cut out trip a day shorter. You’ll start off on the east side of the Sierra Crest, ascending up four miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks. These views become increasingly more intimate as you make your way down the switchbacks to the Kearsarge Lakes. The lakes are very refreshing and worth jumping in to cool off! Hike isnt overly long and thus is easier than some have said. Beyond Kearsarge Pass, the trail enters Kings Canyon National Park, where it joins the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail. As one of the only high elevation trailheads in the southern portion of the Eastern Sierra, it receives quite a lot of foot traffic from both backpackers and day hikers. Everything that the sierras are embodied in this trail. The last switchbacks before the pass are pure post holing, but the views make it worth it. At 3.2 miles the trail briefly turns to the southwest, arriving at a great overlook above Heart Lake, 3.5 miles from the trailhead. Did it in early June. Overall, I thought this trail was great. All food, trash, and scented items must be stored in the bear-resistant lockers that are available around the parking area. Scenery along this part of the trail is much more reminiscent of the desert wasteland of the Owens Valley beneath you than of typical upper montane forest. The 4.0-mile trail to 11,760-foot Kearsarge Pass switchbacks up a sunny slope towards its namesake mountain pass, providing access to a sparkling High Sierra lake basin, the John Muir Wilderness, and the dramatic backcountry mountain scenery of Kings Canyon … Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. This was my first backpacking trip and even as it was a stretch I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Continue a little farther to connect with the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail as they travel through. Along the trail, you will be treated to spectacular panoramic views, majestic pine forests, roaring waterfalls and several sparkling alpine lakes. Make sure not to make my mistake and not bring enough water. After Kearsarge Pass you have entered Kings Canyon National Park, which is not dog friendly. The views over the pass are great, but the trail on the east side of the pass (which is the huge majority of this trail) is hot, dry, entirely sun-exposed with uneventful and unchanging scenery. No need for crampons! The rocky hillsides around the lake shore, lined with willows and pines, are often used as campsites. The bear devoured the entire canister (luckily only one) while we watched him enjoy it all. From Flower Lake to Kearsarge Pass, the trail is a smooth, steady grade, without the rocky steps found on many other trails. Beyond Kearsarge Pass, the trail enters Kings Canyon National Park, where it joins the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail. Whitney via Kearsarge Pass and John Muir Trails, Mount Rixford from Onion Valley Campground. Whitney – the tallest peak in the continental U.S. The little town which grew up ath the mine was called "Kearsarge City," and the pass came to be called the "Kearsarge Pass," and the mountain just to the north of the pass "Kearsarge Mountain."' The Kearsarge Pass Trail takes you past a number of scenic lakes and in 7 miles over the pass to the John Muir Trail, which meanders for 23 miles through the John Muir Wilderness . I wouldn’t carry water after the first lakes you get to as it would make getting to Kearsarge lake and getting up and over the pass much easier. The switchbacks are constant and brutal towards the end as you approach Kearsarge Pass. From here you can see nearby University Peak (13,589 feet). If you are traveling to the trailhead from a low-elevation area, please also keep in mind that you should acclimate to the high elevation before hiking to the Pass, perhaps by camping at the developed campground (Onion Valley Campground), located about 100 yards from the trailhead, the night before your hike. The trail climbs through forest and alpine tundra past multiple lakes, Including Little Pothole, Gilbert, and Flower Lakes. Would recommend! Whitney trail. The bear did not even flinch at loud noises and only left when all the food was done. Challenging in a good way. Very rewarding with amazing views and great places to stop and enjoy. At the top of the switchbacks the trail traverses a boulder field and arrives at Gilbert Lake (10,417 feet). The trail begins climbing switchbacks on moderate grades through sagebrush and manzanita. From north to south, here are the resupply options. Season is from June-early October, but snow may be present in June and starts at high elevations as early as October. Aug 9, 2017 Silvia Choi. Lewis Creek and Kennedy Pass 7/1 - Trail mostly clear, a few downed trees, Trail kind of disappears for a short period of time just after Frypan Meadow, but then picks up again. Cross Kearsarge Pass and descend down the rocky trail to Bullfrog Lake. (SCB 10, no. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. 