From the pass breathtaking views encompass the Kearsarge Lakes, the Kearsarge Pinnacles and the Kings-Kern Divide. Campfires are prohibited above 10,000' (3048m). The lakes are great. Until near the end, it stays high above the valley with constant sweeping views. The California Wilderness Coalition assumes no liability if you intend to visit any of the wild places featured in our materials. Hiked this trail back in August with my girlfriend and aussie dog Turbo. Strenuous, but doable for most hikers. This extremely popular trail is only 4.7 miles long and gains about 2,660 feet in elevation. Great for preparing for Whitney. Kearsarge Pass Topographic Map. 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. 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. Kearsage North Trail Begin your hike on the Kearsarge North trail where you will pass by a residential area. The trail climbs through forest and alpine tundra and past several lakes, including Little Pothole, Gilbert, and Flower Lakes. Overall, I thought this trail was great. 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. Season is from June-early October, but snow may be present in June and starts at high elevations as early as October. We then heard fellow campers yelling bear and pointing at our campsite. I forgot mine in the car and I was sliding all over the place! The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway is a 75 mile loop trail that links four New Hampshire State Parks: Sunapee, Winslow, Rollins, Wadleigh. We were also lucky the bear didn’t go for the bags since I still had a cliff bar in a pocket. The Kearsarge Pass trail is extremely popular with day hikers as well as through hikers accessing the John Muir Trail. 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. 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. The bear did not even flinch at loud noises and only left when all the food was done. Awesome hike! I recorded 14.2 total with the extra bit down to the lake. For example, you may choose to hike to one of the lakes and then return. The trail is rated as difficult and is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking. 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. Everything that the sierras are embodied in this trail. However, the scenery improves once over Kearsarge Pass. 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 trail to Kearsarge Pass, which starts at the west end of the trailhead parking area, wastes no time gaining elevation. 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. From the pass, you will have spectacular views of the Kearsarge Pinnacles, Kearsage Lakes and Bull Frog Lake to the west. It was by far the steepest one yet but not too difficult because it was fairly short. I arrived at 7:30AM on Sunday and got the last spot in the circle. You will soon see a sign marking the boundary of the John Muir Wilderness. Bring plenty of drinking water, food, and clothing for changing weather conditions. 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. 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. 3, Jan. 1918: 340, 342.) The rocky hillsides around the lake shore, lined with willows and pines, are often used as campsites. Beautiful area! Kearsarge Pass is a popular destination for day hikers. No need for crampons! Between May 1 and November 1, overnight use is limited to 60 people per day. Once you pass Gilbert Lake, the trail begins to climb again. The Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway. No bear boxes yet. Here is some advise: If you plan to camp near Kearsarge lakes be very BEAR conscience. This was my first backpacking trip and even as it was a stretch I wouldn’t have done it any other way. We did not lock our bear canisters (face palm- the kind with the flat head screws on top). Whitney. May 13, 2016 Trevor Bowers. Woods Creek Trail to Kearsarge Pass Trail Aug 28, 2017 Kayla Browne. For example, on this map, Harrison lists the distance from the Onion Valley Trail head to Kearsarge Pass as 4.7 miles. Always hike with a friend and carry a cell phone for emergencies. We cut out trip a day shorter. 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. The trail then switchbacks up the rocky slope to the north of Little Pothole Lake (10,043 feet). About 0.5 miles below the pass, there is a branch trail to Kearsarge and Bullfrog Lakes. We Saw a huge bear down at Kearsarge lake! 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. Go in late June/early July for the greenest experience. Ranger stated one is coming back after being repaired. 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. A lot of switchbacks and definitely a hard push at the end.. Trail Directions: The trail to Kearsarge Pass starts at the west end of the parking area, where you will see a bulletin board. Awesome 6.5 hour hike with breaks. Once you reach Independence, be alert … Ps the bear came back 2 more times in hopes we hadn’t learned yet. The pass permits foot traffic between Kings Canyon National Park … Stay left at this sign. 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. While the switchbacks aren’t overly steep on this side, they are relentless and have no variance in grade. If you can get a permit do this hike. Kearsarge Pass Trail is a popular trail with relatively quick access to the JMT. 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. And at one time I suspect it was. We started at 7 am and there were a few parking spots left. The pass lies on the Sierra Crest at 11,709 feet (3,569 m). 100% recommend. 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 Mt. Whitney – the tallest peak in the continental U.S. Not as smokey as it is nearby in Independence. Absolutely beautiful. We did this hike as a family as an acclimation hike for Mt. Fishing was great at all. Not for beginners and bring lots of water and sunblock you are exposed to the sun a lot of the time. WHITNEY) The John Muir Trail is 212 mile of pure Sierra goodness. Dogs are also able to use this trail. Update on the crampons, definitely needed now! All food, trash, and scented items must be stored in the bear-resistant lockers that are available around the parking area. Would recommend! It's extremely cold, and the trail has between 3'' (at the trailhead) to 2'(near the pass) of snow, so bring gaiters. Let someone know where you are going and when you intend to be back. 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. The Kearsarge Pass Trail is mile for mile one of the most scenic trails in the country. 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. Kearsarge Pass is a popular destination for day hikers. This description includes a side-trip to Matlock and Slim Lakes, which offer more seclusion and some great starter overnight spots. After Kearsarge Pass you have entered Kings Canyon National Park, which is not dog friendly. Remember, California’s wild places are beautiful but they can also be dangerous to the unprepared and unwary. Aug 9, 2017 Silvia Choi. :)). Definitely hard but doable if you’re prepared. Bullfrog Lake, east of the trail between Vidette Meadow and Glen Pass, is closed to all camping, grazing and stock travel. You can make this in-and-out hike as long or as short as you would like. Kearsarge Pass has always been a trail I wanted to hike so I opt for that one. Would 10/10 recommend. It is 4 miles to the top of 11,700-foot Kearsarge Pass. Located in California's beautiful eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, Inyo National Forest offers challenging trails, high mountain peaks, and unparalleled views. Soak it all in, because you’re going to need all the energy you can get to get back over the pass. Did a day hike to Bullfrog which is great as well. 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. Parking lot was full when I arrived at 8 am. (KEARSARGE PASS TO MT. 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. Features: The Kearsarge Pass trailhead begins at Onion Valley (9,200 feet) and travels to Kearsarge Pass (11,800 feet). Amazing trail. However, the Kearsarge Pass Trail is shorter, has Foxtail Pines, and has a better view from the pass. Through hikers on the JMT/PCT commonly use the trail to resupply in Independence. Most of the lakes were frozen, but still nice. 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