Be mindful of COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. 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. Compassion and Bereavement Fare for Emergency Last Minute Flights, Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees. I'm looking at the map "Tom Harrison Maps" and I see there are two trails from Kearsarge Pass to PCT, the upper trail 2.6 miles, and the lower 2.4 miles. Turn west on Onion Valley road (Market Street in town) at the traffic light in downtown Independence. This is one of the most traveled trails I have seen in the Sierras. The first part of the trail is a steep, treacherous decent, so use caution. Enjoying the views of the mountains will make this section of the trail feel less tedious. Elevation: 10,535′Elevation Gain: 1,335′Mountain Range: Eastern Sierra Nevada MountainsLength: 6 miles Duration: 3 hours. This time of year and especially with COVID-19 and people wanting to take advantage of being outdoors, the trail was pretty busy. Part of what makes the Southern Sierra so special is how easy it is to access from Los Angeles. We were able to snag a spot for a future trip that I’m looking forward to that’s right outside the trailhead. The Onion Valley trailhead for Kearsarge Pass and the trail to Golden Bear Lake is 15 miles west of Independence, off Highway 395. Flower Lake may very well be your last source for water until you get well into the west side of the Pass. The goal of this guide is to expose you to beautiful trails you didn’t realize were you in your backyard. In total, we hiked to three alpine lakes, each below the summit of a young alpine mountain. View Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass Trail Image Gallery - 36 Images. (14 ). Whitney out the front door. A lover of the outdoors, beautiful landscapes and different cultures, she's been on the road for the last 6 months in backpacking Southeast Asia and Argentina. Re: Question about the land near the Onion Valley trailhead. Thanks so much for the info! When we got closer to 10,000′ in elevation I had difficulty breathing and had to take a minute to get myself together before getting to the first lake. I assume it is the Kearsarge Pass one that they have, and that it continues to the west? I recommend trekking poles if your knees tend to get agitated. Follow the marked trail toward Kearsarge Pass. The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. Any information appreciated. In terms of views/lakes per mile, right from the parking lot, it's hard to beat. First campsite - Blaney Meadow (10 miles). Continue hiking past Heart Lake to a long traversing part of the trail heading west and your first view of Kearsarge Pass. Part 1 – Hiking to Flower Lake in the Eastern Sierras. Shortly after the trailhead the trail to Golden Trout Lake separates from the Kearsarge Pass Trail marked by an old wooden sign. From the town of Independence, along Highway 395 in California, drive some 13 miles west on Market Street that soon becomes Onion Valley Road to the trailhead. The trail begins at Onion Valley, elevation 9,185 feet. Most of the sites have good privacy and shade from trees. Onion Valley Trailhead to Flower Lake The first day-hike in this series is a hike to Flower Lake outside of Independence, California in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierras. There are several lakes along the way but resupply water before Heart Lake. Trails from Onion Valley provide acces to the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park. Very strenuous climb into and out of Tehipite. A paved, 13 mile road leaves the little town of Independence on US 395 in the middle of Owens Valley and climbs over 5,000 feet to Onion Valley, a grassy, partly wooded basin along the upper reaches of Independence Creek, surrounded on three sides by jagged granite slopes rising to 13,000 feet. Extra Parking: $5/day Limited supply available. Bob Burd. But I have read that rangers strip those boxes out now and not to count on that. A boat-taxi across the lake is available from the trailhead in the summer. Hiking down to the Onion Valley Trailhead to get back to Lone Pine. A short trip up to Onion Valley Trailhead just to give you an idea of the road and the area. So lush!! John Muir Trail, Evolution Valley, and Goddard Canyon access point. These maps are really great because they are cheep, water proof and light. After a short walk, you will see a sign for Mattlock Lake with an arrow pointing toward a visible lake. For some of these day-hikes, you’ll have to camp overnight to make the most of it so I will also be sharing campground info, but if you’re looking for alternate accommodations, definitely check out Airbnbs or hotels in the area. Check out my guides for each country! The Colorful Town of Merida in the Yucatán State of Mexico. The road is usually open from May through November. They were very encouraging and highly recommending to do it! I've found this trail to be an excellent introduction to the Sierra for friends who've never really explored the area. Outdoor adventure and responsible travel while on a budget. From the Pass you get a breathtaking view of the peaks and lakes on the west side. Campground reservations are $20/night and can be made, here. Yes, there are sections on this trail that are steep and gravel covered. The trailhead is above 9,000’ and the trail itself is well maintained and gradual. Overview Onion Valley Campground is a campsite inside of Inyo National Forest. Backpacking Onion Valley to Whitney Portal – John Muir Trail Section Hike | This backpacking trail is one of the most amazing and challenging trails in the Sierra Nevada. Moderate to the rim of the valley. It was very frustrating to see how close the parking lot was but to be still so far away. University Peak . Hotels; Hotels in United States of America; Hotels in California; Independence Hotels; Hotels near Onion Valley Trailhead, Independence; Find a place to stay. Stay safe and enjoy your hike. The rest of the way down to Onion Valley Trailhead felt like death by a billion switchbacks. It drops down and crosses Lightning Creek where it joins the Lightning Basin Trail before it climbs up to the ridge and joins with the Alley Trail. The first day-hike in this series is a hike to Flower Lake outside of Independence, California in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierras. (36), Climber's Log Entries The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. It’s incredible to know that just on the other side of the ridge before you is the tallest peak in California, Mt. Many who choose Onion Valley Campgroundenjoy photography, fishing, and simply soaking in the magnificent scenery. In my new series “Ultimate Day-Hike Guide within 4 hrs of Los