Mineral King Loop

cover photo
May 25, 2018 - May 29, 2018

An early season hike with plenty of adventures. Will definitely return for more.

Start at Mineral King and climb the Monarch Lake-Sawtooth Pass Trail to Columbine Lake. Through Lost Canyon and traverse the Five Lakes basin to the Big Arroyo. Continue to Moraine Lake and Sky Parlor Meadow then drop into Kern Canyon. Climb out of the gorge to Franklin Pass & descend through Franklin Lakes & down Farewell Canyon.

Fun facts

Slogged through a scary thunderstorm with lightning and snow/hail

Missed a hot springs at the base of Kern Canyon. Will hit it next time!

Climb up Rattlesnake creek is hard but the waterfalls make it worthwhile

Forester Lake is quite the hidden gem.

Got tricked by both GPS and altimeter at Franklin Pass which kept trying to make me climb across an exposed wall to get around the pass instead of simply going over it across the snow. I spent a good 2 hours actually performing some dangerous rock climbing while searching for an invisible trail across the wall. Serious backtracking and trying again without the GPS led me the right way (sort of) though by then I had managed to lose my map!

DifficultyClass 1
Distance~54 miles
Highest ElevationFranklin Pass (11840 ft)
JurisdictionSequoia National Park
MapTom Harrison Maps Mount Whitney High Country
TrailheadMineral King