Elevation Gain
4,206.00 ft (1,281.99 m)
10.73 mi (17.27 km)
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Starting from Onion Valley trailhead, this moderately trafficked approach hike is a nice day trip for anyone relativley fit and looking for a nice trail and easy scramble. The easiest way to get to the peak is by following the Kearsage Pass Trail toward the pass. 

The trail passes by many beautiful lakes making the gradual incline of the approach  scenic. You'll pass Gilbert Lake, Flower Lake, Heart Lake and then Big Pothole Lake, which means you are nearing the Kearsarge Pass about 5 miles in. Right before the pass you will see a wide sandy slope and a false summit. 

It is possible to start the climbing approach right before Kearsarge Pass or you can turn right once you get to the pass. Once you are off the maintained trail , the steep loose class 2 trail begins. The climb is not hard but it can still get tiring and feel like it just keeps going especially at that altitude . 

The last part of the climb turn into a short and fun class 3 climb. Make sure to turn aroudn and enjoy the view! You will pass a high point which is a false summit. Once  you are at the top of this false summit, you will be able to see the real summit. The summit block is a tiny two by three foot block that requires a bit of easy climbing, but with extra care. 

Enjoy the summit view before heading down the same way you came up. Once lower down, you will see the wide sandy slope that you saw earlier before the pass. Descent the slope to reach the main trail. Then it is 5 miles on foot down the Kearsarge Pass Trail back to the trailhead. 




Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Grand views. Solitude when on the mountain. Easy access


Access trail can be busy with hikers. No water.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

9,176.00 ft (2,796.84 m)

Highest point

13,012.00 ft (3,966.06 m)


Big vistas



Typically multi-day


Permit required


Primary aspect

South facing

Drinking water

Unfrozen water


Nearby Adventures

Eastern Sierra + White Mountains Area, California


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