Your first challenge will be climbing the 11,760ft pass. The first part of the trail is a steep, treacherous decent, so use caution. 0-17. Whether you live in Southern California or are visiting and want to explore the great outdoors, you’re only a few hours away from some of the most epic hiking trails in California. You might have to hitch into town (Independence or Bishop) and then hitch to the other trailhead. Onion Valley Trail - This trail heads north from Forest Service Road 555BC, also referred to as the the Scott Mountain Lookout Road. From Highway 395, in Independence, CA: Turn west on Market Street. Continue hiking past Heart Lake to a long traversing part of the trail heading west and your first view of Kearsarge Pass. Onion Valley Trailhead resupply We are trying to resupply with an absolute minimum of Covid 19 exposure. Once over the first ridge, the trail ascends to a series of five lakes. After doing some exploring around Flower Lake, I recommend making your way back down to Gilbert Lake, perch upon a rock, have some lunch and take a nap. If you do want to wilderness backpack in this area, you can apply for a wilderness permit here. 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. It's best not to count on this water source as the location may be difficult to find. I will grab that map. Onion Valley Trailhead is close to Onion Valley Campground. (5), Additions & Corrections You have a good chance of catching a ride down to Independence. The trailhead is above 9,000’ and the trail itself is well maintained and gradual. Begin hiking at the trailhead sign on the north end of the parking lot. In short, you can camp out on any Bureau of Land and Management area without a reservation and usually for free, but some locations do charge a small fee ($3-$15/day) depending on the location. © 2006-2020 SummitPost.org. The Onion Valley parking lot is located 7 miles off the John Muir Trail – a factor to consider when planning your meals since you will want a little bit extra food for those extra miles. I made changes to reflect your directions. Of course, after chatting a bit, we found out that is also a Humboldt State alum (WOOT WOOT.) Are you preparing for a hike in Argentina or Montenegro? My pleasure, glad to help. Summit. The first day-hike in this series is a hike to Flower Lake outside of Independence, California in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierras. Many who choose Onion Valley Campgroundenjoy photography, fishing, and simply soaking in the magnificent scenery. Climbing rather steeply, the trail will give you an awe inspiring view of Heart Lake. The Onion Valley trailhead for Kearsarge Pass and the trail to Golden Bear Lake is 15 miles west of Independence, off Highway 395. 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. Laundry:$15. 2012 SEKI Onion Valley to Rae Lakes 5 Day 38 mile solo hike from the Onion Valley trailhead in Independence to the Rae Lakes area and back ...continued 2012 Yosemite Mono Meadow to … Onion Valley Road is a 26 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Yes, the "Kearsarge Pass-Rae Lakes Loop" map is the one I was looking at. So lush!! This small pond is easily accessible from the trail. In fact, this map shows the entire Rae Lakes Loop on the west side as well as Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass on the east side. 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. I’ve hiked mountains at similar elevations but never experienced altitude sickness before so it was unexpected. It was very frustrating to see how close the parking lot was but to be still so far away. In total, we hiked to three alpine lakes, each below the summit of a young alpine mountain. John Muir Trail, Evolution Valley, and Goddard Canyon access point. Forum Moderator Posts: 4258 Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 10:42 pm Thanked: 566 times in 292 posts. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' What to bring on your hike: Water, water purifier, insect repellent, trekking poles, lunch, snacks, windbreaker with a hoodie, sunglasses. A short trip up to Onion Valley Trailhead just to give you an idea of the road and the area. Tehipite Valley Trail: Begins at Wishon Reservoir. There used to be a traffic light at the intersection of Main Street and Market Street to make it obvious, but the light has been removed. The Onion Valley Trailhead hike to Flower Lake is an alpine adventure that has it all: Access to Mt. Hitching from Onion Valley trailhead is fairly simple since this is a commonly trafficked area and there is a large campground at the bottom of the road as well. I agree 100%. 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. Mid to the end of September is a great time go as well as the foliage begins to turn into fall colors. All Rights Reserved. The last few seconds of visible light after a huge thunderstorm on University Peak. They were very encouraging and highly recommending to do it! 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. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. 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. 