Angeles” I share 5 of my favorite hikes that are … you guessed it, within 4 hours of Los Angeles! While Onion Valley Trailhead is not difficult to get in or out of by car, I recommend getting an early headstart on this trail to avoid a major crowd and bad weather conditions. Summit. Begin hiking at the trailhead sign on the north end of the parking lot. From Highway 395, in Independence, CA: Turn west on Market Street. It reminded me so much of the alpine lakes in Patagonia, Argentina near Bariloche. Thunder and Lightning, playing Russian Roulette with mother nature. Help! I agree 100%. Length 26 miElevation gain 5259 ftRoute type Out & back Aged 18+ Children. We camped at a BLM site just below Onion Valley which is great because there are endless campsites, but there are a few negative factors: little to no shade (mostly no shade), no access to restrooms and the road is a little rugged. Where to Camp When Hiking from Onion Valley. The lower one passes by Bullfrog Lake, the upper bypasses the lake. Wowza. Onion Valley Trailhead: From the town of Independence, along Highway 395 in California, drive some 13 miles west on Market Street that soon becomes Onion Valley Road to the trailhead. Onion Valley has a campground (no amenities), parking area, pit toilets and several bear-proof food boxes. A 13.2-mile paved road connects Onion Valley to the tiny town of Independence (elevation 3,930 feet; population 669) on Highway 395, the major transportation route on the eastern side of the Sierra. Onion Valley Campgroundis at the end of Onion Valley Road in the Inyo National Forest, 14 miles west of Independence. Onion Valley Trail - This trail heads north from Forest Service Road 555BC, also referred to as the the Scott Mountain Lookout Road. Age at check-in: Child 1: Show deals. They sell these all over, especially if you check the mountaineering shops in Lone Pine or Bishop. My pleasure, glad to help. Whitney, which is on my hiking bucket list. Or how is the walk? Onion Valley Trailhead resupply We are trying to resupply with an absolute minimum of Covid 19 exposure. The road to Onion Valley is usually open from May to November. After getting up early on Saturday morning, Callie and I found ourselves at the Onion Valley trailhead at 10:30AM with a permit to go up to Matlock Lake for the night. This was the highlight of the hike so really, I like to call this my “hike to Gilbert Lake.” The photos will speak for themself, but still, photos don’t reveal the true magnitude of this beauty that is less than a 4-hour drive from my driveway in Los Angeles. Published on Jun 20, 2018 Did a 6.5 mile day hike from the Onion Valley trailhead on June 14th. Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass Trailhead Hiking Trail or Trailhead Fall colors blanket Onion Valley, which is just below the John Muir Wilderness Area. Onion Valley Trailhead is in Inyo County and has an elevation of 9203 feet. All Rights Reserved. Each day is full-on and at high altitudes, but it affords you amazing views along the John Muir Trail plus you get to cross over 3 different mountain passes (Kearsarge Pass, Forester Pass, and Trail Crest). Enjoy plenty of lake views on your trek up, as well as the awesome views all around once you reach the top. It's best not to count on this water source as the location may be difficult to find. Onion Valley Campgroundhas 30 campsites. Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet. but it is a long way down, about 1,335′ down. Previously, I’ve camped on BLM land in Big Bear and Joshua Tree and it’s always good to know where they are if you’re camping on a busy weekend without reservations as a backup plan. There is still some snow on the mountains but no need for special equipment. Once you have your permit in hand, drive to the Onion Valley Trailhead (see map), which is about 15 miles west of the town of Independence, CA and sits at an elevation of 9185 feet. Check-out Sunday. Is the trail to Flower Lake from Onion Valley trailhead difficult? At least this time, I had a great conversation with Diego about his PCT thru-hike and photography. Resupply hold and ride for non-overnight guests:( We take you back to the trail the same day): $150. Some distance before reaching the next major lake, you will be passing by some steep rock buttresses. Whitney, or hikers making their way in or out of an epic backpacking trip on either the John Muir Trail or the Pacific Coast Trail. Day One Stats. Rooms. Beyond. Single way transport ( Between Onion Valley and our motel. This hike can take 3-4 hours depending on your pace and fitness level. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Aksu Movsesian and with the appropriate and specific direction (i.e. That is not Mattlock Lake, it's Flower Lake. Onion Valley Campground to Flower Lake is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. At the trailhead is a hikers parking lot, vault toilets, bear boxes, and usually piped water. We also met a small group of hikers that were climbing out from the valley and heading toward Kearsarge Pass. Climbing rather steeply, the trail will give you an awe inspiring view of Heart Lake. Thank you for the comment hightinerary. Park in the lot, where you can fill up on water and use the toilets. On our way back out we met a guy named Nate who had been on day-55 of the PCT and was headed into town to pick up mail and restock on food. Are there spots like that on way to Kearsarge Pass? Her loves include strong coffee, pristine beaches, a challenging hike and luxury-budget traveling. Susan is a travel and lifestyle writer from Los Angeles, California. Many parties traveling on the Pacific Crest Trail use the Keasarge Pass to Onion Valley Trail for resupplying and resting before they continue on their journey. Hiked up about 2.5 miles to a signed junction to the left to my destination. The Kearsarge Pass Trail junction is about 70 miles from Muir Trail Ranch. Many of my favorite California trails are in northern California, but they’re not realistic for weekend trips out of Los Angeles especially if you want to hit a trail that’s at least 6-8 miles long. A few minutes after this shot was taken it rained for hours. How heavily used is this trailhead? There are different resources to find BLM campsites on but I found our camping spot from, which gives you precise coordinates to input into your GPS. Images alpine lakes in Patagonia, Argentina near Bariloche. There is even a campground right by the trailhead if you arrive late. This would not be the last time I would hate switchbacks in California. The pass has a wonderful view to the east that includes the Pinnacles, Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake.

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