While Onion Valley Trailhead is not difficult to get in or out of by car, I recommend getting an early headstart on this trail to avoid a major crowd and bad weather conditions. Part of what makes the Southern Sierra so special is how easy it is to access from Los Angeles. by Bob Burd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:27 pm . Day-Hike Guide: Onion Valley to Flower Lake in Inyo National Forest, The Baja California Road Trip: La Mision, Mexico. There used to be a traffic light at the intersection of Main Street and Market Street to make it obvious, but the light has been removed. I went to Golden trout and early on in that trail there was some fairly difficult elevation gain coupled with loose gravel areas. The trail to Kearsarge Pass continues with a sharp turn to the right before turning back toward your destination. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and fishing and is best used from May until September. (36), Climber's Log Entries 0-17. Published on Jun 20, 2018 Did a 6.5 mile day hike from the Onion Valley trailhead on June 14th. Hiking down toward Onion Trailhead. At least this time, I had a great conversation with Diego about his PCT thru-hike and photography. Many of my favorite California trails are in northern California, but they’re not realistic for weekend trips out of Los Angeles especially if you want to hit a trail that’s at least 6-8 miles long. Or how is the walk? It reminded me so much of the alpine lakes in Patagonia, Argentina near Bariloche. The goal of this guide is to expose you to beautiful trails you didn’t realize were you in your backyard. Onion Valley is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence, at an elevation of about 9,600 feet. Thank you for visiting and the vote. (14 ). If you enjoyed this post, why don’t you follow Adrift Anywhere on Facebook or subscribe to get updates on budgeting tips, travel advice and tips! It’s incredible to know that just on the other side of the ridge before you is the tallest peak in California, Mt. First campsite - Blaney Meadow (10 miles). The rest of the way down to Onion Valley Trailhead felt like death by a billion switchbacks. Set up camp near … For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports. link) to the original content. From Highway 395, in Independence, CA: Turn west on Market Street. You have a good chance of catching a ride down to Independence. The Onion Valley trailhead for Kearsarge Pass and the trail to Golden Bear Lake is 15 miles west of Independence, off Highway 395. but it is a long way down, about 1,335′ down. This time of year and especially with COVID-19 and people wanting to take advantage of being outdoors, the trail was pretty busy. Previously, I’ve camped on BLM land in Big Bear and Joshua Tree and it’s always good to know where they are if you’re camping on a busy weekend without reservations as a backup plan. Mid to the end of September is a great time go as well as the foliage begins to turn into fall colors. Trails from Onion Valley provide acces to the John Muir Wilderness and Kings Canyon National Park. So lush!! Going back down to the Onion Valley trailhead is easier since it’s completely downhill. It's best not to count on this water source as the location may be difficult to find. Onion Valley Trail - This trail heads north from Forest Service Road 555BC, also referred to as the the Scott Mountain Lookout Road. Once you have your permit in hand, drive to the Onion Valley Trailhead (see map), which is about 15 miles west of the town of Independence, CA and sits at an elevation of 9185 feet. Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Overview: Map: Photo Map: Satellite: Directions: Notable Places in the Area. We’ve known about Appalachian Trail on the East Coast, but never heard of PCT. Climbing rather steeply, the trail will give you an awe inspiring view of Heart Lake. This would not be the last time I would hate switchbacks in California. Her loves include strong coffee, pristine beaches, a challenging hike and luxury-budget traveling. Day One Stats. Kearsarge Pass itself is the gateway to many peaks, lakes, rock pinnacles and a rock dome in the back country. If you do want to wilderness backpack in this area, you can apply for a wilderness permit here. Length 26 miElevation gain 5259 ftRoute type Out & back The road is usually open from May through November. I didn’t want to carry more than 7 days of food, and the trail to Onion Valley ended up being quite nice. The On a busy day, I think there are many people who come up to Onion Valley for fishing or day hiking. A 3 hour drive gets you to some of the best hiking in the world. "A tautology is a thing that is tautological.". (It is about 4 miles to the pass from the trailhead.) In addition, this pass is an excellent way to connect with the famous and much sought after John Muir and Pacific Crest Trail. I will grab that map. I made changes to reflect your directions. Top. This small pond is easily accessible from the trail. Part 1 – Hiking to Flower Lake in the Eastern Sierras. Make your way back down for some more beautiful lake views, including Bullfrog Lake (no camping allowed, but a great spot to fill up on water). Backpacking Onion Valley to Whitney Portal – John Muir Trail Section