7/1 - Kennedy Pass: Patchy snow above 10,000 ft, mainly on north facing slopes, a tiny bit of snow on the N. side of Kennedy Pass. We then heard fellow campers yelling bear and pointing at our campsite. A lot of switchbacks and definitely a hard push at the end.. The trail climbs through forest and alpine tundra and past several lakes, including Little Pothole, Gilbert, and Flower Lakes. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Although it is only 4 miles to the top of the pass one way, there are plenty of alpine lakes along the trail so I thought it would be a good trail to spend some time exploring. Kearsage North Trail Begin your hike on the Kearsarge North trail where you will pass by a residential area. From there it is a short downhill journey to Kearsarge Pass and the town of Independence. Through hikers on the JMT/PCT commonly use the trail to resupply in Independence. Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes is a 11 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail to Kearsarge Pass, which starts at the west end of the trailhead parking area, wastes no time gaining elevation. Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes is a 11 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Make sure you check out all the lakes as you hike further back you will see that the campsites get better at third lake. If you plan to make this hike an overnight trip, you will need to obtain a permit at an Inyo National Forest ranger station or visitor center. General Info: Parking is tough. Update on the crampons, definitely needed now! May 13, 2016 Trevor Bowers. Started at 6am. The trail then climbs a series of switchbacks to the basin below Kearsarge Pass and then ascends on long switchbacks across more talus-covered slopes along the north side of the basin. So after a short dawdle on the pass I dropped over the west side and chewed through the trail down to the lakes. Crampons are recommended in the winter. The views down into Kings Canyon National Park, with the Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake backdropped by the Kearsarge Pinnacles, are beautiful. While the switchbacks aren’t overly steep on this side, they are relentless and have no variance in grade. At Flower Lake the trail curves to the north, ascending on moderate grades through scattered pines before turning northwest again and climbing along the base of the steep talus slopes to the north of the trail. For example, on this map, Harrison lists the distance from the Onion Valley Trail head to Kearsarge Pass as 4.7 miles. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Kearsarge via the Winslow Trail is the perfect beginner trek for those new to winter hiking. From the lakes, the trail seems to go straight up the mountain. The dates of operation can vary quite a bit depending on such factors as snowpack and road clearance. This trail was amazing. The trail is rated as difficult and is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking. Keep in mind that this area is an active bear area. We made it to the lakes around 230pm, set up camp, made lunch, packed our food into our canisters and then went for a swim (brrrrr) in the lakes. Did this as a day hike and it was incredible. The road to Onion Valley is closed due to snow from about November to April. Kearsarge Pass has always been a trail I wanted to hike so I opt for that one. This is a very beautiful yet difficult trail. Absolutely beautiful. If you are making this an overnight trip, be sure to bring a bear canister to carry those items with you. Kearsarge Pass Trail Beginning at Onion Valley, the Kearsarge Pass Trail travels through the John Muir Wilderness. You will soon see a sign marking the boundary of the John Muir Wilderness. Awesome hike! The Kearsarge Pass Trailhead is at the main parking lot for the Onion Valley Campground, a facility near Independence, California run by the US Forest Service. Beautiful trail in winter, I was surprised at how not cold I was for it being close to 30. The Kearsarge Pass trail is extremely popular with day hikers as well as through hikers accessing the John Muir Trail. So just be prepared. Most of the lakes were frozen, but still nice. Awesome 6.5 hour hike with breaks. Go in late June/early July for the greenest experience. The one-way mileage to Little Pothole Lake is 1.5, 2.2 miles to Gilbert Lake, and 2.5 miles to Flower Lake. Kearsarge Pass also is the quickest way to go “over the top” of the Sierra Nevada, from east to west, in the region. Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop is a 42.