Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The State Lakes Loop is a really beautiful excursion off the Simpson Meadow Trail
in the Monarch Divide. Lower State Lake is breathtaking and peaceful with easy access to the off-trail state lakes. It's a beautiful swim with lots of rocks to launch from so you avoid stirring up the muck. Upper State Lake is nice, but brings to mind a giant puddle. After the Upper Lake, the trail can be easy to lose in the rocks so pay attention.
Be very careful in the creek crossings during wet years. The second crossing, right before you start to climb toward the lower lake, is particularly sketchy in the wet season.
Nearby Horseshoe Lakes is an excellent launching point for a cross-country trip to Lakes Basin and the original John Muir Trail route.
Check out the photos here for tips to find the abandoned Shorty's Cabin below lower State Lake.