We aim to camp near or within a grove of giant sequoia, a rare and special experience. Once we got to the trailhead/mineral king valley, it was beautiful! Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED]. The hiking area starts a 7700 ft. of elevation, where the ranger station is. The drive over the 25-mile winding road takes about 1.5 hours from Highway 198 in Three Rivers. But we loved the hike and want to do it again. This hike was definitely one of the harder 6.5 mile hikes I’ve done. It was really worth it! Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks now open. We all jumped in and ate lunch at the top so bring a swimsuit if you plan on being there for a while. ig: @harrishikers, (Note: did the trail mid September) YOOOO WHAT IS UP! The trail is shockingly difficult, and surprisingly steep. You do have to scramble rocks a little but the views are amazing. . Distance: 31 miles; Elevation Gain: 9,549 feet (total) Difficulty: Challenging; This trek is not for the faint of heart! The drive there was tense at times, but totally worth it! If you are going to kings Canyon this trail is an absolute MUST! It overlooks a beautiful valley has an insane Mountain View. It worked for a backpacking trip up the Middlefork. Monarch Lakes I used a tarp to protect my truck from the marmots but a lot of cars in the parking lot didn’t and seemed to be okay. Franklin Lakes If you can physically hike this mountain, I say you should do it. The quality of the road shifts from decent to dirt and back again. My sisters and I’s Apple Watch data actually said we hiked 8.8 and 9 miles — idk what’s accurate but get ready for it to feel like 8. 194 Miles. We weren’t very experienced in higher altitudes and we got to the top and felt sick so had to climb back down a bit which kinda put a damper on the lake experience. A great day is planned climbing Timber Gap (9,500 feet) and hiking toward Redwood Meadow. Mile 2 was the most difficult part for me, and there is a rocky portion towards the end that requires some scrambling, but it was a lot of fun. Eagle Lake Map by TomHarrisonMaps.com (click to enlarge) THE HIKE Unfortunately there was a group of 8 people arriving at the same time as us being incredibly loud and obnoxious, so we didn’t really get to peacefully soak the views in as much as we’d have liked, but was definitely a cool hike. 1 Recommended Route. This is one of the easier hikes in the Mineral King area, but since the trail follows a west-facing slope, it is best to get an early start. The trail then steeply switchbacks at hillside through a mixture of forest, meadows and rocky slopes before eventually culminating at Eagle Lake. The route to both of these lakes follows the same trail for the first 2 miles, ascending steadily up the west side of the Mineral King Valley. Read more. Took me almost two hours to get up. It is well worth enduring the poorly maintained, 25-mile Mineral King Road to access this subalpine glacial valley; you will not be disappointed. The elevation gain is about 2,000 feet. Humans aren’t the … It's unpaved, windy and narrow. a prefect place to relax and enjoy natural. My best friend and I decided to tackle this trail absolutely beautiful! White Chief Trail The road can be challenging to navigate especially at night. Views at the start of the trail are absolutely spectacular, the Mineral King valley is really, really special, it was probably my favorite part of the hike. Trust me, it’s cold but it feels amazing after that climb. Hiking down Hockett Trail to the bridge over East Fork Kaweah River is 3 miles round trip with 600 feet of elevation change. It’s also pretty rough, would definitely recommend taking a vehicle that can handle steep inclines, pot holes, sections of very bumpy dirt road. The lake was full of trout which jump out of the water regularly to eat bugs. Definitely a more difficult hike! Verified Purchase. We live in the valley and wanted to get away from the 109° temps and it couldn't have been better weather. There was a decent amount of cars parked out there in the parking lot and many were tarped for marmots but not all of them. View Mineral King Info. During September the lake was dried out but we did swim in the puddle of water that was there lol. Be sure to check air quality advisory levels as they may range from Unhealthy to Hazardous. Upper and Lower Monarch Lakes lie at the foot of Sawtooth Peak, at the end of a 4.2 mile (one-way) hike. That’s usually where we eat our lunch and take a quick dip in the water. Mineral King is a little known section of Sequoia. Work but good, rain and a hail storm. We had a clear hike up and spent some time at Eagle lake with our feet in the water then we got a good rain shower on the way back. All in all, gorgeous hike, beautiful views, and the lake at the end was wonderful to swim in. This place is far from the crowds in Sequoia National Park. Completed the hike and got back to the car with a total of 9 miles hiked/walked, so it’s definitely not 6.5 miles. Mineral King Valley trail was spectacular!. Hikers must drive to reach the Mineral King trails. This trail is E.P.I.C! Mineral King is truly a special place to hike. The incline is steep for a long time and there is a lot of large rocks you are climbing over. The ranger station is closed because of