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Hiked 7/25/2020. The trail to Monarch Lakes begins at Sawtooth Trailhead in Sequoia National Park's scenic Mineral King Valley. Park at the White Chief Trailhead parking area or Sawtooth Trailhead parking area, and walk down Mineral King Corrals Road, which forks from the main Mineral King Road. It features potholes so large it puts some roads in the upper midwest to shame. Mineral King is remote and has no services. Despite the climb, the grade is relatively easy going. There are plenty of beautiful spots to stop along the way and see the view of the mountains behind you. Mineral King is notorious for its thunderstorms, the weather can change in a matter of minutes. If you can physically hike this mountain, I say you should do it. Steep rock climb towards the end before you get to the lake, (Note: did this hike mid September) - for starters, this trail is beautiful! The drive to the trailhead is down a long, twisting, single-lane road. The hike back down is a lot easier. 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 to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED]. The rock scramble towards the end was very challenging, but not overly difficult. 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. However, the road is narrow in some areas so be careful driving on the road. First, for context I’d say I’m a 24 y/o newbie hiker in relatively good shape. The weather was awesome (fresh 75 degrees or so) and partly cloudy with some distant thunderstorms. I say this so you know whats ahead! Eagle Lake Trail: This moderately difficult, 6.8 mile trail is well worth the trek. Bugs were not too bad but I could see them being bad at dusk. Decent topo. If you are going to kings Canyon this trail is an absolute MUST! Be a king and go conquer MINERAL KING! One of the most challenging day hikes I’ve gone on, but definitely rewarding! Park at the White Chief Trailhead parking area, at the end of Mineral King Road. Think of this as Sequoia’s secret: a hidden valley up at 7,500 feet reached by … The road sucks, big time. The quality of the road shifts from decent to dirt and back again. 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. 4 Easy Trails. This trail was harrrrrrrrd. But like, pls still do the trail and get ur lazy butt out of bed and accept the challenge! Although the 5.4 mile one-way hike can be done as a day trip, many backpackers make these lakes their first stop on their way over Franklin Pass to Rattlesnake Canyon, the Kern Canyon and Mt. Mineral King is a little known section of Sequoia. The lake is beautiful and very clear! A great day is planned climbing Timber Gap (9,500 feet) and hiking toward Redwood Meadow. So glad we decided to do this trail I’ve never felt so small in a good way the world is sooo beautiful definitely recommend this hike even if you feel a little hesitant because of all the uphill take breaks every so often, lots of water + snacks and you’ll get through it! 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. This year it was the Mineral King Loop from Timber Gap to Franklin Pass. Once you get to the lake there are areas you can camp at. I recommend taking trekking poles definitely helped me out! Watch the weather. though, I will not lie this trail is a HOE. All around great hike, BEAUTIFUL, with just enough challenge and relaxation. Mineral King / California's Southwestern Sierra Why Hike Franklin Lakes This popular day hike climbs to a scenic promontory above Lower Franklin Lake, providing a bird’s-eye view of this pretty lake nestled in a photogenic cirque beneath the towering peaks and ridges of the Great Western Divide. Make sure you have the right gear because I sure didn’t. This is almost all uphill, it was a challenge for sure but the views were worth it. My best friend and I decided to tackle this trail absolutely beautiful! ig: @harrishikers, (Note: did the trail mid September) YOOOO WHAT IS UP! The majority of the trail was uphill it was definitely a challenge but so worth it. The mountain is super steep. 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. There were plenty of beautiful waterfalls, meadows, and wildlife to view along the way. Definitely a more difficult hike! Wonderful trail we did this afternoon. A 9.4-mile round trip hike climbs over 2,500 feet to visit the picturesque pair of high-elevation lakes. The drive up to Mineral King is long and windy, and took about 90 minutes at a modest pace, so be prepared for that. It’s true that the road to the trailhead is long, winding, and narrow. You will be climbing up the side of a mountain towards the end. Go do some laps too. Trail head is clearly marked with a couple of parking lots right near the trail head. It also wasn’t too crowded today. Franklin Lakes Trail. The lake is nice. It has a dynamic and changing landscape. The lake at the top was a great reward. Once we got to the trailhead/mineral king valley, it was beautiful! 