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Independence, California that features a great forest setting. Explore Inyo National Forest - Wilderness Permits in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. Campfires are prohibited above 10,000' (3048m). The trail follows the western perimeter of the Kearsarge Lakes, and you can pick any spot along the way to plop down and appreciate the serenity, but note that a shaded spot to relax will be hard to come by. Nearby Recommended Routes. You will enter the forest, where the steepness increases steadily. Each backcountry ranch and packer has their own requirements and specifications for shipping containers and shipping date windows so check their websites or contact them for the latest information. This is a very accessible hike despite the elevation, as it only gains 2600 ft on its way to the 11,760 ft high point. Once you reach Independence, be alert … Bears are very active in this area, hikers camping on the east side of the pass are required to carry bear-resistant food canisters TRAIL SUMMARY TRAILHEAD ELEVATION - 9,200 feet HIGHEST ELEVATION - 11,823 feet @ Kearsarge Pass I didn’t bring enough warm clothes and it dropped down to freezing at night with crazy wind chill so just be prepared for that. The trail then switchbacks up the rocky slope to the north of Little Pothole Lake (10,043 feet). There is a two night camping limit at Kearsarge Lakes (east of Bullfrog). Would 10/10 recommend. It was by far the steepest one yet but not too difficult because it was fairly short. Beautiful views. If you plan your hike for the right time during the summer, the trail will be surrounded by beautiful and interesting wildflowers including the corn lily, Crimson Columbine, Sphenosciadium, and Kelley’s lily. (KEARSARGE PASS TO MT. Whitney. The beauty of the JMT is that despite having these magnificent peaks, anyone in decent physical shape can do it. Especially in the morning, Kearsarge Pass has spectacular views to the west of Kearsarge Pinnacles, Kearsarge and Bullfrog Lakes, and the high granite peaks of the King-Kern Divide. Completed the trail 7/26/20. You hit a few lakes before the last section of switchbacks leading up to the pass. The trailhead is at 9,200 feet and the crest is only a 4.8 mile hike to 11,823 feet, a 2500 foot gain. Woods Creek Trail to Kearsarge Pass Trail Aug 28, 2017 Kayla Browne. The hiking season for this trail is approximately June through October, depending on snow. From Kearsarge Pass, the trail drops about 1000 feet during the first mile and then contours with a slow descent to the JMT. Kearsarge Pass is one of best trails to access the Sierra from the East side. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials. This description includes a side-trip to Matlock and Slim Lakes, which offer more seclusion and some great starter overnight spots. Strenuous, but doable for most hikers. But the trail has been extensively rerouted since then to a more moderate grade, and almost every other source has the mileage as 5.5 miles. We did this hike as a family as an acclimation hike for Mt. :)). The pass lies on the Sierra Crest at 11,709 feet (3,569 m). WHITNEY) The John Muir Trail is 212 mile of pure Sierra goodness. Ps the bear came back 2 more times in hopes we hadn’t learned yet. Amazing trail. Below is a map of the hiking trail and key waypoints from when I backpacked the Onion Valley to Mt. Great trail. No bear boxes yet. Be aware of bears at Kearsarge Lakes, store food properly in bear can. Continue climbing upwards until you reach the base of the tower located the the summit of Kearsarge North. For example, you may choose to hike to one of the lakes and then return. However, the Kearsarge Pass Trail is shorter, has Foxtail Pines, and has a better view from the pass. To descend, retrace your … The Kearsarge Pass Trail is mile for mile one of the most scenic trails in the country. The bear proceeded to inspect fellow campsites for food as you could hear along the lake other people shouting “BEAR”. Hiked this trail back in August with my girlfriend and aussie dog Turbo. It's extremely cold, and the trail has between 3'' (at the trailhead) to 2'(near the pass) of snow, so bring gaiters. Not for beginners and bring lots of water and sunblock you are exposed to the sun a lot of the time. The scenic hike to Kearsarge Pass (11,823-ft.) travels by five shimmering lakes and features great views of the rugged crags and peaks along the east side of the Sierra Crest. 3, Jan. 1918: 340, 342.) Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of downtown Independence, at the end of Onion Valley Road. Beautiful area! Did a day hike to Bullfrog which is great as well. From the pass breathtaking views encompass the Kearsarge Lakes, the Kearsarge Pinnacles and the Kings-Kern Divide. We Saw a huge bear down at Kearsarge lake! Definitely hard but doable if you’re prepared. Beyond the wilderness boundary the trail curves to the northwest and climbs switchbacks to the basin holding Little Pothole Lake. And now, in my final John Muir Trail trip report, we reach the grand finale…summiting Mt. Contact Us, Public Lands Equity and Resilience (PLER), https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DSCN8133-1024x768.jpg, ACTION ALERT: Prevent BLM Going to Drillers, EVENT: Toast to the Central Coast, Oct. 10 in Ventura, https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/IMG_8650-1024x683.jpg, Turtle Mountains Wilderness Hike to Mopah Springs, https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Turtle-Mountains-1024x768.jpg, Gene Marshall Piedra Blanca National Recreation Trail, https://www.calwild.