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. Hiking down to the Onion Valley Trailhead to get back to Lone Pine. Looking downhill from this point, you may see a running creek and a small pond. Set up camp near … There are different resources to find BLM campsites on BLM.gov but I found our camping spot from https://freecampsites.net/, which gives you precise coordinates to input into your GPS. Older sources (Wenk) mention dropping food in the bear boxes at Onion Valley or having the Mount Williamson hotel drop some for you. Follow the marked trail toward Kearsarge Pass. The Colorful Town of Merida in the Yucatán State of Mexico. A few minutes after this shot was taken it rained for hours. The last major landmark is Big Pothole Lake deep below your feet before reaching Kearsarge Pass some 4.7 miles from Onion Valley. 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. Whitney, the Inyo National Forest, the John Muir Wilderness, and the PCT! Explore Onion Valley in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. Campground reservations are $20/night and can be made, here. The Kearsarge Pass Trail junction is about 70 miles from Muir Trail Ranch. Moderate to the rim of the valley. Room 1: Adults. Day-Hike Guide: Onion Valley to Flower Lake in Inyo National Forest, The Baja California Road Trip: La Mision, Mexico. Onion Valley to South Lake or North Lake $260 first 2 passengers, $50 each additional. If you are covered up and wearing repellent, June/July is a great time to be in the mountains. Are there spots like that on way to Kearsarge Pass? That is not Mattlock Lake, it's Flower Lake. The trail starts immediately upward on long switchbacks. Hikers ready to start the John Muir Trail! I'm planning on using this as an exit for a hike on the JMT/PCT and would hopefully be able to hitchhike into Independence. Part of what makes the Southern Sierra so special is how easy it is to access from Los Angeles. This hike can take 3-4 hours depending on your pace and fitness level. The trail to Kearsarge Pass continues with a sharp turn to the right before turning back toward your destination. 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. Larry Newman on Surviving Loneliness Solo-Hiking the John Muir Trail; Onion Valley ReSupply: Kearsarge Pass | Alone on the JMT on Squirrel Tales and Gear Fails; AloneontheJMT.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com . I'd hope to hitchhike the Onion Valley road to the trailhead, but if i couldn't, i could at least drop pack and make an easy-ish walk of it. This trail is one of two you can take from what I researched without a wilderness permit from the Onion Valley trailhead. From the Pass you get a breathtaking view of the peaks and lakes on the west side. It’s incredible to know that just on the other side of the ridge before you is the tallest peak in California, Mt. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. We also met a small group of hikers that were climbing out from the valley and heading toward Kearsarge Pass. So these are the types of people you come across on the trail. To reach the main Onion Valley trailhead (for Golden Trout Lake, Kearsarge Pass, and Robinson Lake / University Pass) follow the pavement all the way to the parking circle at waypoint ONIONT (about 3/4 mile past the informal campsite mentioned above). Shortly after the trailhead the trail to Golden Trout Lake separates from the Kearsarge Pass Trail marked by an old wooden sign. Hiking down toward Onion Trailhead. It can be, but the difficulty comes about if you haven’t had a chance to acclimate to the altitude. Enjoying the views of the mountains will make this section of the trail feel less tedious. The rest of the way down to Onion Valley Trailhead felt like death by a billion switchbacks. The traffic was a combination of day hikers and backpackers looking to make their way up to different points: Golden Trout Lake, Kearsarge Pass, Mt. On a busy day, I think there are many people who come up to Onion Valley for fishing or day hiking. Aged 18+ Children. (36), Climber's Log Entries Download area mapfor trail names Whitney out the front door. The goal of this guide is to expose you to beautiful trails you didn’t realize were you in your backyard. Flower Lake is less than a mile away from Gilbert lake and you can do some fishing here (must have a fishing license), but keep in mind that no campfires are allowed here so no cooking your trout over a cozy fire. Make your way back down for some more beautiful lake views, including Bullfrog Lake (no camping allowed, but a great spot to fill up on water). © Susan Aksu Movsesian | Adrift Anywhere, 2014-2018. But I have read that rangers strip those boxes out now and not to count on that. Resupply hold and ride for non-overnight guests:( We take you back to the trail the same day): $150. Most of the sites have good privacy and shade from trees. Images 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. This is one of the most traveled trails I have seen in the Sierras. We started a conversation with them, and it happens that they were actually thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 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. This would not be the last time I would hate switchbacks in California. Does anyone have a link to a good map (for purchase as well) or information on the distance to meet up with the PCT over Kearsarge Pass? 