“This trail starts from the spectacular Kearsarge Pass Trail, passes beautiful Bullfrog Lake, and continues to the JMT.”
— Lee Watts
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
Wilderness permits are required all year. Daily entry quotas apply from Memorial Day to late September. Permits can be reserved online, but you must go into a ranger station to get the actual permit. No night drops are allowed. One-fourth of the quota is available on a walk-up, first-come-first-served basis, starting the day prior to departure. No campfires are allowed.
This alternate to a section of the Kearsarge Pass Trail
leads to the Kearsarge Lakes Trail
, passes above Bullfrog Lake, and on to a great campsite on the JMT.
The entire trail passes through very pleasant country and there are some great views. If you are going south on the John Muir Trail, there is no penalty for taking this trail, except missing some of the high overlooks found on the Kearsarge Pass Trail
. Going north from the junction of the JMT and the Bullfrog Lake Trail, the elevation gain to get to the Charlotte Lake Trail
is about 180 feet, and it is about another 60 feet to get to the upper branch of the Kearsarge Pass Trail
Bullfrog Lake is beautiful, but no camping has been allowed within a quarter mile of the lake for at least 40 years. Kearsarge Lakes, beneath the stunning Kearsarge Pinnacles, are probably the most spectacular lakes in the area. Be sure to detour on the Kearsarge Lakes Trail
along the way.