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Sawmill Pass Trail

Difficult
 4.7 (3)

This is a strenuous but beautiful trail that can be used as an access/exit point for the JMT, or as a trip on its own.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.7

KM

Point to Point

11,320' 3,450 m

High

4,656' 1,419 m

Low

1,122' 342 m

Up

6,819' 2,078 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (7°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · Wildflowers

Description

*Please note, this description is at the start of the trailhead* Follow a trail from the Sawmill pass parking area to cross a dried creek bed to the trailhead itself. From there, follow the trail from the desert valley floor to the mountains! It is a very steep ascent and for the first few miles, there is no shade or water; so plan appropriately! The first sources of shades will stem from random trees scattered alongside the the trail. The first water source is approximately 5 miles into the trail. Eventually the desert setting will give way to a alpine tree line and thus will provide many opportunities to hide from the sun. Water sources are still scarce but isn't nearly as spread out as the first half of the trail. As the trail goes through Sawmill Meadow, it will start ascending into an area of red soil and rock; you are now close to Sawmill Lake! The lake itself has the typical but beautiful clear and cold alpine water. Sawmill Lake itself stocked with trout if you are looking into doing some fishing. Once at the lake, follow the trail that skirts right if you want to continue your journey to Sawmill Pass. The rest is up to you; stay at the lake, or link-up to other trails such as the JMT.

Flora & Fauna

Trouts: Golden, Rainbow, and Brown; wildflowers; pines.

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Hiking Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#5703

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
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4 Star
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3 Star
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Trail Rankings

#496

in California

#5,703

Overall
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2,171 Since Sep 8, 2015
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Photos

Sawmill Lake
Oct 28, 2017 near Big Pine, CA

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Check-Ins

Aug 19, 2019
Kathryn Suiter
Feb 3, 2018
Alice H
Spectacular overlook! 8mi
Aug 4, 2014
Marshall Phan
11.6mi