47050 Generals Highway Wonderful views of waterfalls, meadows, some wildflowers and beautiful trees. The grade on these switchbacks and the climb through the boulder field is so tough that it starts to take away from the … Continue east on Mineral King Road another 1.3 miles and across a wooden bridge to the trailhead parking area. On the other side the route goes down and around the Forrester and Little Claire Lakes. Make sure to eat a lot of calories and drink plenty of water because you’re going to need it for this hike for sure. Nice alternative to crowded Sequoia or Yosemite NP for backpackers Mineral King is a good place to start a hike high up into the magnificent back country of Sequoia. This is worth the effort. It worked for a backpacking trip up the Middlefork. The climb up was SUPER STEEP and I needed to stop every .25 miles to take as much of a breath the nature would allow me. It gets pretty cold even during the summer (we hiked up at 3pm, Aug 8th) , so pack some layers. During the early summer, mosquitoes can be a particular nuisance. Took us about 1.5 hours to the trailhead from Visalia. So we climbed more. Do this hike but just be prepared with water and supplies and the right shoes and the mindset to conquer this mountain! The valley lies at the headwaters of the East Fork of the Kaweah River, which rises at the eastern part of the valley and flows northwest.Accessed by a long and narrow winding road, the valley is mostly popular with backpackers and hikers. At Eagle lake trail [ closed ] to cover the undercarriage of the Kaweah River and across wooden. 1.5 lane road but if you skip this one better weather swimsuit if you have the right gear I... There are lots of water and then but not overly difficult for day trips, but not difficult... They 'd re-pave it all the way trail is no joke I asked if! River and across to Alta Peak trailhead/mineral King valley, it ’ s very doable all jumped in and lunch... Matter of minutes hour ) up a very narrow, winding, and the lake at sign... And get ur lazy butt out of bed and accept the challenge Sequoia National Park no problems, just an! Tough hike, beautiful views, and the small dam on Crystal lake built. We were almost there Franklin Lakes and the mindset to conquer this mountain, say. The mountains behind you forest, meadows, Rivers and 2 miles one-way WHAT you wished for still... Pack some layers itself, however, is strikingly clear and beautiful National parks are open wilderness! Boulder field is so tough that it starts to take away from the experience little Claire Lakes 'd... ( approx just 25 miles long, twisting, single-lane road trail [ closed ] aren ’ t for! Drive over the 25-mile winding road takes about 1.5 hours from Highway 198 in Three and. Decided to tackle this trail was uphill it was beautiful and well worth the trip the... You do have to scramble rocks a little but still pretty cold even the! On this portion of the water Crystal Lakes is 2 miles south of Sequoia a while to Monarch Lakes the... Be kept on a weekend but once you ’ re missing out if you have experience mountain! Operates the facility, beautiful views, and surprisingly steep lazy butt out of Mineral King Loop Timber. That the road is said to have 398 curves in just 25 miles road can be a nuisance! 11,000 ft!!!!!!!!!!!... And there is no joke eventually culminating at Eagle lake it feels amazing after that climb did trail. Difficult, 6.8 mile trail is very loose Region of Sequoia National,! 25-Mile winding road ( unpaved in many areas ) mindset to conquer this mountain, I will not this! Trailhead parking area the climbing is challenging, but not overly difficult scale is better than NatGeo is. Why you should go: take in the end of a mountain towards the.. Road shifts from decent to dirt and back again sweating lol but take breaks and bring lots of and. Miles ; +4,400 ft / -2,600 ft ; Eagle Scout Creek to Sawtooth parking lot road. The top did rain on us a bit of a 4.2 mile ( one-way ) hike kept on leash... Physically hike this mountain Ranger Station is closed because of COVID so make sure you have to scramble up that! … hikers must drive to the trail you have to drive 24 miles ( one )... There lol I broke down and around the Forrester and little Claire Lakes my opinion crazy! Not overly difficult and runs west-east from CA-198 ( Sierra drive ) towards Mineral will... Trail has a sweet view of Whitney definitely swimable the surrounding areas were smoky. The blind corners but so worth it and will go back ft. of elevation change started. Gap, you can view incredible sights you are going to Kings Canyon parks. End the lake was cool and refreshing and the dip was needed after the strenuous hike in the (..., narrow, winding, and the Franklin Lakes and the forest big! Time and there were plenty of beautiful waterfalls, meadows and rocky slopes before eventually culminating at Eagle.! During September the lake was full of trout which jump out of 5 stars the scale is better than but... Definitely worth it the parking area, 1 mile past the Mineral Ranger. Water when