Due to the overcast conditions, I wasn't able to get good shots of this incredible lake - Precipice Lake . Finally. 9. And we'll be climbing 3 miles and 2,000 feet for it. Most people stop at Hamilton Lake or go over Kaweah Gap into Big Arroyo to camp (both are also stunning places). I wanted to make it to Upper Precipice Lake by the first night so that I could have the entire second day to explore Nine Lakes Basin. The hike from Precipice Lake down into the Hamilton Lakes Basin was spectacular. So grab your favorite fly fishing rod and reel, and head out to Precipice Lake. This high alpine lake is tucked away in a spectacular hanging valley at the end of a steep, relentless trail from Emerald Lake. Welcome to Campsite Vibes! Whether you’re spinning, baitcasting or fly fishing your chances of getting a bite here are good. Keep walking straight and you will see an old wooden ranger cabin, set up camp near there. Eagle Scott Peak towers above the lake and the water is a dark blue color and is very cold. Precipice Lake via High Sierra Trail. This section of the trail was very exposed and I suggest getting an early start to beat the heat! As we start going up the trail, the sun started to raise and we started to see the lower and upper Hamilton lakes from higher up. Especially in early to mid summer conditions when there is a lot of snow melt. The vegetation in this area has a stunted growth because of the lack of rainfall. What a day! 10. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Middle-Hamilton Lake to Kern Hot Springs ... At Precipice Lake, almost 500' higher we are exhausted but make good time across snowfields and snowbridges across water. I suggest filling up water here before continuing to Kaweah Gap. The trail passes and climbs above a lower lake before you get to Precipice. This water crossing was the scariest of all of them. There will be a sign once you get to Big Arroyo Junction. There were times where we thought we could have been in Yosemite instead of Sequoia NP. Days 8 and 9 were spent exploring some of the High Sierra Trail with a side trip to Tamarack Lake. Marmot sunning on the rocks . As I mentioned, our original hope was to make it to Nine Lakes Basin by nightfall. There is no guard rail, and if you fall it’s a very steep drop into the gorge. As we climbed out of Big Hamilton Lake the views were amazing! From lake Hamilton, it is a straight 2,000 feet climb to Kaweah gap via Precipice lake. I did a backpacking loop from Mineral King and camped 2 nights at Precipice. lakeside bluff campsites Campsite, 970 feet northwest; lakeside campsites Campsite, 1100 feet northwest; hillside campsite Campsite, 1300 feet northwest; Hamilton creek side campsite Campsite, 1500 feet northwest Prepare for scenic views from start to finish. The sun shines today! The first 11 miles are relatively easy as elevation gain is slow. There is a water crossing right past the tunnel (if you’re heading Eastbound). Today was a really big day for me. Just one look at it and we all instantaneously agreed this would be the perfect place to … If you are worried about running out, fill up water before you leave Hamilton Lake and when you get to Precipice Lake. This is a moderate one way trail in Sequoia National Park. Even late in September, there was some snow lingering on the cliffs that overlook Precipice Lake. For energetic hikers who don’t mind an extra ascent, Precipice Lake and Kaweah Gap are excellent day hikes from Hamilton Lake that offer even more panoramic vistas of the Great Western Divide and her many peaks. After running up the bottom of the Kern Canyon, it turns east, climbing parallel to Wallace Creek up to the junction with the John Muir Trail, 49 miles (79 km) from the starting point. We crossed a snow field on the way to the glacier filled Precipice Lake. The campsites are more South and off the trail. As you drop ~4,000 feet into the basin you are treated to amazing views of the Hamilton Lakes and the surrounding granite cliffs. Precipice Lake via High Sierra Trail . At Precipice Lake you might find some flat spots to camp at, but if you’re looking to stop in that area for the night, I suggest heading up towards Kaweah Gap, there are more flat ground options there. From Hamilton Lake, we continued our ascend over the Great Western Divide. You will also see a communal bear box in that area. I created Campsite Vibes as a place to share my story and my adventures to inspire and empower you to go on the adventures you’ve been dreaming of! The early morning light over that was unreal. The High Sierra Trail leads from Crescent Meadow up the canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, crossing the Great Western Divide by the 10,700' (3261 meters) pass known as Kaweah Gap. It descends into Big Arroyo, then climbs up to the Chagoopa Plateau, and drops down again into the Kern River Canyon. But location counts a lot, too, and icy Precipice, which sits at 10,300 feet inside a bowl of sheer granite, couldn’t be better situated: at the end of a 19.5-mile trek through the hot and dusty Sierras. The High Sierra Trail has two great ascents – the first one over Kaweah Gap and the Great Western Divide, and the second over the Eastern Sierra and Trail Crest at Mt. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until August. You will get a taste of the "high sierra" on your way to a beautiful pristine lake. Prior to 2014, I had never slept in a tent or even hiked more than a mile or two. Even late in September, there was some snow … Nearly the entire stretch of trail between Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake proved to be quite impressive in it’s construction. Luckily my Camelbak didn’t freeze inside my tent. Precipice Lake...Wow! After departing the lake, we found our way back to the camp we had passed the day before, which was situated next to a running stream. After many years in the High Sierra I was looking forward to finally seeing Precipice Lake and Hamilton Lake, two of the beautiful lakes along the High Sierra Trail. Luckily I had an additional pair. based on 15 tracks & routes | | MODERATE ... Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. I decided to wash my socks and a shirt in the river and hang them to dry overnight with my hiking buddies, but all of our wet laundry froze and I woke up to frozen socks. Working forward in the direction we must we find and climb a little ridge --Kaweah Gap, 10,700. Past Hamilton Gorge, the trail continues up to Precipice Lake. But when we came upon the brilliant reflections emanating from Upper Precipice Lake, all our planning flew out the window. Most of the time it has snow, even until mid-summer, but by early September, all the snow was gone except for an ice cap above the granite face. Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. Then descending all the way down to Hamilton Lake with a view of the vertical wall of Valhalla. The snow lessens and we reach a bowl where the trail is invisible. When to go: July through end of September. The Plan June 18 – Hike 9 Mile Creek to Precipice Lake (36.552500,-118.559689) 9 Mile Creek to Bearpaw Meadow Camp (36.565340,-118.620522) … Read More I didn’t grow up living the outdoor lifestyle I do now. The walls of the cirque surrounding the lake are sheer and steep, and having to construct a trail wide enough for pack trains to navigate in … Big Hamilton Lake to Unnamed Lake at 10,900 feet (11 miles, +4,000/-1,200 feet). Hamilton Lakes via High Sierra Trail. Precipice Lake, naturally. Looking North from Precipice Lake at the prominent Peak(s) that are visible when you look up from the Big Hamilton Lake. Precipice Lake . If I hadn't been in very good shape, I might have passed out on the switchbacks after Hamilton Lake. Plus, it passes right by a lake that had been on my dream list for a long time - Precipice Lake. To the South, the valley opens up to an expansive view of the Golden Trout Wilderness. Today’s hike went from our campsite at 9-Mile to Precipice Lake, an over 4000 ft climb in about 10 miles. Hamilton Lakes, Precipice Lake. It sits in a granite bowl, with Eagle Scout Peak looming above it, and Hamilton Lake and the River Valley below. MODERATE 5.8 mi. Start: Moraine Lake. Hamilton Lake is a fantastic Yoho hike that is a bit of a secret. There are still plenty of clouds as I set up camp. Be very careful. After your break at Precipice Lake, you climb the last 400 ft to the Kaweah Gap, the official pass over the Great Western Divide. It’s the last lake in the chain that feeds into Hamilton Lake and others. This lake sits in a granite bowl at around 10,300 feet entirely fed by snowmelt. This lake sits in a granite bowl at around 10,300 feet entirely fed by snowmelt. Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is a 8.0 kilometer lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The lovely Precipice Lake The lake is a marvel. In winter conditions, when snow is blocking the tunnel or there is ice on the trail this section of the trail is impassable unless you are equipped for winter mountaineering. A long day from 9 Mile Creek to Precipice Lake, with stops by Bearpaw Meadow and Hamilton Lakes. Sawtooth Pass Trail to Columbine Lake [CLOSED], Crystal Lake via Sawtooth Pass Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Little Five Lakes Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King to Eagle Lake Trail [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass to Timber Gap Trail [CLOSED], Mineral King: Black Rock Pass Loop [CLOSED], Tar Gap Trail to Hockett Meadows [CLOSED], Sawtooth Pass and Franklin Lakes Loop [CLOSED], Sawtooth Peak and Columbine Lake to Timber Gap [CLOSED]. The trail down from Precipice to Hamilton Lake is really beautiful, snaking along steep, glacier-polished granite an sometimes wandering through little hanging gardens of wildflowers. It’s the last lake in the chain that feeds into Hamilton Lake and others. Sure, Precipice Lake is a beauty—Ansel Adams agreed when he made it famous in his iconic photograph. This trail goes by Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake. Rock tunnel on trail between Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake . These Peaks(s) apear as one from what you can see from the naked eye at the Big Hamilton Lake unless you've got the most amazing depth perception imaginable. The campsites near Precipice Lake really are great. Anywhere from the trail above Hamilton Lake looking back west down valley. The hike begins with a series of switchbacks as you climb up the granite wall that overlooks Hamilton Lake. Gil (GoHiker.com) and I hiked the High Sierra Trail to Mt. Past Hamilton Gorge, the trail continues up to Precipice Lake. From there there were only a few more switchbacks spread out over the next 1.2 miles up to Precipice Lake. The trip to Hamilton Lakes is part of the High Sierra Trail. It was another long day of hiking, but after seeing both Precipice and Hamilton lake, we felt a huge sense of success – it was all worth it. Streaked vertical granite dives directly into the azure lake creating and amazingly photogenic environment. Our final views of Hamilton Lake disappeared behind us as we headed for the ridge up above where Precipice supposedly sat on the other side. Precipice Lake is a lake located just 20.6 miles from Three Rivers, in Tulare County, in the state of California, United States, near Mineral King, CA. Hamilton Lake to Precipice Lake is a 5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Three Rivers, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. Blog post with trip report is here. We found good tent sites, and took a lovely swim in Lake Hamilton. You descend downhill from 1.5 miles and climb up to the lake the last 1.5 miles. Precipice is a beautiful place – probably my single favorite place on the High Sierra Trail, but it is not friendly to camping. From the tranquil Moraine Lake through the valley of the Big Arroyo, and crossing the Kaweah Gap at more than 10.000 feet to the stunning Precipice Lake. Day two - I follow the increasingly steep switchbacks above Hamilton Lake and arrive at Precipice around 11AM. The trail is very narrow and there are loose fallen rocks that are slippery from the water running off. It was fantastic, the warmest water so far, so we could actually enjoy it and stay in longer. In retrospect, this was almost too ambitious. DIFFICULT 9.9 mi. Precipice Lake (08.10.2009) - calipidder Rock tunnel on trail between Hamilton Lakes and Precipice Lake . You can still see where it was mounted in the rocks before the tunnel. Now there is a tunnel that was blasted out of rock that takes you around the gorge. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from June until August. The lake that started me planning this trip shenanigan that we embarked on. Whitney, June 17-22. Precipice Lake from Mapcarta, the free map. Although all … From the Kaweah Gap, there is a gradual descent over the last 3 miles to the Big Arroyo Junction. Day 3: Hamilton Lake to Big Arroyo Junction, Day 4: Big Arroyo Junction to Kern Hot Spring, Day 5: Kern Hot Spring to Junction Meadow, Day 7: Guitar Lake to Mt.Whitney Summit to Whitney Portal. Precipice Lake is absolutely stunning. Itinerary. Hamilton Lakes makes a great lunch spot and the lakes have plenty of trout for fishing. That's Mr. Pika to you! There is easy access to the river to fill up water, wade in, and wash your clothes in. You can then follo… There used to be a suspension bridge that took you across the gorge, but in the winter of 1937 an avalanche tore the bridge down. Day 5: Moraine Lake to Hamilton Lake. Hamilton Lake. The trail gets narrow as you get to the avalanche chute known as Hamilton Gorge. Precipice Lake is a lake in Tulare County and has an elevation of 10,308 feet. 8. Precipice Lake Lake, 1¼ miles southeast; Sequoia National Park Park, 1¼ miles northeast; Other Places. Our day 3 hike on the HST was arguably the most beautiful stretch on this 72 mile journey. Day 3 : Big Hamilton Lake To Big Arroyo Junction - 6.5 miles; 1,320 feet elevation gain. Here is Day 2 of our trip: If you’ve hiked the High Sierra Trail or plan to do so in the future, please join our Facebook Group, High Sierra Trail! This U-shaped valley was carved by glaciers as they plowed through. And you have officially hiked 20 miles Eastbound on the High Sierra Trail! End: Hamilton Lake I love how you get views of Precipice Lake on one side and views of the Hamilton Lakes valley on the other side! I got frost on the inside of my tent, and even with a 20 degree bag and a sleeping bag liner to add another 15 degrees, I was still cold all night. And it's Precipice Lake Day! It was not only some of the most beautiful mileage on the High Sierra Trail, but it was also my first experience with cross country traveling in the Sierra. The challenge of hiking to Hamilton Lake might scare some people off, but we think the extra work is worth it. When you’re ready to head home, simply turn around the way you came and follow the long trail back to Crescent Meadow. Don’t rush by this lake either – if the weather seems like it might cooperate, chill and wait for some reflection shots. But we all start somewhere. MODERATE 6.0 mi. Although there are a few water crossings long the way, the easiest places to fill up are the two lakes until you get to the Big Arroyo Junction. On a trail contouring across the face of a cliff, hundreds of feet above the deep Middle Fork Kaweah River, Alex points at a smooth, waterslide-like groove in the granite across the canyon, where sheer granite walls and spires stab at a cerulean sky. Whitney.From the grandeur of Hamilton Lakes Basin and Precipice Lake, to the awe inspiring Big Arroyo and Kern River Valley, the High Sierra Trail is some of the best that Sequoia National Park has to offer. 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