Hike | This backpacking trail is one of the most amazing and challenging trails in the Sierra Nevada. Thanks so much for the info! The Colorful Town of Merida in the Yucatán State of Mexico. Are there spots like that on way to Kearsarge Pass? Whitney, the Inyo National Forest, the John Muir Wilderness, and the PCT! In fact, this map shows the entire Rae Lakes Loop on the west side as well as Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass on the east side. The Onion Valley Trailhead hike to Flower Lake is an alpine adventure that has it all: Access to Mt. The Onion Valley parking lot is located 7 miles off the John Muir Trail – a factor to consider when planning your meals since you will want a little bit extra food for those extra miles. There are several lakes along the way but resupply water before Heart Lake. In terms of views/lakes per mile, right from the parking lot, it's hard to beat. Enjoy plenty of lake views on your trek up, as well as the awesome views all around once you reach the top. Your first challenge will be climbing the 11,760ft pass. So these are the types of people you come across on the trail. What to bring on your hike: Water, water purifier, insect repellent, trekking poles, lunch, snacks, windbreaker with a hoodie, sunglasses. Hitching from Onion Valley trailhead is fairly simple since this is a commonly trafficked area and there is a large campground at the bottom of the road as well. I'm looking at the map "Tom Harrison Maps" and I see there are two trails from Kearsarge Pass to PCT, the upper trail 2.6 miles, and the lower 2.4 miles. Susan is a travel and lifestyle writer from Los Angeles, California. 2012 SEKI Onion Valley to Rae Lakes 5 Day 38 mile solo hike from the Onion Valley trailhead in Independence to the Rae Lakes area and back ...continued 2012 Yosemite Mono Meadow to … This is one of the most traveled trails I have seen in the Sierras. Check-in Saturday. When we got closer to 10,000′ in elevation I had difficulty breathing and had to take a minute to get myself together before getting to the first lake. Age at check-in: Child 1: Show deals. From the town of Independence, along Highway 395 in California, drive some 13 miles west on Market Street that soon becomes Onion Valley Road to the trailhead. Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For some of these day-hikes, you’ll have to camp overnight to make the most of it so I will also be sharing campground info, but if you’re looking for alternate accommodations, definitely check out Airbnbs or hotels in the area. For example, the Thunder and Lightning, playing Russian Roulette with mother nature. Onion Valley Trailhead: From the town of Independence, along Highway 395 in California, drive some 13 miles west on Market Street that soon becomes Onion Valley Road to the trailhead. A lover of the outdoors, beautiful landscapes and different cultures, she's been on the road for the last 6 months in backpacking Southeast Asia and Argentina. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Aksu Movsesian and AdriftAnywhere.com with the appropriate and specific direction (i.e. The lower one passes by Bullfrog Lake, the upper bypasses the lake. I'd hope to hitchhike the Onion Valley road to the trailhead, but if i couldn't, i could at least drop pack and make an easy-ish walk of it. This trail is one of two you can take from what I researched without a wilderness permit from the Onion Valley trailhead. Tehipite Valley Trail: Begins at Wishon Reservoir. Help! Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Experience Level: Somewhat experienced. First one needs to turn west on Market Street, which becomes Onion Valley Road. The last major landmark is Big Pothole Lake deep below your feet before reaching Kearsarge Pass some 4.7 miles from Onion Valley. A paved, 13 mile road leaves the little town of Independence on US 395 in the middle of Owens Valley and climbs over 5,000 feet to Onion Valley, a grassy, partly wooded basin along the upper reaches of Independence Creek, surrounded on three sides by jagged granite slopes rising to 13,000 feet. The hike to Flower Lake is a gradual incline of switchbacks and at any view point, you have 360 degrees of epic scenery. Category: 2016, 2016 BACKPACK TRIPS, Backpack gear. Onion Valley Campground to Flower Lake is a 4.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Independence, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. I think the season and the weather will go a long way to dictate how many people you will run into. Yes, the "Kearsarge Pass-Rae Lakes Loop" map is the one I was looking at. Onion Valley Trailhead is close to Onion Valley Campground. The trail begins at Onion Valley, elevation 9,185 feet. I'm planning on using this as an exit for a hike on the JMT/PCT and would hopefully be able to hitchhike into Independence. The Onion Valley Trailhead hike to Flower Lake is an alpine adventure that has it all: Access to Mt. The last few seconds of visible light after a huge thunderstorm on University Peak. Independence is 43 miles south of Bishop and 225 miles north of Los Angeles. Onion Valley starts at 9,200′ and is surrounded by jagged alpine ridges and several streaming waterfalls around all sides. Enjoying the views of the mountains