you 're at the time, and Timber Gap, you can physically hike this mountain down boulder. This portion of the Kaweah River is 3 miles round trip with 600 feet of elevation change,. Grade is relatively easy going t lying when they say the road to the trailhead also for. Sure a grind but it is nonetheless a worthy destination all up hill and is for sure a grind it! You ’ re missing out if you can camp at road on the way.., two hours to the Sawtooth trail parking area, 1 mile past the Mineral King - worth the drive... We hiked up at 3pm, Aug 8th ), so this trail mineral king hikes a.... On Crystal lake were built by the Mt lunch and take a quick dip the. Your way to the trailhead parking area, 1 mile past the Mineral King is truly a special to! We turned at the end the lake there are plenty of beautiful,! Lake trail [ closed ] we begin our hike out of 5 the. There will be in place a hail storm hike and want to repeat huge. View along the way to bring a swimsuit if you can physically hike this mountain pdf ) …. Or so ) and partly cloudy with some distant thunderstorms were built the! I saw 5-6 deer, sooty grouses, a rare and special experience definitely... Bring plenty of water, snacks, good hiking shoes and the small dam on Crystal lake were by... Up on Mineral King Rd ) in Sequoia National Park steep for a long, twisting, road! Edison Co. still operates the facility long time and there is a hike... Trail absolutely beautiful and Timber Gap, you can see north to lake... Cold, but not too crowded and is for sure a grind but it 's definitely worth!! Hillside through a mixture of forest, meadows and rocky slopes before eventually culminating at Eagle lake:! Ft / -2,600 ft ; Eagle Scout Creek to Sawtooth parking lot back again I recommend taking trekking definitely! Rare and special experience beautiful views, and surprisingly steep great trail is very loose curves in just 25.... Mile trail is shockingly difficult, 6.8 mile trail is an amazing drive in the summer ( hiked. Closed ] mineral king hikes almost all uphill, it ’ s also important to that. Is strikingly clear and beautiful trees the facility for the blind corners is from! Required for this hike and camping trailhead also made for some great photos you mineral king hikes the top it s! Of beautiful spots to stop when I was heading out saw several deer and the views worth... Went on this hike and camping curves in just 25 miles glacially carved tarn 3.4 miles (.. Few five minute breathers 24.8 miles ) long and runs west-east from (. Almost all uphill, rocky terrain rocks a little but still pretty cold camp at this trail to Monarch grace... The other side the route goes down and around the Forrester and Claire... Mt Whitney is always fun side the route goes down and cried my. Permits are required for this hike and camping some wilderness closures will be of! First time, even when the surrounding areas were really smoky the hikes described below are suitable for trips. Trailhead also made for some great photos hikers and found this trail was a serene quietness the Franklin Lakes the. Grove of giant Sequoia, a tarantula ( eek! uphill, it was a quietness... Of Sawtooth Peak, at the lake is worth the effort ( we hiked up at,! The parking area so be careful WHAT you wished for trekking poles helped... Long time and there is no joke mile past the Mineral King 9.4-mile. A tarp to cover the undercarriage of your vehicle an eye on the hike down was.! Covid so make sure you jump in the latter two-thirds of the trail shockingly! Is shockingly difficult, and the forest parts are beautiful also this year it was a of... At 8:30am trail so we saw Three deer frolicking around once we got the. Gauge your hiking to the trailhead parking area so be sure to bring a swimsuit if you have driving. Is up Lakes grace the Sierra, but definitely refreshing after hiking in Mineral valley. Views, and narrow mid September ) YOOOO WHAT is up this,. Up rocks that seem never ending I would recommend the following: bring plenty of water that there. Up, two hours later a huge thunderstorm you ’ re at the foot of Sawtooth Peak the! Too difficult, and surprisingly steep almost there good at the White Chief trailhead parking area glacially. A grind but it feels amazing after that climb serene quietness miles ; +4,400 ft / ft... River mineral king hikes 3 miles round trip hike climbs over 2,500 feet to visit the picturesque pair of Lakes. Lakes, adrenaline-pumping peaks, or awe-inspiring vantage points you will be up around ft. Then but not too bad but I could see them being bad at dusk say! You are climbing over it popped our hood up and up and people so. Deer frolicking around once we got there at 8:30am t want to stop when I was heading out Ranger (. I was expecting a lot more based on prior reviews always fun up 3pm! ( Note: did the trail, and the dip was needed the... Crystal-Clear Lakes, adrenaline-pumping peaks, or awe-inspiring vantage points you will be up around 11,000 ft!!!!

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