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Easily accessible three to four day backpacking trip (or long hike) with several lakes for fishing and swimming.


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Map Key

22.0

Miles

35.4

KM

Out and Back

8,618' 2,627 m

High

7,145' 2,178 m

Low

2,397' 731 m

Up

2,397' 731 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

24%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views

Obtain a backcountry permit ahead of time at recreation.gov.

Overview

Pros: Plenty of parking and easy self-registration at trailhead which is located right next to the highway. There are many lakes along this route perfect for swimming, camping or fishing. Lots of interesting native flora. There are very few people south of Fremont Lake.

Cons: I had difficulty getting on the right trail at a few different spots, all clarified below in the description. Lots of mosquitoes in the Chain of Lakes area.

Description

The trailhead parking is just west of the Leavitt Meadows Campground. Get your self-service permit at the parking lot, then hike through the campground and cross the bridge over Walker River. There are two main trails here, and the signs are hard to see in the dark. Both trails lead to Roosevelt Lake and Lane Lake, but the Lane Lake trail is much flatter, so only take the Secret Lake Trail if you want to reach Secret Lake or you need a workout.

Taking the easy path, you'll get to Lane Lake in about 3.5 miles. It's a good place to camp if you arrived late in the day. I fell asleep here to the rumble of a large, invisible waterfall. It is about 3 miles from Lane Lake to the Hidden Lake Spur trail. In late June, the stream crossing is still a bit treacherous. There's a nice campsite at the fork.

It's just under 2 miles between Hidden Lake Spur and Fremont Lake. There is a stream crossing on the way, about 20 feet wide and knee-deep on a 5'11'' person in late June, 2018. So cold! Fremont Lake is huge and beautiful and there are lots of campsites around it, but I also saw a huge pack animal encampment there, so if you're wary of horses it might not be the best spot for you.

There's a connector between the south end of Fremont Lake and the Chain of Lakes Trail, but it's not well-marked. I missed it on the way in and instead took a grueling off-trail route that left me dangerously dehydrated. If you don't mind bypassing Fremont Lake completely, you can get directly onto the Chain of Lakes Trail at the Fremont Lake turnoff just east of the lake. It's about 2.7 miles from the Fremont Lake connector to Long Lakes. The Chain of Lakes was shallow and semi-stagnant in late June, a perfect mosquito hatchery. I made camp on the rocky outcrop to the west of the Chain, where there was more wind and fewer mosquitos.

Upper and Lower Long Lakes are larger, not as stagnant, and are supposed to be great for fishing. I went for a refreshing sunset swim in Upper Long Lake. The Chain of Lakes and Long Lakes are great for solitude. I didn't see a single other person while I was there.

On my way out, I took the Secret Lake Trail north of Roosevelt Lake and spent the night at Secret Lake. Secret Lake was the highlight of the trip, although it was blemished by a bunch of garbage leftover from previous campers. I packed most of it out, cursing those bums the whole time.

Flora & Fauna

Crawfish in the lakes, frogs, mosquitos and mariposa lilies.

Contacts

Shared By:

adrian lu with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 4 votes

#3476

Overall
  4.3 from 4 votes
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#471

in California

#3,476

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Photos

Secret Lake at dawn
Aug 23, 2018 near Bridgeport, CA
ancient tree overlooking Fremont Lake
Aug 23, 2018 near Bridgeport, CA
Secret Lake frog
Aug 23, 2018 near Bridgeport, CA
Chain of Lakes
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
A peaceful section of the West Walker River.
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
View towards Leavitt Meadow
Dec 11, 2022 near Bridgeport, CA
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

May 27, 2020
Troop 33126
First backpacking trip from Leavitt Meadows to Framont Lake on 5/24-26 17.5mi — 10h 30m
Sep 30, 2018
BK Hope
To Roosevelt Lake then back on the Secret Lake Trail
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