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Mineral King Loop

Difficult
 4.5 (15) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A challenging yet rewarding loop in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, CA.


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Map Key

25.6

Miles

41.3

KM

Loop

11,679' 3,560 m

High

7,069' 2,155 m

Low

9,101' 2,774 m

Up

9,091' 2,771 m

Down

13%

Avg Grade (8°)

56%

Max Grade (29°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

The road to Mineral King has seasonal closures.

Overview

This route covers diverse terrain, from granite cirques, verdant meadows, and alpine lakes to high alpine scrambling passes and granite peaks and scree.

Description

From the Timber Gap Trailhead follow the trail to the left to Timber Gap. You'll start out your journey on the Timber Gap Trail, which you'll follow for the first few miles of the outing. Once you arrive at Timber Gap Creek and the junction of Blackrock Pass, take a right and follow the trail towards Blackrock Pass. If you decide partway through the route that the full distance is a bit much, you can bail out on the Sawtooth/Glacier Pass Class III Shortcut. This route is still plenty rugged, so it might stretch the definition of a "shortcut". If your plan is to complete the full loop, continue your journey t Blackrock Pass. After a strenuous climb up to the pass, you'll have earned sweeping views.

Shortly after reaching the pass, you'll come to an intersection with the Big Five Lakes - Buckhorn Pass Trail. Take the cutoff towards the lakes, and you'll be rewarded by the gorgeous lakes known as Little 5 Lakes and Big 5 Lakes. Continue on the Big Five Lakes Trail to Buckhorn Pass and veer right towards Columbine Lake and Sawtooth Pass at an intersection with the Lost Canyon Trail. A beautiful alpine lake and scramble await, before a slippery scree slope descent back to the trailhead from Sawtooth Pass on the Monarch Trail.

Contacts

Shared By:

Aaron Groves

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 15 votes

#1

in Mineral King

#422

Overall
  4.5 from 15 votes
5 Star
73%
4 Star
20%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
7%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Mineral King

#72

in California

#422

Overall
1,302 Views Last Month
27,817 Since Dec 16, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
8%
0%
92%
0%

Photos

Glacier Pass, headed toward Spring Lake.
Sep 12, 2016 near Three R…, CA
From the mid-point in Lost Canyon, looking towards Sawtooth Pk. with Sawtooth Pass a little to the right of it.
Apr 19, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Lake 9830, the lowest of the Big 5 Lakes.
Oct 6, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Lost Canyon toward Sawtooth Pass. This part is a very serene path.
Sep 20, 2018 near Three R…, CA
Mt. Kaweah, Red Kaweah, Black Kaweah, and Big Arroyo are beautiful from the trail. It's possible to head down Big Five Creek and up the draw below Mt. Kaweah. It's very steep, but thankfully there's no exposure.
Apr 19, 2017 near Three R…, CA
Morning reflections on pond along Big 5 Lakes Trail
Oct 8, 2017 near Three R…, CA

Weather


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Check-Ins

Sep 12, 2018
Griffin Davis
Solo 1 night. Amazing views. Lots of elevation changes. Vast and diverse scenery
Sep 2, 2018
Juhi Huda
Aug 18, 2018
Schuyler S
Great long weekend trip to do in 3 days. 26mi
Aug 18, 2018
Paul Truong
So far, the most beautiful and hard hike I have ever done. Worth every switchback
Jul 13, 2018
Janey Gidion-McNeely
Jul 5, 2018
Denis Akan
Jul 4, 2018
Vincent Galgano
25.6mi
Jun 30, 2018
Stuart Wurtman
Hiked this 6/20/18 through 6/22/18. Rumors were the trail was covered in snow two weeks prior. No snow this time, but walls of mosquitos instead.