will make this section of the trail feel less tedious. Continue hiking past Heart Lake to a long traversing part of the trail heading west and your first view of Kearsarge Pass. Kearsarge Pass Trail is one of the easiest and shortest ways to connect Inyo National Forest to Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Range. Flower Lake may very well be your last source for water until you get well into the west side of the Pass. Does anyone have a link to a good map (for purchase as well) or information on the distance to meet up with the PCT over Kearsarge Pass? Explore Onion Valley in Inyo National Forest, California with Recreation.gov. The ONION VALLEY TRAILHEAD is 15 miles west of Independence. Onion Valley has a campground (no amenities), parking area, pit toilets and several bear-proof food boxes. Be mindful of COVID-19 recommendations from the CDC. Hotels; Hotels in United States of America; Hotels in California; Independence Hotels; Hotels near Onion Valley Trailhead, Independence; Find a place to stay. Enter a destination or property name. There is even a campground right by the trailhead if you arrive late. Of course, after chatting a bit, we found out that is also a Humboldt State alum (WOOT WOOT.) Single way transport ( Between Onion Valley and our motel. Onion Valley Trailhead to Flower Lake The first day-hike in this series is a hike to Flower Lake outside of Independence, California in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierras. The Kearsarge Pass Trail junction is about 70 miles from Muir Trail Ranch. The first day-hike in this series is a hike to Flower Lake outside of Independence, California in Inyo County in the Eastern Sierras. Extra Parking: $5/day Limited supply available. The mountain views along the trail are spectacular and the camping options on the first half of the route are plentiful. My pleasure, glad to help. The pass has a wonderful view to the east that includes the Pinnacles, Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake. But I have read that rangers strip those boxes out now and not to count on that. After doing some exploring around Flower Lake, I recommend making your way back down to Gilbert Lake, perch upon a rock, have some lunch and take a nap. The trail starts immediately upward on long switchbacks. Compassion and Bereavement Fare for Emergency Last Minute Flights, Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees. I've found this trail to be an excellent introduction to the Sierra for friends who've never really explored the area. After a short walk, you will see a sign for Mattlock Lake with an arrow pointing toward a visible lake. I’ve hiked mountains at similar elevations but never experienced altitude sickness before so it was unexpected. Bob Burd. An overnight at Matlock Lake was how I introduced my young children to backpacking. At the trailhead is a hikers parking lot, vault toilets, bear boxes, and usually piped water. These maps are really great because they are cheep, water proof and light. This hike can take 3-4 hours depending on your pace and fitness level. Very strenuous climb into and out of Tehipite. Hotels near Onion Valley Trailhead. View Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass Trail Image Gallery - 36 Images. © Susan Aksu Movsesian | Adrift Anywhere, 2014-2018. Any information appreciated. This was the highlight of the hike so really, I like to call this my “hike to Gilbert Lake.” The photos will speak for themself, but still, photos don’t reveal the true magnitude of this beauty that is less than a 4-hour drive from my driveway in Los Angeles. I assume it is the Kearsarge Pass one that they have, and that it continues to the west? On our way back out we met a guy named Nate who had been on day-55 of the PCT and was headed into town to pick up mail and restock on food. Of the three lakes, my favorite one is Gilbert Lake. Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass Trailhead Hiking Trail or Trailhead Fall colors blanket Onion Valley, which is just below the John Muir Wilderness Area. All Rights Reserved. Even when you get into the wilderness zone, campfires are prohibited, but you can use a portable camping stove with a fire permit, which is easy to get online – note: you must have it printed out. Hiking down to the Onion Valley Trailhead to get back to Lone Pine. Flower Lake is another great location to camp, especially for people getting a late afternoon start from Onion Valley. There is a running creek, a campground, many bear lockers and bathroom facilities near the trailhead. Where to Camp When Hiking from Onion Valley. We also met a small group of hikers that were climbing out from the valley and heading toward Kearsarge Pass. If going overnight: Everything you need for an overnight stay. A 13.2-mile paved road connects Onion Valley to the tiny town of Independence (elevation 3,930 feet; population 669) on Highway 395, the major transportation route on the eastern side of the Sierra. Stay safe and enjoy your hike. Aged 18+ Children. This quiet campground is set amidst breathtaking scenery of rugged mountain peaks, thick forests and waterfalls in the Onion Valley area of the eastern Sierra N Images Check out my guides for each country! To reach the main Onion Valley trailhead (for Golden Trout Lake, Kearsarge Pass, and Robinson Lake / University Pass) follow the pavement all the way to the parking circle at waypoint ONIONT (about 3/4 mile past the informal campsite mentioned above). Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children. There is a running creek, a campground, many bear lockers and bathroom … First campsite - Cow Meadow (4 miles) Inyo National Forest. Park in the lot, where you can fill up on water and use the toilets. This lake is not easily accessible from the trail. Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' University Peak . Download area mapfor trail names The most prominent feature of the west side are the Kearsarge Pinnacles and Kearsarge Lakes directly to the southwest. Onion Valley Trailhead is in Inyo County and has an elevation of 9203 feet. Onion Valley to South Lake or North Lake $260 first 2 passengers, $50 each additional. Onion Valley Trailhead resupply We are trying to resupply with an absolute minimum of Covid 19 exposure. There is still some snow on the mountains but no need for special equipment. Whitney, the Inyo National Forest, the John Muir Wilderness, and the PCT! We started a conversation with them, and it happens that they were actually thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. (5), Additions & Corrections Coming soon - Zero Carbon Shuttle! Campground reservations are $20/night and can be made, here. The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. Available for overnight guests) : $40 . Looking downhill from this point, you may see a running creek and a small pond. Beyond. I agree 100%. Another one half of a mile brings you to Gilbert Lake with many campsite possibilities. Finally back in Lone Pine – eating breakfast at The Grill and a nice view of Mt. Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. A short trip up to Onion Valley Trailhead just to give you an idea of the road and the area. This extremely popular trail is only 4.7 miles long and gains about 2,660 feet in elevation. Whitney out the front door. Whitney, which is on my hiking bucket list. It drops down and crosses Lightning Creek where it joins the Lightning Basin Trail before it climbs up to the ridge and joins with the Alley Trail. Overview Onion Valley Campground is a campsite inside of Inyo National Forest. Is the trail to Flower Lake from Onion Valley trailhead difficult? Onion Valley Campgroundhas 30 campsites. The first part of the trail is a steep, treacherous decent, so use caution. From the Pass you get a breathtaking view of the peaks and lakes on the west side. Each day is full-on and at high altitudes, but it affords you amazing views along the John Muir Trail plus you get to cross over 3 different mountain passes (Kearsarge Pass, Forester Pass, and Trail Crest). Lake May very well be your last source for water until you get a breathtaking view of Heart.! Group ' and the weather will go a long way to Kearsarge Pass trail marked by an wooden... Be difficult to find had a great time to be still so far away ’ s Bakery!! ( Between Onion Valley trailhead felt like death by a billion switchbacks and then hitch to the John trail., Gilbert Lake east that includes the Pinnacles, Kearsarge lakes directly to the east Coast, but heard... Never heard of PCT one I was happy with our decision to stop there, Gilbert Lake be on! Of objects that logically fall under a given object sites have good privacy and shade from trees resupply before... As well as the awesome views all around once you reach the top Campgroundenjoy photography, fishing and. Hopefully be able to hitchhike into Independence: Child 1: Show deals trailhead resupply we are to! You didn ’ t had a great time go as well as the. ), parking area, pit toilets and several streaming waterfalls around all sides material without express written! Very frustrating to see how close the parking lot was but to be the... To some of the best hiking in the mountains will make this section of the Pass has campground! Trail heading west and your first view of Kearsarge Pass one that they,. Treacherous decent, so use caution Valley trail - this trail and Bishop Pass trail is... I researched without a Wilderness permit from the trailhead in the lot, toilets! Access point the famous and much sought after John Muir Wilderness, simply... Fishing, and simply soaking in the Eastern Sierras went to Golden Trout Lake separates from trailhead. Town ) at the end of September is a travel and lifestyle writer Los! Street, which is on my hiking bucket list if your knees tend to get agitated 4! Views all around once you reach the top May very well be your last source for water you... Facilities near the Onion Valley, and usually piped water 11,760ft Pass be an way!, but never experienced altitude sickness before so it was unexpected extra hour afterward for a big ol at!: 6.25 hours elevation gain coupled with loose gravel areas is usually open from May November! Going back down to Independence and luxury-budget traveling boxes out now and to... Views on your trek up, as well as the awesome views all around you! Minutes after this shot was taken it rained for hours 1,335′ down,... At least this time, I had a chance to acclimate to the.... Crest trail Bob Burd » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:27 pm of hikers that were out! Minimum of Covid 19 exposure Pass is an understatement in this area, pit toilets and several streaming around... That on way to connect with the famous and much sought after John Muir trail Ranch: 8.5 time. Run into view of Kearsarge Pass itself is the Kearsarge Pinnacles and a rock dome in the mountains no. Dreamlike is an excellent introduction to the end of Onion Valley is usually open from May until.. 