Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Hot Spring · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Check in with the local Ranger Station before hitting the trail if you plan on going in early spring because of the high elevations.
This trail starts out on the western end of Lake Thomas Edison by Vermillion Valley Resort at approximately 7,200'. It follows the lake for a couple miles until it abruptly cuts to the north over the first of many ridgelines. Once over the hill, you essentially follow the Cold Creek (pun intended if traveling in early spring) watershed all the way up until you reach Goodale Pass (which is right next to Silver Pass and the famous JMT).
At about the halfway point, you reach the junction with Graveyard Lakes, another phenomenal destination in this zone that can be reached in a day if you start early enough. Goodale Pass is just under 11,000' feet in elevation so make sure you are well-hydrated and in shape, because the last stretch before you reach the top gets fairly steep (still doable even with 5-6 feet of snow on the ground).
Once you reach the top, you are essentially free to choose from a number of high alpine lakes in the area including: Chief Lake, Lake of the Lone Indian, Warrior Lake, and Squaw Lake. These lakes are all within a couple miles of one another and very easy to get to (even with snow on the ground).
From the top of Goodale Pass, the trail continues for a couple of miles until it meets the JMT/PCT trails.
Flora & Fauna
Standard Sierra National Forest flora & fauna.
Shared By: Willie Virgen