Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake

John Muir Wilderness, California

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California

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Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
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  • Parking at the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trailhead.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Trailhead for Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Looking back toward the Owens River Valley.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek North Fork Canyon.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Baker Creek Trail junction.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • John Muir Wilderness boundary.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Fall colors along the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek Wilderness Ranger Cabin.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek Wilderness Ranger Cabin- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Black Lake Trail junction.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Campsite near First Lake with Temple Crag in the background.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Large campsite.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Second Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Hiking above Second Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Campsite on First Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • - Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Second Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Dam between First Lake and Second Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Campsite.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Spur trail down to First Lake.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Autumn colors on the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Autumn colors on the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • First Falls along the Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail.- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
  • Big Pine Creek South Fork Canyon- Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail, First and Second Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Access to Palisades Range and High Sierra.
Cons: 
Trailhead access closed in winter.
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Region:
Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
9.20 mi (14.81 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
7,644 ft (2,330 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
3,600 ft (1,097 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy starting in the evening.
71°F
41°

Wed

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
79°F
47°

Thu

Partly cloudy until evening.
69°F
43°

Fri

Partly cloudy starting in the afternoon, continuing until evening.
62°F
34°

Sat

Light rain starting in the evening.
64°F
34°

Sun

Mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
65°F
36°

Mon

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
65°F
36°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail rises into California's High Sierra toward the southernmost glaciers in the United States. Palisade glacier sits above a series of lakes, named First Lake through Seventh Lake, where you'll find some of the best trout fishing in the Sierra Nevada. Also, here in the John Muir Wilderness there are several peaks exceeding 14,000-feet along the Palisade Crest, part of the Great Western Divide. Here you'll find the 14,153-foot Mount Sill and Temple Crag, which is home to some of the tallest rock climbs in the entire Sierra Nevada Range.

The beautiful rustic cabin along Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail that is now a Forest Service cabin was once a summer home of one of Hollywood's most famous character actors, Lon Chaney, Sr. The cabin is also significant because it was designed by Paul Revere Williams, the first African American that was granted a fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. The porch makes for a nice, quiet spot for lunch, and the access to Big Pine Creek North Fork makes it a good place to fill up on water before continuing your hike.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(27 within a 30 mile radius)

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