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When you go out for a hike, it’s nice to have a goal and one of the easiest is to visit a lake. There’s something about an alpine lake with no road access that makes them enchanting. Maybe it’s the price of admission that you need to walk to see them. Or that the views are au naturel. Regardless, this five must hike to lakes are worth the effort and should be on your bucket list to visit.

Third Lake – Chain Of Big Pine Lakes

Distance: 12 miles; Elevation Gain: 2,750 feet
Starting from the Big Pine Creek North Fork as the name hints, there isn’t one lake but a string of glaciated lakes. Following a creek in a deep valley with looming 14,000′ peaks, the scenery is jaw dropping. Throughout your journey you’ll see numerous cascades, crags, and granite outcroppings showcasing the effects of glacial activity. And to put the cherry on top – the views from Third Lake are worth the effort.

Backup Plan: If you’re a few miles along and realize that Third Lake is a no-go, there’s a consolation prize. About 3.5 miles in, you’ll find a summer cabin built in 1929 for a famous Hollywood Star – Lon Chaney.

Lower Lamarck

Distance: 4 – 6 miles (Depending on lake you visit); Elevation Gain: 1,627 feet
Starting out from the North Lake Campground, the trail quickly exits a meadow and ascends onto a ridge dotted with trees. From here, you’re rewarded with views of Grass Lake and the valley below. As you continue climbing, you’ll arrive at Lower Lamarck Lake. A gorgeous, deep blue lake with 13,000’+ peaks as a backdrop.

Chocolate Lakes

Distance: 8 miles; Elevation Gain: 1,633 feet
From the South Lake parking lot, this trail showcases the High Sierra with crystalline lakes, jagged summits, and lingering snow. It also adds a little “spice” to your outdoor adventure by introducing you to trail finding (i.e., have a map, compass, and GPS to help guide you). While shorter and less of a climb, be sure to set aside extra time because this trail just doesn’t want to let up in the views department. You’ll want to keep taking photos throughout it.

Green Lake

Distance: 5 – 9 miles (depending on lake you visit); Elevation Gain: Up to 1,600 feet
This scenic body of water allows you to combine a hike with world-class fishing for brook and rainbow trout. To extend your adventure, continue onward to East Lake for more dramatic vistas and more fishing. This part of the Sierra is also home to the largest Aspen groves in the region, creating some of the most spectacular fall foliage for photography hunters as well.

Treasure Lakes

Distance: 5.8 miles To Lower Treasure Lake; Elevation Gain: 1,384 feet
While the Bishop Pass trail head is a popular starting point, this alternative route is often overlooked for some of the bigger destinations near it. Along the way you’ll walk through stands of Aspen and pine forests. You’ll also find sections of granite alpine and even descend into an area filled with mountain streams and sorrel-covered forest floors. Finally arriving at the two picturesque lakes located at the foot of the talus slopes of Mount Thompson, Mount Goode, and Hurd Peak providing a dramatic backdrop you won’t soon forget.

As William Wordsworth once said: “A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable.”
If you visit these high alpine lakes, we guarantee they’ll truly move you in ways you would normally never feel.

*Check out the Bishop Creek Shuttle

Bishop Creek Shuttle

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Events Calendar

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Mule Days Celebration

Manzanar National Historic Site’s Public Archeology Program

I Want to be a Packer!

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Sierra Shanti Community Yoga

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Eastern Sierra Pride

Bishop Country Club Golf Tournament

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Sierra Shanti Community Yoga

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Water Wise Gardening in the Eastern Sierra

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Free Concert – Jann Klose

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Paiute Shoshone Taatsawano Gathering

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COSA Monthly Bird Walk

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Pollinator Garden Inspiration Tour

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Sierra Shanti Community Yoga

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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Friday Night Markets

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California High School Rodeo State Finals Championship

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Sierra Shanti Community Yoga

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Astronomy on Tap

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Roll, Reiki, Relax – A Recovery Workshop

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Air National Guard Band of the West Concert

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Ashtanga Summer Yoga Series

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