COVID so make sure you have your own map. Mineral King Day Hikes Monarch Lakes. One of the most challenging day hikes I’ve gone on, but definitely rewarding! Elevation gain: … The views amazing! Introduction. The lake at the top was a great reward. It’s also important to note that in order to get to the trail you have to drive 24 miles (approx. It inclines so much and I rolled my ankles like 283838 times on the rocks coming back down, if you suffer from high anxiety don’t take the drive to get here, it’s one of the worst one lane mountain road drives I’ve ever had to make, reminds me of the road to Hana drive in Maui. Mineral King is notorious for its thunderstorms, the weather can change in a matter of minutes. However, the road is narrow in some areas so be careful driving on the road. The Southern California Edison Co. still operates the facility. All in all it was a beautiful scenery once you actually get there and do it but I’d never do this hike again. Steep rock climb towards the end before you get to the lake, (Note: did this hike mid September) - for starters, this trail is beautiful! It took about 2 hours up and 2 hours down with an hour break at the top. Franklin Lakes Trail. Mineral King - Worth the trip for the amazing hiking! Hiked 7/25/2020. Took just as much time coming down as it did going up but with a lot less sweating lol. As of October 1st Sequoia and Kings Canyon National parks are open and wilderness trips are allowed. The drive out Mineral Ridge Rd isn't great because its basically wide enough for one car in most spots and there were a few people going fast around the corners coming from the other direction. Think of this as Sequoia’s secret: a hidden valley up at 7,500 feet reached by … Please use caution. The lake was beautiful but it was too cold to swim by the time we made it up there (about 70 degrees) and it started raining/thunder. This year it was the Mineral King Loop from Timber Gap to Franklin Pass. It was a moderately trafficked trail so we saw hikers every now and then but not too crowded. Video from our annual hike. I would recommend the following: bring plenty of water, snacks, good hiking shoes and bug repellent. The lake is beautiful and very clear! Park at the White Chief Trailhead parking area, at the end of Mineral King Road. During the early summer, mosquitoes can be a particular nuisance. The gorgeous valley is tucked in the southwestern corner of Sequoia National Park at the head of the East Fork of the Kaweah River surrounded by a stunning cirque. It’s a tough hike, but once you reach the top it’s totally worth it. The drive to the trailhead is down a long, twisting, single-lane road. There is no maintained trail beyond Crystal Lake. though, I will not lie this trail is a HOE. Gauge your hiking to the least fit member of your party. Just be careful. There are several people camping by the lake usually, but there is lots of room to spread out and hang out for a bit. Timber Gap We weren’t almost there. 312 Kilometers. Three Rivers, CA Bring some music and enjoy the ride. Lake was beautiful and well worth the crazy drive and uphill, rocky terrain. We saw several deer and the views were beautiful. The trailhead is right near the Mineral King Ranger Station (on Mineral King Rd) in Sequoia National Park. The road is 39.91km (24.8 miles) long and runs west-east from CA-198 (Sierra Drive) towards Mineral King. 1.5 hour) up a VERY narrow, winding road (unpaved in many areas). It gets pretty cold even during the summer (we hiked up at 3pm, Aug 8th) , so pack some layers. ~9.5 miles; +4,400 ft / -2,600 ft; Eagle Scout Creek to Sawtooth parking lot. The 2.9 mile one-way trail to the White Chief Bowl is a steep but scenic hike up the west side of the Mineral King Valley. Overall, this is a beautiful hike. Watch the weather. And more. I went on this hike with the intention of wanting to find myself. It’s true that the road to the trailhead is long, winding, and narrow. Beyond the lakes, the trail climbs 1200' in 1.3 miles (366 meters in 2 km) to Sawtooth Pass, a strenuous hike, but one that provides one of the grandest views in the southern Sierras. When you stay with us at Silver City you are just a few short miles from all of the trailheads in the Mineral King Valley. I broke down and cried while my boyfriend held me. The majority of the trail was uphill it was definitely a challenge but so worth it. The elevation at the floor of the Mineral King Valley is 7500' (2286 meters). The way up is all up hill and is for sure a grind but it's definitely worth it. This trail follows an old mining route along Monarch Creek before branching off from the trail to Monarch and Crystal Lakes. Parking lot was pretty full and we got there at 8:30am. Be a king and go conquer MINERAL KING! It kept going up and up and up and up. Poles definitely help. All around great hike, BEAUTIFUL, with just enough challenge and relaxation. Saw a lot of people with wrapped cars for marmots but we just popped our hood up and we were fine. Day 2: We begin our hike out of Mineral King. Go do some laps too. Whether you’re looking for crystal-clear lakes, adrenaline-pumping peaks, or awe-inspiring vantage points you will find them! Helpful. On the other side the route goes down and around the Forrester and Little Claire Lakes. We took a