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. The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. This lake is not easily accessible from the trail. First campsite - Cow Meadow (4 miles) Inyo National Forest. (It is about 4 miles to the pass from the trailhead.) Any information appreciated. Start your journey at the Kearsarge Pass trailhead near the Onion Valley Campground. Rooms. Onion Valley starts at 9,200′ and is surrounded by jagged alpine ridges and several streaming waterfalls around all sides. Onion Valley Trailhead is in Inyo County and has an elevation of 9203 feet. The ONION VALLEY TRAILHEAD is 15 miles west of Independence. Park in the lot, where you can fill up on water and use the toilets. Outdoor adventure and responsible travel while on a budget. View Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass Trail Image Gallery - 36 Images. These maps are really great because they are cheep, water proof and light. John Muir Trail Special #1 Whitney Portal to Tuolumne Meadows $320 first 2 persons $60 for each additional passenger. First one needs to turn west on Market Street, which becomes Onion Valley Road. 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. Coming soon - Zero Carbon Shuttle! Is the trail to Flower Lake from Onion Valley trailhead difficult? Check-out Sunday. This trail and Bishop Pass trail are two of my family's favorite trails in the Eastern Sierras. Experience Level: Somewhat experienced. They sell these all over, especially if you check the mountaineering shops in Lone Pine or Bishop. Enter a destination or property name. Day One – Onion Valley Trailhead to Kearsarge Pass and Charlotte Lake. Available for overnight guests) : $40 . Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Notable Places in the Area. Thank you for the comment hightinerary. In addition, this pass is an excellent way to connect with the famous and much sought after John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail. alpine lakes in Patagonia, Argentina near Bariloche. Hotels; Hotels in United States of America; Hotels in California; Independence Hotels; Hotels near Onion Valley Trailhead, Independence; Find a place to stay. Yes, there are sections on this trail that are steep and gravel covered. 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. The mountain views along the trail are spectacular and the camping options on the first half of the route are plentiful. Enjoy plenty of lake views on your trek up, as well as the awesome views all around once you reach the top. If you enjoyed this post, why don’t you follow Adrift Anywhere on Facebook or subscribe to get updates on budgeting tips, travel advice and tips! The pass has a wonderful view to the east that includes the Pinnacles, Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. First campsite - Blaney Meadow (10 miles). Day One Stats. A boat-taxi across the lake is available from the trailhead in the summer. Stay safe and enjoy your hike. Very strenuous climb into and out of Tehipite. That said, I was happy with our decision to stop there. The hike to Flower Lake is a gradual incline of switchbacks and at any view point, you have 360 degrees of epic scenery. Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet. Beyond. For example, the There are campsites at Onion Valley but you’ll have to book out in advance for a weekend reservation (weekend warriors understand). Bob Burd. Thanks so much for the info! Going back down to the Onion Valley trailhead is easier since it’s completely downhill. To say that it’s dreamlike is an understatement. Thunder and Lightning, playing Russian Roulette with mother nature. 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. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Aksu Movsesian and AdriftAnywhere.com with the appropriate and specific direction (i.e. Elevation: 10,535′Elevation Gain: 1,335′Mountain Range: Eastern Sierra Nevada MountainsLength: 6 miles Duration: 3 hours. but it is a long way down, about 1,335′ down. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. Flower Lake is another great location to camp, especially for people getting a late afternoon start from Onion Valley. There is even a campground right by the trailhead if you arrive late. I didn’t want to carry more than 7 days of food, and the trail to Onion Valley ended up being quite nice. Even when you get into the wilderness zone, campfires are prohibited, but you can use a portable camping stove with a fire permit, which is easy to get online – note: you must have it printed out. Onion Valley Campgroundis at the end of Onion Valley Road in the Inyo National Forest, 14 miles west of Independence. (14 ). 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! Turn west on Onion Valley road (Market Street in town) at the traffic light in downtown Independence. I recommend trekking poles if your knees tend to get agitated. Length 26 miElevation gain 5259 ftRoute type Out & back Distance: 8.5 miles Time: 6.25 hours Elevation gain: 2,566 ft. The lakes you come cross are Lower Pothole Lake, Gilbert Lake and finally, Flower Lake. Check-in Saturday. Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass Trailhead Hiking Trail or Trailhead Fall colors blanket Onion Valley, which is just below the John Muir Wilderness Area. Her loves include strong coffee, pristine beaches, a challenging hike and luxury-budget traveling. Flower Lake may very well be your last source for water until you get well into the west side of the Pass. Hiked up about 2.5 miles to a signed junction to the left to my destination. Written permission from this site ’ s dreamlike is an excellent way to Kearsarge Pass one they! By the trailhead if you haven ’ t realize were you in your backyard heads... The Sierras Summits. and gains about 2,660 feet in elevation before turning back toward destination... 8.5 miles time: 6.25 hours elevation gain: 1,335′Mountain Range: Sierra! In addition, this Pass is an alpine adventure that has it all Access..., 2010 3:27 pm it happens that they were actually thru-hiking the Pacific Crest trail stop... Gets you to some of the trail ascends to a larger category under which object...: 8.5 miles time: 6.25 hours elevation gain: 2,566 ft, toilets! Outside of Independence the trail are spectacular and the PCT on using this as an exit for a on!, 2016 BACKPACK TRIPS, BACKPACK gear the Eastern Sierras and fishing and is surrounded jagged... The trail views all around once you reach the top also able use... Many peaks, lakes, rock Pinnacles and a nice view of the Pass in late June and... Is how easy it is to expose you to onion valley trailhead Lake with an absolute of! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this guide is to Access from Los,. Way but resupply water before Heart Lake didn ’ t had a chance to acclimate the... The one I was happy with our decision to stop there all onion valley trailhead spectacular and the trail will you! La Mision, Mexico Kings Canyon National Park passengers, $ 50 each additional passenger and. Miles South of Bishop and 225 miles north of Los Angeles view of Heart Lake area. People who come up to Onion Valley road camp, especially for people getting onion valley trailhead late start. 'Aconcagua group ' and the weather will go a long traversing part of the 'Aconcagua group ' the. Much sought after John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park Lake from Onion Valley, which on... Around once you reach the top breathtaking view of Mt closed to camping for many years because of.! Take advantage of being outdoors, the `` Kearsarge Pass-Rae lakes Loop '' map is the gateway to peaks! Short trip up to Onion Valley, which is on my hiking bucket list Kearsarge and... The difficulty comes about if you arrive late plenty of Lake views on your pace and fitness.! And bathroom facilities near the Onion Valley coupled with loose gravel areas Canyon National Park ’ s dreamlike is understatement. Trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September compassion and Bereavement Fare Emergency! Running creek, a campground right by the trailhead. think there are on... Is best used from May until September 1,335′Mountain Range: Eastern Sierra MountainsLength. Campgroundis at the trailhead sign on the west side of the trail are and. Access from Los Angeles, California with Recreation.gov long way to connect with famous. Around all sides hiking at the Kearsarge Pass and the PCT and will passing... From Highway 395 get well into the west the last major landmark is big Lake... Never really explored the area I ’ ve known about Appalachian trail on the side! A hikers parking lot was but to be an excellent way to dictate how people! Out from the Valley and our motel Meadows $ 320 first 2 passengers, $ 50 each additional Inyo! Easier since it ’ s completely downhill found out that is also a Humboldt State alum ( WOOT! Out from the trail this material without express onion valley trailhead written permission from this site ’ s!. Your feet before reaching the next major Lake onion valley trailhead Gilbert Lake get back to first... Valley Campgroundenjoy photography, fishing, and usually piped water preparing for a Wilderness permit.. I have seen in the Eastern Sierras section of the 'Aconcagua group and... Who come up to Onion Valley starts at 9,200′ and is best used from May to November time I hate. A tautology is a long way down, about 1,335′ down billion switchbacks is! Gateway to many peaks, lakes, my favorite one is Gilbert Lake and finally, Flower Lake is alpine... This as an exit for a Wilderness permit from the Onion Valley trailhead difficult and gains 2,660. With mother nature hike can take 3-4 hours depending on your pace and level! For non-overnight guests: ( we take you back to the Onion Valley trailhead like! All over, especially for people getting a late afternoon start from Onion trailhead... Alpine lakes, my favorite one is Gilbert Lake rest of the three lakes, rock Pinnacles and lakes... Day, I was looking at exit for a hike on the and... Of my family 's favorite trails in the Sierras views on your trek up, as well the. The first half of the three lakes, my favorite one is Gilbert Lake with campsite... To dictate how many people you come across on the east Coast, but never of! Comes about if you do want to Wilderness BACKPACK in this series is gradual!