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Big Pine Lakes

Seven dazzlingly beautiful lakes in a single-day hike..let's go?


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Big Pine Lakes are seven beautiful glacial reservoirs located near Big Pine, California, high up the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nestled among 14,000-ft peaks, the lakes can be reached by a trail along North Fork of Pine Creek.

Big Pine Lakes Trail is 21.7 km (13.5 mi) long. It starts at the Big Pine Creek Campground and goes past a waterfall, then starts a loop around seven of the lakes. Hikers pass Mt. Alice and then enter the John Muir Trail Wilderness of Inyo National Forest. The first three lakes are believed to be the most beautiful with the backdrop of the stunning Temple Crag. After the loop, the path leads to the other lakes and the base of Palisade Glacier. The best time to hike this trail is from early May to October when the campground is open. In the summer the path can be quite busy.

Camping is also a popular option on this trail. Big Pine Creek Campground is located next to the Glacier Lodge at the head of Glacier Lodge Road. The campground has 30 campsites. Also, a few cabins are available for rent, and a store is open for visitors. Anglers can go fishing in Big Pine Creek, while climbers get attracted to the rigged picks surrounding the glacier. The maximum length of stay at the campground is 14 days.

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