Let’s hike Kearsarge Pass and then continue to Bullfrog Lake.
KEARSARGE PASS OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST VIEWS YOU CAN FIND IN THE SIERRA, WITH TOWERING PEAKS AND LAKES IN EVERY DIRECTION.
This hike is off of Independence, CA which is about 200 miles north of Los Angeles, (about 3.5 hours drive).
Onion Valley Campground is full but there is plenty of space at Grays Meadows campground (about 4 miles from trailhead, I am staying there) (https://www.recreation.gov/) or you can stay at any other camping facilities or find a hotel in Lone Pine/Independence.
We will start the hike at 6:30 am Saturday, then drive back home the same day after the hike (we can stop for well deserved dinner along the way).
Feel free to stay an extra night and spend Sunday sightseeing/hiking.
My Cell (818-646-4307)
Here is the plan play by play:
we start the hike at Onion Valley campground (9,200 ft) and we immediately start to climb, after about 2.2 miles and many switchbacks we will arrive at Gilbert Lake ( 10,400 ft)
Here the trail flattens out quite a bit and climbs through the forest as we pass Flower Lake (1/2 mile away)
Another 1 mile and we will see Heart Lake (11,000 ft), this is where the scenery will start changing to alpine tundra
The beautiful Big Pothole Lake will be on our left after another 1/2 mile (11,500 ft)
And finally we will arrive at Kearsarge Pass at at altitude of 11,794 ft after another 1/2 mile of hiking.
Here we will STOP and enjoy the spectacular views, as I said earlier, Kearsarge Pass offers some of the best views you can find in the Sierras, with towering peaks and lakes in every direction.
After well deserved rest we will continue our hike on the Kearsarge Pass Trail for 1/2 mile and then veer left on the Bullfrog Lake Trail, after about another 1/2 mile we will be sitting right above the Kearsarge Lakes, at this point we will be at 11,000 ft elevation (800 ft drop from the pass)
After hiking about one more mile we will arrive at Bullfrog Lake, another spectacular looking lake, last year we swam in the lake, it was very refreshing even though it was a bit cold.
We start our return by going to Kearsarge Lakes, we will take a special use trail to go on the shores of lakes.
After the last lake we will hike a tough 1 mile uphill to the pass and then continue back to our cars.
DISTANCE: 14 Miles
GAIN: 3,900 Ft
ALTITUDE at the highest point: 11,794 ft
PACE: steady but we will stop frequently to appreciate the views and take many pictures
LEVEL: Advanced due to altitude, distance and gain
My Cell (George): 818-646-4307
THINGS TO BRING: 3 liters of water, lunch, ELECTROLYTES, snacks, sunscreen, hat, trekking poles, 10 essentials.
The hike will start at Onion Valley Campground, here is the google map link:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Onion Valley Campgroundfirstname.lastname@example.org,-118.343088,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80bfc04d501557e1:0x321ece7a4813c1f3!8m2!3d36.7717573!4d-118.3408993
Meetup Directions from the town of Independence:
Go West on Market Street, which will turn to Onion Valley rd after 0.2 mile
Continue for 12.8 miles and make a slight right towards Campground Rd. after about 300 ft turn right into Campground Rd. and after another 400 ft make a left into the campground.