“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.”
— Hiking Project Staff
Lake · Wildflowers
*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.