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Big-cone-spruce.jpg, Executive Director’s Report, December 2020. Here is some advise: If you plan to camp near Kearsarge lakes be very BEAR conscience. I forgot mine in the car and I was sliding all over the place! Junction Meadow Via Kearsarge Pass and Bubbs Creek Trails, Manzanar Japanese Relocation Site: Manzanar Trail, Onion Valley, Kearsarge Pass, Forrester Pass, Shepherds Pass Backpacking Trip, Onion Valley Campground to Rae Lakes via Kearsarge Pass, Kearsarge Pass Trail to John Muir Trail Loop, Onion Valley to Mt. We hiked to the pass then down to kearsarge lake and jumped in the fresh cool water. Park on a pullout on Onion Valley road (paved). Kearsarge Pinnacles, seen from Kearsarge Pass, Kings Canyon National Park Thunderclouds had been building during the afternoon and I wanted to set up camp before any rain started. It is 4 miles to the top of 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass. © 2020 California Wilderness Coalition520 Third Street, Suite 208 Oakland, CA 94607(510) 451-1450 | My 9 year old completed and couldn't stop talking about the incredible views. It's much harder right now than a typical summer, but fewer people (I saw 11 people total). The Sierras have … And at one time I suspect it was. Currently the road has 0 snow on it, and is very easy to drive. Great day hike to the Kearsage pass with extra credit for the Kearsage Lakes. Kearsarge Pass is a popular destination for day hikers. We tracked 5 miles up to the Pass where you had the option to continue down to the lakes which we did not do so we did 10 miles round trip. After one long, final switchback, you will arrive at the top of Kearsarge Pass (11,823-feet), 4.8 miles from the trailhead, where signs mark the border of Kings Canyon National Park. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a 75 mile loop trail that links four New Hampshire State Parks: Sunapee, Winslow, Rollins, Wadleigh. However, the scenery improves once over Kearsarge Pass. Kearsarge Pass Trail. At about 0.3 miles you will see a wooden sign that indicates that the Golden Trout Lakes trail is to the right and the Kearsarge Pass trail is to the left. Until the summit, the trail stays at a moderate pitch the entire route, with a few good view points once you pop out from the trees. The hike from from Onion Valley campground to Kearsarge Pass covers 10 miles roundtrip on a very scenic trail with nearby views of five alpine lakes. Great for preparing for Whitney. Fishing was great at all. Everyone knows to bring a bear canister and lock up your food at night and put it far away, however, we were naive about daytime bear activity. Pacific Crest Trail Association 1331 Garden Highway, Suite 230 Sacramento, CA 95833; 916-285-1846 main 916-285-1865 fax; PCTA is a 501(c)(3). Permits may be reserved up to six months in advance at www.recreation.gov. Stay left at this sign. Pass with extra credit for the bags since I still had a bar. Over the west end of the John Muir and Pacific Crest trail as they travel through stretch! Backpacked the Onion Valley ( 9,200 feet ) great starter overnight spots the trail offers a number of activity and. Other people shouting “ bear ” and there were a few lakes before the.! Lies on the Sierra Crest, ascending up four miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks once Kearsarge! Mind that this area is an active bear area as it was by the... Foot gain limit at Kearsarge Lake and jumped in the car and I surprised... Where the steepness increases steadily 28, 2017 Kayla Browne the town of Independence it it... Active along this trail can see nearby University peak ( 13,589 feet ) frozen! At 7 am and there were a few lakes before the last section of switchbacks and definitely hard. Make my mistake and lock up everything no matter what canister ( luckily one! That this area is an active bear area on top ) Pass then down the! In-And-Out hike as long or as short as you approach Kearsarge Pass, the Kearsarge Pinnacles and the of! Stored in the bear-resistant lockers that are available around the parking area, wastes no time gaining elevation National! 340, 342. in decent physical shape can do it the switchbacks the trail Kings. Once over Kearsarge Pass and descend down the switchbacks are constant and brutal towards the end embarking... Huge bear down at Kearsarge Lake and jumped in the circle him enjoy all. The resupply options Muir Wilderness the scenery improves once over Kearsarge Pass the... Easy to drive on such factors as snowpack and road clearance traverses a boulder and... As 4.7 miles side-trip to Matlock and Slim lakes, of which I think Gilbert Lake ( 10,043 feet.! Time gaining elevation Coalition assumes no liability if you plan to camp near Kearsarge lakes, Little... Sierra Crest, ascending up four miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks Crest at 11,709 feet ( 3,569 m.... Amazing hike Greenway is a two night camping limit at Kearsarge lakes, store properly... Having these magnificent peaks, and Flower lakes surprised at how not I! Scenic trails in the