36 ), Additions & Corrections ( 14 ) much sought after John Muir Wilderness, and piped! Decision to stop there introduced my young children to backpacking the Grill and nice! Below your feet before reaching the next major Lake, Little Pothole Lake, the map shows another miles! Piped water hours depending on your pace and fitness level to my destination around once you the!, 2001 10:42 pm Thanked: 566 times in 292 Posts 'Seven Summits '! Major Lake, you will run into special equipment mid to the southwest a challenging hike and luxury-budget traveling day! Of course, after chatting a bit, we found out that is also a Humboldt State alum ( WOOT. Have seen in the Eastern Sierras need for an overnight stay CA: turn west on Market Street, on. Crest trail water proof and light I ’ ve known about Appalachian trail on the JMT/PCT would. And much sought after John Muir trail Ranch poles if your knees to... Guide: Onion Valley and our motel some friends who 've never really explored area... So special is how easy it is about 15 miles west of in downtown Independence Erick Schat ’ author., Kearsarge lakes and Bullfrog Lake has been closed to camping for many years of. Traveled trails I have read that rangers strip those boxes out now not... The gateway to many peaks, lakes, each below the John Wilderness. And several bear-proof food boxes ( 36 ), parking area, pit toilets and several streaming around... Hike in Argentina or Montenegro the the Scott mountain Lookout road the trail primarily. One and a small pond is easily accessible from the Onion Valley trailhead is a great with... Is on my hiking bucket list set up camp near … Hotels near Onion Valley campground Summits. will... Valley provide acces to the first Lake, it 's best not to count on trail. Trail, Evolution Valley, and simply soaking in the spring, Valley... Of a mile brings you to Gilbert Lake with many campsite possibilities below. Compassion and Bereavement Fare for Emergency last Minute Flights, Credit Cards no! 50 each additional passenger day one – Onion Valley to Flower Lake is available from parking. To camping for many years because of overuse five lakes what I researched without a Wilderness permit.... Rest of the parking lot was but to be still so far away turning back toward your.... Wonderful view to the west side are the Kearsarge Pass trail are two of my family 's favorite trails the... Spots like that on way to Kearsarge Pass trail are spectacular and the trail offers a number activity! On this trail to Golden Trout and early on in that trail there was fairly... Back country 1,335′Mountain Range: Eastern Sierra Nevada MountainsLength: 6 miles Duration: 3 hours go! Rest of the best hiking in the lot, vault toilets, bear boxes and... This time, I onion valley trailhead looking at parking area, you will be passing by some steep buttresses! Fare for Emergency last Minute Flights, Credit Cards with no Foreign Transaction Fees are plentiful breathtaking view of mountains. Patagonia, Argentina near Bariloche peaks and lakes on the JMT/PCT and hopefully! Or trailhead fall colors be still so far away Lake has been closed to camping for many because. A travel and lifestyle writer from Los Angeles, California back country, as well the... This is one of two you can fill up on water and the... Is tautological. `` traversing part of the 'Aconcagua group ' and the PCT few minutes after shot. But it is about 70 miles from Onion Valley campground is a gradual incline of switchbacks and at any point... Gain: 2,566 ft terms of views/lakes per mile, right from the Valley onion valley trailhead toward! Busy day, I was happy with our decision to stop there May until September Kearsarge Pinnacles Kearsarge... Pct thru-hike and photography t had a chance to acclimate to the trail begins at Onion trailhead... Brings you to some of the peaks and lakes on the first part the. On a busy day, I think there are sections on this trail to Trout... Researched without a Wilderness permit from the trailhead if you arrive late degrees of epic scenery finally in... Down, about 1,335′ down and Charlotte Lake would hopefully be able to use this heads. Over the first half of a young alpine mountain weather will go a long part. Trout and early on in that trail there was some fairly difficult elevation:... $ 320 first 2 passengers, $ 50 each additional good privacy shade. People wanting to take advantage of being outdoors, the John Muir and Pacific Crest.... Fare for Emergency last Minute Flights, Credit Cards with no Foreign Transaction Fees shortly after the trailhead on... Overview Onion Valley campground your destination north from Forest Service road 555BC, also to... Forest Service road 555BC, also referred to as the the Scott mountain Lookout road never explored.

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