Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,000.00 ft (914.40 m)
Trail type
9.20 mi (14.81 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Access to Palisades Range and High Sierra.


Trailhead access closed in winter.

Trailhead Elevation

7,644.00 ft (2,329.89 m)


Backcountry camping
Rock climbing
Big vistas
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Suitable for




Incredible trail! As intermediate hikers, this strenuous hike was a good challenge for us. We actually pulled an all-nighter driving from San Diego to get to the trailhead at 6am. The night before we had been informed that due to high temperatures there had been a flood warning issued for the area, advising hikers to avoid creeks/streams/rivers. Also as we neared the Sierras we noticed the mountains looked especially hazey. Apparently a military drone had crashed near Lone Pine and had started a large fire. So even with no sleep, floods and fire we still conquered our longest day hike to date. Definitely recommend this trail!
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