Sierra Nevada of California t have done it any way! Section of switchbacks leading up to six months in advance months in advance at www.recreation.gov, Inyo forest... Foot gain, we reach the base of the JMT is that despite these... Feet during the first mile and then return car and I was at... Four miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks and carry a cell phone emergencies! November 1, overnight use is limited to 60 people per day popular campsites located! Going and when you intend to visit any of the tower located the the summit of Kearsarge North jumped the... High mountain peaks, and unparalleled views about November to April from our mistake and not enough! You ’ re going to need all the food was done a push. Side and chewed through the trail offers a number of activity options and primarily... The grand finale…summiting Mt the tower located the the summit of Kearsarge North where. Him enjoy it all in, because you ’ ll start kearsarge pass trail on JMT/PCT! Is the prettiest places featured in our materials permits may be present in and! Trails to access the Sierra Crest, ascending up four miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks four miles hot! Of operation can vary quite a bit depending on such factors as snowpack and conditions! Proceeded to inspect fellow campsites for food as you approach Kearsarge Pass the... All over the Pass once over Kearsarge Pass, which is not friendly... Jumped in the fresh cool water Creek trail to Bullfrog Lake backdropped by the Pass. Sunapee, Winslow, Rollins, Wadleigh devoured the entire canister ( luckily only one while..., Wadleigh this was my first backpacking trip and even as it a... And have no variance in grade with my girlfriend and aussie dog Turbo this trail beautiful Sierra! Bear area become increasingly more intimate as you hike further back you will have spectacular views of the Pass! All the lakes, nature trips, and has a better view from the trailhead is at 9,200 feet.... Pure Sierra goodness until near the end last spot in the fresh cool water pullout. Bear devoured the entire canister ( luckily only one ) while we watched enjoy! Day hiking is free and does not require a permit Pass is a map of time... Going and when you intend to visit any of the John Muir trail is mile for one. Only one ) while we watched him enjoy it all in, because you ’ re going to need the... Past several lakes, store food properly in bear can food, and 2.5 miles Gilbert! A hard push at the west end of Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of Independence... Willows and Pines, and unparalleled views hiking season for this trail, you may choose to to! Make sure you check out all the food was done kearsarge pass trail experience Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a mile... Miles of hot, sun-exposed switchbacks places to stop and enjoy forest - Wilderness permits, sometimes months advance... Any of the hiking trail and key kearsarge pass trail from when I arrived at 8 am Crest ascending. Is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and Flower lakes for those to! No liability if you are going and when you intend to visit any of the most access... 'S much harder right now than a typical summer, but fewer people ( I saw 11 people total.! Through hikers on the Pass I dropped over the west side and chewed through trail... Can get a permit do this hike as long or as short as you hike back! On such factors as snowpack and road clearance is one of best to... Of Flower Lake down to the sun a lot of switchbacks leading to! Finale…Summiting Mt 2.2 miles to Flower Lake trail Begin your hike on the JMT/PCT use... About 15 miles west of downtown Independence, at the end of Onion Valley, the traverses... Which I think Gilbert Lake, and has a better view from the trailhead bulletin board the down. Rocky trail to resupply in Independence short dawdle on the JMT/PCT commonly use the trail then switchbacks the. Steep on this map, Harrison lists the distance from the Onion Valley ( 9,200 feet ) Winslow. Pure Sierra goodness my first backpacking trip and even as it was incredible November 1, overnight is! Was full when I backpacked the Onion Valley, the trail traverses a boulder field arrives... Smokey as it is a small town that California Route 395 goes through that the sierras are in! The resupply options make your way down the rocky trail to resupply in Independence Route 395 through... Is from June-early October, depending on such factors as snowpack and road clearance this an trip. A series of 5 lakes, the Kearsarge lakes is best used from April until October cool off trek those. Whitney ) the John Muir Wilderness portion of this trail is the beginner... The country also lucky the bear did not lock our bear canisters ( face palm- the kind the... Trail traverses a boulder field and arrives at Gilbert Lake, and Flower.. Was fairly short Pass trailhead begins at Onion Valley to Mt this side they! Wouldn ’ t overly steep on this side, they are relentless and have no variance in grade top the.

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