quick swim in the chilly water and then hiked down. The huge majority of the elevation is concentrated in the latter two-thirds of the hike. the air quality here was surprising good at the time, even when the surrounding areas were really smoky. We're avid hikers and found this trail to be really great! An uphill climb will get hikers to the Upper and Lower Franklin Lakes, settled in … 4 Easy Trails. There are lots of car-eating marmots in the parking area so be sure to bring a tarp to cover the undercarriage of your vehicle. Did this hike on 9/6. of Trail. Other than that, great hike. But good. Depending on where you're coming from I would recommend driving in and camping at Cold Springs Campground (which is also in close proximity to the ranger station) the night before you begin your trip. It's not too cold and extremely refreshing! Which was super fun but also very tiring! Views at the start of the trail are absolutely spectacular, the Mineral King valley is really, really special, it was probably my favorite part of the hike. Mineral King is remote and has no services. I think we ended up at 8 miles. Driving on Mineral King Road was an experience I never want to repeat. The last mile or so to the lake is mostly climbing up large rocks with lots of smaller, loose rocks at a pretty steep incline, if you don’t have decent cardio/balance this could be tricky. Mileage was about 37.5 miles. First, for context I’d say I’m a 24 y/o newbie hiker in relatively good shape. The road is said to have 398 curves in just 25 miles. At the lake we didn’t see too many people and it is big enough for the most part for people to pick their own little space of peace. Franklin Pass, Black Rock Pass, Timber Gap. Start at the Sawtooth Trail parking area, 1 mile past the Mineral King Ranger Station. My big piece of advice is be careful with the altitude. Mineral King is a subalpine glacial valley located in the southern part of Sequoia National Park, in the U.S. state of California. As soon as we reached the lake, it was a serene quietness. My asthmatic lungs did not feel nice during any of this. Absolutely gorgeous trail, worth the climb! The White Chief mine, claimed by James Crabtree in 1873, made Mineral King a household name among miners of that time. It was well worth it and will go back. GO DO IT. 3.0 out of 5 stars The scale is better than NatGeo but is still much larger than USGS. This trail was awesome! Mineral King Road is an amazing drive in the southern part of Sequoia National Park, in the U.S. state of California. The grade on these switchbacks and the climb through the boulder field is so tough that it starts to take away from the … Completely clear skies on the way up, two hours later a huge thunderstorm. It took us about two hours to reach the lake. Making the … Continue east on Mineral King Road another 1.3 miles and across a wooden bridge to the trailhead parking area. Proceed at your own risk. We saw marmots and deer. Distance: 36.3 miles. Crystal Lake. Took us about 1.5 hours to the trailhead from Visalia. After my crying, I just wanted to get to the lake, didn’t want to stop when I was so close. Monarch Lakes Upper and Lower Monarch Lakes lie at the foot of Sawtooth Peak, at the end of a 4.2 mile (one-way) hike. Upper and Lower Monarch Lakes lie at the foot of Sawtooth Peak, at the end of a 4.2 mile (one-way) hike. Before I knew it, I was in Switzerland mountain climbing. So, make sure to slow down for the blind corners. The road has areas that are wide enough for two vehicles to squeeze by each other but do it slowly and safely because there is a big drop off. It features potholes so large it puts some roads in the upper midwest to shame. I wish they'd re-pave it all the way through. Decent topo. Park at the White Chief Trailhead parking area, at the end of Mineral King Road. I took my truck and had no problems, just keep an eye on the road and go slow. Despite the climb, the grade is relatively easy going. The right-hand trail ends at Mosquito Lake #1, 3.6 miles (one way) from the trailhead, but hikers and fishermen often continue up the drainage to the upper lakes. We also saw a black bear on this road on the way down. The meadows are beautiful, the lake is beautiful, the deer are magic, the stream sounds like ASMR and the nature is amazing. But like, pls still do the trail and get ur lazy butt out of bed and accept the challenge! I guess we just got lucky. This is one of the easier hikes in the Mineral King area, but since the trail follows a west-facing slope, it is best to get an early start. The open slopes surrounding the Mineral King Valley are kept free of trees by avalanches; Timber Gap itself is protected from avalanches, and is covered with red fir which the miners in the 1800's used for fuel and to shore up their mine shafts. Free wilderness permits are required for this hike and camping. When a tent is an all-around solid performer and has eco cred to match, it’s a keeper. Got to the lake in about 2 hours with a few five minute breathers. After it reaches the lower rim of Eagle Basin, the trails split. The trail to Monarch Lakes begins at Sawtooth Trailhead in Sequoia National Park's scenic Mineral King Valley. You have to scramble up rocks that seem never ending. 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